A New York Times story is challenging the image advanced by the White House that the rebels forces are largely moderates who are worthy of yet another military intervention by the United States. The story recounts the latest massacre of captured Syrian soldiers as a commander reads a menacing prayer over their clearly beaten bodies before executing them in violation of international law.
The commander, known as “the Uncle,” reads the prayer that “We swear to the Lord of the Throne, that this is our oath: We will take revenge.” The soldiers are then executed. Previous news accounts have shown a heavy influence of Al Qaeda in the rebel forces and savage acts of abuse by rebels leaders, including one who cut out and ate the heart of a prisoner. There appears no “red line” on human rights abuses by rebels for President Obama.
When not promising a free war to members, John Kerry has been assuring them that no more than 20 percent are murderous extremists — just one in five. However, the article details how rebel forces are increasingly populated by gangs of highwaymen, kidnappers and killers. For his part, Representative Michael McCaul (R., TX) virtually called Kerry a liar and said that in non-public briefings he was told that half of the opposition fighters were extremists.
With disputes like this, it is no wonder that Nancy Pelosi has adopted a bedtime story approach for selling the war, using language for a population of five-year-olds.