Though many have critiqued President Barack Obama’s strategy of bypassing a terrorism law to give weapons to so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels, few have touched the level of comprehensive disdain the president himself has with his own policy.
The weapons the Obama Administration sent to Syria famously ended up in the hands of ISIS and Al Qaeda. Some of those weapons are likely being used now in Iraq against government forces and to commit the kind of massacres President Obama ordered American air power in to try and stop.
In an interview with Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, Obama not only declined to defend his policy of giving weapons to the Syrian rebels but offered a withering critique of his policy and the reasoning behind it.
With “respect to Syria,” said the president, the notion that arming the rebels would have made a difference has “always been a fantasy. This idea that we could provide some light arms or even more sophisticated arms to what was essentially an opposition made up of former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth, and that they were going to be able to battle not only a well-armed state but also a well-armed state backed by Russia, backed by Iran, a battle-hardened Hezbollah, that was never in the cards.”
Even now, the president said, the administration has difficulty finding, training and arming a sufficient cadre of secular Syrian rebels: “There’s not as much capacity as you would hope.”
Pardon me while I pick my jaw up off the floor. It was President Obama who, despite warnings and protests from numerous groups, bypassed a law against arming terrorists to give weapons to the Syrian rebels. Now it was all a “fantasy” and had no hope of working?
While it is nice to see President Obama acknowledge reality, it leaves more questions than answers as to why it was done in the first place. Not to mention that it might still be happening.
It is bad enough to have a president that makes bad decisions thinking they will turn out well, but making bad decisions and knowing the objective is impossible is really a problem.