Why Are We Backing the Bad Guys?
In reality, there aren’t any moderate rebels in Syria (and see this, this and this). Virtually all of the arms – and humanitarian aid – end up in the hands of the most brutal Al Qaeda or ISIS terrorists. Even the CIA warned Obama that arming rebels likely wouldn’t work.
And yet the U.S. government has now decided to allow Syrian rebels to call in airstrikes from U.S. B-1B bombers. As the Wall Street Journal reports:
The U.S. has decided to provide pickup trucks equipped with machine guns and radios for calling in U.S. airstrikes to some moderate Syrian rebels, defense officials said.
The plan comes as the U.S. prepares to start training moderate rebels, who are waging a two-front fight against the extremists and the Syrian regime.
A team of four to six rebels will each be given a Toyota Hi-Lux pickup, outfitted with a machine gun, communications gear and Global Positioning System trackers enabling them to call in airstrikes. The fighters will also be given mortars, but the administration hasn’t decided to provide the teams with more sophisticated antitank weapons.
Officials say the moderate forces will never outnumber Islamic State extremists or regime forces. Reflecting that, the Pentagon believes the moderate forces must have superior training as well as support from U.S. warplanes.
U.S. officials also don’t know whether American planes will be able to provide air support if the moderate forces it trains get in a fight not with Islamic State, but with forces loyal to the Syrian president.
Because the U.S. isn’t at war with Syria, U.S. military lawyers are wrestling with whether U.S. warplanes would have legal authorization to strike Mr. Assad’s forces, even to support a U.S.-trained rebel force.
The planes would drop 500- and 2,000-pound guided bombs, a typical load for the B-1s that have operated in Afghanistan as well as Syria.
Is the U.S. turning into Al Qaeda’s air force? It’s obvious that the U.S. has long tried to overthrow the Syrian government.