Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Playing the Al Qaeda card on Syria

Following western debates about the ongoing Syrian catastrophe, I find it interesting that many of the same people who usually go out of their way to make excuses for jihadist violence by murderous theocratic fanatics (whose actions, after all, are just understandable "blowback" provoked by western violence against Muslims) reject any measures to assist Syrian opponents of the Assad regime on the grounds that the rebels are ... murderous theocratic jihadist fanatics.

(Hypocrisy aside, it's certainly true that some of the rebels in Syria are murderous theocratic jihadist fanatics.  On the other hand, one of the perverse consequences of western "non-intervention" in the Syrian civil war, promoted by these kinds of arguments, is a situation in which one side, the Assad regime, is being heavily armed, supplied, reinforced, and otherwise supported by Russia and Iran and Lebanon's Hizbullah, while the most poisonous Sunni-jihadist tendencies on the rebel side have their own outside sources of arms and funding and reinforcements ... and the less extremist tendencies within the opposition are starved for arms and supplies.  The result is to strengthen the role of the most murderous, intolerant, and fanatical Sunni jihadists on the rebel side.)

—Jeff Weintraub