Countless articles on the Guardian website and other mainstream media sites repeat certain statements over and over again. Articles regularly state that there were months and months of peaceful protests in Syria before the opposition decided to take up arms in order to defend themselves from violent repression – despite evidence of security forces being killed within weeks of the unrest starting. Articles regularly state that the uprising in Syria was popular and majority led despite the two biggest and most populated cities (Aleppo and Damascus) staying relatively quiet. Articles regularly state that America has played a minimal role in supporting the movement and has almost been a neutral player in the rebels attempt to violently overthrow the Syrian government.
It is true that Assad was in control of a repressive regime inside Syria and he cannot escape culpability for the situation currently unfolding within its borders. However, here is an alternative timeline that may highlight how some of the basic and most important facts being reported about Syria are not exactly concrete.
In April/May 2011 a joint US-NATO secret training camp in the US air force base in Incirlik, Turkey, began operations to organize and expand the dissident base in Syria (according to a Boiling Frogs article posted in November 2011).
There were peaceful protests in Syria that called for genuine reform – I am not debating that fact – but most of the links I have provided will direct you to official news sites. These events are well documented but rarely pieced together by the mainstream media, who seem to prefer telling a much simpler story.