The Assads are carrying out a well-thought campaign of violence and intimidation against the protesters, using the army, the security forces, loyalist Alawite militias and criminal gangs, and now, Jihadi networks.
At this stage, Mr. Assad, even the Bubonic Plague is better than you.
The Assads and their propagandists have been speaking of armed infiltrators since Day One of the Revolution without providing any evidence, and using these claims to justify their bloody crackdown against protesters. In doing so they benefitted from the climate of sectarian prejudice that they helped foster over the years. Prejudice often trumps the need for evidence, blinds people to facts, makes them see things that don’t exist, or simply misinterpret reality, no matter how obvious it happens to be.
On the other hand, and over the last few years dozens of reports have emerged detailing the intimate relationships between Assad security forces and armed jihadist groups operating in both Iraq and Lebanon. In fact, the conclusion reached by most experts is that the Assads are not only the main sponsors of these groups, they have even infiltrated them at different levels to the point where these groups often carry out the biddings and plans of the Assads even if they don’t realize it.
Bearing the above two observations in mind, tehn the main question regarding the recent reports that jihadist elements are now beginning to operate inside Syria, should be: whose interests and agendas are these groups really serving?
The protest movement has nothing to gain from the involvement of jihadist groups, and everything to lose. To the protest movement, the Assads and the Jihadists are two faces of the same coin, and not only in the philosophic sense. The direct linkages between the two sides that have been clearly established over the years by myriads of international experts and governments make the Assads and the Jihadists part of the same oppressive apparatus that has been gnawing at our social and economic fabric for decades. Our struggle, therefore, has been from the beginning of our Revolution directed against both: the Assads and the killers they breed in our midst, be they Sunni jihadists or Alawite shabbiha.
Those who throw themselves in the bosom of the Assads to wrong from Jihadists are fools, and those who think that Jihadists are actually partners of the protesters are blinding themselves both to the real nature of the protest movement, and the demonstrable connections between the Assads and the global Jihadists networks. The Jihadists are the Sunni Shabbiha and the Shabbiha are the Alawite Jihadists and they are all terrorists and all work for the Assads and carry out their biddings. This is not a case of the chicken coming to home to roost for the Assads, but of the case of the puppet-master who is skillfully manipulating his puppets. The Assads plan to drown the Revolution and scare the population with violence from the bottom and violence from the top, but the revolutionaries are good swimmers and they will persevere and they will hold on to their peaceful, inclusive and nonsectarian ways.
We will not be fooled, Mr. Assad, and at this stage, even the Bubonic Plague is preferable to you and your continued (mis)rule.