NYT: “Nowhere In Rebel-Controlled Syria is There a Secular Fighting Force”


This comes from the New York Times and it’s not an opinion piece. The admission of what we knew all along should put to rest any more nonsense  about backing “secular” rebel forces in Syria to keep the Islamists from taking over.

There are no secular forces. Even the New York Times has finally admitted it. When the media talks about secular forces, it means the militias controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Across Syria, rebel-held areas are dotted with Islamic courts staffed by lawyers and clerics, and by fighting brigades led by extremists. Even the Supreme Military Council, the umbrella rebel organization whose formation the West had hoped would sideline radical groups, is stocked with commanders who want to infuse Islamic law into a future Syrian government.

Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.

So why is the New York Times finally admitting what the situation really is? Nobody slipped any truth serum into their tea at the Four Seasons.

If the New York Times admits something damaging to the liberal narrative, it’s only because it’s trying to protect an even bigger piece of the liberal narrative.

The timing of the story lines up with the Red Line being crossed on Syria and Obama’s reluctance to act. So the New York Times, which normally champions intervention, is forced to explain why Obama isn’t intervening. And like good liars, they lie with the truth.

And so, we proceed to the next paragraph where we learn that…

This is the landscape President Obama confronts as he considers how to respond to growing evidence that Syrian officials have used chemical weapons, crossing a “red line” he had set.

But if Obama were really reluctant to back Islamist takeovers, Egypt would look very different today. So would Tunisia. This isn’t about Obama being reluctant to support Islamists, but reluctant to enter a bloody conflict.

The best evidence of that is Obama is supplying military “non-lethal” equipment to the rebels and looking the other way while Qatar provides lethal military equipment.

The issue here isn’t a sudden jab of conscience in Obama’s left shin, it’s cowardice. But to cover the cowardice, the New York Times is finally telling the truth and pretending that it had been telling it all along.

The Islamist character of the opposition reflects the main constituency of the rebellion, which has been led since its start by Syria’s Sunni Muslim majority, mostly in conservative, marginalized areas. The descent into brutal civil war has hardened sectarian differences, and the failure of more mainstream rebel groups to secure regular arms supplies has allowed Islamists to fill the void and win supporters.

The religious agenda of the combatants sets them apart from many civilian activists, protesters and aid workers who had hoped the uprising would create a civil, democratic Syria.

When the armed rebellion began, defectors from the government’s staunchly secular army formed the vanguard. The rebel movement has since grown to include fighters with a wide range of views, including Qaeda-aligned jihadis seeking to establish an Islamic emirate, political Islamists inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood and others who want an Islamic-influenced legal code like that found in many Arab states.

“My sense is that there are no seculars,” said Elizabeth O’Bagy, of the Institute for the Study of War, who has made numerous trips to Syria in recent months to interview rebel commanders.

The New York Times is coming dangerously close to admitting that the Syrian civil war is actually a religious conflict between Sunnis and Shiites.

It hasn’t crossed that Rubicon yet. It’s still sticking to the social issues and the tyranny plank, but in fact that’s what this is. A conflict between the Shiite and Sunni world taking place in Syria, the way it has in Iraq and Lebanon and Bahrain.

As extremists rose in the rebel ranks, the United States sought to limit their influence, first by designating Nusra a terrorist organization, and later by pushing for the formation of the Supreme Military Council, which is linked to the exile opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition.

Although led by an army defector, Gen. Salim Idris, the council has taken in the leaders of many overtly Islamist battalions. One called the Syrian Liberation Front has been integrated nearly wholesale into the council; many of its members coordinate closely with the Syrian Islamic Front, a group that includes the extremist Ahrar al-Sham, according to a recent report by Ms. O’Bagy, of the Institute for the Study of War.

The Obama administration has said it needs more conclusive information before it acts on the Syrian government’s reported use of chemical weapons. It remains unclear whether such action would translate to increased support for the rebels.

In the past, United States officials saw the Islamist groups’ abundant resources as the main draw for recruits, said Steven Heydemann, a senior adviser at the United States Institute of Peace, which works with the State Department.

Obama Inc. is stalling for time and the Times is giving it cover. It can’t go too far, because if/when Obama Inc. does take the plunge on a No Fly Zone, the old gray hooker is going to have to defend its paramour’s latest foreign policy swing.

And carefully left out of the picture is the question of where Islamists are getting their weapons and money from. But if the Times actually completes the picture linking the oil-rich monarchies to Islamic terror and to terrorist mosques around the world, then the whole sham will collapse.

  • John

    Hi Frontpage.

    I have been waiting for the Western media to say this stuff, finally they said the truth. So, I'll believe the next published articles will be all about "establishing an Islamic state" and they won't able to write more about Syrian National Council or creating a secular democrate country. Yes, they are re establishing a Muslim empire; a Greater Syria or Caliphate. Why do we care if we live in the West? I still believe there will be a backstabbing and fighting over politics in post Assad tho. I know the secular fighters are outnumbered but the longer the conflicts goes the more secular will abondon their position and join the effective Islamist fronts. So, yes the West should of intervened a year ago to avoid Islamist presence in the region. I also believe the West won't intervene because there 85% of Suuni's living in Syria and largely supported the Islamist while there are only 8% of Alawites living in Syria which are likely to be slaughtered, forced to leave or convert to Suunism in post Assad because they already had proven to be a traitorious Assad supporters. So is the West thinking to invade a land and plan to establish a secular state when 85% defending the Islamist? No, they are not stupid enough and these people had already lived under the fear of the baathist regime. The Gulf do send bulk of weapons to the Free Syrian Army and other factions but those army also captured dozens of military bases and captured weapons from dead enemies.

