Quick Links on Syria

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on September 13, 2013

In no particular order . . .

  • This is what results when a foreign leader struts after thoroughly outwitting and outmaneuvering an American president. Yes, the Putin editorial is hypocritical in the extreme (was United Nations permission requested by the Putin regime before Russian forays into Chechnya or Georgia?). Yes, it is replete with falsehoods–and the fact that the New York Times allowed it to be published anyway says something about the Times’s editorial standards. But for those who wondered whether the Times allows itself to be used as a medium for transnational taunting between world leaders, you now have your answer in the affirmative.
  • I suppose that the good thing about the Syria fracas is that it has helped re-engage the American people on the issue of foreign policy. Who knows? Perhaps we can look forward to a time when foreign policy, international diplomacy and statecraft become major campaign issues during election season.
  • This story informs us that “the CIA has been delivering light machine guns and other small arms to Syrian rebels for several weeks, following President Barack Obama’s decision to arm the rebels.” It also informs us that “in the northeastern province of Hassakeh, clashes pitting Kurdish fighters against members of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in the past two days killed 13 Kurdish gunmen and 35 militants.” So, armed rebel groups are fighting other armed rebel groups, some of which are Islamic fundamentalist militants related to al Qaeda. Query: How do we know that the weapons that we are providing to “Syrian rebels” don’t fall into the hands of the wrong kind of “rebels”?

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