Is America Conspiring Against the Syrian Regime, or With It?

American journalist Seymour Hersh, who for a long time was in direct contact with the Syrian president, reported a few days ago in the London Review of Books that the Joint Chiefs of Staff offered security information to the Syrian army via Germany, Russia and Israel. The article goes on to explain that Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, director of military intelligence between 2012 and 2014, sent several secret messages to warn of the danger of Assad’s regime collapsing. The report recounts that, when faced with this situation in the fall of 2013, the Joint Chiefs began taking steps — without clearance from diplomatic channels — to remedy the situation. By offering intelligence to the militaries of other countries, this information reached the Syrian Army for use against its enemies — especially Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State group. The three countries that delivered this information were Germany, Russia and Israel.

However, the admission from American journalist Seymour Hersh — who takes pride in his friendship with Bashar Assad — is contrary to the version of events the Syrian regime and its supporters, “the resistors and the opposition,” have ranted on about since the beginning of the revolution. Mainly, they state the regime has been subject to a global conspiracy that aims to conquer Syria and change the regime from being something immovable to being a weak follower of Zionists and imperialists. We have had our minds split open, with those in charge saying the main reason for the revolution was allegedly to move the regime from being a force for resistance to one dependent on the United States. This is something both the U.S. and Syria have categorically refuted.

However, if we look at the consequences of the Syrian revolution — or remove from our consideration the current situation in Syria after five years of revolution — we find the rhetoric of the regime is not correct at all, given the reality of the situation. Therefore, if we believe the viewpoint of the regime, that there is a global conspiracy, then the conspiracy is certainly not against the regime. Instead, it is against the Syrian people and the country itself. It is evident the Syrian people are the ones suffering a great injustice. Despite the regime’s military losses and the large physical damage incurred by the country, the regime has managed to hang onto power. This has been facilitated with American support by way of its international alliances, and with massive military and economic support from the Russians and Iranians. So let’s not name them “Friends of the Syrian People,” because they are closer to the regime than to the Syrian people. It is evident these “friends” have permitted Bashar Assad to use all types of weapons against Syrians and the country. Additionally, they have prevented the opposition from acquiring any weapons capable of stopping the destruction from the regime’s planes, which kill and displace Syrians daily.

How could America, Israel and their Arab allies conspire against the regime, if they are the ones who, for five years, let the regime commit all types of violent acts, while they hardly talked about opposing it on television, let alone actually combating it through military means? If the regime is strong, as Syria and its allies claim, then why have Israel and America blessed the Russian intervention, which is using a variety of strategies and forms of modern weaponry to defend the regime and its so-called “alliance of the opposition,” which includes Iranians, Hezbollah, Iraqi, Pakistani and Afghani militias, and perhaps even North Korea? Was it not Israel that permitted Hezbollah and Iran to reach its borders in order to defend Assad’s regime? It is hard for us to believe Israel is not condoning Russia’s support of its adversaries, the so-called “resistors.” Rather, in fact, it must be coordinating precisely with the Russians in Syria. Does this not mean that Russian-Israeli coordination on the ground in Syria is therefore — in effect — coordination with Hezbollah and its Iranian sponsors, both of whom are [Israel’s] alleged enemies? Does this not mean that Israeli-Russian coordination on the ground in Syria is a blatant alliance between Russia and Israel? Russia is Assad’s major ally, and the Israelis allying themselves with Russia means they lie in the same bed as all the Iranian, Syrian, Lebanese and Iraqi allies of Syria. Is Israel not boasting publicly of its alliance with Russia in Syria? Therefore, how can the Zionists be conspiring against the regime in Damascus, when Israel knows how much American support means to it? Do the lies and the “global conspiracy” theory the regime has promoted from day one of the revolution collapse here?

What exactly does the world want in Syria? Do the east and west want to align with the regime, in one form or another, to rehabilitate and preserve Syria’s institutions, which they falsely claim constitute a state? Is there not an international consensus on the need to engage the regime in any Syrian political solution? Some accuse Assad’s regime of fighting the revolution and portraying it as a terrorist movement, all the while releasing thousands of Islamic extremist prisoners to join the ranks of those fighting. This changed the revolution from a civil people’s revolution into an extremist and terrorist movement. If we believe the regime did this to change the character of the revolution, to derail it and distort its image, then why has everyone near and far sent extremists to join the radicals who Bashar Assad released from his prisons? Was Bashar Assad’s goal, to sabotage the revolution and drown Syria in extremists, not completed when he showed the world how the revolution has become a movement of extremists and terrorists?

Thank you to Bashar Assad’s friend, Seymour Hersh, for documenting everything we have been saying since the beginning of the revolution — that if it were not for American and Israeli cover, the regime would have collapsed in the very early months of the Syrian revolution.

Editor’s Note: The author of this piece, Dr. Faisal al-Qassem, is one of the most famous commentators in the Arab world. His current affairs show, “The Opposite Direction,” is featured on Al-Jazeera.

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