Who Are the Good Guys in Syria?

There's a new video making the rounds of the Internet. Yes, yet another gruesome and chilling video showing the brutality of the Syrian rebels.

The video was smuggled out of Syria into Turkey by a defecting rebel who was disgusted by the proceedings. The recording made on a cell phone shows the rebels standing casually over the prisoners with their firearms pointing down at the terrified shirtless prisoners, no doubt, well aware that they are about to die.

The seven prisoners, all captured soldiers from the Syrian army, show signs of having been subjected to tortured.

After reciting a short statement about having something to do with extracting revenge, the rebels execute their prisoners with a shot to the back of the head. Justice has been served, according to the Syrian rebels.

These are the very fighters that the United States, France and a slew of other nations are about to go to war to support their cause.

Now before you start to pass judgment, it should be mentioned that the captured soldiers were found to have video taped themselves raping Syrian civilians and looting. Justice served according the Anti-rebels.

Suddenly, as the US is about to get dragged into this labyrinth or deep-rooted hate that permeates the Syrian conflict today and in which there are indeed very few "good guys" one finds astonishment in Washington that "our allies" could behave in such a barbaric fashion.

But think of it this way. Why should there be any difference? The so-called good guys have all gone to the same military academies as the "bad guys." They have all had the same military background and training. Why should they be any different?

With the exception of a few intellectuals who truly believe in the democratic system of governance based on Western-like principles, the majority of the opposition forces appear to be as ruthless as the regime they are fighting to overthrow.

But alas and alack although they are the backbone of any hope for a future democratic Syria, they are vastly out numbered by the Islamists, the Baathists and those who simple for one reason or another fell afoul of the regime. Often because they are Sunni and have had enough of being ordered to kill their own.

And as for the outsiders, the new comers to the conflict, the volunteers joining the fight from the ranks of al-Qaida and its associates, I don't think there is much more that needs to be said. These are ones seen pulling out a soldier's heart and eating part of it.

With the renewed focus on the Syrian conflict this brutality worth of the most severe Stalinist methods seems to catch many Americans by surprise, But those of us who have been covering the Syrian uprising from the outset, before the onset of the fighting in Syria exploded to the degree that it has, this comes as no great surprise.

Perhaps before the West invests anymore in the Syrian conflict a good place to start would be to bring over the commanders of the various brigades that are in charge of military operations and have them undergo military indoctrination in a Western military institution where officers are trained to be officers and at the same time gentlemen.

Invest in the translation into Arabic and the production of the Geneva Conventions and the responsibilities and the duties that soldier have towards civilians and their military prisoners. Make that compulsory reading before a single bullet is handed over to another rebel fighter. The total cost of such an operation would amount to less than a single Cruise missile. But its effect would be far more shattering - and for a change in a positive manner.

Claude Salhani is a journalist and political analyst focusing on Middle East Issues and terrorism. He is the author of several books, including his just released e-book, Inauguration Day.