U.S. Demands There Be No Democracy in Syria

Eric Zuesse

All of the available polling that has been done by Western polling firms in Syria has indicated strongly that the current President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, would easily win any free and fair election in that country. In fact when the question was directly put to Syrians by a Western polling organization, Assad got 55%, which wouldn’t leave much for each of the opposing candidates in any election, the candidates who would be splitting the residual 45%. And this poll was taken shortly after the Arab Spring demonstrations against him – those demonstrators actually possessed little support from most Syrians.

So, the United States Government demands that Assad be simply removed from office, and not allowed on the ballot, if an election for President is to be held at all in Syria.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have repeatedly stated that the ouster of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is a prerequisite for stopping the invasion of Syria by U.S. bombers, and by other forces from the U.S. coalition. That’s a coalition of (besides the U.S.) Sunni Islamic regimes (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey) that are likewise demanding removal of the Shiite President Assad of Syria, before they will cease their invasions of Syrian territory, and their supplies of weapons to the jihadist fighters who are trying to take over Syria.

Agence France Presse reported, on Thursday November 12th, that, though ‘peace’ talks about Syria, between the U.S.-allied nations and the Russia-allied nations, were planned to occur on November 14th, “the US warned a deal is unlikely without agreement over the fate of President Bashar al-Assad.” In other words: a “deal” must be reached to remove Assad, before the various invasions of Syria will stop.

AFP then noted that, “Moscow has put forward a peace proposal for the talks, which calls for elections after an 18-month constitutional reform process, but Western officials have dismissed the plan as it does not ensure that Assad will be removed from power.”

In other words: the United States government demands its right to veto, from any elections, the participation of the candidate that the polls clearly show the majority of Syrian citizens want to be their President.

The anti-Russian propaganda site, Vox, headlined regarding this matter, on November 13th, “The very simple reason why Syria peace talks are probably doomed”, and Max Fisher laid out “the very simple reason,” by implicitly and unquestioningly accepting as true U.S. government lies that Syria instead of U.S.-backed forces perpetrated the August 2013 sarin gas attack (which Fisher referred to as “chemical weapons”), which attack the U.S. President, Mr. Obama, has since used as his excuse for invading Syria. Fisher said:

Syria’s opposition, after years of enduring Assad’s barrel bombs and chemical weapons, and the forced disappearances and torture chambers before them, have said over and over they could never accept that Assad stay in office.

The US, too, has repeatedly insisted that Assad must go, correctly concluding that Assad and his policies are such a driver of sectarianism that he makes the country ungovernable and that peace is simply impossible while he remains in office. Sunni states in the region that fund the opposition, such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, would also require that Assad leave power.

The two big question marks, then, are Russia and Iran, Assad’s two foreign backers who are deeply involved in the war and who would thus need to agree to any peace deal in order for it to work. It is just not clear that they would be willing to part with him.

He blames Russia and Iran as being the reason why the talks would be “doomed.” However, if the Syrian people do not want to part with Assad, then why should Russia and Iran not also support his being on the ballot? If that’s what the Syrian people want (as polls indicate they clearly do), then why should the United States have any right or authority, at all, to block it from happening?

Instead of Vox being truthful to say that “Assad and his policies are … a driver of sectarianism,” the opposite has actually been the case: the secularism of Assad’s government, and its clear wall of separation between church and state, has been what held off sectarian conflict in that nation as long as it did, which was until the Arab Spring 2011 ‘democracy’ demonstrations, which, in Syria, were largely Sunni Islamic state proponents trying to bring down the government of Syria’s secular Shiite President and replace it with a Sunni Islamic government and constitution – not any sort of ‘democracy.’

The United States government insists upon overthrowing Syria’s existing non-sectarian government and replacing it by its opponents, virtually all of whom are actually supporters of a Sunni Islamic state.

Though the Vox report said that, “Syria’s opposition … have said over and over they could never accept that Assad stay in office,” the question will arise in the mind of any intelligent reader: why is the United States government automatically taking their side in this, since those people are only such a small minority of Syrians? Mr. Fisher blames Assad as being “such a driver of sectarianism that he makes the country ungovernable,” but Assad was actually the exact opposite of that. Assad’s adamant non-sectarianism is what had been holding the entire country together. Yet, the United States is determined to end it.

Though the United States is taking the side of some Sunnis in Syria, those happen to be Sunnis who seek an Islamic constitution for Syria, to replace the existing non-religious constitution. However, it is not clear, based upon existing polling, that those Syrian Sunnis, the Islamists, constitute even a majority of the Sunnis in Syria – they certainly do not constitute the majority of Syrians, which is the reason why all existing polling shows that Assad would likely win any free and fair election in Syria. But that’s likewise the reason why the United States government is so determined that there be no democracy in Syria. If there is to be democracy in Syria, then the United States would lose that election.

If there were any doubt about this before, there couldn’t be any doubt about it after a Gallup-affiliated British polling organization, ORB International, found in July 2015 that 82% of Syrians agree with the statement that “IS [Islamic State] is a US and foreign made group,” and only 22% agree with the statement that “IS is a positive influence,” and only 21% agree with the statement that they “prefer life now than under Assad.”

In other words: The U.S. and other invaders of Syria are decidedly unwelcomed by the vast majority of Syrians; and yet, the United States government, which the vast majority of Syrians blame for ISIS there, insists that it has some right to dictate who must not be on the ballot in a Syrian Presidential election – and that person turns out to be the very same person whom the vast majority of Syrians in any free and fair election there would be voting for to be their President.

It would seem that any remaining respect for the United States government as being a supporter of democracy, will have to be qualified by the proviso: if, and only if, the U.S. government happens to favor the person who will win. Because, otherwise, the evidence is clear that the U.S. will instead assert its supposed right to prevent that person from being on the ballot in such a ‘democratic’ election.

The old ideological view, that the U.S. supports democracy, and that its opponents do not, seems to have been turned upside-down, today. It’s the exact opposite of the truth.

Perhaps, now that the Soviet Union has ended, in 1991, the United States, 24 years later, has taken its place. Certainly, there are now many indications that the U.S. is a dictatorship; but few if any appear to be as glaring as is U.S. policy toward Syria, in 2015.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.