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Thu Feb 28, 2013, 02:17 AM


Islamists Gain Momentum in Syria

Source: Wall Street Journal

BEIRUT—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.

On the eve of the most recent gathering of the Friends of Syria international opposition support group in December, the Obama administration designated Syrian jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra a terrorist organization, and on the same day, officially endorsed the moderate face of the rebellion, the umbrella Syrian Opposition Coalition. Around the same time, the administration stepped back from the hotly debated idea of arming the rebels, partly out of concern the weapons would fall into extremists' hands.

In the two months since the U.S. designation of Jabhat al-Nusra, the group's fighters took control of one of the Taftanaz air base in Idlib, one of largest government air bases in northern Syria, where they seized tanks, helicopters and ammunition. They also took over the Jarrah airfield outside Aleppo, which gave them access to dozens of warplanes, according to rebels who took part in those battles.

<big snip>

"The Syrian conflict is going to be as big, if not bigger, than Afghanistan was in the 1980s in terms of mobilizing jihadi fighters," said Aaron Zelin, an expert on jihadist groups at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

<much more snipped, worth reading the whole thing>

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324662404578330131440840680.html

Okay, this is the Wall Street Journal, and the article snipes at the Obama administration for not, well, getting more directly involved in the Syrian civil war, but if you've been following events in Syria, it's hard to quibble with the gist of it.

This is a real mess for Kerry. Welcome to State! US foreign policy is caught between Iraq and a hard place.

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Reply Islamists Gain Momentum in Syria (Original post)
Comrade Grumpy Feb 2013 OP
JesterCS Feb 2013 #1
another_liberal Feb 2013 #2
another_liberal Feb 2013 #3
John2 Feb 2013 #4
iandhr Feb 2013 #5

Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 07:11 AM

1. I have this huge fear that in less

than a decade, we'll be in Syria " Liberating " the people from the "evil muslims". Shades of Iraq indeed

Also note the quotes around evil muslims. Doesnt mean I'm saying they are, but that's what they will be portrayed as to the world.

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Response to JesterCS (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 07:21 AM

2. If we invade Syria . . .


If we invade Syria it will be in cooperation with and at the behest of Israel. That would be far worse for this country even than was W's invasion of Iraq. If we send the Marines into Syria, chances are we will soon be at war with the entire Mid-east.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 07:33 AM

3. We're trying to get the opposition . . .


We're trying to get the opposition to sit down and talk with the man who is killing their families with artillery bombardments and scud missile attacks. While we suggest such gross stupidity, the Islamists are fighting and winning battles against Assad's troops every day. Our "declaring" such fighters a "terrorist organization" will only serve to de-legitimize the moderates who have agreed to listen to Kerry.

We need to lay off calling people "terrorists" whenever they disagree with our vision of what should be the future for their countries.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 08:05 AM

4. I don't agree that this is a mess


for the U.S. because I disagree with the entire Foreign Policy of Nation Building. Especially when it comes to the Middle East. That whole region has too many religious factions fighting against each other. It doesn't matter which groups get access to weapons. U.S. primary interests should be protecting U.S. territory and democracy here. In order to have access to sophisticated weapons, you need to have to know how and means to use and support such weaponary. They have no industry for that or knowledge of flying sophisticated war planes. They are no threat to a military that has such means. Imagine some Jihadist without such means going against the U.S. Airforce. They would be wiped out in no time. Wall Street is fearmongering.

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