Assad’s Jihadist Enemies Render Our Cause Less Than ‘Plainly Just’

I hate to be a broken record on the prevalence of jihadists amongst the rebels, but the president’s statement regarding the Syrian rebels was inadequate:

Many of you have asked a broader question: Why should we get involved at all in a place that’s so complicated and where, as one person wrote to me, those who come after Assad may be enemies of human rights?

It’s true that some of Assad’s opponents are extremists. But al-Qaeda will only draw strength in a more chaotic Syria if people there see the world doing nothing to prevent innocent civilians from being gassed to death.

The majority of the Syrian people, and the Syrian opposition we work with, just want to live in peace, with dignity and freedom.

The president spoke a great deal about the horrific images of the gas attack, but there are other images out there as well — images from the rebels — including beheadings, summary executions, and even images of rebels eating the hearts of the dead.

Any action that would aid such evil is not “plainly just.” It is simply wrong to deceive the American people about the true nature of both sides of the Syrian conflict, and verbal sleight of hand regarding the “majority of . . . the Syrian opposition we work with” (emphasis added) doesn’t adequately describe an opposition overrun with Islamists.

Al-Qaeda’s presence in the opposition isn’t just one objection among many; for a critical mass of Americans it is the principal objection to military action. The president’s address utterly failed to assuage their (and my) concerns.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most Popular

U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More