"I have seen the tree, but the roots are elsewhere." - Indian proverb.
Whether from the helms of the Syrian regime or through the "opposed" western media such as Al Jazeera and its helms in the Arab world, the hegemonic representation of the Syrian revolution is that of a world divided into two camps and no other. On one side, there are "the revolutionaries" and their free army, "neo-Ottoman" Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states—at the heart of which is Qatar and its prince—and with the United States, Europe, and Israel in the background. On the opposing side, there is the Asad regime in Syria, Iran and the Lebanese Hizbullah—the “anti-imperialists”—with Russia and China in the background.
At first glance, the Russian and Chinese vetoes in the Security Council seem to confirm nothing but such a narrative. The assumption in the Syrian case is that this is an "anti-imperialist/obstructionist" stance against western "imperialist" military intervention. More importantly, this assumption and the corresponding narrative are produced by both of the two camps. However, there is a more comprehensive reality than this dominant narrative. This reality is apparent to all who desire a deeper understanding of the issues: one that goes beyond the mere surface of things. Consequently, it is possible to look beyond today`s game of mirrors, which—one must admit—works so well for parts the Arab left to the degree of blatant right-wing crudeness that can be summarized as "giving a face lift" to the "obstructionism" by means of leftist lingo.  This game of mirrors also taints the western "anti-imperialist" leftist currents, most of which excel only in identity politics. They are oblivious to the fact that fighting fascist oppression was and continues to be an inseparable part of what it means to be a leftist, and that demanding justice for the Syrian people must itself be at the heart of being a leftist. However, it appears that each and every one of these currents prefers the continuity of Iranian and Syrian authoritarianism for the sake of endlessly reproducing both themselves and their discourses. For the existence of these two, the (pseudo) "anti-imperialists" and the authoritarian regimes, is justification for the existence of a type of left that speaks only of Palestine so as not to speak of anything else. 
There are substantive indicators of the fictional nature of this narrative. For starters, both Hizbullah as well as the Zionist entity pray night and day these days that Asad will get out of his dilemma "alive."  What are the implications of the overlap between Israel and Hizbullah in supporting the Syrian regime getting out of "trouble," each of them for their own reasons? In addition, is it not suspicious that supposed archenemies such as Iran and Israel agree on the survival of the Syrian regime when it was previously assumed that the antagonism between the two was absolute and permanent "until the day of judgment?" Furthermore, how do we make sense of a glaring understanding in Iraq—which remains occupied—between US imperialism and Iranian hegemony, which turned Iraq into both a total US colony as well as a theocratic Iranian semi-colony? Or how do we understand the excellent relations between the leaders of Libya—the new colony—and Iran, which did not appear to have a problem with the NATO bombing that resulted in over sixty thousand deaths in an Arab—and Muslim—country for the sake of enthusiastic relations with the "new" leadership there?  Finally, how do we understand this sudden affection of US imperialism for the Syrian people, when the former is primarily responsible for the larger part of the predicament that the Arab peoples—including the Syrian people—suffer from today: the persistence of the authoritarianism of regimes (spanning from the ocean to the gulf) for over half a century and which is integrally connected to Israel`s existence? How do we believe that the United States, which supports the renewed military fascism in Egypt in cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood, is itself calling for freedom and democracy for the Syrian people?
The truth is that there is a fair amount of irrationality in the hegemonic reading of international politics vis-à-vis Syria. The dominant proposition overlooks the political and economic interests of the different players  as well as the typical revolutionary calculations of the relationship between what can be done and what can be achieved. At best, this hegemonic reading views international politics through an ethical lens. At worst, it views them through a Manichean lens inspired by the writings of neoconservatives of the Bush Junior era. In the latter, the climactic battle is one against “the Axis of Evil,” which includes Syria and China. This dominant right-wing discourse—currently advanced under the name of “liberalism”—contains an implicit collapse in the distinction between on the one hand, both Russia and China in 2011, and on the other hand, Stalinist Soviet Union as well as Maoist China. 
