I still get blowback from a small minority of people who have not quite figured out that, in terms of foreign and military policy, the Neocon Establishment (best represented by Hillary and John McCain) is the diametric opposite of We the People and that Assad and Putin are far far removed from our Establishment but right in line with the thinking of all good American patriots. And that is the overriding point that trumps all other secondary items.
I will grant you that the propaganda has been more shrill than ever. For example, these folks worry that Russia is clamping down on Christians because a US pastor was fined for holding meetings in his home. How to explain? It was the US that caused the Chechen war that killed thousands of Russians and Chechens. If, for example, Canada had sent subversives to the US to incite a war between the US and the Hispanics, and had sent Hispanics lethal weapons and materiel such as tanks to kill Americans, how many of us would object if Congress decided to stop granting visas to Canadians while we sorted out which Canadians were behind the treachery? Most Americans would support such legislation and few would object if a Canadian pastor were deported for holding secret meetings. We would sympathize but it would be hard to object to a law that protected US citizens.
I am certain that this fundamentalist pastor was not singled out for being a fundamentalist. He may have had no inkling that he was arousing suspicion by holding meetings in his home contrary to the law. On the other hand, Paul said Christians are to obey the law no matter what, so the pastor was certainly not doing as commanded by the Bible.
The point is, even if you don't like Russian internal policies, we must admit, it is their country, not ours, and like them or not, the net result of their actions in Syria is support for Christians and other minorities and for a regime that is one of the few in the ME to respect minority rights.
In that respect, Assad is much closer to Western and Christian conservative values than any other ME leader and a westerner who understands this will tend to sympathize more with him than with the Saudi Rat Pack that denies anyone but Wahhabists the right to worship.