Sakset/Fra hofta

USA og Vesten står overfor bare dårlige valg i Syria. Det verste er å velge side og aktivt begynne å levere våpen, skriver Barry Rubin.


Let’s put it this way: a U.S. and Western intervention in Syria is more problematic than the interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya put together. It very well might produce a worse political solution than in Egypt (where cabinet members discuss how the United States is an enemy against which war might be waged) or Tunisia. It can almost be guaranteed to be worse than Iraq.

This is a very dangerous, risky, and likely failed policy that is being set in motion here.

Ønsket  å gjøre noe konstruktivt er forståelig. Men krigen i Syria er forferdelig, vil bli verre, og kommer sannsynligvis til å avføde flere kriger.

De mest sårbare er minoritetene, og de er mest utsatt hvis opprørerne, les: sunni-fanatikerne skulle vinne. Hva da?


Ethnic massacres? How is the United States going to stop them? The Alawites, Shia (there are a few) Muslims, andChristians are in the greatest danger; so is anyone not sufficiently a pious Sunni Muslim, and perhaps also Kurds and Druze. The FSA cannot or will not prevent massive killings.

Hvem skal USA levere våpen til? Hvor er the good guys?


The Syrian Islamic Liberation Front. This is Muslim Brotherhood type people including, most importantly, the Farouk Brigades from the Homs area and Aleppo’s Tawhid Brigade. Around 50-60,000 fighters in total who are autonomous.

Do you want to give arms to them? Weapons that might soon end up in the hands of (other) terrorists? Weapons to be turned against not only Israel, but Jordan, Saudi Arabia, U.S. diplomats, and who knows who else?

Or perhaps you like the Syrian Islamic Front (SIF), an alliance of more hardline Islamist forces, including Ahrar al-Sham from the north.  Ahrar al-Sham is probably around 15,000 fighters; the SIF as a whole probably around 25,000.   These people are Salafists, meaning that the Brotherhood is too moderate for them. They are the kind of people who attack churches in Egypt, who want to wage jihad alongside Hamas, and so on.

Do you want to arm them so they can establish another Sharia state?

How about Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda franchise with around 6,000 fighters and reportedly the fastest growing militia?

Want to give guns to those who committed the September 11, 2001, attacks and the Benghazi attack?

Hvis man velger den Frie syriske hær, FSA, vil ikke lette våpen monne. De vil komme tilbake, igjen og igjen og be om flere og bedre våpen. Hva skal USA svare? Bordet vil fange.

Det syriske nasjonalråd er «a mess», rotete, handlingslammet. Hvor stor innflytelse har USA på den frie syriske hær?


The West will say it supports the FSA; the FSA will be pushed aside by an Islamist regime if it wins, its Western-supplied weapons seized even during the course of the war. Moderates–even if we define radical Arab nationalists as moderates–don’t have the troops on the ground. It’s too late to organize and train a moderate force now. That should have been done two years ago.

On the political level, U.S. pressure failed to force the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated exile leadership to add the real political moderates! Even as financial aid is being (temporarily?) withheld, the “official” opposition won’t expand its base. How about withholding all money and aid until they yield or choosing a new official leadership?  If the United States can’t stop–or doesn’t want to stop–the Brotherhood from dominating an exile leadership, how is it ever going to do so after a victory in the civil war?

So that’s not a solution either. Because the FSA is closely aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood forces. Many of its soldiers are Brotherhood, Salafist, or even al-Qaeda sympathizers. Some have even been defecting to al-Qaeda, presumably with their weapons. The FSA is not ideologically moderate, consistent, or—except for its officers—anti-Islamist. And it is very weak, weaker even then the al-Qaeda supporters.