    This is a good chance to see what Syria will be like living under Sharia law in the 21st century and how the Islamist government will improve ties with the West and the Muslim world. We would like to see the result. We cannot watch propaganda and view "Islamic State" as evil, why not see the post Assad first?


  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    Any sharia control will be a force for evil.

    No wonder the media is desperate to redefine that word.

    And once more the US looks like a paper tiger with an ineffective administration.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Well, don't need the "paper of record" to tell me what's what in Syria, or anywhere else – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/03/31/al-qaeda-bell

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • visitor

    One thing is clear: If Obama acts to topple Assad, you will accuse him of aiding and abetting the Islamic extremists coming to power. But if Obama does not act to topple Assad, you will accuse him of aiding and abetting the regime of the butcher Assad and his henchmen. In short, no matter what Obama does or does not do, you will attack him and accuse him of incompetence or treason. Y'all remind me of a song sung by Groucho Marx in the movie "Horsefeathers": "No matter who proposes or presents it, I'm against it (chorus: "whatever it is, he's against it)."

    • Daniel Greenfield

      I haven't accused him of aiding Assad

      • visitor

        But if Obama acts to aid the anti-Assad forces, you will criticize him for doing so, and if he does not act to aid the anti-Assad forces, you will criticize him for doing so. It's far from simple. Should we allow the fascist Ba'ath regime to continue to massacre civilians, or do we act to topple Assad and bring to power jihadi forces who may prove even more antithetical to American interests than Assad ever was? It's easy to find fault, harder to come up with a coherent policy that protects our interests. You might say what course you think America ought to take rather than take potshots.

        • Passer by

          The Ba'ath regimes in the Arab World are self described socialist regimes and were supported by the Communist Block.

    • Boetica

      It sounds like you have a very limited intellect. Typical for an Obama supporter. This is a complex situation. Obama's fault was supporting this so-called 'Arab Spring', which is really an attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood to establish a caliphate.

  • SuicidePrevention

    DG wrote, "The issue here isn’t a sudden jab of conscience in Obama’s left shin, it’s cowardice. But to cover the cowardice, the New York Times is finally telling the truth and pretending that it had been telling it all along."
    Cowardice? I remember the meme going around after 9/11 that the terrorists were cowards. What
    horsesh-t. This is nonsensical playground chatter. In any case, reluctance to get involved in
    war is praiseworthy, particularly when we don't have a dog in the fight. It's not good that the
    Sunnis, Alawites and Shiites are ripping each other to shreds, but I certainly prefer they
    fight each other than unite to fight non-Muslims.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Reluctance to get involved is praiseworthy if it isn't preceded by empty threats.

  • spark777

    Liliana. true that Leslie`s article is impressive, last thursday I bought a top of the range Maserati after having made $4856 this last five weeks and in excess of 10/k last-munth. it's definitly the easiest-job Ive ever had. I started this four months/ago and practically straight away started bringing in over $82 per/hr. I work through this link,, kep2.com

  • Matt

    They are the only one's who will go to face death, it is their faith in Allah, kill one another 10 turn up. That is all they have an AK, RPG their body and their faith. Of course. They want to die, that is Jihad.

  • Matt

    Look at it this way Syria is Iraq and this is the 90's and now we do it Bin Laden's way, the way he wanted with Saddam the Mujaheddin. No infidels. If it had occurred that way he would not have got a bee in his bonnet. And there would have been no attacks on the US by al-Qaida. There would have been no al-Qaida.

  • Matt

    War I know I don't need lessons had those. After 9/11 I researched two things I read the Koran and became a Hashish and understand Pashtun culture. A high standing in Afghan culture it is an actual trade, this was important so I could be adopted into a Pashtun family, as a son. People do not understand the Koran and the virgins, people see it in a bodily sense. It is all those orgasms at once, they sit on clouds with the look of ecstasy on their face floating over the Hindu Kush.

  • warren raymond

    Why Western Military Aid For Syrian “Rebels” Is A Terrible Idea

    The “rebels” are the Saudi financed Muslim Brothers of course. Helping them to power will be deadly for Syria’s minorities. But the Christians are none of Obama’s concerns; and the EU doesn’t show much interest either. The latest hysterics about Assad’s chemical weapons use should not be used to manipulate those who reject western intervention.

    Why Western Military Aid For Syrian Rebels Is A Terrible Idea by Hugh Fitzgerald

    Instead of reacting to this or that news item — such as that someone in the Syrian Army “may” have used a “small quantity” of sarin gas, by accident or design, those who make or influence or attempt to influence policy (includijng the running-off-at-the-mouth McCain) might ask themselves: what is it, exactly, that would best fit American (and non-Muslim) interests in Syria?

    It would not be a victory over the Alawites. The Alawites, and the others — Christians, and many Kurds and many Druse, and many Sunnis too, afraid of the Ikhwan, with some coopted or compromised by the regime whose continued existence guarantees their survival — should hold on. Just. Not enough so that the regime would ever again get the idea it should prove itself plus royaliste que le roi by supporting Hamas and every other terrorist group — Hamas deserted it at once. And never again will the Alawites wish to prove themselves to be hyper-Arabs — by joining in a war against Israel, as Syria did in 1948, and 1967, and 1973 — as a way of deflecting attention from their being less than orthodox Muslims, and certainly not Sunni Muslims, which for most Sunni Muslims is required to be considered a full-fledged Muslim.

    There is more: