WESTERN THUGS TURNING EASTERN DOGS ON CHRISTIANS THE NEW YORK TIMES August 3, 2012 "*** Syrias 2.3 million Christians, constituting about 10 percent of the countrys population, have generally known a more privileged existence under the Assad dynasty than even the Shiite Alawi sect to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs. Yet their allegiance to Assad was never absolute. Some Christians openly clamored for political change in the early months of the anti-government uprising. But as the rebellion became suffused with Sunni militants sympathetic to or affiliated with Al Qaeda, Christians recoiled. A churchgoing Syrian told me that he used to see himself primarily as Syrian and that religious identity, in political terms, was an idea that never occurred to him until an opposition gang attacked his family earlier this year in Homs. Its a label they pinned on us, he said. If their revolution is for everyone, as they keep insisting it is, why are Christians being targeted? It is because what they are waging is not a struggle for freedom, and its certainly not for everyone. ***" As Saudi Arabian arms and money bolster the opposition, the 80,000 Christians whove been cleansed from their homes in Hamidiya and Bustan al-Diwan in Homs Province in March by the Free Syrian Army have gradually given up the prospect of ever returning home. The rebels conduct has prompted at least some Sunnis who had supported the rebels and once-wavering Syrians to pledge renewed loyalty to Assad. Many who once regarded the regime as a kleptocracy now view it as the best guarantor of Syrias endangered pluralism. ***" =========================================== WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHRISTIANS GONE?