Naturally, one does not wonder about the existence of this dominant narrative in the helms of the regime, for this two-camp view is part of the regime`s known ideological toolkit. However, we can see beyond this view by looking at the "leadership of the revolution.” I am referring here to the Qatari-funded, Turkish-based, French-supported Syrian National Council (SNC). It seems that the members of this council do not practice revolutionary politics for the sake of steering the Syrian revolution and its success towards safe heavens, but instead— and for the casual observer—their work vacillates between Facebook writings and media acrobatics. They insist on preaching at the incredible people that are being killed everyday, promising "the approaching salvation from the criminal regime." Furthermore, they do this without explaining to these people—and these are the very people of "the new Syria"—what political steps they are intent on taking other than endlessly imploring Russia and China to "not deploy" their veto. Those in the “National Council” ought to instead be honest with their people. They should tell them that if things continue as they currently are, it is very possible that the Syrian regime will repress the revolution to no end and save itself. Therefore, they should open up a serious dialogue without restrictions on what options are available. Certainly, internal factors will ultimately determine the lifespan of a regime that is continuously under strain, particularly in the economic sense. However, one must take into account that the deterioration of the economic situation in and of itself does not inherently entail the political or actual collapse of the regime, something which might take a very long time. Alternatively, something sudden could happen and transform the current situation, be it in the interest of the regime or not. In any case, one does not understand what this "revolutionary" leadership has done to prevent the killing of these people—women, children, and elderly, in besieged Homs today—except waste time on discussing a return to the Arab delegation in order to investigate the facts, as if there are facts that need investigation. All of this is happening while the delegation itself is headed by a Sudanese war criminal general that has increasingly prolonged both its work and the life of the regime.
Let us look at the decision to call Friday the "Friday of Russia Kills Our Children," which was "democratically" voted on through Facebook. It is not clear, for example, how one can consider such a vote to be representative even of the majority of Syrians opposed to Asad, especially since at many times such voting is directed "from above," and is itself affected by political elements within the “National Council” as well as some supporters of the council from the Arab Gulf states. Such naming appears to express suicidal political choices with respect to the revolutionary mobilization. These choices need to be discussed and questioned before it is too late, especially in the context of the ongoing comfortable international position of the Syrian regime, which appears to have regained some of its internal momentum in the latest phase even if this is always subject to change. Discussing and questioning these political choices is a duty for anyone who is keen on the interest of the Syrian people and their aspirations for freedom and dignity.
The first step to understanding what is happening is to do away with the illusion—which is continuously produced by US thinktanks—that Russia is both a corrupt and "failed" state. In particular, we can point to the unconscious habit of inserting the phrase "Russian mafias" when discussing Russia today: representing it as a "state of gangs" rather than a powerful modern state within which decisions related to national interests are made exactly as they are in the United States of America. In addition, such decisions can be on target or miss the mark in terms political objectives, also like the United States. The simple and very rational response to this illusion about Russia is the recognition that even if Putin`s Russia is no longer today the now-extinct empire of the Soviet Union, it is nevertheless a great power—even if it certainly is not the greatest power—and invariably has a set of geostrategic calculations vis-à-vis its national security as well as its political and economic influences in the world. The same is the case for China. We can therefore deduce that it is to be expected, even natural, that Russia would seek to protect its interests in the Arab world from military bases and economic zones. These interests have traditionally been secured by the Baath regime in Syria as a result of the latter being a historic ally of the former. This is especially so given that Syria is Russia’s last direct stationing position on the Mediterranean.
