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Pentagon Document Shows US Knew Syria Strategy Would Aid Rise Of ISIS

A newly declassified document from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from 2012 reveals the US government’s understanding that the policy it was pursuing in Syra would foster the rise of ISIS. As has been noted continually by critics of the Obama Administration’s Syria policy, DIA’s analysis surmised that the Syrian opposition was comprised primarily of Islamic fundamentalists who hated the US not “moderates” who wanted to build a liberal democracy as Syrian war advocates claimed.

The Obama Administration’s decision to arm the Syrian rebels – at one point even bypassing a US law against arming terrorists – did not alter the composition of the Syrian rebels and the weapons sent by the US into Syria ended up being captured by Al Qaeda and other Islamist militants.

But as the Pentagon document shows, the problem with the Obama Administration’s policy was deeper than its arms program. The US “allies” in the region such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey specifically wanted a Sunni-based Islamic State in order to undermine Assad and check Iranian influence in the region.

In a strikingly prescient prediction, the Pentagon document explicitly forecasts the probable declaration of “an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.” Nevertheless, “Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts” by Syrian “opposition forces” fighting to “control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor), adjacent to Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar)”:

“… there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).” The secret Pentagon document thus provides extraordinary confirmation that the US-led coalition currently fighting ISIS, had three years ago welcomed the emergence of an extremist “Salafist Principality” in the region as a way to undermine Assad, and block off the strategic expansion of Iran. Crucially, Iraq is labeled as an integral part of this “Shia expansion.”

So what was the point of the Obama Administration’s press strategy calling the Syrian rebels “moderates” when analysts were privately telling them that the rebels were far from moderate and their triumph would lead to an Islamic State? President Obama later repudiated his own talking point in 2014 and claimed that it had “always been a fantasy” to believe the moderates would ever be the force that prevailed within the Syrian opposition. No kidding.

Now the “Salafist Principality” previously forecast by US defense analysts has not only come into being but is proving to be quite resilient. Then again, it’s not like no one saw it coming.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.

  • bsbafflesbrains

    Look FORWARD not BACK ….Bygones. Planning the Obama liebarry and will leave this clusterf#@k to the next Admin.

  • JamesJoyce

    ISIS exists because is serves an interest. Here is the evidence to support this assertion.

    “The secret Pentagon document thus provides extraordinary confirmation…”

    Those calling to put Americans “in harms way,” given the reality of this “coddled existence,” of barbarians are simply delusional. Hell the entire policy is delusional when one considers the implications…….

    It is one thing to spend “more bad money” after “bad money,” destroying your own “weapons,” now in the hands of an enemy, using air power…..

    It is another thing entirely when one proposes to send Americans into religious/secular conflicts to dispense with “barbarians,” speaking “impeccable English,” who are well funded and exist to serve a purpose.

    A ““Salafist Principality?”

    http://www.theweek.co.uk/world-news/6073/what-is-salafism-and-should-we-be-worried-by-it

    “What is Salfism?

    “Salafis are fundamentalists who believe in a return to the original ways of Islam. The word ‘Salafi’ comes from the Arabic phrase, ‘as-salaf as-saliheen’, which refers to the first three generations of Muslims (starting with the Companions of the Prophet), otherwise known as the Pious Predecessors.”

    I just came back from a “Memorial Day Parade.” For some strange reason I’m feeling a major societal disconnect from reality as I respond to this post and make this comment……

    Wasn’t there a guy named Daniel and some other pentagon papers 44 years ago?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_Papers

    “For his disclosure of the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg was initially charged with conspiracy, espionage and theft of government property, but the charges were later dropped after prosecutors investigating the Watergate Scandal soon discovered that the staff members in the Nixon White House had ordered the so-called White House Plumbers to engage in unlawful efforts to discredit Ellsberg.”

    DSWright, this is quite a story to read on “Memorial Day.” Its significance is stunning. It has not been missed by this reader. Thank You for your service, as we thank those that gave it all, in fulfillment of duty protecting all we hold dear…..

