January 21, 2013
As we reflect on Dr. King's non-violent dream of social change...
2011-2012: Syrian government represses and kills peaceful protesters, calling them "terrorists." They start fighting back, but also keep protesting, and insist:
here, AFP credit)
They keep fighting and get better armed. The Turks and Saudis and "Free Libyans" help them expand greatly in arms, men, and resources, with Western approval and other support. Horrible things start happening, blamed on "the regime" and on Alawites, who implicitly must pay. They keep happening more often as the rebellion gets more capable. The aftermath of their May 25, 2012 conquest of Al-Houla is scary, with its shaken dead babies (who weren't terrorists!) pointed at Kofi Annan. That event, like no other, galvanized "the world community" further yet to demand that the Syrian government stop fighting "terrorists" and surrender themselves and all their people to the non-terrorist "people of Syria." (the above photo seems to be from the days after the Houla massacre.)
For months before that and for months since, Jabhat Al-Nusra, aka Al-Nusra Front, rose along with the defector-based Free-Syrian Army, to the forefront of the conflict with terrorist tactics that proved deadly effective. Car bombings, TV station and hospital attacks, destroying electrical stations, blocking/stealing food aid shipments, plane shoot-downs, soldier executions, other abductions and executions, forcing a child to (try and) behead a Syrian soldier, possibly the bombing of Aleppo university, and the same day, perhaps the Haswiyeh massacre, etc.... all in the service of a Sunni-purified Salafist Syria and/or a global Caliphate. Allahu Akbar! (at left, from Busatin Al-Haswiyeh: a man in mourning runs his fingers across his throat, while explaining to ITV news what happened when other black-clad men - Al-Nusrah or other rebel Islamo-nihilists - passed through in mid-January, 2013)
On December 11, Al-Nusrah Front were listed by the US State Dept. as a terrorist group, just for being a direct offshoot of Al Qaeda in Iraq and engaging in the same kind of things in Syria. It would be surprisong if the problem hadn't been glaringly obvious for moths already by then. It's unlikely to have much effect this late in the game they own. The opposition and all its allies protested that listing and seem intent on ignoring it. (FSA-Al-Nusra-supporting Turkey took a particularly Twilight Zone approach to the freedom-fighter/terrorist problem with their actions and words on Jan. 17/18).
Earlier, non-violent protest organizers who would never themselves slash a child and blame "the Alawite regime" cast their lot with the Islamo-nihilists too. A New York Times report, just pre-dating the listing, mentioned this:
In keeping with a tradition throughout the uprising of choosing themes for Friday protests, the biggest day for demonstrations because it coincides with Friday Prayer, many called for this Friday’s title to be “No to American intervention — we are all Jabhet al-Nusra.”Now that we see how little dishonesty is involved (apparently that wasn't the chosen theme), let's just insert that back into the photo above (with some other artsy touches) to see how it would have looked.