It appears that the U.S. has been trying to cover up their aid to Syrian opposition groups of late. Recently, news emerged that the United States was providing training to secular opposition groups in neighboring Jordan. Also, information leaked that the United States has been supporting Turkey in its shipment of arms to the Syrian rebels. Such actions portray not only a hypocritical America but also one that is unsure of itself.
After all, what does the United States have to hide? It is the world’s strongest military power by a long shot; it is supporting a moral cause; it is acting within the parameters of international law. If the United States was to openly support the rebel groups through arms, it would lead to a far better perception of such actions.
Additionally, such actions show that the United States is unsure of the direction it wants to take and has already taken in regards to the Arab Springs. Whenever such accounts come up, the United States is quick to remark that it was supporting only moderate secular opposition groups.
The fact of the matter is that the U.S. only says this for public image. The United States already supports non-secular opposition groups. The Free Syrian Army is under Islamist control, but the United States has been forced to support it as it is the largest opposition group in Syria. This shows that the United States is not afraid of the rise of an Islamist Syria. Rather, the U.S. is afraid of being accused of supporting Islamism, the doctrine that swept Egypt and Libya following their Arab Spring. But as the U.S. and the international community knows too well, it is not Islamism that has led to the instability of the post-Arab Spring nations; it was the Revolution itself. As such, it would be far better for the interests of the United States and the international community to support a broader range of opposition groups in order to achieve the immediate goal not of lasting stability but rather of the oust of al-Assad.
Regardless of the United States’ attempts to control the rebellion in Syria, the fact of the matter is that the fall of al-Assad will bring years if not decades of instability to Syria. However, the United States has already taken that calculated risk and reasoned that instability is worth the cost of bringing a despot to justice. All the United States can do now is try to hasten the fall of al-Assad, a process that can only be sped up through the support of all rebel groups, secular or otherwise.