September 18, 2014

Manchin Correct On Syrian Rebels | The Intelligencer, Wheeling News-Register

Most of President Barack Obama's proposal for destroying the Islamic State terrorist group seems logical. Unfortunately, U.S. officials have boxed themselves into a corner to the point there are not many options.

But part of the president's plan is an invitation to disaster, as Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., pointed out Wednesday.

During a speech on the floor of the Senate, Manchin argued against Obama's plan to provide weapons and training to Syrian rebels other than the Islamic State.

Obama views some of those insurgents as allies because they have been fighting the Islamic State.

But such alliances are notoriously weak, as Americans who remember our support of Afghan forces fighting the Soviet Union know. Later, those very allies became the Taliban.

And the rebels may not be our friends now. As Manchin noted, there have been reports that one "moderate" Syrian insurgent group sold American journalist Steven Sotloff to the Islamic State group - which beheaded him.

Manchin is right: U.S. leaders should have little, if any, faith in Syrian rebels who profess now to be our friends. Arming and training them could prove to be a terrible mistake.

By:  Editorial