Arm the Rebels at Your Peril

Well, after failing to secure support to arm Syrian rebel groups when the country’s civil war first broke out, the chicken hawk cabal of Obama, Graham, McCain, and Kerry have decided to use the death of two journalists as a pretext for air strikes against the group referred to as ISIL. They then used the fear mongering over that group as a pretext to arm so-called “moderate” rebels such as the “Free Syrian Army” against ISIL. Of course, any casual observer knows that the real goal in arming the rebels is not to have ground support in the fight against ISIL (that is why McCain is now running around whining of the need for U.S. ground troops). The goal of arming the Syrian rebels is a half-hearted attempt to affect regime change in Syria whilst still being able to maintain the pretense of not wanting to affect regime change. The problem is that the “moderate” rebels the country seeks to arm maintain ties to groups like the Islamic Front. A group that rejects the concepts of representative democracy and secularism, instead seeking to establish an Islamic state governed by one of the west’s favourite boogeymen, Sharia Law. What’s more, an official with the group stated in 2014 that he considers himself to be a member of al-Qaeda. Even worse still, the group known as al-Nursa claims allegiance with the Free Syrian Army, and has expressly been declared a terrorist organization by the United States, United Kingdom, United Nations, Australia, and Turkey. This is who Obama, McCain, et. al. are seeking to send money and weapons to. The most disconcerting aspect of this still, is the pretext which was used to enter this conflict. James Foley and Steven Sotloff, two American journalists beheaded by ISIL, were routinely held up as symbols of why this action was necessary. It was later revealed through the family of one of the journalists in question that the men may have been sold by the “moderate” rebels in Syria to ISIL. This is who the west has thrown its support behind. The very men that we purport to be fighting in the middle east in the first place. The enemy of your enemy is not your friend when that friend is your original enemy. They may be allies of convenience right now, but once ISIL is gone and Bashar Assad is gone, the very weapons we sent them will be turned on us. After a decade of two unending quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the current president’s own less than legal actions in places like Libya, there is no need for us to go rushing into another conflict. Especially when it is done at such a rapid pace that it is clear there is no kind of real strategy involved beyond the desire of a few politicians to make themselves look tough on the world stage. With no strategy, this will inevitably turn into another campaign that carries on for far longer than need be. With our finances the way they are, the United States would do better to exercise some restraint in waging needless military campaigns. The current state of our economy is fragile at best, and we can scarce afford the costs associated with dropping bombs in foreign lands.

“There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.” – Sun Tzu

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