The case for siding with the opposition in Syria

Writing in The New Republic, Michael Weiss makes the case for supporting the Syrian opposition to the Assad regime, rather than Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s painful efforts to be even-handed.

Weiss also rejects efforts to portray the uprising in Syria as strictly one of Sunnis versus the ruling Alawites.

[A] Damascene freelance journalist I spoke to recently told me of how Alawites in Lattakia had been sheltering Sunni university students whose dormitories had been raided by the shabbiha, or roving death squads loyal to the regime. Indeed, one protester on the ground in Homs with whom I communicated via a Beirut-based intermediary said: “We will never stop, Druze, Sunni, Alawite, and Kurd, we will never stop.” Protests in Jableh and Hama have seen Sunnis and Alawites marching side by side against the regime.
To be sure, the information we have about the Syrian protesters is both anecdotal and incomplete. Moreover, opposition movements often devour themselves quickly or abandon their ideals once they become successful. And there are certainly Islamist elements associated with the Syrian uprising. But while the opposition may not be perfect, it would also be absurd to think that it is no better than the Assad regime. With rare exception, the information coming out of Syria confirms that the moral equivalence of Kucinich is not rooted in reality. In Syria, we should not hesitate to side with the opposition.