But facts are stubborn things.
From Counterpunch Wednesday we have this:
The Unwitting Agents of the Imperial OrderYou may have noticed that the Assad Regime has had the power of the Syrian state and with it the Syrian armed forces and in spite of a very large number of defections from the SAA, it has been able to effectively use long range weapons including Scuds, jet bombers, helicopter gunships and long range artillery to kill ten of thousands of Syrians who object to his rule whether they have taken up arms against him or not. He has also been able to use this power, a power which requires relatively few Syrians to exercise, to make liberate areas unlivable.
The Wishful Thinking Leftby JEAN BRICMONT
August 14, 2013
I am no expert on Syria, but if the people are so united against the regime, how come that it has resisted for so long? There have been relatively few defections in the army or in the diplomatic and political personnel.
He has also enjoy the unqualified support of Russia and Iran, which have been willing to provide him with the weapons and support that he has needed to kill tens of thousands of Syrians and attempt hold off the revolution. He has also been able to bring in foreign fighters from Hezbullah, Iran and Iraq who have no qualms about killings civilians.
He has also had the indirect support of the NATO powers. While they profess support for the people's struggles, the US, UK and France have yet to provide a single bullet to the opposition and Obama has had the CIA busy trying to keep them from getting any heavy weapons from any source.
While the people are united in their opposition to the regime, they are far from being united in one party or one army with a single command structure and this clearly has slowed military progress. This is a result of how this revolution developed as a true grass-roots movement with a very broad base of support. Some people complain about the "disunity" of the Syrian opposition as if it had once been united and then fell apart. This is clearly not the case. Independent fighting groups developed among the people in their localities, or when large units of the SAA defected with their command structures intact, the building of unity and co-ordination among these groups is not automatic and remains one of the great tasks of the revolution.
With all that going against them (and this is likely to be the case in all revolutions, especially in a period when so much of the "left" has turned its back on revolution.) not only have they managed not to be crushed after two and a half years but they have been making steady progress and now control the majority of Syria and are on the verge of completely liberating Syria's second largest city, Aleppo.
I know all the pundits are saying its a stalemate. They always say that until the revolution has won. According to them, the Vietnamese Revolution was a stalemate pretty much up until Saigon fell. The Libyan Revolution was considered an endless stalemate (6 months!) rightup to the point Tripoli fell. They will likely declare that the Syrian Revolution is a stalemate, if they aren't saying Assad is winning, right up to the day Damascus falls.
But I find it an impossible Herculean task to take on all the lies and distortions in any given Counterpunch article on Syria so it this piece I just want to take on:
There have been relatively few defections in the army or in the diplomatic and political personnel.And defeat it in detail with my stubborn friends.
Shall we start with high level defections? I personally don't consider them the most important because they aren't doing the fighting, but many people do. Anyway, there are less of them, since in general there are less high level people, so maybe I can be more comprehensive. I don't expect I can do more here than give you samples of the tens of thousands of ordinary defections that propel the revolution forward.
From the NY Times a year ago, we have this report of a high level defection from the Assad regime:
On 27 Dec 2012, I brought the news that Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Hassoun, director of Aleppo Military Academy had defected to English speakers with:
Prime Minister’s Defection in the Dark Jolts Syrians
By DAMIEN CAVE and DALAL MAWAD
Published: August 6, 2012
BEIRUT, Lebanon — The defection of Syria’s prime minister, Riyad Farid Hijab, began like so many others: with coded conversations and furtive planning. He began discussing the idea of fleeing, an aide said, as soon as President Bashar al-Assad strong-armed him into taking the job in June. In recent days, he worked to get his extended family out. Then, early Monday, the prime minister slipped out of Damascus under cover of darkness with his wife and four children, scrambling through the desert as a fugitive. More...
their list is incomplete:
Al Jazeera has developed its own interactive system for tracking Syria's defections and it won the 2013 Online Media Awards for best technical innovation. You can see it here.
- Mohammad Bassam Imadi, Former Ambassador to Sweden - 2011
- Abdul Razzaq Tlass, Former Syrian military officer, and currently one of the Free Syrian Army commanders - June 2011
- Riad al-Asaad, former Colonel in the Syrian Air Force, and current commander of the Free Syrian Army, July 2011
- Mustafa Al-Sheikh, former General in the Syrian Army, and current head of the Free Syrian Army - 6 January 2012
- Imad Ghalioun, parliamentarian for Homs - January 2012 (to Egypt)
- Firas Tlass, son of Mustafa Tlass, the former defence minister under Hafez al Assad - 12 March 2012 (to Paris)
- Abdo Hussameddin, Deputy Oil Minister - 7 March 2012
- Hassan Hamada, Syrian Air Force Colonel - 2012 (to Jordan)
- Manaf Tlass, Brigadier General of the Syrian Republican Guard - 2012 (to Turkey, later Paris)
- Nawaf al-Fares, Ambassador to Iraq - 2012 (In Iraq, later moved to Qatar)
- Adnan Silu, Major General and former head of Syria's chemical weapons program - July 2012 defected to the opposition.
