So now that the mainstream media has the crisis in Syria fresh in the minds of western viewers after 2 plus years of brutal and bloody conflict between a hodgepodge of forces, including Syrian popular resistance, the Syrian Army, foreign sectarian death squads, and all of their foreign backers operating vicariously through them, it’s important to quell the ever pervasive confusion among the western left that has left some virtually arguing in favor of US imperialism. Let’s backtrack 3 years ago at the onset of the Arab spring. Popular resistance movements with mass based backing had swept the Middle East, with some of the autocrats in the crosshairs toppling easier than others, even as repression from established bureaucratic power was at an all time high. Syria saw much of the same, with the entrenched Assad government doing what leaders of nation states do best, which is do what is necessary to maintain power. Syria was a secularist yet religiously tolerant sovereign Arab state loyal to the resistance axis, which is a de facto alliance comprised of Russia, China, Iran, Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, and Hamas in Palestine. The repression went from non lethal to lethal rather quickly and thus the armed popular resistance was born, forming a highly decentralized militant organization known as the Free Syrian Army. The FSA though, had some unlikely interest in it, and efforts were made in the part of western imperialists to contribute as much as they could to this embryonic fighting force.