After John McCain slipped into Syria
to meet with the rebels, one wit within the Syrian government
tweeted a picture of John McCain as Che Guevara. Cute, ain't it?
The Washington Post
, citing anonymous sources, says that Iranian forces may be fighting to preserve Assad's regime in Syria. But is this claim true? FAIR took a deeper look
and found that the whole structure rests on a wobbly foundation.
At EA Worldview (5/22/13), Scott Lucas took a look at the briefing that produced the story, and what the State Department official actually said was this:
It is the most visible effort we have seen of Hezbollah to engage directly in the fighting in Syria as a foreign force. We understand there are also Iranians up there. That is what the Free Syrian Army commanders are telling us. I think this is an important thing to note, the direct implication of foreigners fighting on Syrian soil now for the regime.
Suggesting that the Free Syrian Army believes Iranians are in Syria–which is probably true–is not the same thing as saying "Iran has sent soldiers to Syria" to fight on Assad's behalf. And in answering followup questions, the anonymous State Department official admits that "to be very frank, I don't have any estimates of numbers and I don't know that they are directly involved in the fighting." The source also says the Iranians "could be doing a little of both advising and fighting" and that "the reports that we're getting...are not consistent."
Frankly, these sketchy reports seem very consistent with the idea that the Syrian rebels are "telling porkies" (as the Brits used to say) in order to coax America into getting more deeply involved with their conflict. Cah-MON. How could Iran send military forces into Syria without being noticed by the NSA or the rest of our intelligence apparat?
In the meantime, Britain and France appear ready to arm "moderates" among the Syrian rebels
The UK foreign secretary, William Hague, joined the French in arguing that supplying arms to "moderate" opposition forces would lead to less killing in Syria. Others argued the opposite; that arms supplies would only escalate the conflict.
Well, that's an awfully elastic word, "moderate" -- as we've seen, most of the American aide so far has gone to the Al Qaeda-esque Nusra Front, yet the Administration has claimed that the aid went to moderates.
Have you noticed? The far-right nutball press usually never loses an opportunity to label Obama a Muslim sympathizer. Yet to the best of my knowledge, no-one on the right has torn into this administration for aiding the Syrian rebels. Gosh. Wonder why? Could this situation have anything to do with the fact that aid to Nusra has Israel's blessing?