  • Bluedot

    This is certainly a clusterf##ck. Obama is notably trying to duck questions and hide out. I just heard Carter say we need to arm the Iraqis. Alright then. Didn’t we just rearm IS. No wait that was the wrong side. Bastards just stole it in Ramadi. Somebody straighten this mess out. How about Ted Cruz or Jeb! What side should I be rooting for. Com’on Obama.

  • Shutter

    “We face a brutal enemy who will kill the innocent for one purpose and that is to gain control of the Middle East and to use the leverage of oil to bring down the West, and to attack us again.” Karl Rove. Of course.

    What would Jeb do?

  • http://mosquitocloud.net/ aprescoup

    “…as we thank those that gave it all, in fulfillment of duty protecting all we hold dear…..”

    “???” – Smedley Butler

  • dubinsky

    the “point” is that the Assad dictatorship police state was slaughtering Syrian citizens by the thousand and that they had to be opposed…..that Syria and the region isn’t replete with advicates of liberal democracy doesn’t change the fact of the slaughter,

    the available choices didn’t include any great one….. which is not all that uncommon in places where police state dictatorships have been in place for several decades…… Egypt and Iraq are other examples of such dictatorships and yet replacing Mubarak and Saddam were not terrible ideas,…

  • ThingsComeUndone

    Its one thing if the intelligence was wrong but in this case it was not. Its another thing if we bend the law to try and accomplish a greater good but there is no way ISIS could ever have been called a greater good than Assad. What really bugs me is Obama felt it necessary to lie to the American people about what ISIS was all about, about supporting ISIS, about the *cough* moderate Syrian rebels. Since when did we the People become the Enemy? Obama treats like like an ex wife.

  • ThingsComeUndone

    DSWright just what was the Obama WH thinking Syria is a threat to who? Syria has what that America covets? Saudi Arabia, Turkey what do they care if anything Syria bleeds Iran’s treasure, weapons and is a non Sunni buffer state against Israeli agression given how Bibi talks I would expect Israeli agression sooner rather than later. WH foreign policy is still being set by NeoCons.

  • ThingsComeUndone

    It should be noted FDL was saying the same thing as this memo a year ago often in the comments.

  • Synoia

    And the current situation of Civil War is better? As was the overthrow of Saddam, and the Iraqi’s have benefited from what, peaceful, representative civil government?

    You argument is not supported by any reasonable examination of the facts.

    The US is slaughtering its African Americas citizens, executing many in its jails, killing innocents in gatherings in the Muslim world, and incarcerating the largest percentage of its population of any country on the planet, while enabling Organized Crime, Criminal Enterprises the Banks, and their Offices to avoid prosecution.

    Should the US regime also be overthrown?

  • Wildeye

    But, but, I have pics of John McCain with those nice Syrian rebels that he wanted to arm and he’s never wrong.

  • bsbafflesbrains

    Obama treats us like an ex wife. Both Obama and Bush show elements of a malignant narcissist especially their ability to revise history and their previous positions. Many types like them have ex wives and treat them with disdain and contempt. They can’t be wrong in their mind.

  • Not CIA not me

    I’ve seen estimates of 10 million displaced and 200,000 killed in Iraq since the US invasion. The US aided both sides in the sectarian war in a stated policy called divide-and-rule intended to create a weak government that would require US military bases on their soil to provide protection indefinitely. Add in Syria and Libya. The totals run much higher.
    We eventually replaced Mubarak with a military dictatorship because we and the Saudis weren’t happy with Morsi.

  • dubinsky

    the US is not slaughtering its African American citizens and hyperbolic bullspit such as that amounts to dishonesty…….

    get a little beyond sophomoric speciousness, Sy

  • http://mosquitocloud.net/ aprescoup

    Before you opt to open your mouth, again, and let your inner Wolf Blitzer regurgitate mindless, history detached, and exceptionalism rife opinions, I suggest you at least get cursorily informed about the subject of your vacuous bloviations.

    This article seems to offer decent insight into the complexity of the region’s history and prospects, dub:

    Understanding Syria: From Pre-Civil War to Post-Assad

    How drought, foreign meddling, and long-festering religious tensions created the tragically splintered Syria we know today.http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/12/understanding-syria-from-pre-civil-war-to-post-assad/281989/

  • dubinsky

    I’m certainly not arguing for the US invasion of Iraq, which was neither legal, ethical or wise, when I say that replacing Saddam’s dictatorial regime was a good idea.

    the vile nature of that regime merited having it displaced….the why it happened was wrong, not the idea.

