It is the season of open bigotry against `Alawites--qua `Alawites. I see it in the Qatari-Saudi media and in the Western media. Western journalists are even resorting to justifications for the butchery of `Alawites by gangs of the Free Syrian Army. The coverage is almost exterminationist in goals. Every attack on `Alawite civilians is coupled with explanation of "shabbihah" (to equate the two) and with a reference to the `Aalwite ruling families. It is quite unprecedented. I mean, the key elements of the Zionist regime are Jewish but I never see Western journalists justifying attacks on Israeli civilians. When you read articles on Syria, including in the Economist, just replace the word `Alawite with the word Jewish and see how it sounds. The fact that the Syrian regime is `Alawite does not mean that: 1) the regime has NOT repressed anyone and everyone regardless of sect: the criterion is loyalty and not sect; 2) (does not mean that) the regime would have survived and lasted without support from non-`Alawites. Remember that the `Alawites are no more than 13 or 14 % of the population. 3) There has never been a consensus among `Alawites for supporting the Asad regime. Never. 4) Western media adhere overall to liberal standards except when it comes to the Middle East. They sound like fascist European media.