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Listening to the pop-media narrative, one might take it for granted that most Syrians support the rebels, oppose President Bashar al-Assad, and want him gone by any means necessary…Unfortunately, despite the confidence with which these proclamations are made, there is absolutely no empirical evidence which would substantiate them. If one pays attention, evidence is never offered. In fact, the Syrian people are overwhelmingly ambivalent or opposed to the insurrection.

The indigenous elements who have taken up arms against the government have little in common with those who were initially protesting (who, themselves, were not reflective of the broader population)—they are an extreme minority of an extreme minority…According to a New York Times report, there is no evidence of any secular or liberal fighting force anywhere in rebel-held Syria. According to a recent UN report, the overwhelming majority of the armed opposition is disinterested in, or even averse to, democracy and pluralism.