The Syrian regime has, since the first day of the uprising, claimed that fundamentalist forces are behind the popular protest movement against it.
The regime built an important part of its strategy on the charge of fundamentalism, but without ever specifying the powers behind it or providing any proof that indicates any significant presence of fundamentalists anywhere in Syria for seven months.
Though the regime knew it was a lie, it wanted to hit two birds with one stone; gain the international community's sympathy and support to stand against it (whether it already existed or not), and support whoever fights it, no matter how mired in filth and lies he is.
Persecuting the democratic Syrians inside the country and suppressing the sections of the community that were on the streets, on the pretext that they were cooperating with the fundamentalists, avoided saying that the regime persecutes them as democrats. However, the true struggle remains between the people who want freedom and the tyrannical regime.
The regime's focus on the risk of fundamentalism awakened the hatred of the West, which believes deep down that Muslims are inclined by nature to fundamentalism and that any political movements by Muslims in fact stem from fundamentalist motives.
This was reflected in the attitude of the West towards arming the opposition, which was built on the fear of fundamentalism and Muslim's access to modern weapons, then acted to prevent the defeat of what they called "moderate forces".
Meanwhile, armament led to the abundant availability among the fundamentalist groups which proliferated quickly for many reasons, including the regime's violence and what the ordinary Syrian saw as the "weakness of the West".
The American and European fear of fundamentalism had two consequences: It drew the attention of Syrians to their independence from policies abroad, which was seen as managing the crisis rather than solving it, and at the same time, it successfully fought against Assad's regime without the need for international support.
But fundamentalism that swallowed the Free Syrian Army and paved the way for invalidating the Syrian National Coalition will not stop at Arab or regional borders. If it succeeds in thwarting any political solution to the Syrian dilemma, it will replace what was produced by the revolution in terms of organizations and institutions, and its ability to fight the regime successfully.
This may not be the result which the Americans and the west wanted. But it certainly emerged from its policies since the beginning of the revolution and which persistently obstruvted the any solution for Syria. Those policies lengthened the crisis while remaining silent about the regime's violence, which had reached criminal levels since the first days of the revolution. Those policies in fact strengthened fundamentalism and weakened the democratic forces.
Today the west faces a decision it must make very soon, between the regime and fundamentalism, especially Al-Qaeda.
If reading of the script of the revolution in this way is correct, then the decision of the western countries is likely to favor the regime, which may not be Bashar Assad necessarily, but the war against what he calls "terrorism" and the violence against his own people.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer