They were first the rebels we needed to support in Syria.
Then they became a J.V. threat.
Then they were amateur hour.
Now they warrant a prime time address from the White House. The President who once declared the War on Terror over, used variants of the word “terror” eighteen times in his speech. And what of the President’s speech? Put it to you this way — it is the first time he has wanted to talk about jobs and the economy in a long time.
Basically, our strategy is to outsource the military’s job to Syrian rebels. Just last week the President said those rebels are not capable of doing what needs to be done.
Oh, and just yesterday the New York Times reported that
An explosion tore through a secret meeting of one of Syria’s strongest and most enduring rebel groups on Tuesday, killing a dozen of its top leaders, including its head, and striking another blow against the forces seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad.
Perhaps the President didn’t read the paper yesterday.
But it is more troubling than that.
First, much of ISIS sprang forth from the Syrian rebels. How do we know that the rebels we give weapons to will remain with us?
Second, how do we know they will use our weapons to fight ISIS and not, instead, escalate their civil war with Bassar Al Assad?
Third, how do we know Assad and ISIS won’t strike up a short term strategy to quickly rout the rebels?
We have no assurances on any of those questions. All we have is a President who last week said the guys who will fight were not capable and two weeks ago said we had no strategy.
A year ago, on September 10, 2013, President Obama declared basically the same thing about Syria that he said tonight. His speech tonight was an amalgamation of recycled speeches with an economic pep talk at the end. The whole thing was rather schizophrenic at the end.