  • http://mosquitocloud.net/ aprescoup

    It was clearly a horrendous and criminally bad “idea,” born of historical illiteracy, pampered idiocy and sociopathic, neocon, hubris.

  • Synoia

    The US is not slaughtering its Africa American Citizens? When did that stop?

    Please also address the other points, one by one..

  • Synoia

    You really believe displacing ten of millions, killing some millions, and scattering carcinogenic spent rounds across the countryside is a good solution?

    Instead of a little patience and let natural causes (Saddam’s eventual death) take its much less expensive toll?

    What are you? A War Profiteer?

  • dubinsky

    thanks for the link and not your snot.

    your link supports the contention that the regime failed the people and decided to kill peaceful protesters and raze their neighborhoods with artillery fire rather than allowing protesters to be heard……

    ” And so tens of thousands of frightened, angry, hungry, and impoverished former farmers were jammed into Syria’s towns and cities, where they constituted tinder ready to catch fire. The spark was struck on March 15, 2011, when a relatively small group gathered in the southwestern town of Daraa to protest against government failure to help them. Instead of meeting with the protesters and at least hearing their complaints, the government saw them as subversives. The lesson of Hama must have been at the front of the mind of every member of the Assad regime. Failure to act decisively, Hama had shown, inevitably led to insurrection. Compromise could come only after order was assured. So Bashar followed the lead of his father. He ordered a crackdown. And the army, long frustrated by inaction and humiliated by its successive defeats in confrontation with Israel, responded violently. Its action backfired. Riots broke out all over the country. As they did, the government attempted to quell them with military force. It failed. So, during the next two years, what had begun as a food and water issue gradually turned into a political and religious cause.”

  • dubinsky

    the US invasion and the incompetent way that the US administered Iraq was disastrously bad, the idea of having Saddam’s control of Iraq end remains good

  • dubinsky

    ” are you still beating your wife” is an old trick, Sy.

    not gonna work today.

  • dubinsky

    if I say that ending world hunger is a good idea and someone goes out and kills 90% of the population and hunger is eliminated…….. it fersure don’t mean that I endorsed that method or that ending world hunger ain’t a good idea

  • dick_c

    Within a couple years we’ll see him quoted, “Nobody could have seen this.”

  • dick_c

    You seem to be portraying our options as either leaving Saddam in power forever, or removing him with a terrible plan that everyone could see would lead to chaos.

    We have a disaster right now in Iraq precisely because of our incompetence. Leaving Saddam in power until someone with half a brain could deal with his removal would have been much preferable to what we’ve got.

  • dubinsky

    ” You seem to be portraying our options as either leaving Saddam in power forever, or removing him with a terrible plan that everyone could see would lead to chaos.”

    no, dick,,,,,, I’m trying to make clear that I’m neither saying nor implying that.

    I would like to explicitly endorse the claim that it’s not the business of the United States go around using military force to remove every odious regime on the planet…..

    Iran’s regime is vile and Saudi Arabia’s is worse…….and a ferdamsure don’t want to see the US invading Iran

  • http://mosquitocloud.net/ aprescoup

    The article offers a broad, complex and historical background, within which US responses to actions far less repressive, and historically more justifiable than say Kiev’s response to Donbass ought to be, first and foremost, following the number of failed states created by the US, put into question.

    So let’s expand reality first, and this is on top of the complex history of the pre-and-post, colonialist, Sykes-Picot region:

    Like his father had done after the Battle of Hama, Bashar initially made conciliatory moves to his opponents, including allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to resume political activities and withdrawing most of the Syrian troops that had occupied strife-torn Lebanon. But, while he legitimized his position through an election, he quickly showed that he was also following his father’s authoritarian path: ‘Run your own lives privately and enrich yourselves as you wish, but do not challenge my government.’

