Earlier this week Texas Senator Ted Cruz put the whole Syria situation into perfect context when he said, “We should be focused on defending the United States of America. That’s why young men and women sign up to join the military, not to, as you know, serve as Al Qaeda’s air force.”
That comment about the US military becoming Al Qaeda’s air force drew a rebuke from Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger, who happens to be my congressman, during a House committee hearing about Syria Wednesday where Kinzinger made it clear that he supports and wants the US military to intervene and punish Assad for using chemical weapons.
Kinzinger would say, “I’ve heard some people say and its really bothered me they say that if we go in and we strike Assad and make him pay for the use of chemical weapons more than any benefit he gains that we are acting as quote, ‘Al Qaeda’s air force’ and I believe that is a cheap line by some people to garner headlines and not a serious discussion of whats going on(in Syria).”
Those comments by congressman Kinzinger and a claim by Secretary of State John Kerry that only 15-25% of the Syrian rebels are extremist totally fly in the face of reality.
As the Washington Examiner points out via the Economist 7 of the 9 main rebel groups in Syria are tied to Islamic extremist.
Last month, the Economist had an illuminating report on the Syrian opposition groups, which concluded that, “As the civil war has dragged on, the rebels, hardened by war and seeing where their bread is buttered, have become more Islamist and extreme.” An accompanying helpful chart breaks down the three main fronts of the opposition (which represent alliances of various rebel fighting groups) and then further breaks down the nine key rebel fighting groups. According to the chart, two of the three main fronts are Islamist, as are seven of the nine key rebel fighting groups.
Add to that the fact that one of the main rebel groups in Syria Al Nusrah Front is a full-fledged member of Al Qaeda created by Al Qaeda in Iraq and that Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al-Sharia, the group behind the 9/11 attack in Benghazi, is helping to train thousands of fighters for Syria it becomes unmistakable any action we might want to take to hurt or punish Assad will directly give aid and comfort to our sworn enemy.
Congressman Kinzinger, as a veteran and reservist, you should know better than this.