A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.
The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said.
I salute the Obama administration for this move. On top of non-lethal aid, this helps in trying to defeat Assad (and indirectly defeat Iran).
I simply reject the idea that arming rebels against a cruel regime "militarizes the conflict" and simply expands the violence as if allowing the cruel regime to impose a peace of a cemetery is the highest objective. If Syrians wish to risk their lives for freedom, who are we to say they are wrong?
Assad deserves all the payback we can inflict after his (and his father's) reign of terror in the region and the many Iraqis (civilian and armed) and American and Coalition troops who died because of Syria's support for al Qaeda in Iraq.
If the rebels win, I think that is great as a signal that we will get our revenge for such outrages. Does this mean I expect Syria to be immediately better after Assad? Don't know. Don't care. Not for this objective. We should attempt to make Syria better after Assad, but that's the next mission.
And even if Assad wins, we can just smile and talk again. Anyone here who objects to our helping Assad's enemies because it will ruin options for diplomacy with Assad must remember their oft-repeated bumper sticker foreign policy that you talk peace with enemies and not friends. Hey, these people on our left had no problem talking to Assad despite all the American blood on Assad's hands, now did they? So Assad can just get over our help for rebels who aimed to overthrow him.