Perils of rebel aid
POSTED: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 5:52pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 8:28am
The United States has decided to provide weapons and other aid to the rebels fighting the Assad regime in Syria.
But, there are a lot of dissenting voices on the issue.
The decision to send military aid to Syrian rebels is a risky one.
And America’s history of picking good guys is spotty at best.
So, where do we start on this one?
Every now and then, particularly since the turn of the last century, America decides to support some rebel group or another.
Now, it’s Syria.
And the death toll is staggering, 92,000 killed by the regime so far.
But many times our under or over the table military support backfires.
Or we have to get involved with US troops.
Or we simply back the wrong horse.
After World War II, a Vietnamese revolutionary named Ho Chi Mihn approached the US for help in kicking the French out of Viet Nam. He was turned down.
The US instead backed the regime of President Diem, which proved a bad bet.
The CIA secretly helped a young Cuban rebel leader named Fidel Castro overthrow the Batista regime in the late 50’s.
When the old Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in the late 1970’s, we sent military aid to the rebel Mujahedeen led by a rich Saudi named Osama Bin Laden.
In the 80’s, there were the Contra Rebels in Nicaragua who often lined their pockets with US aid.
Then there was the disaster in Somalia begun under President Bush and ended ignominiously under President Clinton.
While the jury is still out on Libya, there are good reasons to be worried about the Syrian rebel army.
Many leaders are said to be members of or friendly with Al Queda.
But the President says, with proof of poison gas attacks, it’s time to get involved.
But we’ve been here before.