But no! None of this appears to be factoring into the calculations of the “revolutionary leadership.” What we do see instead is the recurring state of surprise, even one of recurrent "moral" condemnation, by some elements of the National Council. Such a reaction is exclusively based on a faulty analysis of Russia’s maneuvers, which are otherwise very transparent to any rational person. Russia acts in accordance to the preservation of its interests and not in admiration of either the massacres committed by the Syrian regime or the consequences of its stance on the issue, which of course has made it less popular in the eyes of many Syrians mesmerised by media outlets that support the revolution. All this is to say that it has become quite clear that the council members sleep, eat, and drink in western states as well as the hotels of their Arab colonies. Conversely, the Russians—who are most influential in the security and military institutions of the Syrian regime and the latter’s regional connections—are in an unenviable position. They are forced to support a regime that is progressively losing its internal legitimacy. The Russians have no alternative option at this particular juncture because it is difficult for them to believe that the triumph of an elite that desires to rid itself from the present Syrian regime—an elite that is not prepared to provide any guarantees regarding Russian national interests—will mean anything other than the expansion of US-European influence in the region and the converse suffocating shrinking of the Russian strategic zone. This is especially so given that members of the council have cursed the Russians and the Chinese so frequently that they have greatly affected both revolutionary public opinion and the coordinating committees. This has also been expressed by the crowds shown on Al Jazeera, which in the past months have developed a weekly folkloric practice of burning Russian and Chinese flags. Thus instead of revolutionary political action that would attract Russian and Chinese support for the revolution from the start, the rhetoric of "shame on Russia and China" persists in the hegemonic media.
After all the regime repression that has transpired and is ongoing, it has become a given—from the Russian point of view—that a segment of those in the revolutionary leadership have become part of the western toolkit by virtue of the former`s regional linkages and commitments, from Qatar all the way to Turkey. Until action is taken to change this, the reason for the current state of affairs should be understood after seven months of the SNC`s existence. Therefore, the following central questions emerge: how can one accept the reality that a "revolutionary" leadership—that is supposed to garner all possible political support for the revolution and shorten the life of the regime in its current state—does not possess enough wisdom in dealing with the interests of the great power that is most capable of affecting the orientations of the current Syrian leadership? Why has it not been seriously suggested that a democratic transition in Syria can offer possibilities for a genuine cover for Russian interests in the region?  Are these simply political mistakes or are they to be explained by a material link to elites of some international parties rather than others? 
It is thus clear that there is a stark contrast between the peaceful revolutionaries on the ground and their leadership. There are revolutionaries that are not sectarian in the great majority of cases, who register eternal victories in the face of mass bloody repression. There is also the Abu-Milhim "revolutionary" leadership that, rather than working in politics, lives outside the realm of rational calculations vis-à-vis international politics and has thus misguided the compass of revolutionary mobilization.  It has in one way or another assisted in prolonging the life of the regime that kills every day. What remains is to emphasize that there should be no confusion by judging the peaceful revolution by virtue of the performance of its "inorganic" leadership. Instead, the peaceful revolution should be judged by the expressions of the Syrian coordinating committees, which are the closest representation of the desire of today`s revolting Syrian people except when the coordinating committees are in turn reproducing the talk of their leadership. This is only possible if we take into account the very powerful effect of those that determine the editorial policy of Al Jazeera on the dominant framings of international politics in the public opinion of the revolution.
It is clear that the United States of America has no actual problem with the survival of the regime in Syria despite everything the former proclaims to the contrary.  However, members of the council do not base their political calculations on the intentions and interests of the United States. Rather, the members of the council base their political calculation only on what the United States declares: an imperial humanitarian discourse constructed around the call for democracy and the freedom of capital. The United States and Israel have no problem whatsoever with the survival of the Syrian regime. There is also a very real possibility that they are actually on the side of the regime and are working to undermine the revolution.  We have yet to see anything other than US verbal, pictorial, and cinematic support for the Syrian revolution. We see no genuine material support after more than eleven months of daily killing.  Furthermore, the western verbal acrobatics always end with placing "fault with the Russians." After all this, one should ask: in whose interest is it that the mantra of "the West and the United States are with the revolution” is everywhere to be found?
The only thing achieved by the United States through its current stance on the Syrian revolution—and its blaming of everything on the Russian and Chinese veto—is appealing to greater numbers of Syrians and the development of increasing hostility amidst the Syrian people towards Russia and China. This is a political gain that is significant to the United States; one that it is satisfied with today. From its perspective, there is nothing wrong with the country drifting into civil war. Such a situation would advance US interests as well as those of Israel much more than democracy in Syria would. The game of mirrors that is being played today is based on a central illusion: western military intervention in Syria.
