Why Syria's Minorities Support Assad

While America debates whether to intervene in Syria, what is often missing is a discussion of the sectarian nature of the conflict. The secularism of Assad's Ba'ath party appeals to Syria's minorities, Assad's staunchest supporters, and angers the more conservative elements in the Sunni Arab community. When the Muslim Brotherhood revolted in the 1980's they chanted, "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the graveyard." The present conflict has resulted in large measure from underlying tensions in Syrian society that boiled over following Assad's brutal crackdown on protesters. Assad is without a doubt a bad guy and no friend of America, but this conflict has become larger than simply him. Intervening in Syria on the side of the rebels won't bring Syria closer to a just outcome but will tip the scales in a long-running sectarian feud that America has no stake in. The Syrian Ba'ath party is not a sectarian party, but it drew its most enthusiastic and loyal support from the poor and...(Read Full Post)