Forget the Grand Prix or the Daytona 500, the real race right now is the race to Damascus. The racers include Syrian rebels in pickup trucks with mounted machine guns and homemade tanks, toting weapons and equipment supplied and paid for by Qatar and Turkey, and more covertly by the British and French intelligence services. Racing along with them are carloads of international diplomats urging their governments to give the militias more money and more weapons.
Everyone is on the road to Damascus in this amazing race. Christian refugees from Aleppo and Alawites packing in behind the tanks of the Syrian army, Iraqi militias that used to plant IEDs in front of American Humvees who have found new work blowing up churches and taking over Syrian bases.
There are international activists from around the world, reporters or citizen-journalists embedded with the rebels, Russian advisers embedded with Syrian units, Qatari trainers turning children into child soldiers with the rebels and Turkish officers trying to get the entire rabble moving in the right direction toward Damascus.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah’s militias out of Lebanon are shooting at Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood militias from across the Middle East and even Europe in one of those unique displays of family entertainment that you wish would go on forever, but that won’t, because despite the Hasish-fed bravado, supplemented with meth from Iran’s top laboratories, the whole shooting match only as long as it takes the side with the weakest bladders to run away, and then both sides brag about their great victory on YouTube and Facebook.
Imagine the Crips and the Bloods, armed to the teeth by every country from Mexico to China, fighting over the ruins of California cities, and you get some idea of the glorious Syrian civil war being fought by the Brave Syrian People, most of whom at this point are about as Syrian as the Palestinians are from Palestine, in a conflict that will determine once and for all who will be ethnically cleansing who this year.
The Syrian rebels are Sunni. The Syrian regime is Alawite, which is close enough to Shiite in a region where most Sunnis hate Shiites. This isn’t some heroic battle between the people and the dictator; it’s a religious war. And in a newly Islamist region, religion is the best possible reason that anyone can think of for a war, that will just incidentally happen to realign a strategic piece of territory from the Shiite axis to the Sunni axis. And we, as befits the nation that Obama described as one of the largest Muslim countries in the world, happen to be in the Sunni axis, ensconced somewhere between the fattest child-molesting members of the Saudi and Qatari royals, the most vicious Turkish and Egyptian Islamists, and the Eurocrats looking to score oil deals with the former and arms deals with the latter, and political points with their domestic population of Sunni Islamists who have the unfortunate habit of blowing things up.
On the road to Damascus, the politicians and pundits tell us that we cannot simply sit things out. Someone is bound to remove Assad and we had better be in good with whoever does.
The UK, which dragged Obama into Libya the way an elderly lady drags a poodle into a pub, is frantically urging us to stop just looking the other way while Qatar and Turkey arm the Syrian rebels, and to get into the rebel-arming business ourselves.
Considering how well that worked out in Libya, not to mention a certain obscure part of the world, known as Afghanistan, that we never heard from again, we should probably hurry and start arming the Syrian rebels right now. The sooner we give them weapons, the less likely they are to use them against us. Or so the reasoning of the people who brought you Iran, September 11 and September 11 II: The Mohammed Video Diaries goes. And with a track record like that, how could they be wrong?
If we give the right Syrian rebels the weapons, then they will win, instead of the wrong Syrian rebels. But if we don’t, then the wrong Syrian rebels will win, and even the right Syrian rebels will hate us and turn wrong, and before you know it they’ll be shooting at us with the weapons we didn’t give them.