The U.S. policy on aid to Syria is tilting dangerously in the direction of military support. There are many who believe that the situation in Syria should be treated similar to the regime overthrow in Libya. It has become increasingly normal to see media outlets using the ‘cookie cutter’ method in their analysis of countries within Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia.
“Oh, these countries contain Muslims and it’s hot there, they must be the same.”
These countries are not identical, as seen in the United States war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. For many years, the two countries were militarily approached in a similar way and we are seeing how that is turning out. Almost 12 years of fighting in Afghanistan, and an Iraq that is in shambles, are examples of why these conflicts should not be viewed with a cookie cutter eye piece.
Recently, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at a joint press conference at Doha’s al-Wajba Palace with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani. Kerry stated that he believes that weapons are reaching Syrian rebels, and that the United States supports such efforts. He also said that the U.S. had yet to and will not directly send weapons to the Syrian rebels.
There are very concerning allegations, from various foreign news agencies, that have started to materialize in recent days. Since late 2012, reporters on the ground in Syria have noticed an influx of Yugoslavian weapons circulating throughout the rebels. A Croatian newspaper claims:
3,000 tons of weapons dating back to the former Yugoslavia have been sent in 75 planeloads from Zagreb airport to the rebels, largely via Jordan since November.
Supposedly these weapons were paid for by Saudi Arabia at the bidding of the United States.
Another allegation includes the U.S. sending stockpiled weapon from Afghanistan to the Syrian rebels once we have pulled the majority of troops out of the country. Weather either of the two allegations are true or not, it must raise some awareness as to what our plans and intentions are regarding aid to the Syrian rebels.
The US may or may not be directly sending weapon to the Syrian rebels, yet supporting armament of such rebels is one step away from actually throwing our hand in the ring. Kerry also stated that he believes the weapons that are shipped to Syria from other sympathizing countries are reaching ‘moderate’ fighters. Where is the substantiating evidence that moderate rebels are the only fighters receiving these weapons? Yes, there are many rebel forces that are simple working men wanting a free and democratic society. Yet to believe that al-Qaeda is not heavily involved in the fighting, and aid/weapons are not reaching their hands as well, screams ignorance.
With a sequestration that came into effect on March 1st, there are are other questions that must be raised, to include, how has Secretary of State Kerry managed to gather 60 million dollars to give as non-military aid to the rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad’s military?
With these recent developments, don’t be surprised a decade from now if an Iran-Contra like political scandal is uncovered and SOF are fighting the very same weapons that were supposedly never sent.