by Front Page Magazine The moderate Syrian rebels, like the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, are a myth; an imaginary character used to tell soothing stories to children. Unfortunately the storytellers think that we're the children.
The Syrian Civil War is a religious war. It's not a war over democracy or freedom. It's a conflict between two totalitarian systems, one loosely based on a mixture of Islam and Socialism, and the other more rigidly based on Islam. Both are brutal and merciless to anyone who doesn't belong. Both have their death squads and extensive corruption on the inside. Both are evil.
The "Al-Aqsa Islamic Brigades," an FSA-allied group, was caught sticking a photoshopped image of Washington, D.C., burning at the hands of Syrian rebel fighters on its Facebook page. An analyst was quoted as wondering why a group affiliated with "the generally pro-Western Free Syrian Army" would do such a thing.
"It raises the unfortunate but inescapable fact that not every group within the Free Syrian Army is closely aligned with U.S. interests in the region," he said. More accurately, not a single group within the FSA is either pro-American or aligned with US interests.
Why would they be? An Islamic brigade has as its goal the replacement of Western political and judicial systems with Islamic ones through armed force. And the majority of the FSA consists of Islamic brigades. Islamists with that goal tend to think of Western political and judicial systems as idolatry and heresy. To the Salafi, idolaters and heretics have less right to live than sheep in a butcher shop.
As reporters tried to learn more about the "Al-Aqsa Islamic Brigades," they found a maze of splinter groups and alliances with the Al-Nusra Front that revealed that all the artificial structural overlays imposed by Western experts on bands of Eastern fighters don't actually matter in the real world.
There is no Free Syrian Army. There is no Syrian opposition. There are just groups of fighters carving out territory, seizing homes, oil depots and bakeries, raping women, killing Christians, and behaving exactly the way that armed gangs with heavy firepower and no law to restrain them do.
There are no moderate Syrian rebels. There isn't even a Syrian rebellion; only Muslim Brotherhood men in Turkey who act as gatekeepers for Qatari and Turkish weapons flowing to thousands and thousands of fighters, drifting in and out of gangs, killing their way across Syria the way that their distant ancestors might have during the original conquests of Islam.
Islam is their identity. It is a far more significant identity than the names of the brigades and alliances that they occasionally align with. It is their law, in the same way that the Pirate Code was the law of the buccaneers and the Thieves Law was the code of the Russian criminal. It dispenses rough justice and enables them to split the loot while remaining devout men who after every rape bow to Mecca.
Slaughter in Syria will go on with the unrestrained savagery that can only be carried out by men who believe that other men are subhuman. It will go on with knives, with machine guns and with nerve gas. It will go on whether we bomb Assad or write him a sternly worded letter.