    During the rule of the two Assads, Syria made considerable progress. By the eve of the civil war, Syrians enjoyed an income (GDP) of about $5,000 per capita. That was nearly the same as Jordan’s, roughly double the income per capita of Pakistan and Yemen, and five times the income of Afghanistan, but it is only a third that of Lebanon, Turkey, or Iran, according to the CIA World Factbook. In 2010, savaged by the great drought, GDP per capita had fallen to about $2,900, according to UN data. Before the civil war—and except in 2008 at the bottom of the drought, when it was zero—Syria’s growth rate hovered around 2 percent, according to the World Bank. In social affairs, nearly 90 percent of Syrian children attended primary or secondary schools and between eight and nine in 10 Syrians had achieved literacy. On these measures, Syria was comparable to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Libya despite having far fewer resources to employ. The most important issue on which the Assad regimes made little or no progress was birth control, which as I have mentioned threw out of balance resources and population.

    Like his father, Bashar sought to legitimize his regime through elections, but apparently he never intended, and certainly did not find, a way satisfactory (to the public) and acceptable (to his regime) of enlarged political participation. While this has been the focus of most foreign hostility to his regime, it was certainly less important to Syrians than his failure to find any means of bridging the gap between the demands of Islam and the new role of the Alawi community. This failure was to play havoc with Syrian affairs. The lack of political participation, fear of public demands, and severe police measures made the regime appear to be a tyranny. This and its hostility to Israel led to large-scale, if covert, attempts at regime change by outside powers including the United States. These acts of subversion became particularly pronounced during the second Bush administration.

    Then there is the issue of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism which in view of US’s ME policies can do nothing but lead us to conclude that the Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama policies are antithetical to stated claims, aim to exacerbate chaos, and belie our oligarchy owned governments’ pretensions of giving a damn about “national security” prerogatives, since they are giving support to the jihadi elements which they then use to cower the US public into absolute submission, and forfeiture of their civil rights, the public good, and taxes.

  • Bluedot

    You are not seriously saying that Syria slaughters more than IS and therefore we should support IS, are you? IS does that regularly, especially when they march into a new conquest. They killed 700 in Palmyra, mostly women and children this week.

  • dubinsky

    I don’t remember saying that at all, either in a serious way or otherwise.

    you’re not seriously saying that you never learned how to read or reason, are you?

  • dubinsky

    I thanked you for the link. I enjoyed the background sketch……..

    and let’s not try to ignore that it supported what I said about the regime’s slaughter of the protesters leading to the war.

  • http://mosquitocloud.net/ aprescoup

    Compared to the Kiev regime’s slaughter within a similar span of time – white phosphorus, and all – and the Ukrainian refugee crisis…we ought to be bombing the crap out of Kiev and sending advisors to Donbass…

    Your cognitive dissonance – to say nothing of the US neocons sociopathic madness – is something very special to behold, dub.

  • dubinsky

    ape, support or lack of it for the Assad dictatorship doesn’t require scrutiny of every other nation of the world.

    the Assad dictatorship was vile and we don’t need to prove it the most vile in order to scorn it.

    stop thrashing about with irrelevancies.

    and stop trying to bash “neo-cons” in discussing Syria. it’s silly as you’re not a neo-con and neither is anyone else commenting on fdl.

  • http://mosquitocloud.net/ aprescoup

    The actions of our government and the ethical norms we are exhorted to embrace are irrelevancies?!

    Is Syria abutting our borders? Ukraine? Iraq? Afghanistan? Yemen? etc…?

    Foreign policy doctrines more or less practiced by the United States.

    Monroe Doctrine – western hemisphere = US property; non-whites = untermenschen

    McKinley Doctrine – Open Door Policy i.e., China, Pacific = potentially, possibly, most likely US property; non-whites = untermenschen

    Roosevelt Corollary – western hemisphere = US property, and we mean it this time! non-whites = untermenschen

    Taft Doctrine – Dollar Diplomacy i.e., western hemisphere = US property, and we mean economically, politically, and all other ways; the Middle East = potentially, possibly, most likely, US property

    Wilson Doctrine – 14 Points internationalism (i.e., great powers should respect each other; to hell with the rest); western hemisphere = US property, and we really mean it this time! non-whites = untermenschen

    Roosevelt Doctrine – “Good Neighbor Policy!” i.e., western hemisphere = US property, and we really really really fucking mean it.

