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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 04:51 PM

Pierre Piccinin’s Conversion on the road to Damascus

Frequently quoted by alternative news sources, a guest on RT where he predicted many sunny days for Assad and falsity in the “narrative” of the opposition and the media attention in the west, Pierre Piccinin had a dramatic change of heart when he finally was able to experience the full-immersion into Syrian reality, the arbitrary arrests on false accusations and physical abuse.

To write is a heavy responsibility. It is therefore important to be able to recognise one’s mistakes, correct one’s omissions, especially when they concern the life of human beings…

On the 15th May 2012 I entered Syria for a third observational visit, whose aim this time was to map and describe the exact state of the opposition’s bastions and to evaluate on site the actual potential of the Syrian Liberation Army (SLA) and its capacity to overthrow the regime.


I would never pretend to speak for the Syrians. I am merely passing on the unanimous message which was given me by the fighters of the SLA, the prison companions tortured to death, the friends in Bab al Musalla: Bashar al-Assad has his supporters among the Alawites among the Christians and the other minorities, also among the Sunnis who fear radical Islamism; but “the majority of the population no longer wishes to live in this country which is not a country but a regime. The SLA is prepared. It already holds many bastions and also has a presence in the big cities. In Damascus and Aleppo, unseen, awaiting the moment for a general insurrection. But that moment can only occur if the western democracies provide real military support. The SLA lacks the military power to confront the regime’s army, an army well equipped that has imposed itself for more than a year without having even used its special armoured units, its planes or its helicopters; an army fashioned by the regime in order to remain faithful to it. The SLA can only destroy the regime if the West destroys its heavy material, the tanks and the planes. And, if the West provides its support, floods of people will pour out on to the streets and quantities of soldiers themselves will join in the revolution; but at the moment they know that the regime is strong and that it is gaining the upper hand and they are frightened. Unfortunately nobody wants to help us. The western counties talk a lot; they watch but do nothing. For there is nothing to be gained here. The regime knows this. It is for that reason that it does hesitate to torture, to kill and bomb. It knows that nobody will do anything. That it has nothing to fear. We are alone.” (J., at Bab al-Musalla)

Syria has no economic value to attract the western powers and motivate them to intervene. Quite the opposite: from a geostrategic view the government of Bashar al- Assad has the actual support of the United States, which has been conducting a policy of rapprochement since 2001; of Israel which congratulates itself on this outspoken neighbour but provides it with a strong frontier along the Golan; of the European Union which purchased 98% of Syrian oil and looks anxiously at the destabilisation of this pivotal power in the middle East; of China and of Russia, for whom Syria is the only remaining Arab ally, and with a window on the Mediterranean.


Note - this is someone else's opinion. Not mine. Understanding can only happen by listening to all voices, even those with which one disagrees.

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