Lee Smith notes at The Weekly Standard that Obama's Syria policy is a mess.
I'll go further: Obama doesn't have a policy on Syria.
If we had a policy of doing nothing, we would be doing nothing and Obama would be saying a lot about it. Instead there is silence.
We have armed the 'rebels' with MANPADs, of course. Part of the Benghazi debacle that wound up with our Ambassador and 3 others dead was that the US was supporting the transfer of MANPADs from Libya to the Syrian 'rebels' via Turkey. So there was that policy, which fell flat on its face. That was the outcome of the Libyan 'policy' which spread al Qaeda and arms into northern Africa with predictable results. Apparently no one has a real stomach for that sort of outcome with a WMD armed Syria.
Imagine chemical weapons use spreading through the Middle East by an al Qaeda victorious 'rebel' faction if Obama follows the Libyan policy.
So Russia and Iran are backing the Assad regime.
Various others are backing the 'rebels', which are basically al Qaeda backed terrorists and a few renegade military regime members.
And Obama's policy?
You don't really want to back the WMD toting and using Assad.
The rebels aren't what you would call 'westernized' or seeking 'a modern democracy'.
Thus Obama has trouble saying who he would back and why.
So here's an idea that fits with the American tradition and lets you know we have done something, without having to put boots on the ground.
The regime is armed.
The 'rebels' are armed.
The general population is defenseless and unarmed by and large.
It seems that there is one group that really needs protecting that could do a great job on their own if only they had weapons...
The typical US solution? Arm the population.
A well armed society is a polite society, no? I mean after the petty tyrants and hot heads get killed off, things get real polite.
That is a viewpoint, of course, and biased on the idea that one's Natural Rights should be backed and that the right to Keep and Bear Arms is fundamental to a civil society, personal defense and liberty for the individual.
Using that the general policy would be: buy up every black market AK-47 on the planet (they go for about $150 used on the black market and are a loss leader), purchase all the surplus ammo (7.62 x 39) that you can get your hands on, photocopy Arabic instruction manuals (French and English to, come to that) and then start airdropping these in cases to every farmhouse, every village, every tent you can get off of satellite. Leave an additional message that when an area declares itself OPEN and FREE OF THE REGIME AND THE REBELS that more arms and ammo will be airdropped when you leave a BIG SIGN on a nearby hillside or painted on rooftops of SEND MORE, PLEASE. More or less weekly.
1) Drain the small arms black market of AK-47s, which has been a big objective of nearly every major power for decades. Ask Ollie North for help, he can point you to black market arms dealers.
2) It will put a run on AK ammo. Sorry, that is the way the cookie crumbles. This is generally a good thing, though, as the regime will be well supplied with 7.62 x 39 and so will the rebels as the AK platform is Russian backed and ubiquitous to any insurgency. The locals should be able to get more ammo with a few thousand rounds per weapon to start with. It becomes self-sustaining when rebels or the regime attack such areas with boots on the ground.
3) It breaks up the logjam in Syria no end. The Kurds in Syria have been getting arms from someone (not the US as that would be a rational thing to do, and not the Iraqi government, either, as they are PO'd that this is happening), so with a lot of local reinforcements there should be some fracturing of Syria with a possible aim to creation of a Lesser Kurdistan or a Greater Iraq. That will distract Iran no end as these areas are generally Sunni in nature, which will change the power balance in the Middle East.
4) It will horrify the Turks as they are backing the 'rebels'. Sorry, that's payback for what you did with us before OIF. Obama can point out he is saving them money because it costs a lot to be a part of NATO and the EU. And sorry about the Kurds getting restless again in Turkey, but, you know, Post World War I treaties and all that. International Law. The US didn't sign on to shafting the Kurds.
5) The Left has been so hot about arming those without arms in so many Red areas that it isn't funny. All under the verbiage of saving 'the people' of a country. So when you do that directly they will COMPLAIN and it can be pointed out that this is what they have called out for in the past that it isn't funny. Obama should be good at that, tweaking his old pals and saying that this is the sort of thing they ASKED FOR NOW ISN'T IT? He's just being ideologically consistent... yeah, as if he had an ideology beyond screw everyone. But the Left hasn't been well screwed yet and their time is just about here for Obama. The Royal Shaft of the BOGU group.
6) Obama can jaw about how innocents need to be able to protect themselves against tyrants and terrorists! And they are Islamic to boot! America befriends Muslims! Heh.
No this will never happen as it would take a conniving, back-stabbing, double-crossing Lefitst to do this.
Say, wait, don't we have one of those in the White House?
Boy wouldn't that be a great distraction from the NSA, IRS, spy and intimidate YOU policy? Now people would have something to complain about as he would be FOR gun control at home, but against it abroad. What a commotion that would cause to try and distract YOU from the spying on YOU scandal and the Amnesty Illegals to Fundamentally Screw YOU legislation that the dipsticks Upon the Hill want to pass to screw YOU over Royally.
Pure and utter chaos would be the result.
Seems that is what Obama wants, no?
So just offering a friendly tip to the President on how to bring it about.
Get a new policy for Syria Mr. President.
Arm the general population.
The "Let Them Figure It Out" policy.
Or the "Lets you and them and those others fight" policy.
Relatively cheap, barely topping a couple of billion which is, what, all the vacations and golf trips the President has taken, combined? Very cheap as these things go. Probably has that floating around as excess in someone's budget. Foreign policy is the President's domain and we aren't actually entering INTO a war, just supplying Humanitarian Aid. Because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental Human right in need of aid now, isn't it?
This is better than the policy we have.
Because we don't have one.
And, really, do you want to arm al Qaeda backed 'rebels' who love to terrorize the people of Syria? Haven't they suffered enough under the Assads? How about letting them have a say in things for once? And you don't even need to 'Nation Build' as you're letting the locals figure out how to do that on their lonesome. And we get to PO Putin, Iran, al Qaeda, Assad, Hezbollah... wouldn't that be fun? And they couldn't even complain that we were supplying sophisticated arms, training or much of anything else beyond old fashioned 'vintage' and used AK-47s. And the Black Market arms dealers will love you until they realize that the US has just made the AK-47 the most expensive small arms to deploy in mass quantities because we bought them all and redistributed them to Syria. And I do mean every single one that can be purchased by that route: clean out the inventory. Lock, stock and barrel. Then start in on the AK-74s.
A well armed people form a polite society.
Want a good outcome in Syria?
Arm the people of Syria to the teeth so that when anyone says anything bad about someone else, the result is immediate and lethal.
Those that are left are polite.
And maybe a bit trigger happy, given, but that gets you that polite society.
Arm them all. Let them figure it out as WE SURE AS HELL CAN'T.