Just in case you thought US involvement in the Syrian Civil War could not get any more moronic, now it has been reported that the “moderate” Syrian rebel forces being supported by the CIA and the Kurdish rebel forces being supported by the Department of Defense are at war with each other.
As Syrian rebel forces in and around Aleppo are being rolled back by Syrian government forces, it appears the Kurds are seizing the opportunity to take territory for themselves. Some of that territory is/was in the hands of militants backed by the CIA.
Of course, while the American people may not know the names of all the various people the CIA is arming in Syria they are likely to know one name, Al Qaeda. Yes, the CIA is arming Al Qaeda to fight the Assad government. What could go wrong? Everyone loves an 80s party.
Then again, it is not like the American people are being consulted or even informed about what is really going on in Syria anyway. As former New York Times reporter and author Steve Kinzer notes in the Boston Globe, the US media is misleading the public on Syria:
Washington-based reporters tell us that one potent force in Syria, al-Nusra, is made up of “rebels” or “moderates,” not that it is the local al-Qaeda franchise. Saudi Arabia is portrayed as aiding freedom fighters when in fact it is a prime sponsor of ISIS. Turkey has for years been running a “rat line” for foreign fighters wanting to join terror groups in Syria, but because the United States wants to stay on Turkey’s good side, we hear little about it. Nor are we often reminded that although we want to support the secular and battle-hardened Kurds, Turkey wants to kill them. Everything Russia and Iran do in Syria is described as negative and destabilizing, simply because it is they who are doing it — and because that is the official line in Washington.
The US media is ignoring the facts and promoting the government’s line on a war in the Middle East? Why that’s hard to imagine.
That is to say nothing of the war the US is supporting in Yemen, where Al Qaeda is also part of the US-backed coalition. The US government and establishment media have not been eager to discuss the atrocities being carried out by the Saudis and their allies. Though Secretary of State John Kerry has a lot to say about cluster bombs being used in Syria, he is rather tight-lipped about the use of US cluster bombs in Yemen.
Currently, there appears to be a tentative agreement for a ceasefire among some of the groups fighting in Syria that is set to start on Saturday. As one might expect, ISIS has not signed on and the other variables in the conflict are far from resolved. So it remains to be seen if the ceasefire becomes a foundation for a more comprehensive peace agreement.
What is already known is that the conflicts in and contradictions of US foreign policy in the Middle East remain as irreconcilable as ever, and will be left to the next president to navigate.