Multiple sources are reporting the Obama administration began discussing whether the Assad regime's rapid military advance across the heart of Syria necessitates a drastic U.S. response, with officials saying a decision on arming beleaguered rebels could happen later this week.
The word is aides from the State and Defense Departments, the CIA and other agencies gathering for a "deputies meeting" at the White House today. The purpose of the meeting was to lay the groundwork for a meeting that President Barack Obama will hold with his senior national security staff, planned for Wednesday.
If Obama decides to arm the rebels there is a good chance he will be arming a wing of al Qaeda. Even John McCain couldn't visit Syria two weeks ago without meeting with terrorists.
As top Obama administration officials huddle this week to possibly decide whether to lethally arm Syrian rebels trying to overthrow that country's government, they also must deal with the issue of whether any of the opposition forces can be trusted.The United States tried to isolate the Syrian branch of al-Qaida ( al-Nusra) this past December by designating it as a terrorist group, at the same time they expressed concern that the al-Qaeda loyalists and radical Islamists are planning on taking control of the opposition movement creating a terrorist state if/once Assad is toppled. Even with this warning the Free Syrian Army, supposedly the moderates, denounced the move as did more than 30 Syrian Salafist rebel groups. In the end given the choice any of these groups would choose the al-Qaida affiliate over United States.
“That’s the $64,000 question,” says Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official and Middle East expert with the American Enterprise Institute.
The United States has talked for months about the possibility of arming the opposition in Syria’s two-year-old civil war.
However, officials have been reluctant to do so because they don’t want the weapons to get into the hands of Al Qaeda linked fighters or other extremists battling President Bashar Assad’s forces, who now appear to be winning.
Rubin points out the perils the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies face when trying to get information about the players in a multi-front, Middle East war, which occasionally means paying the “bad guys” to vet the good guys.
“They’ll say one thing to your face and do another,” he said.
The real question is should the United States be getting involved in this action at all? There are no good guys in this war, a despicable tyrant aided by Iran and Hezbollah vs a terrorist organization associated with al Qaeda.
This country doesn't have a fundamental interest in backing either side. This country's only fundamental interest is those chemical weapons and making sure they don't fall into the hands of the al-Nusra Front. So perhaps someone should explain why we are getting involved in Syria in any way.
It's hard to see how getting involved in a proxy war with Iran will yield positive results for this country.