The euphoria over the Arab Spring has morphed into a low groan.

Written by R. JAMES TOWE  james@sollicitus.us

The flag of ISIS
Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) were some of the biggest proponents of 'freedom fighters' in Libya and more recently, Syria. Senator McCain would make risky fly-ins to show support for 'moderate' elements, posing for photos with these 'warriors of freedom'.

Now that the region has fallen ever deeper into anarchic rubble, the newly-noticed Islamic Republic or ISIS as it's known to the news media, controls large portions of Syria and Iraq.

By the statements of sudden concern expressed at the highest levels of our government, one would conclude that this army of menacing maniacs grew out of the desert overnight, not that it came about over several years while Western governments looked the other way.

ISIS grew into a murderous menace by the West's insistence that all was well; that small splinter-groups, like ISIS (an off-shoot of al-Qaeda) were 'junior varsity' as the president so succinctly described it in 2013. The years in Iraq had drained treasuries and the public will to continue in what seemed like a perpetual motion of conflict with no end. President Obama, all the while, was more than happy to remove any American presence in Iraq. The American intervention fit his thesis that the Unites States was the problem, and our continued involvement prevented good Iraqis from controlling their own destiny.


With ISIS's operational control based in Syria, there are still voices encouraging the West to arm 'moderate' elements within Syria. The U.S. and its partners could destroy the Syrian regime's air defenses while arming resistance militias, with the real probability that the weapons would soon fall into enemy hands. This is assuming that these arms wouldn't be with the enemy immediately upon arrival. There is no reliable way to know what we are arming. 

When presented with the various groups in the Syrian conflict, the only truly prudent step would be to allow Bashar al-Assad to defeat ISIS and the other revolutionaries within
The Syrian President
that land. Assad's forces, unlike Iraq's, have had recent success against ISIS. The focus should concentrate on ending the civil war in Syria or tens of thousands more will die. Simply blindly choosing resistance groups and arming them not only prolongs the suffering of the civilian population, it invariably arms groups that may be far more dangerous to the national interest than the current Syrian leader; a man concerned with little more than the survival of his regime.

The prospect of leaving yet another Middle Eastern despot in power leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Unfortunately, the region understands nothing other than an iron fist. Despotism in a region mired in a violent religious indoctrination is certainly preferred to the mass blood-bath that is the result of the now infamous Arab Spring.