The Conversation

More inspiring deeds from the Enemy Of Our Enemy

It looks like those plucky "moderates" celebrated by John Kerry and John McCain have beheaded an entire busload of innocent people, including a mother and her baby, apparently because they "supported anti-terrorist Kurdish groups which were formed recently to defend the Kurdish population against anti-Syria terrorists."

Man, there's a whole lot of "anti" over there.  They should try having less "anti" in Syria before we start bombing anyone.  The targets would become much easier to select.

The New York Times delicately observes that the "brutality of the Syrian rebels is posing a dilemma in the West."  By which they presumably mean the West Wing of the White House, because absolutely nobody else in the world is planning to roll into Syria and give the head-choppers air cover, although as Secretary of State Kerry informed us yesterday, some of the deeper pockets in the Middle East are willing to hire American mercenaries to settle their religious wars:

The Syrian rebels posed casually, standing over their prisoners with firearms pointed down at the shirtless and terrified men.

The prisoners, seven in all, were captured Syrian soldiers. Five were trussed, their backs marked with red welts. They kept their faces pressed to the dirt as the rebels’ commander recited a bitter revolutionary verse.

“For fifty years, they are companions to corruption,” he said. “We swear to the Lord of the Throne, that this is our oath: We will take revenge.”

The moment the poem ended, the commander, known as “the Uncle,” fired a bullet into the back of the first prisoner’s head. His gunmen followed suit, promptly killing all the men at their feet.

This scene, documented in a video smuggled out of Syria a few days ago by a former rebel who grew disgusted by the killings, offers a dark insight into how many rebels have adopted some of the same brutal and ruthless tactics as the regime they are trying to overthrow.

Say it ain't so!  John Kerry says the brutal guys are a tiny band of fringe loonies, soon to be swept out of Syria on a great tidal wave of moderation!

Incidentally, the guy in charge of the death squad described above is named Abdul Samad Issa.  This marks the first time the Obama Administration has been eager to cooperate with someone named "Issa."

The Times focuses on the military power claimed by the livelier Islamist rebels - claims they say could be exaggerated - and relates John Kerry's estimate of their numbers, which on Kerry's spreadsheet of doom adds up to just 15 or 20 percent of the largely moderate and secular rebellion.  That's a load of ridiculous crap on its surface, and it dodges the inconvenient fact that a lot of those "moderate" rebels are thieves and highwaymen.  The al-Qaeda operatives and Islamist radicals have done a much better job of winning the hearts and minds of the rebellious Syrian population... which means we're going to be in for another unpleasant Egyptian surprise when the old dictator topples, and we discover who's holding all the political cards in New Syria.

I'm second to none in my contempt for the brutal Bashar Assad, but to be brutally honest, I'm not convinced he's the lesser of the many evils offered by the current Syrian landscape.  Rick Santorum came out against Obama's Syrian attack today, even though he was in favor of a more muscular intervention two years ago.  He said the situation on the ground was much different two years ago.  At this point, I'm not sure it's accurate to portray Assad as the biggest threat to American interests, particularly if we're talking about the likelihood of deploying chemical weapons beyond Syria's borders.  And I say that as someone who would like to see him die by fire.

Have we considered the idea of arming the Kurds and Christians in Iraq, and letting them set up a secular government that tolerates religious minorities and avoids butchering innocent civilians?


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