After the Assad government in Syria responded to a (likely unscripted) ultimatum by Secretary of State Kerry by agreeing to destroy their chemical weapons, the CIA is stepping up military aid to the people trying to overthrow Assad. Talk about mixed messages – please give up those dangerous weapons so we can help destroy you. It remains unclear if the US is being wildly incompetent, dishonest, or both.
On Sunday international experts began overseeing the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal. This is a victory for diplomacy and the UN as a deal was worked out between the United States and Russia and presented to the UN Security Council. The deal was that in order to avoid America entering the war the Assad government in Syria would yield to international authority and allow the destruction of the chemical weapons.
The official, a member of a joint team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague and the United Nations, said Syrian forces used cutting torches and angle grinders to begin “destroying munitions such as missile warheads and aerial bombs and disabling mobile and static mixing and filling units”.
“Let it be clear that it is the Syrians who do the actual destroying while we monitor, observe, verify and report,” he said.
Good news right? This was President Obama’s argument; that despite the civil war in Syria having nothing to do with US interests the use of chemical weapons did. Well, now in response to American demands and working with the United Nations those weapons are being destroyed.
So what is the US response?
The CIA is expanding a clandestine effort to train opposition fighters in Syria amid concern that moderate, U.S.-backed militias are rapidly losing ground in the country’s civil war, U.S. officials said…
The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the agency has sent additional paramilitary teams to secret bases in Jordan in recent weeks in a push to double the number of rebel fighters getting CIA instruction and weapons before being sent back to Syria.
Wait, what? They agree to US demands and we double the number of fighters we are sending back to the war zone to kill them? Does that make sense to you? Who is really pulling the strings here?
The American people could not have been clearer that they did not want a war with Syria and now, despite diplomacy working, factions within the US security apparatus refuse to take yes for an answer and are doing everything possible to start a war. Maybe this is why things work out better when people like Secretary Kerry screw up, following the script is even more disastrous than the gaffes.