Let’s see… the pattern of the Arab Spring is that a germ of genuine populist protest is hijacked by hardline Islamist elements the leaders of which make the corrupt dictators of the ancien regime look like Queen Beatrix of Holland.
That about right? True of Egypt, Libya, even plucky Tunisia.
So, is this Smart Power?
The United States is training and equipping Syrian opposition forces in their war to oust President Bashar al-Assad, according to a report published by The New York Times.
Obama administration officials were quoted by the newspaper on Wednesday as saying the U.S. intends to offer the armed rebels non-lethal assistance and equipment for the first time.
It is not known, however, in which country the activity is taking place.
U.S. aid to the rebel groups is allegedly expected to include military vehicles, communications equipment and night vision gear, according to the report.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hinted at greater U.S. support for Syria’s opposition on Wednesday, saying it needs “more help” in the struggle against President Bashar al-Assad and that Washington wants to speed up a political transition, AFP reports.
“That may require us to change President Assad’s current calculation. He needs to know he can’t shoot his way out of this,” Kerry said. “I think the opposition needs more help in order to be able to do that and we are working together to have a united position.”
If there’s anyone who has his ear it’s you, John.
It’s just that this is an administration that said Mubarak “has to go”, and that the mission to oust Qaddafi would take “days not weeks”. Does anyone think Morsi is an improvement over Mubarak? Can someone ask Chris Stevens how things turned out in Libya?
Obama has been instrumental in the toppling of two (soon to be three?) Middle East dictatorships to Bush’s one. Just sayin’.
Is there a way I can legally contribute to Assad’s well being? Not only to get on his wife’s good side (and they’re all good—spectacular—from what I can see), but because he’s the devil we know?
Sure, he tries to build nuclear plants, stockpiles chemical weapons, and harbors Hamass thugs and goons. But he’s contained. Can anyone look at the rest of Araby and honestly tell me these revolutions have turned out well? Are hardline Islamist regimes to Israel’s southwest and northeast any benefit to Israel?
I didn’t think so.
Extremists intent on establishing an Islamist state in Syria have gained power within the rebel insurgency, while moderates have lost clout since moves by Washington late last year aimed at the opposite result, U.S. officials and rebel fighters say.
John Kerry knows the secret of com—timing—edy…