Post-Assad Syria: a haven for al Qaeda?

syria_civil_war_rebel_control_map_2013-08-22

Overthrowing the Assad regime could create a haven for al Qaeda, larger than the one that Osama bin Laden formerly had in Afghanistan.

The U.S. war on terror evolved in a bizarre way.   Back during the Bush administration, Congress authorized military action against al Qaeda and associated forces.  Osama bin Laden and his followers were Sunni Muslims.   Using that authorization as its legal basis, the U.S. government threatens attacks on governments that are enemies of al Qaeda—the Shiite Muslim government of Iran and the Shiite-friendly government of Syria.

The rebel forces that the U.S. government is supporting in Syria are led by supporters of al Qaeda—the same kinds of people the U.S. is waging drone warfare against in Pakistan and Yemen.  We’re told that, on the one hand, al Qaeda is such a threat that we Americans have to accept perpetual war and perpetual martial law, but now we’re being told that, on the other hand, it is okay to support al Qaeda to attain a geopolitical objective.

LINKS

How U.S. Strikes on Syria Help Al Qaeda by Barak Barfi for The Daily Beast.  The ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), the local al Qaeda affiliate, is the leading force among the rebels and will come out on top if Assad is overthrown.

Does Obama know he’s fighting on the same side as Al Qaeda? by Robert Fisk in The Independent.

Aleppo Christians Fear Iraq-Style Ethnic Cleansing by an anonymous Syrian in Aleppo for Al-Monitor.  Syria’s ancient Christian community fears the insurgents, not the Assad regime.  Bashar al-Assad, like Saddam Hussein, is a ruthless tyrant, but he is not a theocrat.

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the United States had a golden opportunity which may never return.  The whole world, including the Muslim world, sympathized with us Americans after the murderous attacks on the Twin Towers.  We could have made peace with Iran, and united the world, or most of it, in bringing terrorists to justice.  Instead we chose to target hostile foreign governments, most of which had nothing to do with al Qaeda.  The U.S. government is still on that wrong path.

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