Aron Lund on Syria Comment
Is the FSA losing influence in Syria? How many people are in the FSA?
Is the FSA receiving enough guns from the West, or too many? Will the
FSA participate in elections after the fall of Bahar el-Assad? What is
the ideology of the FSA? What’s the FSA’s view of Israel? Is Jabhat
el-Nosra now bigger than the FSA? What does the FSA think about the
Kurds? Who is the leader of the FSA? How much control does the central
command of the FSA really have over their fighters?
All these and similar questions keep popping up in news articles and
op-ed chinstrokers in the Western media, and in much of the Arabic media
They all deal with important issues, but they disregard an important fact: the FSA doesn’t really exist.
All this said, I wish that the FSA did exist.
A unified rebel leadership would spare Syria much of the bloodshed
that lies ahead. Not just because an organized rebel army would pack
more of a punch in the struggle against Bashar el-Assad’s fascist
dictatorship, and could put a leash on the most unpleasant salafi
extremist factions. But also – and this matters a lot more than the fate
of either Assad or al-Qaida – because only a functioning opposition
leadership will be able to minimize the period of Lebanon-style armed
anarchy and sectarian bloodshed that lies ahead for Syria, and help
reestablish a central government when Assad’s is gone for good.
Unfortunately, my mere wishing won’t make it so. But neither will sloppy and distorted news reporting.
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