Qui dépense trop n’est jamais riche.

Those who spend too fast never grow rich.

Honoré de Balzac

The US government’s supposed new plan to take over Syria by arming a small group of rebels ended in them all getting killed or going missing. This disaster cost the US 250 million dollars (a quarter billion), resulting in 50 to 60 heavily screened “rebels” who got killed by other rebels before they could even fire a shot at Islamic State (IS, also ISIL) forces or Syrian forces. Judging by the US government’s stubborn refusal to end the idiotic plan and its determination to throw even more money away, these dramatic losses can be expected to continue.

John Kerry, whose precious “Syrian rebels” only died at an even faster rate and started slaughtering each other more viciously every time the US tried to support them

The US’s plan to go from dumb (as in George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq) to smart (as in supporting “Arab Spring” uprisings and playing factions against one another to topple regimes in the Middle East) will only prove to be even dumber. The people of the Middle East hate the United States, and the United States supporting small factions on the ground in Iraq and Syria will only make those factions more vulnerable to destruction by increasing the amount of contempt people feel towards them. Not only will Bashar al-Assad’s government prioritize destroying these US-trained troops at all times, but al-Qaeda linked groups, ISIL, and even other moderate rebels will also prioritize assassinating them out of distrust and paranoia. There is no way that the US plan to smuggle fighters into Syria can result in anything other than them all becoming a pile of corpses before they can even begin to carry out the mission the US gave them.

It is such a stupid strategy that one wonders why the US doesn’t just invade Syria with ground forces, as it did in Iraq. It would probably be cheaper and project a more stable, apparently successful form of governance in the region – but at the cost of American boys returning in body bags again rather than those impersonal mountains of billions of dollars wasted. Obama is being schooled by Putin – if we look at Ukraine – not just in how to use military force to capture political power and achieve political victories (e.g. Crimea), but how to support rebels groups effectively too (e.g. Donbass).

The US will brag about its strategies to arm “rebels” around the world but gets outperformed massively by Russia and also Iran if its adversaries resort to the same tactics. The same Congress that approved US training of rebels in Syria will just as easily convene the next week to put sanctions on Russia for supporting rebels in Ukraine.

Despite the so-called US-trained rebels calling in massive US airstrikes to try to save themselves from the al-Qaeda backed al-Nusra front (which is actually about one tenth the size of ISIL and barely as equipped), they were all either killed or kidnapped by said rebel group in the days that followed their arrival in Syria. What is worse is that the al-Nusra front is fully integrated into the “moderate” Syrian rebel cause and is essentially everywhere, carrying out all the heaviest fighting on behalf of the “moderate” rebels that accounts for almost every inch of the rebel success in the entire war. Already, the US-trained rebels are begging for mercy, asking the US to call off its airstrikes and not provoke these al-Qaeda militants anymore.

Al-Nusra accused the US-backed rebels of trying to spread American influence and plotting against the other rebel groups. They were right. The other Syrian rebel factions are not as stupid as the American planners assumed. They know that the US-trained rebels are only in Syria to spread American influence, and will immediately hunt and kill them for this simple reason. The American-backed rebels will never get past their own Syrian rebel allies to begin attacking ISIL or Assad’s forces. The rampant paranoia that the CIA and US Military’s openly declared training program will cause among the already fratricidal and paranoid rebels will only cause them to kill each other at an even greater rate, increasing the likelihood that the war will end in defeat for the rebels.

One wonders how the US government could make such an obvious error. It is hard to believe that they are really this stupid. One possibility is that Barack Obama is aware that the program to support Syrian rebels will fail, but that he is doing it anyway just to satisfy war-hawks like John McCain, who continues to promote senile delusions of toppling the Syrian (and even the Russian) government with American-made guns blazing.  A fantasy that seem more inspired by Rambo movies than real life. Obama could never gather the support for an all-out invasion of Syria, but the people of Syria hate the US so passionately that nothing less than absolute conquest (in the style of ancient Rome or George W. Bush’s America) could make Syria submit to American power.

Delusions are the only obvious explanation for the total failure of the US intervention in Syria. The United States leadership is so engorged on its shallow propaganda about “freedom” and “democracy” that it forgets that no-one else recognizes or even uses these fallacies and cheap rhetoric other than them. They certainly have no appeal in the Islamic world. The Syrian rebels share nothing with the United States other than their desire to remove Assad. And if the US were open to the possibilities, it would learn that it has more in common with Assad than any of the rebels trying to topple him. For a start, Assad and the Americans are both a little more reliant on brute military force to sustain their authority in the region, rather than broad-based popular support – one of the reasons the US has backed dictators consistently rather than popular movements like the Muslim Brotherhood.

But past rhetoric can be like a stain. John Kerry is far too busy making up excuses for his own previous lies about the “Assad regime” and repeated calls for Assad to step down in 2013 to realize that he is supporting the greatest villains and enemies of the United States in the region to attain this goal. Kerry is a man supporting Syrian rebels who would no less than slice his lying head off if it were to ever come into their grasp.

Today, the journalists and politicians who called for American bombing raids against the Assad government and the training of terrorists in Syria in 2013 deserve nothing less than to fall into the hands of the butcher “rebels” they professed to support as an alternative to Assad. We can only hope that if John McCain visits Syria again, he chooses to tag along with some of the rebel fighters and joins them in the trenches fighting against not Assad or ISIL, but the other Syrian rebels.

By Harry J. Bentham

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