Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Picking Sides in Syrian Civil War Will Be Risky for U.S.

A Jihadi Fighter (or if you choose, a rebel fighter) in the Syrian Civil War - On which side???
Photo from the WaPo Article Linked Below

Main post follows this major update (September 12, 2013): This update is very disconcerting to me. 

Source here (Washington Post) — highlights:

The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks as well as separate deliveries by the State Department that include vehicles and other gear as well as light weapons, munitions, new types of non-lethal gear, combat vehicles, sophisticated communications equipment, and advanced combat medical kits. These weapons and gear will boost the profile and prowess of rebel fighters in a conflict that started about 21 / 2 years ago.

My point: This revelation shows clearly that we have picked a side in this Civil War: The Rebels. That decision may prove to be a bad decision. I have no problem with lots of humanitarian aid and assistance to to those in need -- but, direct military support -- well that's picking a side. We ought not do that. 

Main Post Starts Here: It has been a painful lesson for us and just as painfully apparent that al-Qaeda has been looking for a country and stronghold ever since we ran them out of Afghanistan in 2001 and they headed to the hills of Tora Bora, where bin-Laden slipped away from our grasp. He and his HQ ended up in Pakistan, where we finally nailed bin-Laden in May 2011. 

Al-Qaeda was not very successful in Iraq, but they have made inroads in Yemen and elsewhere in the vast ME region. Now, they have their sights (quite literally) set on Syria and just as apparent they have hundreds if not more "freedom fighters" from all over the place there helping gain a foothold - as we were in Iraq: Liberators, right??

This is the focus right now, and the truth be told, the headlines are a bit worrisome.  Jihadis gain ground in Syrian rebel movement as moderates grow desperate.

Our leaders have to study and follow events like this closely ... Syrian opposition activists tell NBC News that Bashar Assad is getting away with having used chemical weapons to massacre hundreds of civilians, and that giving the regime a pass will only benefit al-Qaeda extremists.
“If there is no action, everyone will be desperate. We are already desperate. We are dying. Many will join al-Qaeda. Even the educated will join them, because no one else is helping,m" Rebels say. 
There is a battle underway within the Syrian revolt — a war within the war —  between the generally moderate, U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army and Islamic extremist groups.  
The Free Syrian Army put its faith in Washington, which promised action, but so far has not delivered. The moderates say they have lost hope and face. Islamists, on the other hand, always doubted Washington would act, and instead of attending meetings, they are putting bullets in their guns; and they are sending men. 
This needs close tracking - let's hope our folks are - I'm sure they are... but the only loser in this equation will be us - and more so, by picking and choosing sides in a Civil War — for us, it may be Russian roulette (no pun intended) - quite literally.

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