    Truman Doctrine – aid to fascists in Greece, Turkey, the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, western Europe, Eastern Europe, North Africa, etc. i.e., what Kennan called “Containment.”

    Eisenhower Doctrine – the Middle East = US property; non-whites = untermenschen; massive retaliation

    Nixon Doctrine – enter neocolonialism: overthrowing governments, installing clients, using local elites to manage foreign populations for US advantage i.e., Asia, Africa, western hemisphere = US property, but we’re gonna try to be sneaky about it. Overall, see above.

    Carter Doctrine – the Middle East = US property, and we aren’t kidding; trilateralism

    Reagan Doctrine – “Rollback”; mutually assured destruction; low intensity warfare; support for rightwing Islamist groups, narcotics smuggling, etc.

    Bush I Doctrine – New World Order; “What we say, goes.”

    Clinton Doctrine – New World Order; “multilaterally if we can, unilaterally when we must.”

    Bush II Doctrine – New World Order; “unilaterally when we can, multilaterally if we must.”

    Obama Doctrine- Killer Capitalism with good diction. Drones R’ US.

    Why on earth you’d agree that creating failed in the name of democracy promotion makes continued and repeated sense, is more than somewhat baffling. It raises a question about your state of mind, dub.

    AMERICA HAS BEEN AT WAR 93% OF THE TIME – 222 OUT OF 239 YEARS – SINCE 1776http://www.blacklistednews.com/America_Has_Been_At_War_93%25_of_the_Time_%E2%80%93_222_Out_of_239_Years_%E2%80%93_Since_1776/42066/0/38/38/Y/M.html

    And, lest you forgot: we share our borders with only two neighbors….

  • dubinsky

    was the Assad dictatorship a regime which you thought to be a good one and would you be happy being ruled by that regime?

    unless you can honestly say that it was good …or even the about the best possible….then you’re merely busting chops at this point.

    in all honesty, I think that you and I have kicked this around about enough and that we’re likely more eager to give each other a hard time than to add anything enlightening or significant.

    I’m sure that we’ll find all sorts of other stuff to argue about, so I’m going off to dine and I’ll see ya a little down the road

  • http://mosquitocloud.net/ aprescoup

    “was the Assad dictatorship a regime which you thought to be a good one and would you be happy being ruled by that regime?”

    You did read
    Understanding Syria: From Pre-Civil War to Post-Assad”
    , yet seem to have understood nothing. Why is that?

    In terms of vileness and brutality we could point to many central and south African, Asian, etc., governments which exhibit more of both, and yet the US PTB exhibit little indignation and even less urge to interfere, or to promote “democracy,” R2P, and whatever euphemism for protecting and expanding empire they may come up with.

    “National security?” Seriously?

    So Saddam was brutal keeping a colonialist drawn “nation” of disparate tribes, religions and ethnicities in tact. Sunnis were intermarrying with Shites; the public was well educated, equal rights for women were enshrined in the constitution, etc, and the price for “national security and well being” was the forfeiture of certain civil rights – the western Anglo/Atlanticist world is well on its way to curtailing these rights, and the prison population in the US ought to speak volumes…

    Assad and his Bath party, again in a multiethnic and multi religious “artificially” drawn up country, was no less dictatorial than any other in the region. There seems to be a price to be paid for national stability in the region, a certain degree of repression bought with secularism and social aid.

    Do I wish that people in the world would learn to get along; that direct democracy ruled across the board from workplace to governance, and was respected? Yes. Do I think that the US is a purveyor of stability and justice? Do you?

    If under their(Saddam, Assad, Gaddafi) reasonably stable, equitable, liberal, secular and prosperous dictatorial regimes “domestic terrorists” were dealt with harshly, the populations at large were infinitely better off than post US/NATO democracy promoting – terrorism, and religious fundamentalism hatching – interventions.

    Are the Iraqis, the Libyans, the Syrians, and Afghanis, better off now or before? That is one question which needs be answered. Another is, what other and better ways might have been devised if their best interests were indeed ours(humanity’s) – and I don’t mean the neo colonialist, rentier and monopoly capitalists carving out a New World Order, for themselves ?