In reality, there was never any intention of military intervention in Syria as there was in Libya.  This is despite all the propaganda to such effects as well as that which opposed it. The largest indicator of this is the ultimate fate of Turkish foreign policy on Syria, which months ago suddenly fizzled out. We should recall at this point that Turkey is a NATO member state and its military leadership has repeatedly stated that it has no intentions of attacking Syria.  This means a lot, especially when we recall that Turkish foreign policy in its broadest sense is an extension of US policies in the region.
Between Americans that support Asad under the table and claim the opposite after more than 7500 martyrs, Russians, Chinese, and Iranians that support Asad and declare it openly, and members of the SNC that have built an action program based on the sweet claims of US rhetoric while the former`s conduct does nothing but prolong the life of the regime and sabotage the revolution, it is clear today that the Syrian revolutionaries are facing a criminal regime that confronts them with murder on a daily basis, and a revolutionary leadership that operates completely outside any real understanding of politics—irrespective of whether this is a result of good or bad intentions. It remains to be stated that the first step in revolutionary political action is acknowledgement of reality, no matter how harsh it is: today, the entire planet is against the Syrian revolution. Only after this admission can revolutionary political action begin.
 An example of this can be found in the positions and conduct of the leadership of the Lebanese Communist Party vis-à-vis the situation in Syria. It appears that the Party has partnered with Syrian businessman Qadri Jamil (who invested 700,000 dollars) and Lebanese businessman Michael Awad (who invested 200,000 dollars) in the establishment of “al-Yasariyyeh” [the Leftist] television channel, the administrative committee of which is headed by Secretary General of the Lebanese Communist Party Khalid Haddadah himself. Another indication of the Communist Party’s position on Syria is the speech recently given by its secretary general, wherein he said, “No more security solution, because it has not and cannot save Syria; not as a people, as a country, as a cause, or as locale for confronting colonialism and imperialism. The only solution is an intersection between the popular movement—represented by a plethora of democratic opposition personalities, institutions, and political parties, and not the Istanbul council and Burhan Ghalyoun—and the reform programs that have been announced. Such an intersection is the only guarantee that Syria—and so many others—can enter the phase of building a diverse and pluralistic democratic civilian state.”
 This is in spite of the importance of the existence in Lebanon of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel—along with the exaggerated media preoccupation surrounding this particular issue, especially when compared to the persistent downplaying of Syrian deaths. However, there is no movement towards the production of a leftist Lebanese current—outside the March 14 and March 8 camps—that stands with the justness of the Syrian cause. At the same time, Palestinian writers were the first to stand in solidarity with the Syrian people as demonstrated in their latest statement, entitled “Not in Our Name, Not in the Name of Palestine, Oh Murderers.”
 Taken at face value, the secretary general of Hizbullah was correct in his criticism of the slogans of parts of the opposition in Syrian when he said, “Those that want to stop the bloodshed, those that are keen to save Syrian blood, Syrian lives, and the future of Syria, do not claim that it’s too late. They do not dialogue with conditions of “either the president resigns or there is no dialogue.” This is targeting. One who is keen on saving Syria dialogues!” However, the reality is that in the same speech the secretary general of Hizbullah is defending the Syrian leadership in a way that is both outrageous and facilitates the propaganda of the regime, at the same time that he is ignoring all the repression as well as the systematic shelling and killing of civilians. The portrait Nasrallah paints is as if the regime has not engaged in targeted shelling and killing operations against civilians in Syria throughout the past eleven months. Such operations were being carried out in Homs at the same time that he was giving his latest speech. For a deep analysis of the Israeli position on regime change in Syria, one should read the excellent study entitled “The Israeli Position Towards the Events in Syria,” which convincingly argues that it is in Israel’s interests that the Syrian regime survive.
 In a recent interview, Michel Kilo explained Russia’s position and argued that “there is another factor that is not being paid attention to. Russia is the primary energy source of Western Europe, particularly gas. There are US and European plans to construct an energy source pipeline—a gas source—for Europe originating in Qatar and Iraq and transiting through Syria. You can imagine what would happen to Russia if it were to leave Syria and this were to actually happen. It would become a tenth rate state. Russia is defending itself in Syria and we must not push it into a corner.”