- Abdelatif al-Dabbagh, Ambassador to the UAE, July 2012 (to Qatar)
- Lamia al-Hariri, niece of Syrian vice president Farouk al-Sharaa, Envoy to Cyprus, - July 2012 (to Qatar)
- Mohammad Tahseen Faqir, military attaché at the Syrian embassy in Oman - July 2012
- Ikhlas al-Badawi, Aleppo MP, a Baathists and an Assad loyalist, defects to Turkey with her six children - July 2012, (to Turkey)
- Farouk Taha, Ambassador to Belarus. Fled Belarus in the spring, but did not publicize his defection before late July.
- Khaled al-Ayoubi, Chargé d'affaires at the embassy to the United Kingdom and most senior diplomat in the country after higher officials were expelled. - July 2012.
- Mohammad Hussam Hafez, Consul at the Syrian embassy in Yerevan, Armenia - July 2012.
- General Muhammed Faris, a military aviator who became the first Syrian in space, defects to Turkey.
- Riyad Farid Hijab - Syrian Prime minister, August 2012.
- Danny al-Baaj - Syria’s representative at the United Nations Human Rights Council, defects to Geneva, 11 July 2012
- Brigadier General Ibrahim al-Jabawi - deputy police commander for the central Syrian province of Homs, 12 July 2012 (to Jordan)
- Salim Idris - was a general in the Syrian Army when he defected in July 2012 . Now servves as the current Chief of Staff of the Free Syrian Army.
- Yaroub al-Shara - cousin of Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Shara.
- Naser al-Hariri - Former member of the People's Council of Syria from Daraa, 23 August 2012 (to Jordan)
- Mohamed Moussa al-Khairat - Commander of the seventh division within the Syrian Army, 25 August 2012 (to Jordan)  
- Muhammad Khayr al-Hariri - Former Syrian MP and tribal chief of the southern Daraa region, 27 August (to Jordan) 
- Abdullah Al-Omar - Director of several Pro-regime Syrian Channels, September 2012  .
- Mohammad Fares - a Syrian Pilot .
- Awad Ahmed al-Ali - head of the security branch in Damascus, September 2012 (to Turkey)  
- Emad al-Ahmar - Syrian Consul in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 8 September 2012 (to Egypt)  .
- Mahmoud Obeid - Syrian diplomatic attaché in Malaysia, 8 September 2012 (to Egypt)  .
- Bashar al-Haj - Syrian diplomatic attaché in Serbia, September 2012 (?)  .
- Youssef Assad - Syrian Air Force officer and a family relative of President Bashar Assad .
- Jihad Makdissi - Syrian Forgein Ministry's spokesman, 2 December 2012 (to UK)  .
- Adnan Salo - former head of the chemical weapons unit in the Syrian army , 9 December 2012
- Major General Abdulaziz al-Shalal - commander of Syria's military police, 25 December 2012  .
- Kamal Jamal Beyk - Former director of programming at the official SANA radio and the SANA online news website in Damascus, 28 December 2012 (to Paris).
- Lama Al-Khadra - Former state-run radio station Radio Damascus Journalist, 28 December 2012 (to Paris) 
- Baddour Abdel Karim - Former state-run radio station Radio Damascus Journalist, 28 December 2012 (to Paris) 
- Brig. Gen Mohammed Nour Ezzedeen Khallouf - chief of supplies and logistics of Syrian Armed Forces, March 2013 .
This is the net result of their study, note what the trend is:
That started a flood, these aren't high level defections, these are the best of the Syrian working class:
I could go on and on because there are literally thousands of these videos, in fact a YouTube search for "Syria defections" returns over 30,000 results, although many of these videos are of individual soldiers or small groups.
The point is that Counterpunch is telling a complete lie when it says:
There have been relatively few defections in the army or in the diplomatic and political personnel.These opportunists are forced to tell this lie and also to tell you that most of the people fighting the Assad regime are foreign jhadists because the truth that it is working class soldiers that have revolted and who they are opposing is too shameful to admit.
Probably the only truth in Jean Bricmont's Counterpunch article was his admission that he is no expert on Syria but it is worst than that, in denying these defections, Counterpunch is denying the essential character of the Syrian Revolution and revealing itself as an enemy of the Syrian people.
Is it any wonder that Counterpunch doesn't allow comments to this trash?