08.15.2012 07:54 AM

Arm the Syrian rebels now

Important column by Tim Harper. Read it.


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    Kevin says:

    The Telegraph has this series of photos of rebels fighting in Aleppo:


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    CQ says:

    Canada should only support a UN-led initiative – and without the harmful USA’s involvement – of ‘soft power’ dialogue shared equally between both sides of this conflict.

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    b says:

    could not disagree more. the U.S. armed the rebels in Afghanistan (to site one poignant example) and look what happened there.

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    GPAlta says:

    Eric Margolis said in March that the US, France, and Britain had been arming the rebels for over a year by then, and that the US has been active in Syria since the mid 1990s:

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    que sera sera says:

    Canada and the US should “formally” stay the hell out of Syria and let the Syrians sort it out.

    That being said, it is interesting that the the so-called Syrian rebels (the same Al-Qaeda that the USA ostensibly has been chasing around the Middle East in retaliation for 9/11) are being armed through Saudia Arabia and Qatar, by the US. And why the attention on the brutal dictatorship in Syria and not the attention on the brutal dictatorships in Saudi Araiba and Qatar? The only difference is the “brutal dictatorships” in SA and Qatar are backed & supported by the US while the “brutal dictatorship” in Syria isn’t.

    Of course Canada should butt out. We saw the illogical, immoral, and illegal efforts of the US and Britain on Iraq with over one million civilians dead. There is no moral high ground for the US to stand on. The residents of these dictatorships will take down their leaders eventually & rightfully, but it would be a hell of lot easier if the US wasn’t spending many years arming these regimes (to make war on their own people) and then turning around and attacking them on the glib basis they are a “threat” to their region and their people. The entire US economy is built upon war mongering; why should other Middle East countries pay the price of a morally corrupt and financially bankrupt USA? And why should countries like Canada support such corruption by the US?

    THe US recently closed a $63 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. What wars is SA planning on fighting? So Saudi Arabia can arm “professional insurgents” like Al-Qaeda (by US proxy) in Syria, and putting down their own and Bahrain’s Arab Spring?

    Considering the US supports chemical warfare on civilians by supplying Israel with white phosphorus gas that is being used on Palestinian civilians, the US has no justification in sanctioning other countries on the fear they “might” use chemical weapons. Where are the sanctions against Israel? And where are the intercessions of the Western World on behalf of the Palestinian people?

    Leave Syria alone to sort out its own destiny without the ugly, biased, self-serving, illegal interference by the imperialistic and aggressive US. Asking Canada to intercede is the US’s attempt to try to get in the front door now that SA and Qatar are using Al-Qaeda to do the US’s work through the backdoor. I hope chicken-hawkish Harper isn’t stupidly flattered by the US’s transparent attempts to use Canada to their ends.

    The media is really acting exactly like an echo chamber for the political class. And after the illegal invasion of Iraq on a pack of lies from the political class, lies unquestioningly supported and circulated by the media, it is to be hoped that people won’t be sucked in again to serve the US’s criminal foreign policy.

    Cherish the famous quote attributed to Donald Rumsfeld “It’s not our fault God put America’s oil under other people’s countries.” It’ll help keep things in perspective.

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    Mulletaur says:

    The rebels need heavy weapons and modern, portable anti-aircraft surface to air missiles. Nobody but nobody has an interest in giving them these, not least of all because there are many from Al Qaida in Iraq who have joined the fight. They may be able to capture heavy weapons from government forces. Their best hope with aircraft is to capture them through defections or destroy them on the ground.

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      Philip says:

      It looks as if the Free Syrian Army has already picked up more advanced MANPADS (shoulder mounted surface to air systems), than would otherwise be found in a normal Syrian Army battalion’s inventory. There are plenty of mid-level arms dealers with enough 2nd and 3rd generation MANPADS in their stocks to sell. There is some talk that the Syrian attack helicopters are starting to operate above their 500-700 foot sweet spot and take rear missile lookout duties more seriously. That would suggest 2nd gen. SA-14s and SA-16s, weapon systems usually operating in dedicated anti-air companies.

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    MoS says:

    Arm who exactly? We treat the anti-Assad fighters as some amorphous resistance movement rather than the loose and quite diverse collection of groups that have assembled and, in some cases, have quite differing interests in the post-Assad chaos. Our foot dragging in Libya allowed al-Qaeda to get a foothold in the Egyptian/Libyan border region, something they’d been eyeing for a good while. We ought to have given the Egyptian military its marching orders to Tripoli, dispatched Gaddafi in less than a week, and paved the way for the ascension of a moderate, unity government. Instead we created a vehicle for radicals and violent extremists. We have done much the same in Syria and it’s a bit late now to consider arming Syrians or foreign fighters unless we’re prepared to pick which group we want to prevail and will ensure our unlimited support for them in the post-Assad chaos.

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    Bluegreenblogger says:

    The way I see it, the only way we as a Nation should interfere in Syrias civil war is if we have clear interests and specific outcomes in mind. It may not be ‘right’ to try to bend Syrias war to serve our purposes, but if we are going to poke our noses in we had better have clear cut and selfish reasons for doing so, as well as a reasonable expectation that the desired outcome will be acheived. It should be pretty clear to anybody with an ounce of sense that there are no saints in this conflict, and the next rulers of Syria are a complete unknown to us. If we bring about regime change for it’s own sake, then we shall be morally responsible for the well being of Syria under their new regime. All we can say with any confidence is that the new rulers will have blood on their hands, and there is no more than a slim chance that they may actually have the interests of their fellow Syrians in mind. So if serving the ineterests of the Syrians is not on the menu, the only valid rationale left is serving our own interests. War is serious business, and should not be undertaken lightly, armed with fuzzy objectives and good intentions.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

    – Armenia;

    – Ukraine;

    – Holocaust;

    – Cambodia;

    – Rwanda;

    – Bosnia;

    – Sudan;

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      Warren says:

      I’m quoting you in my column on Sunday. Thank you.

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      GPAlta says:

      I hate to disagree with such a noble statement and such compelling examples, but I have to offer that joining in the conflict is not the only thing that good men can do to stop evil. Martin Luther King Jr. knew what the right thing was to drive out war, and although his approach is the more difficult, it is the more courageous. War itself is an evil that is capable of triumphing in its own right, and we should do something to prevent that evil as well. Less violent or non violent international intervention is possible in the post-WW2 era, but it has been prevented by the obstruction of the US, which was especially obvious in the cases of Rwanda and Bosnia.

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