 This discourse is most prevalent amongst writers defending March 14 in regards to the Syrian revolution. Their rhetoric claims to support the Syrian revolution. They oscillate between a tendentiously induced sectarianism and a right-wing secularism in favor of a "new Syria" that would have no qualm with the West or Israel. The irony here is that MP Ahmad Fatfat of the Future Movement—who is himself a former leftist—claimed that the Israeli lobby is heavily pressuring the US administration to save Asad. He cited information from the heart of the United States,
 In the same interview referenced above, renowned Syrian opposition figure Michel Kilo highlighted that Russia views as possible “thinking about a “Yemen solution” in Syria . . . the formation of a unity government—under the vice president of the Republic, who would have broad powers and guarantees—the real purpose of which would be to transform the current situation into a transitional period that would get the country out of crisis . . . I believe this is an acceptable way to find solutions to an intractable crisis.” In regards to Russia position, Kilo says, “Russia has proposed an idea that we as an opposition did not celebrate . . . I personally said that it was possible . . . The Arab League took this idea, skipped over the second step of negotiations between the opposition and the regime over a transitional period, defined—by itself—the goals of this transitional period, and took this “Yemen solution”—which was a Russian proposal—to the United States in the Security Council. I believe this is what troubled the Russians and made them feel that there are those who desire to turn to the Security Council as was done in Libya in all cases . . . What should have happened is that the secretary general of the Arab League—along with the foreign minister of Qatar, if the foreign minister of Qatar so chooses . . . He was the one who was opposed to visiting Moscow—stating that “we will accept the “Yemen solution,” it will be an Arab initiative, and we want to discuss with you the conditions for implementing this solution, as well as the guarantees that you are providing for it as well as those that you are asking for from the opposition in Syria during the transitional period.” Howecver, he instead went to the Security Council, where it would no longer be a Russian proposal, and presented it to the United States . . . In all honesty, this is the big mistake that the Arab League made under Qatari pressure.” Kilo adds, “The Russian initiative is a real chance at giving the regime a role in Syria’s future. Perhaps not a role for particular individuals, but for the regime. I believe the Russians—contrary to the Americans, French, and Germans—are the only ones capable of communicating with the regime about the future of Syria . . . Even if the regime was not going to accept this solution, we and the Arab League should have discussed it with the Russians. The worst that would happen is that we would win Russia over and take it out of the equation. Russia seeks to defend its position in Syria because it might very well be its last stronghold in Asia . . . Russia has an existential interest in maintaining a presence in Syria . . . I am for giving Russian guarantees and that it have a real presence in Syria.” Here, one must consider the possible pressures and wonder whether they are emanating from Qatar per se or the United States, and the implications of such pressures for the representations of the US position on the Syrian revolution amongst both champions and critics of the United States. This is particularly the case if we also take into account the Israel’s opposition to the revolution. Kilo has written an article on this very subject in the “Sharq al-Awsat” newspaper. Entitled “Has the Arab League Made a Mistake?” the article was published a few days after the interview cited herein.
 Michel Kilo has written an excellent article wherein he argues that “rejecting dialogue and slandering all who speak of it is but an regressive indication of both political consciousness in general and democratic consciousness in particular. The politician knows that dialogue is a card that can be used quite effectively against one’s adversary. It could even cause serious damage should other means prove less effective. Every struggle ends in dialogue, which in turn lead to negotiations and thus to solutions that are determined by power relations. Every revolutionary ought to work towards constructing a power balance so as to effect the dialogue to its favor. Therefore, rejecting dialogue is a betrayal of the revolution, whereas accepting it is a true service to the revolution. This is precisely the opposite of what the ignorant assume. Instead of working to create such a balance of power, today’s revolutionaries are exhausting their time labeling as traitors those that call for dialogue. They believe dialogue has no role to play in creating such a balance of power. Furthermore, they believe that in all cases it is to the favor of the adversary, who ultimately rejects it but nevertheless deploys it as a means of dividing the popular mobilization. They themselves therefore divide people into the traitors that support dialogue and others that reject it. The reality is the complete opposite of this. Throwing away the dialogue card in this particular instance can result in the loss of a political card, without which the revolution cannot be victorious. A democrat is in favor of dialogue as a matter of principle, and builds towards it through all she can put forth in the service of the popular struggle.”
