From the AFP:
Iraq’s most prominent Christian cleric voiced his disappointment Sunday at the scope of U.S. intervention, which he said offered little hope that jihadists would be defeated and displaced people could go home.
“The position of the American president Obama only to give military assistance to protect Erbil is disappointing,” Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako wrote in an open letter.
The patriarch described the prospect of having to wait for Iraqi government forces to start fighting alongside the peshmerga as “very depressing.”
While I’m glad that Obama is finally doing something, it is very interesting that there has been a genocide of Christians going on for months and months with no interest from the US Government. It took the pogrom against the Yazidis to force him into taking action.
I sure am glad that he supported the Al Qaeda aligned rebels in Syria (who then morphed into ISIS).
Reuters (Aug 2012): Obama authorizes secret support for Syrian rebels
A U.S. government source acknowledged that under provisions of the presidential finding, the United States was collaborating with a secret command center operated by Turkey and its allies.
Last week, Reuters reported that, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey had established a secret base near the Syrian border to help direct vital military and communications support to Assad’s opponents.
This “nerve center” is in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 60 miles from the Syrian border, which is also home to Incirlik, a U.S. air base where U.S. military and intelligence agencies maintain a substantial presence.
Recent news reports from the region have suggested that the influence and numbers of Islamist militants, some of them connected to al Qaeda or its affiliates, have been growing among Assad’s opponents.
New York Times (Oct 2012): Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria
Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.
That conclusion, of which President Obama and other senior officials are aware from classified assessments of the Syrian conflict that has now claimed more than 25,000 lives, casts into doubt whether the White House’s strategy of minimal and indirect intervention in the Syrian conflict is accomplishing its intended purpose of helping a democratic-minded opposition topple an oppressive government, or is instead sowing the seeds of future insurgencies hostile to the United States.
“The opposition groups that are receiving the most of the lethal aid are exactly the ones we don’t want to have it,” said one American official familiar with the outlines of those findings, commenting on an operation that in American eyes has increasingly gone awry.
The United States is not sending arms directly to the Syrian opposition. Instead, it is providing intelligence and other support for shipments of secondhand light weapons like rifles and grenades into Syria, mainly orchestrated from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The reports indicate that the shipments organized from Qatar, in particular, are largely going to hard-line Islamists.
That policy of arming the “rebels” through third party proxies would eventually change. See below:
Washington Examiner (Sep 2013): Obama waives ban on arming terrorists to allow aid to Syrian opposition
President Obama waived a provision of federal law designed to prevent the supply of arms to terrorist groups to clear the way for the U.S. to provide military assistance to “vetted” opposition groups fighting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.
Some elements of the Syrian opposition are associated with radical Islamic terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, which was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., in 2001. Assad’s regime is backed by Iran and Hezbollah.
(There’s plenty more sources if you care to look for them, but this post is long enough)
Bottom line is that I sure am glad that the feckless Obama administration has, I think, finally figured out that they weren’t exactly supporting the “good guys”.