Streetwise Professor

October 12, 2015

From the Ridiculous to the Absurd Is But A Single Step: A New Rebel Group Magically Appears in Syria

Filed under: History,Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 6:23 pm

If there’s been a bigger debacle for the US military since St. Clair’s Defeat in 1791 than the fiasco of arming the “moderate” Syrian resistance, I would be hard pressed to name it.

First, there was the fact that the pitifully small number of recruits that we managed to scrape together were either killed or captures no sooner than they had set foot into Syrian territory. Then, other groups turned over arms and equipment to al Nusra to secure safe passage. Then the Russians bombed the snot out of our (CIA-trained) forces while Kerry mewled in protest.

So it was announced that the Pentagon-run train and equip program was being terminated. But check that! The mission has not been ended. Train no: equip yes. We will just give arms to “leaders” we’ve vetted and let them hand them out to . . . whomever.

Meanwhile, in a 60 Minutes interview Obama said that he had been skeptical of arming the opposition from the get-go. (This is no doubt true: remember his dismissive remarks from last year about the futility of arming pharmacists and farmers and expecting them to beat an organized army?)

This immediately raises the questions: (a) then why did you, as commander of chief, permit the program to proceed? (b) if you were going to let it proceed, why didn’t you demand changes to give it a reasonable chance of achieving some success?

What’s more, despite Obama’s alleged skepticism, he is permitting yet another effort. This one would make Rube Goldberg proud. This is so bizarre that you might think I’m playing some sort of joke on you, but I swear, I’m just passing along what’s been reported.

Lo and behold, last night, almost at the exact same time Obama was heaping scorn on the idea of supporting armed opposition groups, a new Syrian resistance group magically appeared: The Democratic Forces of Syria.

It’s sort of the Rainbow Coalition of Syria. Kurds. Arabs. Assyrian Christians. So you should feel all warm and fuzzy about the inclusiveness of the new group.

If you believe the formation this group, and its allegedly ecumenical nature, was spontaneous and indigenous, I have some oceanfront property in Wyoming to sell you.

Bolstered by American arms, the mission of the new group is to advance on Raqqa, and drive ISIS from its Syrian capital. The Kurdish YPG has gained some success against ISIS, and would obviously be the core of any new force.

But we aren’t arming the Kurds! Because that would infuriate Erdogan and Turkey, and he could very well back out of his agreement to allow the US access to Incirlik, and do other nefarious things to kneecap the American efforts (such as they are) against ISIS. So we’re doing this instead:

Officials emphasized that U.S. military aid will go directly to the Arabs, not the Kurds, but the Kurdish fighters stand to benefit from the decision. To date, Washington has hesitated to hand equipment directly to the Kurds. Instead, they send materiel through the central government of Iraq. The new aid will be transported directly to Syria, where Arab groups are expected to launch a new offensive in and around Raqqa, the de facto Islamic State capital, while the Kurds continue to hold border areas where together they have succeeded in routing the militants.

The Kurds are the most effective military force in the region, and the Arabs have been completely unheard from in this sector, so we arm the latter and let the former cool their heels.

From the ridiculous to the absurd is but a single step.

To quote Casey Stengel: Can’t anybody here play this game?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. @SWP…Casey is appropriate. So is Pogo.

    Comment by Richard Whitney — October 12, 2015 @ 7:23 pm

  2. “The only people we hate more than the Romans are the fucking Judaean People’s Front.”

    Comment by Green As Grass — October 13, 2015 @ 4:35 am

  3. @Green. You left out the funniest part. That line was uttered by the People’s Front of Judea 😉

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — October 13, 2015 @ 4:42 am

  4. Splitter!

    Comment by Green As Grass — October 13, 2015 @ 5:47 am

  5. @Green. What have the Romans ever done for us?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — October 13, 2015 @ 11:22 am

  6. A lot of federal spending is about corporate welfare, and this case is no exception. Let the military-industrial complex churn out more antitank weapons at taxpayers’ expense, even if they’ll end up in the hands of (literally) Al Qaeda.

    Comment by aaa — October 13, 2015 @ 6:58 pm

  7. The USA couldn’t lick ISIL even if it was a popsicle, given its current, totally useless
    strategy (if Obomber and,the extremely pitiful SOD, A. Carter, have one). Stand aside and
    let the Sunnis and Shiites continue their 1000+ year old fight. The added bonus is
    tying up the Sons of Putrid and the Quds in the middle. At the same time, establish
    our primary Middle East military presence in Israel with a bases in the north and south.
    At home, drill, baby, drill–subsidized for national security reasons–to keep financial
    pressure on Vladie. Oh, and protect the Kurds—for fun let them harass the Caliph in
    Turkey. Stir the Pot!

    Comment by eric — October 14, 2015 @ 12:59 am

  8. That might work if the US simultaneously keeps insisting on the return of Crimea and keeps tightening the financial noose of the sanctions until Russia complies.

    Comment by LL — October 14, 2015 @ 11:43 am

  9. So The New York Times is already scared shitless.

    Comment by LL — October 15, 2015 @ 12:18 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress