There are two kinds of terrorists in the Middle East. Those who believe they are fighting for honor and justice to reach a religious goal (Honor Terror) and those who know they must fight to survive the anomaly of their religious and political situation (Survival Terror).
Syria is home to both forms of terrorism today, which is a rarity. The stinking poetry should not escape us. Those who cannot differentiate between the two fall in different traps of perception or facts.
The former honor terrorist has accepted his international label, and he carries it with a certain pride. The latter terrorist, though, because his aim is to survive, must always deflect the same international moniker by accusing his accusers of the crimes he has committed.
There is no better example to cite, of the latter ilk, than the propaganda actions behind the terror of Assad.
As the facts present themselves, Assad attacked peaceful protesters in March of 2011 because Syrians were seeking to free themselves from the tyranny of his family. He massacred them and then labeled them as “terrorists”, an irony that seems to be taken seriously because Assad has mutated the civil war into a sectarian war.
In the beginning, the media would qualify his labels by adding a note referring to a government-only label the regime promoted; however, now, most reporters’ pens have become too lazy to bother adding those qualifiers.
Part of understanding the Assad regime is to understand its Stalinist repertoire, which is to baptize anyone who stands in its way a “terrorist”. This means the Syrian women and children Assad, Hezbollah and IRGC units massacred intentionally with high-powered sniper rifles are, in fact, “terrorists”. The students who marched peacefully in 2011 are “terrorists”. The courageous and secular Free Syrian Army officers who split from his killing machine in 2011 to protect the civilians are “terrorists”. Peaceful liberal male and female students he tortures persistently in his numerous dungeons are “terrorists”.
Everyone who opposes Assad today is a “terrorist”.
In fact, the repertoire often defies any logic.
As an example, Assad gassed his own people and once the world discovered the horror, he tried to accuse his accusers of gassing themselves. This may sound unreal but actually, some in the media took his accusations very seriously and plastered it into damaging headlines. How did the Rebels get their hands on chemical weapons when they hardly had any ammunition to defend themselves was inconsequential because the propaganda fed into Western fears that al-Qaeda may have had access to WMD.
Dousing the issue with doubt who the culprits were is all Assad needed. What the world discovers in the future or what history records is meaningless because Assad is fighting for the moment and during this moment, the first impressionable lie is the most important. It retains its memory value even after the undeniable facts emerge.
It is worth noting, though, that the “survival terror” intentionally invited the “honor terror” in order to obfuscate what is already a very murky situation. What Assad hoped for by turning the war sectarian is to obscure the facts, not only to survive amongst the minorities of Syria he must continue to deceive, but also to confuse the West and to force its media to march to his tune. Accord Mohammed Nasif Kheirbek (Abu Wael) all the credit for this superior cunning.
Assad is in the midst of a heavy propaganda campaign to claim victory against his own people, and even if we assume this to be true, if anyone believes Assad has won, he or she should have his or her heads examined. All Assad has accomplished is survive another day.
Think about it, Assad destroyed the fabric of his own country, turned it into a heap of political and economic ruins, and sparked a regional religious conflict that will reap more hate and anger than all of the tyranny of the Middle East have combined. We would be fools to believe he will get away with murder.
Those who inseminate chaos cannot possibly be also the engineers of stability in the region, which is an anomaly the West will never bet its interests on no matter the circumstances or the misguided Russian protection afforded to this engineer. At the slightest sense of injustice, spoiled and immature politicians can turn archaic and anarchistic. Who would want a psychotic, raging guard to guarantee the safety of the factory he is supposed to protect? All the free passes Qaddafi had ended with a quick bullet to his head.
If political pressure during the Bush era and a revolution did not succeed in dismantling the terror of Assad, he will have to wait for the third chapter soon to come his way. Assad has no choice now but to live a life of a Mafia Don, always looking over his shoulder, which will trigger and motivate more destruction.
Furthermore, Syrians are no fools; now that the economy is in shambles and Assad is feeding Syrians hogwash, many who supported him will be asking themselves the hard question he fears the most: Was it all worth it to save one man?