Western regret over not having supported Syrian rebels in 2011 is silly

As early as in 2012 when even official western reporting increasingly conceded that sectarian jihadists had „hijacked“ the Syrian „revolution“ many „experts“ expressed regret over the earlier non-intervention of western military powers in favor of the Syrian rebels.

The implicit argument that before it´s radicalization the „uprising“ deserved western support is flawed in many instances:

1. Despite often repeated but misleading claims about the „revolution“ having been peaceful „at least for 6 months“ (or one year according to others)  it was always disputed whether not major parts of the uprising were armed, violent and sectarian from the very beginning. Contrary to the former romanticization of the insurgency deadly attacks and systematic ambushes on police and army happened from day one.

2. After the Libya experience it was clear that Russia would not accept a UN resolution allowing western states to go for their much desired „regime change“ under the pretext of „responsibility to protect“.

3. There was never a Syrian opposition with a broad popular support base inside of the country. After the experience with Ahmad Chalabi in Iraq probably even western regime change proponents were suspicious of similar claims by Syrian exile opposition members.

4. There was no truly deployable opposition ground force to bank on. The „Free Syrian Army“ never had any command and control structure, cohesion, unified leadership or infrastructure. It was never more than a name, but a disconnected conglomeration of undisciplined local militias. By contrast, in all the year when various rebel factions tore eachother apart and entered coalitions even with Isis and Al Qaeda (Al Nusrah) just to abandon them or be abandoned, fought and disarmed by former allies, the Syrian army and it´s allies never had any internal fighting.

5. Why should external powers intervene in a civil war, bring about the defeat of the stronger side and empower forces that they don´t know and whose actions they probably cannot predict and contain?

It is very likely that despite much rhetoric about supposedly regretting the lack of earlier action on behalf of the Syrian rebels and against the Syrian government, the army leaderships and secret services of the western powers had serious and legitimate concerns about bringing to power sectarian and highly violent radicals.

Dubious source: „Violations Documentation Center“ (VDC)

Many reports about the war in Syria frequently quote the „Violations Documentation Center“ (VDC), however the information released by the VDC must be treated with much skepticism.

Here some reasons why:

„This source is highly partisan. For example they divide fatalities into two overall groups: “Martyrs” and “Regime Fatalities”.

Martyrs” include ISIS fighters and foreign mercenaries killed by the Syrian Army/Militia or even by the U.S. airstrikes around Kobani. See the VDC screenshot photo 1 showing the ISIS “martyr” killed in Kobani. Photo 2 shows a young girl listed as “regime fatality”…There is little or no evidence provided regarding most of the alleged victims. Photographs and video evidence is provided for a small minority of the cases.“

„there are good reasons to believe the VDC is listing dead insurgents as civilians, as well as mislabeling dead government soldiers as FSA fighters.”

One example he cited was the listing of a Jaysh al-Islam militant, ‘Hisham Al-Sheikh Bakri’, killed by the SAA in Douma (infested with Jaysh al-Islam terrorists), in February 2015, which al-Masdar News reported. The VDC also listed ‘Hisham Abd al-Aziz al-Shaikh Bakri’, “however this one is listed as an adult male civilian and not a Jaish Al-Islam fighter,”

If you go to the VDC site and check for adult male civilian deaths it shows (Feb. 16th, 2018) 79.254 deaths, while the total number of civilian deaths is shown as 111.803. So, almost 71% of all civilian deaths are adult males, while we have been hearing that most civilian victims (of course almost all killed by „the regime“) are women, children and elderly…Why is the percentage of adult males so high? Can it be that a sizable portion were NOT civilians?