It’s a shame “Required Reading” has been done already today, because otherwise this would be it. War Is Boring features a partial republication of an interview with Sayyed Hassan Entezari, an Iranian fighter for Syria’s Assad regime. Entezari was injured an paralyzed in the fighting, and offers what WIB calls “rare insight into the proxy fighters’ beliefs and motives.”
[Assad] was the one who protected the resistance line in the region and established a connecting bridge between Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. What Arab country do you know that has provided such a connection for Iran? Syria even supported Iran during the war, even if they [Syria’s leaders] were members of the Ba’ath Party.
Hafez Al Assad [Bashar’s father] stayed beside Iran, even though he was a member of the Ba’ath party. All Arab states embargoed Iran during the war, but it was Hafez Al Assad who stayed beside Iran. We got most of our weaponry through Hafez Al Assad. Nobody can deny this support from Al Assad. He was a supporter of Iran and when this war and intrigue happened to them, how could we abandon them and not support them?
So one of the reasons why we are supporting them is because they supported us during the war and now they are our ally in the region.
Iran made an innovation in Syria. It looked at the situation rationally. Foreigners were saying that Bashar must go and they didn’t care about the people or the regime.
But Iran said that the regime should be preserved, but it needed some reforms, which included some elements in their constitution and their political structure. In this regard, Iran gave consultations about to how elect the president by the people and through a democracy.
In this way, Iran gave political legitimacy to the Syrian regime and Bashar Al Assad, and told the opposition, ‘The president that you claim has no political support has been elected by the people.’
I know it’s a long excerpt, but it captures the mix of hard fact and fantasy which frames war and civics in the Middle East. To combat believers like Entezari and thugs like Assad and Rouhani, Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom has decided that in the spring we will begin the process of locating rebel factions suitable for months-long training and equipping to fight Assad and his Iranian patrons.
That’s assuming we can find suitable rebel factions, and that they remain suited to our interests after having received our training and equipment. Meanwhile, it’s a safe bet that our would-be friends in Syria suffer from religious and geopolitical delusions much like Entezari’s, if somewhat more to our liking.
You know, for now.