by Michael Collins
Al Qaeda has a chemical weapons program, revealed in a United States Attorney's case, reported on CBS (see video). This has real implications for the Obama administration's Syria policy of supporting rebels that include Al Qaeda groups. It also raises questions as to who perpetrated the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on August 21.
In their rush to war, the Obama administration downplayed the importance and the numbers of Al Qaeda fighters involved in the attack on Syria. Kerry told Congress that Al Qaeda constitutes just 15% to 25% of the rebels attacking the Syrian government. That's at odds with many observers of the war who maintain Al Qaeda is the best performing fighting force among the rebels. The dominance of Al Qaeda was demonstrated this week when the Al Nusra faction in Syria attacked and expelled the "good rebels" in the Turkish border town of Azaz.
The Obama administration just can't admit that its strategy in Syria is a complete disaster. As a result, facts like these go largely unmentioned:
- Al Qaeda has a chemical weapons program
- Turkish prosecutors charged Syrian Al Qaeda group, Al Nusra, with attempting the purchase of chemicals to make sarin gas.
- Sarin gas was one of the chemical weapons the United Nations report said was used in the August 21 attack.
Somebody needs to tell President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry that winning isn't everything. They've lost their bid to have Obama use Zeus-like power to rain down destruction on the Syrian government and people. They were saved from a certain defeat in Congress on their attack Syria authorization bill. Vladamir Putin stepped in just before the Senate vote and saved Obama's presidency by coming up with the disarmament option. Yet, with all of this, the administration continues to peddle an incomplete story on what is really happening on Syria.
This prevents the public from knowing the risks of continued arming of the rebel faction.
How hard will it be for Al Qaeda to get the weapons the United States is providing the "good" rebels when Al Qaeda violently evicts the "good" rebels from a key border city?
What will happen if the administration provided US weapons give Al Qaeda enough of an edge to capture some of the chemical weapons sites that the Syrian government is going to hand over to Russia under the UN agreement?
What dangers to the United States are posed by a chemically armed Al Qaeda
These are questions that require answers right now.