The Diane Rehm Show gets David Sanger of The New York Times, Susan Glasser of Foreign Policy magazine and Matt Frei of the U.K’s Channel 4 News in for a chat on a variety of subjects including whether the US should intervene. Start at 7m:15s for talk on Syria.
Sanger reminds us of the risks of giving weapons to proxies: the mujaheddin in Afghanistan used some weapons the US gave them in 80s against Americans after 9/11, he says. He forgot to mention that the US also had to buy back a lot of Stingers in the 90s. Expensive and risky. Sanger and Frei both note that Washington will use Gulf countries as a conduit for arming the rebels. Frei hit on a nice point (though a disturbing one for those of us who would like to avoid intervention): in lieu of western aid, the fractured Syrian rebel movement is more likely to seek help from religious extremists. Glassner says the US must find a way to support the “popular middle of this uprising.” Of course, who that is and whether they’re popular is left unsaid.