The supposed “moderate” rebels fighting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad — self-styled jihadists whom the Obama administration and Congress plan to supply with even more support under the guise of battling the Islamic State (ISIS) — recently signed a non-aggression pact with ISIS (also known as ISIL), according to reports from human-rights groups and French news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP). Lawmakers on Capitol Hill pointed to the news as yet another reason why supplying U.S. arms and support to Islamic forces to battle Islamic forces was a dangerous idea. The foreign-policy establishment, however, plans to proceed with arming and training jihadists anyway.
In a bipartisan display of reluctant cooperation, the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday voted 273 to 156 to approve President Obama's plan to train and equip allegedly moderate rebels in Syria in an effort to defeat the Islamic State jihadists that have overrun sections of Iraq and beheaded two American journalists.
Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 16, the nation’s two top defense officials, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, presented a less-than-optimistic prospect of success for the Obama administration’s new strategy to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). (The Obama administration prefers to use ISIL, for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.)