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Syria: One Month Before ‘Revolution’ Al Jazeera Admits Revolution Unlikely Due To Assad’s Popularity

3 January 2014 3,437 views 3 Comments

by Martin Iqbal.

In a rare moment of candour, Qatari propaganda mill Al Jazeera admitted in February 2011 that a Syrian revolution was unlikely due to Bashar al-Assad’s popularity.

The notion that a popular revolution ever took place in Syria is as pervasive and pernicious as it is false. This myth is providing cover for a war that has threatened to destroy Syria and plunge the country into perpetual instability, disunity and violence.

Headquartered in Doha, Qatar – and founded by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani – Al Jazeera is the mouthpiece of Qatar’s ruling family. While the Zionist regime, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the USA, and Turkey have unleashed an armed takfiri onslaught on Syria and its anti-Zionist leader, Bashar al-Assad, Al Jazeera has consistently conveyed a false ‘revolution’ narrative. Roving gangs of foreign takfirists are portrayed as Syrian citizens fighting for freedom from state repression.

It is important to note that while video-capable mobile phones are ubiquitous in Syria, after almost three years of unrest, not one video has emerged showing peaceful protesters being attacked by Syrian security services.

Al Jazeera’s editorial policy throughout the so-called Syrian ‘revolution’ has thus been to publish unverified reports of atrocities supposedly committed by the Syrian Arab Army and security services. The simple inclusion of the phrase “according to activists” has enabled Al Jazeera to conveniently avoid the bothersome chores of evidence-gathering and fact-checking.

As a result, the Syrian Arab Army’s military responses to armed takfirist attacks across Syria have been wrongly characterised as unprovoked attacks on Syrian civilians. This dishonest rhetoric is intended to justify a larger-scale foreign military intervention that will end Bashar al-Assad’s governance, destabilise Syria, and ultimately expose Hezbollah and Iran.

One month before ‘revolution’, Al Jazeera admits revolution unlikely, Assad popular in Syria

In a report published on February 9th, 2011 – merely one month before the proxy war on Syria began – Al Jazeera made some stark admissions(1) about the prospects of a revolution in Syria.

Not only does the Al Jazeera report(1) admit that a Syrian revolution is unlikely, but it also opines that Bashar al-Assad enjoys popular support, particularly amongst the youth (emphasis mine).

[F]actors such as a relatively popular president and religious diversity make an uprising in the country unlikely.

But even if people dared to challenge the army and the dreaded mukhabarat intelligence service, analysts say the appetite for change of the country’s leadership is not that big.

Many Syrians tend to support Bashar al-Assad, the president who came to power in 2000 after the death of his father Hafez, who had ruled the country for 30 years.

An important factor is that he’s popular among young people,” Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and author of Syria Comment, says.

“Young people are quite proud of [President al-Assad]. They may not like the system, the regime, they don’t like corruption … but they tend to blame this on the people around him, the ‘old guard’”

“Unlike Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, who’s 83, Bashar al-Assad is young. Young people are quite proud of him. They may not like the regime, they don’t like corruption and a lot of things, but they tend to blame this on the people around him, the ‘old guard’.”

A Syrian student echoes these comments. “The president knows that reform is needed and he is working on it”, she says.

“As for me, I don’t have anything against our president. The main issues which need to be addressed are freedom of speech and expression as well as human rights. I believe that the president and his wife are working on that. New NGOs have started to emerge.

“Also, many things have changed since Bashar came to power, whether it has to do with road construction, salary raises, etc. Even when it comes to corruption, he is trying hard to stop that and limit the use of ‘connections’ by the powerful figures in Syria. However, he won’t be able to dramatically change the country with the blink of an eye.”

Al-Assad’s tough stance towards Israel, with which Syria is technically at war, has also contributed to his popularity, both domestically and in the region.

The aforementioned article is all the more notable considering Qatar’s vested interest in removing Bashar al-Assad from power. Merely one month before the so-called ‘revolution’ broke out, even Qatar’s propaganda arm ‘Al Jazeera’ had to admit to Bashar al Assad’s popularity.

Even a 2012 opinion poll,(2) commissioned by the Qatari royal family themselves, underscored the popularity of Bashar al-Assad with Syrians. The Doha Debates (a joint project between BBC World News and The Qatar Foundation)(3) published the poll with the deceptive title “Arabs want Syria’s President Assad to go“, in spite of the fact that the poll actually found that a majority of Syrians support their President.

Notes

(1) Syria: ‘A kingdom of silence’ – Al Jazeera, 9 February 2011.
(2) Arabs want Syria’s President Assad to go – opinion poll – The Doha Debates, 2 January 2012.
(3) About the Debates – thedohadebates.com

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