 In the already cited interview, Michel Kilo says: “I do not believe that there is a real political representation for this incredible popular mobilization in Syria . . . Those political representatives that are present in this mobilization were created in the past, deployed in the past, and continue to live in the past both in thought and in action . . . These representatives have stalled the mobilization to the point of exhaustion . . . Instead of representing, defending, and safeguarding the mobilization, they have confused the mobilization to no end. The Syrian National Council has claimed to represent the mobilization and the revolution. I do not recognize it as such.”
 On 24 December 2011, al-Safir newspaper published a very important piece, entitled “The Minutes of the Meeting Between Hilary Clinton and the [Syrian] National Council.” In these minutes, Hilary Clinton says to Burhan Ghalyoun and Basma al-Qadmani: “The United States of America assures you that it is cooperating with other Arab and international diplomats, doing its best in the face of Russian and Chinese obstinacy. I want to promise and assure you of the importance of having the Arabs play a central role in any future effort to protect civilians. We understand that the United States has its share of responsibilities, but these are shared responsibilities with the rest of the countries, the members of the Arab League in particular.” As for the lack of dignity that some parts of the Syrian opposition displays, which is in contrast to the brave Syrian people who fight for their dignity, they have become proficient in a discourse of humanitarian imperialism. At the end of the above-mentioned meeting, for example, Basma al-Qadamani says to Hillary Clinton: “We appreciate all that the efforts of the United States. We are absolutely certain that the future holds a special relationship between our two peoples. I want to ask you, as a Syrian woman, a woman that feels the suffering of thousands of women in Syria—who are raped on a daily basis—that we not expect the Security Council, like we do the United States, to sponsor freedom and protect rights in the world.” One questions the extent to which one can justify this groveling at the United States. Furthermore, publications by the Council on Foreign Relations—which generally represents the views within the US administration, except for neoconservatives such as Elliot Abrahams—are unanimous in their analysis that there is no intention of military intervention in Syria.
 It is important to note, after an al-Zawahiri appearance on Al Jazeera, the sudden production of a discourse of “al-Qaeda is in Syria”—and the alleged flooding of terrorists into Syria—at the helms of the United States. This is despite the fact that Western governments and their media did not comment on such matters when al-Zawahiri appeared during each of the other Arab revolutions. Instead, they denied the accusation of terrorism. This seems to have stopped in Syria, the most recent example of which is a New York Times article that claimed: “Al-Qaeda in Iraq . . . is trying to take advantage of the violence in Syria.” Another example is the publishing three days late—in the same newspaper—a story about Al-Qaeda and Islamic extremists in Syria. Thousands of articles to a similar effect have since been published, citing anonymous “sources.” This seems to be part of ongoing US media campaign and psychological warfare.
 In an interview, US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford denied any intention of military intervention and called for “a stop to the violence in Syria” while at the same time mentioning “the proliferation of armed gangs.” However, he appears to be part of the latest Saudi project: a dramatic production, whereby an Arab League resolution, initiated by the Gulf group—who is playing the role of Arab political custodian, setting the agenda of the political opposition— is sent to the Security Council and undermined by the Russians. All of this is an attempt to mobilize the Syrian people against the Russians, without any intention to produce a political solution. The regime is thus able to continue its repression without any deterrent.
 Here, I disagree with opposition figure Michel Kilo, the dominant majority of Syrian opposition figures, and others who believe there is a real possibility of military intervention in Syria.
 Throughout the previous months, NATO leadership has repeatedly denied any intention or plan for military intervention in Syria. Similarly, the NATO spokesperson in Brussels asserted that “there has been absolutely no discussion of a NATO role in Syria. However, Turkey—a member of the NATO alliance—could play a pivotal role along with the United States in creating a buffer zone to protect civilians.” There is yet no buffer zone to protect civilians. Most recently, NATO has announced that it will remain out of Syria even if a United Nations mandate emerges. It is clear that there is no basis upon which to assume there is any intention or possibility of intervention.