The Militarization of the Syrian Uprising

Excerpted from Foreign Policy in Focus Special Project Right Web.

With the Syrian cease-fire hanging on by a thread, many observers are speculating whether the lull in violence will empower the anti-regime forces in Syria. To be sure, many of the individuals who have taken up arms against Bashar Al-Assad’s ossified and reprehensible government have risked their lives for the noblest of ideals. But such ideals are not necessarily shared by the entire opposition, as the case of Mohamed Alloush demonstrates. Alloush, a pro-democracy activist who participated in the mass uprising that gripped Syria last year, has fled to Lebanon, driven away not only by the violence of the regime, but by pressure from opposition forces.

“In September last year I had been arrested again by the regime for organizing protests,” Mr. Alloush said in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor. “After they released me, I ran into a group of men I knew as members of the Free Syrian Army. I walked up to them and screamed: ‘You guys have stolen our revolution! You are just as bad as the shabiha,’” the pro-regime militia in Syria.

The uprising in Syria has been an inspiring demonstration of the desire for freedom, justice, and human dignity, as well as a heartbreaking reminder that such aspirations are often not achieved.

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Samer Araabi is a contributor to Right Web and Foreign Policy in Focus.