Syrian rebels think we have abandoned them?
Leaders of the Free Syrian Army and representatives of the Syrian National Coalition tell me they have now been almost completely cut off from what they saw as already meager support from the Western coalition led by the U.S. Over the last month, the flow of weapons and ammunition to FSA groups in the north has stopped, these leaders say. Three FSA-linked groups are still receiving limited financial assistance, but that’s it. “The Americans are saying they are not cutting us off, that the Saudis and Qataris are cutting us off," a senior FSA official in the northern Syria, who asked to be cited anonymously for security reasons, told me. "But we know the Americans are in charge.”
We say we aren't abandoning them--just focusing on the southern front.
The only bright spot is the southern front where we support rebels from our position in Jordan:
Rebels in southern Syria say they have taken a step toward unity that may attract more support from their Western and Arab backers, forging a joint defense pact to help shield them from government forces and Islamic State.
The south is the last major stronghold of the mainstream opposition to President Bashar al-Assad following the expansion of Islamic State in the east and north and gains by the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front in the northwest.
But even these guys are on a short leash that does nothing to fire up morale:
Rebels in the south say they hope the new push will be just enough to pressure Assad to negotiate a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Jbawi said the international support for the assault "is not enough to let the rebels win the battle militarily. They are backing (us) to pressure Bashar Assad's regime to bring him to the negotiating table."
This approach is insanity. But it is nothing new in our era of "smart" diplomacy.
And why shouldn't the non-jihadi rebels feel even more abandoned as Assad and ISIL appear to focus on them?
Syria's military and ISIS may be sworn enemies but instead of wiping each other off the battlefield they have been delicately dancing around each other, according to new data exclusively obtained by NBC News.
Both sides in the bloody conflict appear to be eliminating smaller rivals ahead of a possible final showdown.
We've been searching for a champion who looks like they'll defeat both Assad and the jihadis, and complaining that we can't find any, not appreciating our role in that failure
We're shooting ourselves in the foot by failing to pick a group and support them until they win:
All the talk of the futility of arming moderate Syrian rebels fails to consider that many of the so-called jihadis have joined the al Qaeda and ISIL groups because the jihadis are so strong. The jihadis get recruits not only from true believers but from those who want to join the rebels that prove they can fight Assad or from those who fear being killed by the jihadis if they don't join.
When we are half-hearted in our aid to moderate rebels, and make it clear that we aren't even trying to help them defeat Assad, what the Hell do we expect Syrian's opposed to Assad to do?
Let's act like a great power that can change the course of events rather than trying to jump to the head of the parade to look like we're leading.
Maybe that's what we are doing with the southern front. But I doubt it.
Our president once said elections have consequences. If you win, you can do things and your foes cannot.
Not trying to win has consequences, too--especially for those you expect to die for Kerry's Nobel Peace Prize in a grand international conference that ends with a lovely document festooned with bright ribbons and official wax seals, and signed under the approving gaze of the television cameras.
That it will also result in Assad's people staying in power with any rebels thrown under the bus will be irrelevant in Oslo when they make their peace prize decisions.
Heck, the Chinese might honor Kerry, too.
UPDATE: Here is an example of our bizarre thinking that elevates chatting with jihadis over killing and defeating them:
The United States and the UN are trying to persuade Egypt, the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Qatar to drop their support for more secular (and non-terrorist) factions fighting in Libya. The UN is sponsoring peace talks in Libya but Egypt sees this as futile and counterproductive because the Islamic terrorist factions really have no interest in compromising.
What, pray tell, do we expect the jihadis to negotiate on? Limits on how many of our diplomats they are allowed to kill annually? Rules on how to rape local girls or behead Infidels?
Now we aren't even interested in leading war from behind. Now we hinder defeating jihadis from behind.