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Syria, the heart of the Middle East, in both a geostrategic and nationalist context. It shares borders with Iraq, Lebanon (where it has bases), Israel, Turkey and Iran, with which last country it has a strong alliance, recently confirmed by Iranian President Ahmadinejad in the context of the current heightened European and U.S. aggression against Syria, when he stated that Iran will not permit any foreign injustice there.

Syria has always been a staunch defender of Palestine, with more than 472,000 refugees from that country, and lost its territory of the Golan Heights to Israel, occupied by this country during its expansionist war of 1967, and a territory it still reclaims.

The Syrian Constitution of 1973 officially defines the country as a secular socialist state, with Islam recognized as the majority religion. Since then it has succeeded in maintaining a stable multi-religious nation, including Coptic Christians and Jews, as well as other Muslim denominations, with a steady economic and social development, despite sanctions imposed by the United States in the late 1970s, when it was first listed as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Its geostrategic and nationalist position has placed Syria in the sights of the United States and European allies with two objectives: firstly, to weaken resistance to its regional gendarme Israel and further isolate Iran, and secondly to further its battle to control the Middle East and the region’s oil supplies.

The outbreak of violence in Syria this past March, as in the case of Libya, was neither spontaneous or essentially nationalist in content, but it enabled the United States to take advantage of the winds of change in the region, affording it a perceived and long desired opportunity to replace the current Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad with one more compliant to its requirements.

While a genuine national opposition in Syria exists, from the outset the civil conflict in the country was fuelled from external forces entering from neighboring Egypt and Turkey. All of the clashes between government forces and the so-called opposition initially occurred in the vicinity of its borders, in a replication of Libya’s Benghazi. Unsurprisingly, there is very little information available on Internet about this infiltration of elite forces, precisely intended to cause destabilization in the country. But, in general terms, the opposition is highly split, lacks a popular program or a coherent ideology, and has as its leader a Syrian previously exiled in France.

In the context of this national conflict, Syria has engaged in a policy of nationwide popular consultation directed at constitutional reforms in order to hold parliamentary elections in February of 2012 – with presidential elections scheduled for 2014 – in conjunction with social reforms and negotiations for a peaceful solution, while insisting on its sovereignty in the resolution of national problems. In November it lodged a formal complaint against the United States for intervention in its internal affairs.

As was the case in Libya, the corporate media has played its premeditated role, particularly since the outbreak of armed violence in Syria. Initially it deliberately confused civilian detentions with the arrest of persons involved in acts of violence against the state and, as the situation developed, civilian deaths with those of members of terrorist groups and the Syrian armed forces.

Post-Libya, this disinformation campaign increased, paralleling the intoxication of the European neocolonial powers within NATO and the United States at having bent the United Nations to their will of destroying that country without having to send in ground forces, and anticipating the extension of this ‘successful’ new model of war to Syria.

Growing mass rallies of support for the Syrian government in Damascus and other major cities were ignored. Recent news reports of thousands of civilian deaths, accepted by the UN and Amnesty International, have been grossly exaggerated, with one based on no more than a telephone survey of alleged fatalities of Syrians who are on fact fully alive. Protests against Arab League intervention at the end of November led to an eruption of popular support with demonstrations of more than 1.6 million citizens. These were met with silence.

In the sobering wake of the Libyan disaster, the support of Russia, China and other emerging countries for a peaceful regional solution to the Syrian conflict has deterred a military intervention, but harsh UN sanctions are in place and the Arab League in its compliant majority has been actively mobilized to further and legitimize an imperialist intervention in the perception of international public opinion.

On December 7, President Bashar al-Assad intelligently granted an interview in Damascus to Barbara Walters of the American ABC news channel. Described by ABC as unexpected and the first that he had "deigned" to give since the conflict began, her hostile tone was clearly part of a propaganda exercise. At one point in the interview, conducted in English, she asked him, "What do you think is the biggest misconception that my country has of what’s happening here, if indeed there is a misconception?

President al-Assad’s perceptive reply was, "Misconception about a lot of things…it’s so many facts, distorted facts, you have them in the media. But the most important thing, as accumulation of these facts, is that you don’t have vision. The problem with the West in general, especially the United States, is that they don’t have vision about – at least my region, I wouldn’t talk about the rest of the world – failing in Iraq, failing in Afghanistan, failing in fighting terrorism."