“Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of” — New York Times, April 28, 2013
“Obama moving toward sending lethal arms to Syrian rebels, officials say,” by Karen DeYoung for the Washington Post, April 30:
President Obama is preparing to send lethal weaponry to the Syrian opposition and has taken steps to assert more aggressive U.S. leadership among allies and partners seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, according to senior administration officials.
The officials said they are moving toward the shipment of arms but emphasized that they are still pursuing political negotiation. To that end, the administration has launched an effort to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin that the probable use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government “” and the more direct outside intervention that could provoke “” should lead him to reconsider his support of Assad.
But Obama, who spoke by telephone with Putin on Monday and is sending Secretary of State John F. Kerry to Moscow in the coming days, is likely to make a final decision on the supply of arms to the opposition within weeks, before a scheduled meeting with Putin in June, the officials said.
Confirmation that the Assad government has used chemical weapons, Obama said Tuesday, would mean that “there are some options that we might not otherwise exercise that we would strongly consider.”
At a news conference, he emphasized the need to “make sure I”ve got the facts. .”‰.”‰. If we end up rushing to judgment without hard, effective evidence, we can find ourselves in a position where we can’t mobilize the international community to support” additional action. Administration officials have made repeated reference to the George W. Bush administration’s inaccurate claims of weapons of mass destruction to justify its 2003 invasion of Iraq….
Or we can find ourselves in a position where we’re aiding the jihad that aims to destroy us. But hey, who cares about that?