Foreign Policy Mag's Accusation Against the Freedom Center Proves It's Untrue

The accusation is now over 6 years old. But I was recently pointed to it because it's been referenced by FrontPage Magazine's Wikipedia profile. The source is David Kenner at Foreign Policy Magazine with an article titled, "How Assad Wooed the American Right, and Won the Syria Propaganda War."

In one paragraph, Kenner writes that, " In addition to relying on pro-Assad sources, AINA also looks to U.S. conservatives for inspiration — it republished an article titled "The Myth of the Moderate Syrian Rebels" that first appeared in the far-right FrontPage Magazine."

That's my article.

Kenner doesn't link to the original article on FrontPage. For obvious reasons. The opening of my article alone disproves his thesis.

The Syrian Civil War is a religious war. It’s not a war over democracy or freedom. It’s a conflict between two totalitarian systems, one loosely based on a mixture of Islam and Socialism, and the other more rigidly based on Islam. Both are brutal and merciless to anyone who doesn’t belong. Both have their death squads and extensive corruption on the inside.

Both are evil.

That really sounds like an endorsement of Assad, doesn't it?

The drive-by smear by Foreign Policy, which has since been rolled into Wikipedia, fails to address the article's factual points.

The Syrian National Council (full abbreviation SNCORF) is a bunch of names and letters peopled by ambitious men. It commands less of Syria than it does of Washington and Brussels. If it tried to give anyone an order in Aleppo, there would be laughter. But it keeps getting away with giving orders in D.C...

The political structures built up in Turkey and Qatar are fictional. The official leaders lead nothing. General Salim Idris commands nothing. All the organizations with Syria in their name are good for little except fooling Westerners into giving them weapons to funnel to the various rebel brigades, in exchange for promises of future influence and business deals, and plotting to take over the country afterward.

The only commanders who matter are the ones on the ground. And not only are they Islamists, but they are also far less housebroken than Idris...

The actual fighters have few allegiances except to wealth and religion. Some fight for pay, others fight for Jihad. Many for both. None resemble the mythical brigades of free officers fighting for a secular Syria that some senators still believe in.

Even the brigades and their names are smoke on a battlefield. Fighters move from one brigade to another. Brigades move from one association and alliance to another.

The boundaries between the Free Syrian Army and the Al-Nusra Front are not hard and fast. Some Islamist brigades play on both teams. Identifications are a matter of convenience. The vast majority of fighters, whatever associations they may have, are fighting to impose a Sunni Islamist system on Syria.

It's 2019 and few even in Foreign Policy Mag would try to dispute these characterizations. The Free Syrian Army myth is long dead. But the smears of the writers and experts who pointed it out unfortunately live on.