World Affairs

Syrian War for Dummies – Three Versions

(My article published on with some editorial introduction):

As the Ghouta campaign continues to unfold, we should expect that both politicians and mainstream media will give us – in the words of philosopher and theologian Reinhold Niebuhr – “necessary illusion and emotionally potent oversimplifications” intended to shape our perceptions of events.

It goes without saying that such “emotionally potent oversimplifications” on Syria have formed the dominant paradigm through which the American public has received its information over the past seven years of war. From the State Department officials to think tank “experts” to the Graham/McCain axis to CNN panelists to the neocon twitterati and all the usual interventionistas who cast everything in terms of Manichean good vs. evil, darkness vs. light, bloodthirsty tyrants vs. noble populace – we’ve had to endure and fight seven years of a constant stream of propaganda on Syria.

This worldview is what BBC filmmaker Adam Curtis accurately characterized as a ‘goodies and baddies’ dualistic vision of global events which keeps the Western public under the illusion that its own political leaders are perpetually driven by concern over human rights, defending the weak and oppressed, and spreading democracy over and against the unenlightened megalomaniac dictators of the world who are simply bent on brutalizing their own people.

The BBC’s Curtis concluded of the “humanitarian” wars that followed in the wake of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ (especially Libya and Syria) :

The question at the heart of this whole story is – Who was the ventriloquist? And who was the dummy? Maybe we were the dummy? By allowing perception management with its simplifications, falsehoods and exaggerations to create a simplified vision of the world – we fell into a fake universe of certainty when really we were just watching a pantomime. 

And now as the Arab Spring unfolds and reveals the true chaos and messiness of the real world – above all the horror of what is happening in Syria – we find ourselves completely unable to understand it or even know what to do. So those stories get ignored while we follow others with clearer and more simplified dramas which have what seem to be obvious goodies and baddies – thank god for Iran, North Korea and Jimmy Savile.

Although the Syrian war is almost over, many Americans still don’t understand what transpired over the last seven years, because the mainstream narrative has been an embarrassing mix of propaganda, half-truths and lies.

Below are three versions of the conflict as presented by Chris Kanthan via

Disney Version

Once upon a time, a country called Syria was ruled by a ruthless dictator named Bashar Al-Assad. He was a cruel man who gassed his own people. His actions caused a civil war in Syria. America and Europe tried their best to stop the devastating civil war, and even generously accepted many Syrian refugees. Eventually America went to Syria, defeated ISIS, and is now trying to restore stability.

This above version is quite popular among many Americans and Europeans and the Western mainstream media.

High School Version

Oppressed by Assad’s brutal regime, the Syrian people longed for freedom and democracy. One day, people started protesting in a small city. In response, Assad killed many peaceful protesters. However, this backfired and the entire country was engulfed in protests. Soon a civil war broke out, which led to millions of refugees fleeing Syria.

College Version

Simply put, the Syrian “civil war” is an illegal, proxy war waged against Syria. In defiance of international laws, many countries have been sending weapons and terrorist mercenaries into Syria for the last seven years (to gain a deeper understanding of who wants to topple Assad and why, please read: Chaos in Syria: Part 1 – Three Motives and Seven Countries).


In early 2011, US/UK special forces used Jordan’s military base to assist protests against Assad in a border town called Daraa. With the Muslim Brotherhood’s organizational skills and Saudi Arabia’s deep pockets, violent protests spread thru Syria. Soon, an organized and armed militia known as Free Syrian Army (FSA) was created by the outsiders.

After the fall of Gaddafi in late 2011, the US State Department and US intelligence agencies organized the shipment of tons of deadly weapons such as Stinger missiles and Sarin gasfrom destroyed Libya to Syria, via Turkey. Even with all this help, the American proxy force known as the FSA couldn’t win the war. At this point, NATO and Neocons wanted to bomb Syria, but Russia and China vetoed the motion in the UN, so the imperial war by deception moved on to the next phase.


In early 2012, someone dialed Al Qaeda (referred to as AQ or AQI in government documents). Zawahiri, AQ’s top leader, called for help and experienced Islamic terrorists from all over the world rushed into Syria by way of Saudi Arabia’s international jihadist recruitment agency. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, received an email from her chief adviser, saying that “Al Qaeda is on our side” .

Al Qaeda rebranded itself as Al Nusra, and fearsome weapons such as grenade launchers, mortars, tanks and anti-tank missiles started pouring into Syria via Turkey and Jordan.

The CIA spent $100,000 to train each rebel. Billions of US taxpayers dollars were wasted once again on supporting the same terrorist groups that attacked the USA on 9/11 .

Watching the western media, the average person had no idea that we were supporting Al Qaeda or how heavily armed these “rebels” were.

