Monday, 10 September 2012

"Jihadists join Aleppo fight, eye Islamic state, surgeon says"

PARIS, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Foreign Islamists intent on turning Syria into an autocratic theocracy have swollen the ranks of rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad and think they are waging a "holy war", a French surgeon who treated fighters in Aleppo has said. [Read on]
Came across the above article via Reditt.  There's only one comment on the Reuters site which carries the story, but lots of comments on the reditt site.
Reditt is left-of-centre, but one thing that left and right can agree on is this: that the US should not be supporting the "Opposition" (aka "rebels", or, by Assad, "terrorists").  The Right because it will lead to expansion of Islamism, the strict Sharia state, the Caliphate, etc,  as the French doctor above gives evidence for; the Left because the US should not be interefering in other states on a matter of principle, a view with logic as well.
Note that the US did give aid to the Mujahadeen when Russia were in Afghanistan, but the bigger picture there was the Cold War.  Now we know more about the rather nasty unintended consequences of that support and what the Jihadis will get up to (9/11, etc), so there's less reason now to be naive about supporting the likes of the Syrian "opposition".  Of course, Assad and his cronies are no better, so it's "a rock and a hard place" territory here.
For that reason alone, we should stay out of it...
BTW: I agree with the Reditt commenters on the opium poppies issue. I've written about that before (eg).  We should buy the whole crop and use it to make medicinal morphine, not try to destroy it and drive even more into the arms of the Taliban.