Ed Morrissey @ Hot Air:
For some reason, American politicians in both parties want to see the US intervene to some extent in Syria’s civil war, even after the disastrous intervention in Libya that almost made Mali an al-Qaeda state. Only a French military intervention prevented that outcome, and that may still only be temporary, but more on that in a minute. The Associated Press reports that the Obama administration will increase “non-lethal” aid to Syrian rebels in the near future, although the timing is still murky:
The Obama administration’s next step in aid to Syrian rebels is expected to be a broader package of nonlethal assistance, including body armor and night-vision goggles, as the U.S. grapples for ways to stem the bloodshed from Syria’s civil war.
Administration officials say an announcement of the new aid is not imminent. But Secretary of StateJohn Kerry says the administration had been holding intense talks on how to boost assistance to the rebels fighting forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“Those efforts have been very much front and center in our discussions in the last week in Washington,” Kerry said Tuesday, a day before meeting with Syrian opposition leaders in London. “I’m not sure what the schedule is, but I do believe that it’s important for us to try to continue to put the pressure on President Assad and to try to change his calculation.”
The United Nations estimates more than 70,000 people have been killed during more than two years of fighting between rebels and government forces.
Britain and France have already been shipping armor, night-vision goggles and other military-style equipment to the rebels.
Er, this isn’t “military-style” equipment. It’s actual military equipment, and while it won’t kill anyone directly, its use isn’t for hunting squirrels and possum, either. The use of that equipment is intended to make the rebel forces more lethal, and its provision allows the rebels to use their existing funds on guns and artillery to pair up with all that non-lethal equipment.
And just who are the rebel forces fighting in Syria? The most effective of them, Jabhat al-Nusra, just announced a merger with al-Qaeda in Iraq, the very forces we spent most of a decade fighting just across the border. In fact, our partners in Baghdad are still fighting AQI:
I guess Obama really IS more flexible now that he’s past his re-election.