The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, under the treacherous John Kerry of Massachusetts who enabled Obama's murderous Libya war last year without consent of Congress, held a hearing on Syria policy today. The ranking (Republican) member, Richard Lugar of Indiana, explained that the committee had been very busy with secret hearings on Syria, but that he, Lugar, felt that the American public should have some idea of what is being discussed, so he had asked that a public hearing be held.
The witness panel had obviously been chosen by Kerry: three "experts," two of them former government officials, who from their horse-blindered specialists' viewpoints, smugly advanced policies which if implemented — and they are being implemented — will bring the world quickly to the immediate verge of thermonuclear war — the United States and Britain on the one side, against Russia and China on the other. Lemmings, in short, like most of the Senators who spoke.
One question on the table before each of the witnesses, was what to do about the fact that the so-called rebellion is completely dominated by the killers of al-Qaeda, miscellaneous other murderous Salafists, and the bloody-minded Muslim Brotherhood. Not to worry, said the panelists — we'll make them all take the Girl Scout pledge for democracy and equal rights (gay marriage was nowhere mentioned), before giving them money and weapons.
Typically, the most lunatic version of that Girl Scout pledge is the one offered by Responsibility to Protect ("R2P") guress Anne-Marie Slaughter, a Tony Blair groupie, in an op-ed in today's Financial Times. The appropriately-named Slaughter writes there, "It is time for bold action, of the kind Mr Obama took in deciding to go after Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad and to intervene in Libya. In Syria this would mean putting together a coalition of countries that would commit to providing heavy weapons (and possibly air cover) to all commanders on the ground who sign the Declaration of Values supporting a democratic and pluralist Syria put forward by the nine commanding generals of the military council of the FSA. To receive weapons, these commanders must show they control safe zones and admit foreign journalists, civil society activists and the UN to monitor the implementing of the declaration's principles. They must also allow citizen journalists to upload photographs of what they witness to an official website maintained by the coalition." A far-gone psychotic, in case you hadn't realized.
By way of contrast, in another article on al-Qaida's growing power in Syria, the London Guardian today interviewed one of the Free Syrian Army leaders who has refused to join al-Qaida.
"In Shahail we interviewed Saleem Abu Yassir, a village elder and the commander of the local FSA brigade. He sat in a room filled with tribal fighters and machine-guns. The relationship with al-Qaida had been very difficult, he said, with the jihadis being secretive and despising the FSA and even calling them infidel secularists. But now they had opened up, co-operating with other rebel groups.
"'Are they good fighters?' he threw the question rhetorically into the room. 'Yes, they are, but they have a problem with executions. They capture a soldier and they put a pistol to his head and shoot him. We have religious courts and we have to try people before executing them.'"