Western media and politicians also stuck to their talking points and referred to all these fighters as “moderate rebels.” However, many of them are ruthless Islamists who use suicide bombers, behead even children, and commit unspeakable atrocities. They are also religious fanatics who seek out and kill Christians and Shiites. This is described in detail in the book, Deconstructing the Syrian War.

A Pentagon memo warned against this reckless policy and precisely predicted the rise of groups such as ISIS. Obviously the memo was ignored (or even happily accepted) by the White House and other officials.

2012 was also the year when the refugee crisis became a serious international problem. By the end of the year, almost 200,000 people had fled Syria. In the coming years, it would swell to five million.


When FSA and AQ failed to oust Assad, the “powers that be” started recruiting Sunni extremists in Iraq. In April 2013, ISIS was officially established out of the AQI insurgency. In the next year, these barbaric mercenaries would capture much of eastern Syria.

This was also the year when Obama’s red-line was crossed – the use of chemical weapons by Assad. UN experts who went to the site soon found that it was actually the rebels who had likely used the chemical weapons. The report was quickly drowned by the western propaganda machine.


The next two years were just repetitions of the daily brutality of war, with ISIS making huge gains in the east. Whenever the rebels started to lose, either more weapons would flow in, or Israel would fly into Syria and bomb the Syrian army.

In late 2015, the Syrian government sought Russia’s help. Within a month, the Russian air force weakened ISIS by destroying most of the oil tankers that ISIS was using to transport oil to Turkey. By the end of 2016, the Syrian government had the upper hand – Aleppo was liberated from Al Qaeda, and ISIS was running out of cash and morale.


2017 was turning out to be a great year for Assad. By March, ISIS had lost over three hundred towns to the Syrian army. Al Qaeda was facing a similar demise, losing one big city after another.

Furthermore, Trump had stopped arming the rebels in February. In late March, Trump and Tillerson dropped the slogan “Assad must go”.

Finally, Assad was getting ready for an EU-UN peace conference on April 4-5.

This was the moment (when events had turned in favor of the Syrian government) that the alleged chemical attack occurred in an area controlled by the rebels in Idlib province. Plus it happened on the very day that the peace conference began.

Without any investigation, within an hour after the pictures and videos came out, Western warmongers declared that Assad was responsible. No independent doctors or experts were sent to the site. Anyone who took the time to critically analyze the situation could see that the chemical attack was likely either a hoax or a false flag attack.


After Russia had effectively defeated ISIS, the US didn’t just leave Syria, since the real goal is to Balkanize Syria and prepare for a war against Iran. Thus the West is now trying to use Kurds as a proxy tool in this effort. It’s likely that the US will have military bases in Syria for a long time. As long as the US government can keep borrowing money, such wild adventures will continue.

In their quest for hegemonic geopolitical goals, the elites are sowing more chaos around the world and irreparably damaging the western moral compass. The global mafia’s rule seems to be this: if you play by our rules, we will be nice to you. If you don’t…

Those are the three versions of the Syrian civil war. Which one will Americans choose to believe?

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P.S. Here are some links to read if you would like to gain the Ph.D. version of the Syrian conflict:

  • 1956CIA plot to overthrow the Syrian government
  • 1983CIA document on plans to obliterate Syria to enable an oil pipeline
  • 1986CIA document on how to use Muslim Brotherhood to fuel a sectarian (Sunni v. Shiite) civil war in Syria
  • 2001: Wesley Clark told that USA will take out 7 countries in 5 years (Libya, Syria etc.)
  • 2005CNN Interview. Christiane Amanpour tells Assad that the western governments are plotting a regime change in Syria
  • 2006State Dept cable: Detailed discussion of various strategies to enable regime change in Syria
  • 2009State Dept Email: Saudi Arabia is worried that a Shiite crescent is turning into a full moon (referring to a possible Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon coalition)
  • 2009State Dept Cable: Saudi Arabia is the #1 source of funding of terrorism worldwide
  • 2012 State Dept Email: Conquest of Syria means a weakened Iran and this is important for Israel
  • 2012State Dept Email: Use Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to arm/train rebels
  • 2014Hillary Clinton admits in an email that Saudi Arabia and Qatar fund ISIS
  • 2015Joe Biden says Saudi Arabia and Qatar arming/funding Al Qaeda in Syria
  • 2016John Kerry in a leaked audio recording explains how the US trained/armed the opposition and was hoping to use ISIS to force Assad into negotiation
  • Israel’s Mossad chief admits helping Al Qaeda and says that it’s because Al Qaeda never attacks Israel

Author: Chris Kanthan  center  Please check out my bookDeconstructing the Syrian War