Saturday, March 16, 2013

Does the FSA exist?

 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 too.
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.

Read the whole article here

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