Why not? What could possibly go wrong?
Seriously, asinine recommendations like this one stem from a deeply held willful blindness about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat. But such blindness is pandemic in Washington these days.
“Top Democrat on Foreign Affairs panel calls for arming Syrian opposition,” by Julian Pecquet for The Hill, February 24 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):
The top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs panel on Sunday called on the White House to arm rebels in Syria, raising pressure on President Obama to ramp up U.S. involvement in the two-year-old civil war.
“I will be introducing legislation to allow the president to arm the rebels,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said on ABC’s This Week. “I think it’s time to do that. I think the Free Syria Army needs help. We know who they are and I think it’s time we make that move.”
The comments follow revelations that top administration officials ““ including Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former CIA director David Petraeus and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey ““ have supported such a move since last year. Officials inside the White House, however, caution that weapons, in particular shoulder-fired missiles, could fall into the hands of Islamist extremists….
“We run the risk of seeing Assad hang on a long time,” Engel said. He added that the fall of the Syrian strongman would undermine America’s arch-foe, Iran.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said getting more involved could give the United States much-needed credibility. He called for creating a no-fly zone in the northern part of the country and coordinating the weapons systems going to the rebels from the Gulf states.
“The United States doesn’t have credibility with the opposition now,” he said. “So any diplomatic, negotiated settlement, the United States can’t play an important role because they don’t have the faith and confidence of the opposition.”
Arming the jihadists won’t earn the U.S. “credibility” in their eyes. It will only earn their contempt.