You will still find people in the mainstream media or in politics pretending that the Syrian rebels are just democratic freedom fighters. The many mainstream news reports that have told us that these “rebels” consist, to some significant extent, of foreign Al Qaeda-related terrorists are simply ignored. The pundits pretend there are no stories.
But that isn’t working. The vast majority of Americans are opposed to Syria and some portion of that number has learned of the prominence of Jihadists in that group. By opposing Assad we are fighting on the side of the same group that flew planes into the World Trade Center towers twelve years and one day ago. So now McCain and Kerry and other warhawks are claiming that the Al Qaeda presence is “marginal” and that the moderates are winning.
That story is not convincing:
“Al Qaeda-linked groups operating alongside Syria’s rebels are growing stronger, analysts told Congress on Tuesday, countering recent claims by the Obama administration and some senior lawmakers that extremists are playing only a marginal role in the civil war. ‘Al Qaeda and its allies dominate a large portion of northern Syria and play a key role in fighting throughout the rest of the country,’ Thomas Joscelyn, an analyst with the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, testified before the House Homeland Security Committee. While Mr. Joscelyn said ‘al Qaeda does not control the entire rebellion, which is made up of a complex set of actors,’ his testimony stood in stark contrast to that provided last week by Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who sought to downplay the role of extremists among Syria’s opposition fighters.”
The Washington Times story also points out, that John Kerry did not base his arguments about Al Qaeda’s marginal place in the rebellion on US intelligence reports. Rather, he and John McCain have been appealing to a Wall Street Journal story that touts the work of a Syrian analyst that works for a group that is lobbying the US government to get more involved in Syria.
Furthermore, the Obama Administration itself has expressed concerns about Al Qaeda leadership in the Syrian “rebel” army.
Even speaking of “Al Qaeda-linked groups operating alongside Syria’s rebels” is misleading. If anyone puts the search terms “Syria,” “rebel,” and “Maaloula” in the Google news search engine, he will find plenty of headlines about how rebels have taken or are being driven from the Christian village. But those same stories contain anecdotes about how Al-Qaeda-related or Al Nusra forces have forced the townspeople to convert to Islam from Christianity or else be killed. Plainly, references to “rebels” normally include these people. They are involved in the fight as “the rebels.” They are not merely as small group “alongside Syria’s rebels.”
In related news, a video purporting to show Jihadists opposing American intervention in Syria has proven to be a fake. Why would someone make such a fake video? Because they know the American people realize that the US is siding with Al Qaeda and are revolted by the idea. They are trying to provide cover for the US government to aid “the rebels.”
Don’t believe them.