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But unfortunately for those who want to use the evils of the rebels as an excuse to walk away from the evils of the regime, a new study published by the respected Arab Reform Initiative in Paris makes a detailed and often compelling argument that, despite the odds, many “pro-democracy” forces remain in the field.

Pro-Democracy Forces Still Among Rebels Fighting Assad, Study Finds – The Daily Beast 9/9/2013

In his article, Christopher Dickey will go on to note that, “the Assad regime sought to portray all its opponents as crazed terrorists. It set about systematically eliminating moderate and secular opponents. French scholar Gilles Kepel, author of numerous books on radical jihad and revolution, believes the Syrians may also have taken a page from the Russians, who encouraged radicalism to divide the opposition and set the factions against each other in Chechnya.”

How’s that for dirty tricks?

Again, the three true wars evident in Syria and contributing to each conflict zone within the Islamic Small Wars are 1) a war about integrity borne out in truth telling as opposed to cant, deception, dogma, and propaganda; 2) a war about dictatorship, extremism, and malignant narcissism — i.e., death and suffering en masse because somebody, or many, lost their personal sense of boundary, containment, empathy, and ethics in the heady sway of grandiose and delusional ambitions or assumptions (as Hitler asked famously, “Who says I am not under the special protection of God?”); 3) a war about absent or decayed center-moderate forces in culture and politics, and with that disappeared or disappearing middle, a war in which death comes as ambush out of the shadows, whether involving state forces launching Sarin-laden warheads in the still of the night or guerrillas descending to subdue a Christian village.

So contested:

  1. Integrity
  2. Intensity and reach of a pathological egotism and vanity (malignant narcissism) apparently beyond channeling, checking, and modification.
  3. Center-moderate political ideas, processes, values, and virtues.

Additional Reference

YALLA SOURIYA | Syria Live Update News @YallaSouriya WordPress blog featuring rolling updates and statements from an anti-Assad group.

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BBC News – Guide to the Syrian opposition 7/12/2013

Deciphering the Jihadist Presence in Syria: An Analysis of Martyrdom Notices | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point 2/20/2013.  Excerpt:

Similar to the Iraqi jihad at its zenith, users on al-Qa`ida’s official and unofficial web forums began to post unofficial yet authentic martyrdom notices for individuals—both Syrian and foreign—who they perceived to have fought on behalf of the jihadist cause.[2]

This article looks quantitatively and qualitatively at these notices.[3] The data and biographical information collected is based on threads from jihadist web forums[4] dating from the start of the uprising through January 31, 2013. It is likely that some notices have been missed, but it is still useful to piece together each individual’s identity, from where they are from, with whom they fought, and where they died.

Empowering the democratic resistance in Syria | Arab Reform Initiative 9/2013. Excerpt from Executive Summary:

This paper examines the circumstances and conditions that shaped the Syrian armed opposition and surveys the groups that remain committed to a democratic political system and a pluralistic society in Syria. It describes the extreme fluidity within the armed resistance which reflects primarily the diverse but most often unstable, and therefore, unreliable sources of funding for the rebels. It suggests ways to empower the pro-democracy groups as the best means to reach the dual objective of ending the dictatorship of Assad and achieving a democratic outcome in Syria and argues that the former objective has no chance of succeeding if the latter is not pursued simultaneously.

With jihadists threatening to seize Syrian revolution, rebels beg West for more firepower | National Post 8/7/2013

National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Excerpt:

The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (Arabic:الائتلاف الوطني لقوى الثورة والمعارضة السورية‎, FrenchCoalition nationale des forces de l’opposition et de la révolution), commonly named the Syrian National Coalition(Arabic: الائتلاف الوطني السوري‎, FrenchCoalition nationale syrienne) is a coalition ofopposition groups in the Syrian civil war that was founded in Doha, Qatar, in November 2012. Former imam of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Moaz al-Khatib, considered a moderate, was elected the president of the coalition, and resigned on 21 April 2013.[3] Riad Seif and Suheir Atassi, both prominent democracy activists and the latter a secular feminist, were elected vice presidents. The post of a third vice president will remain vacant for a Kurdish figure to be elected.[4] Mustafa Sabbagh was elected as the coalition’s secretary-general.[5] The coalition has a council of 114 seats, though not all of them are filled.[2]

Syria: A Wicked Problem for All | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point 8/27/2013

Syrian opposition – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

On Christopher Dickey

Christopher Dickey

Christopher Dickey – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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