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Syria’s victimized needs must understand that the civil war is their war, not Assad’s war, not al-Qaeda’s war, not Iran’s war or Saudi Arabia’s war, not Russia’s war, not America’s war. Their war.

When Idris defected from Assad’s military, he left an abused organizations — which I have read described as “coup proof” — for disorganized civilian and military energy, which latter he was then to organize. Maybe at the Pentagon and among historians, that should not have been such a big deal, but in the reality, loose bands and militia with many things on their minds do not a ready-made military form. And in waltz the “Islamists” . . . .

“Syria for Syrians” would be my slogan, but it seems we (okay: of “the west”, of sentimental and sympathetic feeling) don’t know how to help them.

Note: the Kurdish People of Syria threatened directly with annihilation by ISIS et al. have taken care of themselves and possibly taken a chunk of Syria with them. However, fighting on that overlooked front continues in the general spilling across borders that the AQ affiliates, even if revoked, lol, define in their own weird way.

Facebook for me has become an Everyman’s Conflict and Politics Roundtable (as well as provocateur and politico tipster heaven) as it has for others, and, of course, it’s not the only “board” (remember those days?) in cyberspace where a lively discussion on conflict and politics is to be had at will.

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It is simply a cutthroat struggle for power, between jihadist groups of similar ideology, distinct only in name and the identity of their backers, albeit with slightly differing methods of imposing their doctrines on the ground.

Islamic Front no answer for Syria conflict – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East – 1/13/2014.

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Britain also suspended deliveries some six weeks ago and Turkey shut its side of the border as fears over the growing strength of extremist jihadis crystallized in the takeover of the warehouses and bases by the Islamic Front, a new alliance of six of the most powerful Islamic rebel groups in Syria.

It was a stark demonstration of how Idris’ influence had diminished amid the rise of al-Qaida-affiliated militants flush with cash, weapons and battleground experience.

U.S. resumes non-lethal aid to Syrian opposition – Middle East Israel News | Haaretz – 1/27/2014.

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Scissors.  Paper.  Stone.

Army.  Militia.  Population.

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Syrians have no army.

That is why the army they don’t have managed to bomb so many millions of them out of their businesses and homes without quelling The Revolution, not to mention failing also to impede for long the regressive progress made by the al-Qaeda affiliates.

However, in Syria, the direction of impedance changes daily with the battles under way.

Syrians could have an army IF the army they don’t have can find a totem for rallying other than a) Bashar al-Assad and family or b) themselves, which more frequently is how things go with coup and junta.

The Other Army Syrians don’t have doesn’t care about them either (or it wouldn’t dream of throwing bakers into their own ovens, much less do it).

General Salim Idris persists in the field, but it appears in news and political terms — or for drama-creating news and political purposes — he’s not sexy.

Militia go where the arms are.

Little French girls with jihadi boyfriends-cum-husbands are not lighting out to the Syrian territories to fight for an American-educated and religiously moderate Syrian military leader (oh, dad, get real!).

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Obama appears to want to tend to worries around his home, conceptually.

And Putin appears to be getting ready for a glorious Winter Olympics.

As mentioned in the top I-like-the-sound-of-my-own-voice section of this post, surrounding states and the UN haven’t more in their kits than humanitarian campground aid (and peacekeepers, when it’s safe to deploy them in defensive or tripwire positions).

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Syrians have no army.

In the middle east, armies, as has been pointed out by the recently departed conservative scholar Barry Rubin, may account for the failure and success of revolutions in the region: if the army’s with the revolutionaries, the revolution wins; if it stays with the regime, the regime wins.

Simple.

Like a seesaw, the balance shifts back and forth for a while, but the stronger in arms prevails.

Related:

Mubarak’s pedestal was shaken by the people, but he was pushed off it by the army and the establishment. The revolution in Egypt succeeded because the army did not want Mubarak any more. The turning point was not that the army would not shoot its own people–it has done so before–but that it would not do so in order to save Mubarak.

REFLECTIONS ON THE REVOLUTION IN EGYPT – 10/27/2011.

Barry Rubin’s article inadvertently also provides a snapshot of Egypt and other of the Arab Spring-involves states just about two-and-one-half years ago.  The Egypt he wrote about then was to succumb only momentarily (even if it seemed a lifetime) to the prodigious talents of the Muslim Brotherhood for economic and social regress.

Additional Reference

Barry Rubin: Assessing Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood – YouTube – 29:38 – posted 8/29/2013, event recorded 7/12/2013.  “The elite would not protect the regime . . . they had lost confidence in Mubarak.”  Rubin also goes on to say at 15:22, “People in the middle east know they are on their own!  I mean whether I like them or not.”

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