The Washington Post reported Nov. 2:
BEIRUT — The Obama administration’s Syria strategy suffered a major setback Sunday after fighters linked to al-Qaeda routed U.S.-backed rebels from their main northern strongholds, capturing significant quantities of weaponry, triggering widespread defections and ending hopes that Washington will readily find Syrian partners in its war against the Islamic State.
Moderate rebels who had been armed and trained by the United States either surrendered or defected to the extremists as the Jabhat al-Nusra group, affiliated with al-Qaeda, swept through the towns and villages the moderates controlled in the northern province of Idlib, in what appeared to be a concerted push to vanquish the moderate Free Syrian Army, according to rebel commanders, activists and analysts.
Every time the Western world tries to “negotiate” with Taliban leaders, it ends badly. Every time the U.S. tries to arm “moderate” Islamic fighters somewhere, it ends badly. You can not negotiate with people who inherently believe that you are evil and need to die. Likewise, those who hold the “moderate” version of such a belief system (i.e., “I think you should die, but I’m willing to shift the execution date for some cash and weapons,”) should not be armed and then left to their own devices.
This is common sense, and yet over and over again the masterminds in Washington, D.C. think that if only they are put in charge — if only they are sitting at the negotiation table — things will be different. The outcome never changes because the groups who seek to establish a world-wide Islamic caliphate will never deviate from their ultimate goal, even if they have to use deception to make it happen.
The only way to seriously change conditions on the ground is to be fully invested in the outcome. President Obama quite clearly wants as little to do with the Middle East as possible, despite naming the U.S.-led mission “Operation Inherent Resolve,” and the results will continue to favor the Islamic State group until a sitting U.S. president gets serious about the situation.
As has been said on this blog before, the president is so unwilling to accurately define America’s enemies that has gone on national television and said with a straight face that the Islamic State group is not Islamic. If a U.S. president fundamentally does not understand the nation’s enemies and does not have the stomach for a fight with them — let alone the strength needed to rally the American people in support of the cause — there should be no question as to which side will transform the world in its favor.