Western mainstream media claims that there are right now moderate and extremist rebel groups fighting against the Syrian government. The moderates in the understanding of the West are the militias of the so called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA), and the extremists are the militant Islamist groups with ties to Al-Qaida. Western leaders claim: “We have to strengthen the moderates with arms and supplies so that the extremists don´t gain more ground.” The German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel published on its website a reportage from the northern Syrian city of Aleppo where the author of the article claims that the moderate rebels are doing now a better performance in battle thanks to the western arms delivery.
To distinguish between “good” and “bad” rebels on the Syrian battle ground is an important element of the Western war propaganda. The propagandists – Western politicians and mainstream media give the impression that it is possible to support moderate, secular, democratic, and liberal rebel groups without supporting extremists. The propagandists claim furthermore that the so called “good” rebels have aims other than the so called “bad” rebels.
The Syrian reality has nothing to do with those fairy tales. The Islamist extremists are the dominating fighting groups among the rebels. “FSA” is just a type of brand name for some militias. The term “Army” is wrong since they don´t have an army structure and hierarchy. Even the press releases of the different “FSA”-related groups contradict themselves because there is no such thing as military order.
TALKING TO SOLDIERS OF THE SYRIAN ARMY
I spoke to many witnesses of the Syrian war, to refugees, and soldiers of the Syrian Army. They all report the same: Units of FSA and “extremists” cooperate closely on the battle field. FSA groups who receive arms from foreign powers sell them for dollars to groups like the extremist Al-Nusra-Front to make profit. Syrian security sources say that more than 100 Stinger rockets were sold by the FSA militias to Al-Nusra-Front. In FSA controlled areas the “moderate” groups establish “sharia courts” and start to persecute Christians, Alawis, Shiites, and “disobedient” Sunnis. The FSA groups behave as sectarian and aggressive as the so called “extremists”. In the Syrian capital of Damascus I saw even conservative Sunni refugees who escaped from the rebel controlled areas. The people flee from areas under rebel control (in Western term “liberated”) to government controlled areas (in Western term “dictatorship”).
When I visited areas that were under FSA control in the past, I didn´t even find just one single graffiti calling for democracy, freedom or human rights; instead, all the FSA graffiti “informed” the people who the “dogs” are: the Christians, the Alawis, President Bashar al-Assad, his wife Asma and anyone else who doesn´t support the “revolution”. In addition to those sectarian hate slogans they painted the black-white-green rebel flag with the three red stars. By the way, the inhabitants of those areas were fleeing from the rebels and came back after the Syrian army took control again. And again, no word about this in Western media.
In Aleppo FSA fighters and Islamist extremist militants cooperate in establishing a blockade against around two million civilians in the city. Supply convoys are attacked by the rebels, perhaps with new delivered Western arms. The Western media and politicians keep silent, and nobody dares to accuse the rebels of going on war against the civilians of Syria.
The rebel commander who ate the organ of a killed Syrian soldier was a “moderate”, not an “extremist”. After he cut out the corpse’s liver and heart he is filmed holding the organs in his hands and speaks to the camera: ”I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers you soldiers of Bashar the dog.”
A militant “brigade” calls itself “Osama bin Laden”. This brigade belongs to the “Souqour Dimashq” (Hawks of Damascus) Battalion of the FSA.
The truth is simple, maybe too simple for Western mainstream journalism: You cannot deliver arms to militants in Syria and claim that those arms are used for “good aims”. If you claim this, then you are either stupid, or a liar, or both.
German monthly news magazine ZUERST! (“First”), covering German domestic and international issues. Manuel Ochsenreiter is editor-in-chief of ZUERST! since 2011.