Syria's Alawite minority have always been painfully aware of the fragility of sectarian coexistence. Many of us preferred one dictator, Bashar al-Assad, to a Syria broken into multiple sectarian dictatorships. So, despite reservations, despite its repression, we still stuck by the regime.
I defied the regime of Hafez al-Assad in Syria since its very inception, and I spent 13 years in prison because of it. I saw how he rebuilt his reign of terror from the bones of his people after he defeated the insurgents in the 1980s. His son will accept no less.