You know why all these arguments are indeed the very essence of horseshit? Because our original demand was not about arming the rebels, but about the establishment of a no-fly zone and a credible internationally-sponsored political process that can allow all sides to chart a path towards a post-Assad period. No, this would not have been easy, but with a no-fly zone in place and a political process, it would have worked. We would not have seen this mass-slaughter, of that we can all be certain. And the expense of maintaining a no-fly zone would have been far less than the cost of the current strikes in Iraq.
When no one listened, when the Obama Administration people made it clear in all their communications with us, that a no-fly zone is something that will never be considered, people began carrying arms in greater numbers and our demand was changed to a reluctant call for arming rebels in order to empower them not only vis-à-vis the pro-Assad militias but also against all these extremists that were beginning to emerge out of the woodwork, and Assad’s state-run prisons, to cooperate with the Jihadists pouring from abroad. It was clear to many even then where things were heading.
And for this, these arguments made by Obama himself, and by the likes of Friedman and Zakaria, are simply-put disingenuous and premised on the ignorance of their audience of the basic facts and the basic chronology of events pertaining to the Syrian Revolution.
I agree with the Syrian philosopher Sadik Al-Azm when he said: “The West has failed, perhaps wilfully, to understand the revolution.”