    There is an excellent reason why the world finds the US to be the most threatening country in the world, by far…

  • Bluedot

    Nice to know but you seem to want to take IS side against Syria as if they were somehow an ally. They are not.

  • dubinsky

    no, dotty, I don’t take the side of ISIS. I would sooner see them dead than running anything,,,,,,, which is about how I feel about the Assads.

    I wish the citizens of Syria far better governance than they have gotten from the Assads,,,,, but in no way support the Islamist swine of ISIS.

  • Bluedot

    If you want to talk about vile, there is plenty of room in the ME. If the objective is to seek peace, you can’t be simultaneously on everyone’s side, like IS and Syria and Saudi Arabia. It could be we should just get out and let them settle it themselves.

  • http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a13_1240427874 MOLON LABE

    A very informed and well researched post patriot!

    You should dovetail the two of these together with this post you have made here.

    20 August, 2014 Pentagon’s Strategy for World Domination: Full Spectrum Dominance, from Asia to Africa

    The Pentagon’s missile system. Current US military space policy is primarily geared toward two countries, China and Russia. In May 2000 the Washington Post published an article called “For Pentagon, Asia Moving to Forefront.” The article stated that, “The Pentagon is looking at Asia as the most likely arena for future military conflict, or at least competition.” The article said the US would double its military presence in the region and essentially attempt to manage China.

    http://www.pipr.co.uk/all/the-pentagons-strategy-for-world-domination-full-spectrum-dominance-from-asia-to-africa/

    The U.S. Department of Defense owns more than half a million properties worth in excess of $800 billion dollars.

    The military’s real estate holdings span the globe and, all together, sprawl across 30 million acres. Pentagon auditors can’t explain what half the properties are for—and doesn’t have a plan for finding out. All this according to a Sept. 8 report from the Government Accountability Office. The nearly trillion-dollar real estate glut is merely another example of egregious military waste.

    https://medium.com/war-is-boring/the-pentagons-800-billion-real-estate-problem-22258a9a729f

  • http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a13_1240427874 MOLON LABE

    Here is another I have had.

    US Military and Clandestine Operations in Foreign Countries – 1798-Present Global Policy Forum December 2005

    Note: This list does not pretend to be definitive or absolutely complete. Nor does it seek to explain or interpret the interventions. Information and interpretation on selected interventions will be later included as links. Note that US operations in World Wars I and II have been excluded.

    https://www.globalpolicy.org/us-military-expansion-and-intervention/26024.html

  • danny j

    “Obama Doctrine- Killer Capitalism with good diction.”

    PERFECT!

  • http://40yrs.blogspot.com Matthew G. Saroff

    Do we have confirmation from a source other than Judicial Watch?

  • kimsarah

    We could accomplish a lot if we just put half the effort to replace the bankster terrorist dicatorial regime on Wall Street.

  • kimsarah

    I bash neoliberalcons all the time.

  • kimsarah

    What kill me is we prop up ISIS and feed it money and weapons, albeit through covert channels, then act like they are the enemy. They are doing exactly what we want — creating a caliphate and trying to overthrow Assad. All for what?

  • dubinsky

    you’re like really hep to all that groovy jargon and shh1t

  • dubinsky
  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    It is official documents that Judicial Watch obtained by FOIA, Matthew…! No doubting it’s authenticity…!

  • JamesJoyce

    Well aware of “”the racket.””” We are witnessing it. Perpetual war for oil..

  • JamesJoyce

    Fascist to the core……

  • peacelover2345

    I find it remarkable to see so many armchair quarterbacks pontificating now that they have the benefit of hindsight.

  • peacelover2345

    Exactly what terrorist dictatorial shenanigans do you accuse them of?
    And WHO do you think should replace them?

  • peacelover2345

    I must be missing something. I REMEMBER in the first few years of the Syrian civil war where everyone was telling Obama to arm the rebels, to help them overthrow Assad. Instead, the US held back, saying there was not enough information about the rebels to be able to confidently arm any of them, due to the danger of the rebels being extremist s themselves or at least allowing extremists to gain control of the weapons.

    Now the author and some of you who are commenting on this article BLAME Obama for the exact opposite.

    Will someone please tell me where I have gone wrong?