Before Iraq went to hell in a hand basket our focus was on the blood bath in Syria.
Rebel factions had taken up arms in an effort to over through the Syrian government. The Assad regime responded with brutal force, including the use of chemical weapons; slaughtering well over 100,000 of its citizens.
Lawmakers here in the states demanded that the president send arms and material to the rebels who were no match for Assad’s tanks and air power. The administration refused, fearing that factions aligned with al Qaeda were operating within the rebel forces. To arm the rebels could be sending arms to those who would harm American interests. Instead the administration sought economic sanctions and worked toward persuading the regime to surrender its arsenal of chemical weapons.
John McCain, Lindsey Graham and the neo-conservatives were incensed. “How can this administration stand by while tens of thousands of innocents are being slaughtered?” “Once again” they said, “we see this feckless president leading from behind.”
Lindsey Graham traveled to the region and encouraged the Saudis and Qataris to arm the rebels. Chief among those sympathetic to Graham’s appeal was the then head of Saudi Arabia’s powerful intelligence services, Prince Bandar bin Sultan. Graham made his case and tens of millions in weaponry and cash began flowing from these Persian Gulf countries to the rebel forces. “Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar, and for our Qatari friends” said Senator McCain while attending Munich Security Conference where he was leveling another round of criticism at the Obama administration.
Yesterday we learned that the administration’s use of diplomacy and economic sanctions were effective as Syria turned over what is believed to be the last of their chemical weapon stockpiles. However Senators McCain and Graham’s plan to arm and fund the rebel factions has come back to bite them in the ass.
The Qatari funds and munitions have found their way to a Jabat al-Nusra, an Islamic extremist group that has vowed to wage jihad against American interests. The Saudi’s military and economic largesse is now in the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria; better known as ISIS. Thanks in no small part to Senator’s McCain and Graham, a well provisioned ISIS is now rolling down the road toward Baghdad in American made humvees, brandishing American made weapons, leaving a path of death, destruction and terror in its wake.
“Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar, and for our Qatari friends.”