“Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of” — New York Times, April 28, 2013
Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda — USA Today, April 11, 2013
“Kerry lays out case for military intervention in Syria,” from MSN News, August 30:
WASHINGTON “” Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday laid out evidence supporting a military strike on Syria, saying, “The Assad regime has the largest chemical weapons program in the entire Middle East” and that “we know that the regime has used those weapons multiple times this year.”
Kerry spoke to reporters at the State Department while the White House simultaneously released of an unclassified version of a U.S. intelligence report on Syria’s use of chemical weapon, a move Kerry called “unprecedented.” The United States has been contemplating an attack on the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al Assad, despite opposition from some members of Congress and foreign governments.
“The United States government now knows that at least 1,429 civilians were killed in this attack,” including at least 426 children, Kerry said.
Kerry said that the Obama administration had consulted extensively with Congress about the intelligence but that ordinary Americans deserved to know as much as possible as well.
The report’s findings “are as clear as they are compelling,” Kerry said. “I’m not asking you to take my word for it. Read for yourself the evidence from thousands of sources.”
“Our intelligence community has carefully reviewed and re-reviewed information,” he added. “It has done so more than mindful of the Iraq experience. We will not repeat that experience.”
Although Kerry did not commit to a specific plan for a U.S. attack on Syria, he laid out extensive justification for a military strike, saying that the United States commitment to decency and the rule of law demands action. He vowed that any military action would not involve “boots on the ground,” would not be open-ended, and would not mean assuming responsibility for a years-long civil war in Syria that is already long underway.
“We know that after a decade of conflict, the American people are tired of war. Believe me, I am too. But fatigue does not absolve us of our responsibility,” he said….