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Seeing Syria Clearly

Does the administration finally know who the good guys are in Syria?

3:00 PM, Jun 15, 2012 • By LEE SMITH
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If the Obama administration fears that al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists will dominate the post-Assad political process, then the report that White House intends to coordinate allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar to make sure money and arms gets into the right hands is welcome news. The problem is that the administration’s puppet show—the series of stories reporting the same White House plans to coordinate, and then the administration statements walking these plans back—has further obscured the issue when what is needed is clarity.

The United States should be playing the role of the great clarifier—whether its instruments are diplomacy or military support. So far, the Obama administration has only muddied the waters. The other possibility of course is that the administration is just pretending, that it’s not confused, but that it just isn’t going to do anything. If that’s the case, the peculiar result is that the White House has indeed made a strategic decision. In refusing to arm the FSA, Obama has identified who he perceives to be the good guys: compared to the opposition, the Assad regime is preferable.

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