Barack Obama’s decision to arm Syrian rebels is long overdue. This decision should have been made two years ago, when Bashar al-Assad started his rampage. By massacring those whose crime was to live in the same neighborhood as those demanding reform, al-Assad forfeited his right to live among us.
The procrastination and long due decision from Obama leaves us with no good options. The fact that we are now faced with arming extremists comes as no surprise to many. As the choices that face us go from bad to worse, the world still must do more than continue to call for negotiating with a psychopath for an unworkable peace settlement.
My argument for arming the Syrian rebels was discussed long ago. In Are the Syrian rebels involved in war crimes?, I wrote,
There once was a time when Syrian moderates dreamed of a better future for themselves and their children. That time is long past, now all they have left is a hope for survival. My fear of this exact outcome was expressed when I chastised Barack Obama and his failures in The Syrian Revolution. It was also revisited in my piece How to Prevent Radical Islamists from Stealing a Revolution.
The world powers, war mongers, pacifists, and arm-chair generals the world over, all talk of how they have a formulae that could lead to an acceptable outcome. The arrogance that any of us have a say in this matter is naive to the extreme. Already too late, all we can do is put ourselves in the Syrians shoes, rise to the occasion, and hope we make the right choices.
Those who preach weapons will fall into the wrong hands are the only ones who speak with some measure of truth. Of course weapons will get into the wrong hands! This is what happens when nations, and their death merchants, arm their own citizens much less other nations. We have armed dictators for decades and sadly we will continue to do so. For arms supplying nations, such as the USA and Russia, an easy way to increase GDP is this sort of behavior.
Be that as it may, the continuation of sitting on the sidelines and doing nothing to stop evil is even worse. We have to do something. Doing nothing proves to the world that we will continue to tolerate dictators and their criminal behavior, rather than follow the laws of mankind and the tenets we preach.
Of one thing I am certain. How this hell on earth ends is anyone’s guess. The belief that outside powers have any say over the outcome in Syria is a lie being sold to the masses. The belief that the Syrian people will have any say in their near future is also a lie. Lack of leadership, and fractured ideology on all sides, assures an unforeseen outcome. The genie is out of the bottle in Syria, and there is no putting it back. Only history knows what will happen, and history has yet to speak on the subject.