"... There is a potential opening for the Obama administration here, although it is a difficult one to exploit due to understandable sensitivities over backing the "bad guys." Notably, there was one Islamist rebel group that was not part of the new alliance, the al-Qaeda affiliate ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham). This is particularly important in light of efforts by mainline Islamist rebels to contain and even counter ISIS's influence, which has been growing of late. Others, such as Hassan Hassan, have written on the potential for a counter-extremist, though still Salafi, alliance against al-Qaeda in Syria. This is not to say we need to go around arming these groups simply because they're not al-Qaeda—a Republican-led Congress is unlikely to be supportive of such a thing—but, if this (Saudi led) Islamic alliance holds and becomes the preeminent rebel grouping, it makes little sense to block our allies from supporting them or to try to play off remnants of the "moderate," and increasingly irrelevant, SMC against them. No matter what we do or don't do at this point, most of the relevant rebel groups are and will continue to be Islamist in orientation. If the Syrian rebels are ever going to gain a decisive military edge over the Assad regime, Islamist factions are going to be leading the charge. We don't have to like it, but we probably have to accept it..."
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
'The US must arm Syria's extremists!'
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 10:13 AM