12 years after 9/11, Obama sends guns to al-Qaeda

With his left hand he tries to take our guns, with his right he gives guns to al-Qaeda in Syria. Photo: Weapons stockpiles (flickr)

WASHINGTON , September 12, 2013 — Today the United States is waking up to news that the first publicly acknowledged shipment of lethal aid has made its way to Syria. It comes as part of President Obama’s efforts to support the Syrian Opposition, and punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the alleged use of chemical weapons, which violates a 1925 International Proclamation.

Before the 9/11 terror attacks, the United States was actively engaged in training and arming radical Islamist groups in the Middle East in order to undermine our enemies and supposedly support our national interests. After the Towers fell, the Pentagon was damaged, and Flight 93 was downed, the United States realized that they could not support such extremist groups anymore. Instead, America began a global campaign to combat terrorism, and punish those responsible for the September 11 attacks.


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12 years later, we are back to arming radical Muslims, having forgotten, with stunning speed, the lessons of the previous 30 years.

12 years later we have come full circle.

We all understand that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. It served as the basis of our Cold War foreign policy stance towards revolutions and civil wars around the globe.

But when the enemy of my enemy, is also my enemy, it would seem as though choices for options range between “absolutely not” and “this is a terrible idea.”


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The fact that this is an option in the first place is appalling. The fact that there is someone in the government with input on national defense strategy who raised his hand during  a meeting in between Angry Bird sessions and cat videos on his phone and said ‘What about arming al-Qaeda?’ Those are the kind of moronic, useless DC  government yuppies who travel in packs on H Street looking for a bar with a large enough craft beer selection to jolt them out of their almost permanent haze of perceived self-importance.

We understand that action needs to be taken, and that the Opposition forces are currently losing the war. But at the same time, we are actively engaged in combat operations against al-Qaeda and their allies. We are quite literally handing weapons to the enemy. This would be tantamount to the British government sending guns and ammo to the IRA to help them fight a Civil War in Northern Ireland. It  is almost like the Union sending arms to the Confederates in order to combat an Indian uprising.

To quote a popular expression, “that dog just don’t hunt.” Except it does hunt because we just gave it automatic weapons, it can hunt a lot.

Does everyone understand what is going on? The United States, one day after the 12 year anniversary of the 9/11 Terror Attacks, has now contributed arms to the cause of those same people who perpetrated them. We are now actively supporting a terrorist network, not just a terrorist network, THE terrorist network. It has taken 12 years for the United States government to forget the names of those responsible for thousands of American dead, it has taken 12 years for the government to decide that those lives, and the sacrifice of thousands of service members do not matter anymore. This should hurt, and it should hurt a lot.

What should be running through everyone’s mind is that while we are arming al-Qaeda in Syria, we are fighting them in many other areas. Those same weapons we supply the rebels with in Syria, could be used against our forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, or against our allies in Israel.

The potential benefit of this action is far outweighed by the potential harm it could inflict. During his anti-gun campaign several months ago, President Obama declared that any gun law, no matter how stringent, that could save the life of one child was worth trying. The question should be asked of him now; if not sending weapons to the Syrian Opposition saves the life of one American service member, is that worth trying?

Last year on September 11,  al-Qaeda reminded the world it is still a threat capable of coordinating global attacks when it organized an assault in Benghazi which resulted in the death of Ambassador Stevens and three others. But the government said it was probably over a video so we shouldn’t worry about it. No matter that the names of the dead flash across the tv screen on CNN every night. No matter that we have spent over half a trillion dollars fighting these terrorists.

It would seem the only thing that matters now is making sure we don’t let the President lose credibility. Our government as it seems, has a memory like a steel trap. Was that steel? Sorry, perhaps pocket lint is more applicable. A trap made of pocket lint.

One would think that we would have learned our lesson by now. What was that? The American people have learned their lesson? The American people have been crying out against arming Syrian rebels?

12 years later, one day after the anniversary, Americans who can still tell you exactly where they were the moment they heard about the first plane hitting the Towers, Americans who still live with the images of falling bodies and burning buildings, Americans who are still afraid to fly, who still send their sons and daughters to war to make sure that it never happens again, are waking up to hear that the President of the United States of America has decided to arm the very people responsible for the worst terrorist attack on American soil.

12 years later, and we have learned nothing.

 

 


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Conor Higgins

Conor Higgins has a B.A. from Catholic University in DC in American History, with a concentration on guerrilla warfare on American soil. He has an M.A. in US History from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, with a concentration on Cold War insurgency. He believes that all news and all information should be taken with a grain of salt, and implores people everywhere to seek news stories everywhere. 

Higgins is also a fervent believer in the traditional role of media, in terms of acting as a balanced check on government policies and individuals regardless of party affiliation. But in the end, he believes that no matter how heated an issue is, there is nothing that can't be discussed over a smoke and some whiskey. 

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