by David Stockman
May 27, 2014


In the old days the preposterous story now running on the WSJ would be readily recognizable as the work of some policy insider smoking out a stupid idea. But not in today’s whacky world of the Obama White House. These people actually mean to dive right back into the Syrian nightmare less than a year after Vladimir Putin pulled their chestnuts from the fire—-and surely for the last time.

Yes, Obama is going to authorize a sharp increase in military training and supply to the “moderate” opposition. Accordingly, this will enable Washington to open a third front in the Syrian conflagration somewhere between the brutish forces of the Assad regime on the one side, and the blood-thirsty al Qaeda-dominated, America-hating jihadist rebel forces, on the other.

Among the many challenges here is the fact that the added new enemy on the ground in Syria—–the jihadist radicals— dominates the opposition forces and has been organized, equipped and supplied by our erstwhile allies in the region led by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. Of course, the first two are no longer on speaking terms, and the octogenarian King of Saudi Arabia has actually fired the architect of the entire allied policy—the endlessly corrupt, scheming and mendacious, Prince Bandar. Meanwhile, Turkey is led by a mad-man which shows every sign of loosing his grip on power, if not rationality.

Only someone who lunches at the UN Plaza could possibly come up with a plan this stupid. Presumably, at least, the moderate oppositionist to be vetted won’t be that hard to find—-since most of the so-called Free Syrian Army is hiding out in places not located within the known borders of Syria. So the tutors who will be needed in order to insure that newly designated “moderate” fighters are successfully “screened” by soon to arrive Washington vetters will likely not require hazardous duty pay.

That’s more than can be said for any one unfortunate enough to pass muster and end up in the cross-fire.

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