1. an apparently free choice when there is no real alternative
2. the necessity of accepting one of two or more equally objectionable alternatives.………” Merriam Webster
“The jihadi group surging through Iraq and Syria is using large captured US-made weapons and has access to anti-tank rockets supplied by Saudi Arabia to a moderate rebel group, according to a report published on Monday. The study by the London-based Conflict Armament Research consultancy found that Islamic State (Isis) militants had access to large numbers of US weapons, which they were shifting to key battlefields……..The report was compiled from a list of weapons captured from Isis by Kurdish militias over a 10-day period in July. Of most interest was the capture of two M-79 rockets that were identical to a batch of such weapons supplied by Saudi Arabia to rebels………”
So this report seems to corroborate what we have all been saying for some time: it is almost impossible to keep weapons from being transferred among Syrian Jihadis. There is an active Syrian market for them and they get taken and sold and gifted between the hundreds of Jihadi groups and gangs that seek to liberate Syria for the Saudi and Qatari princes and take it back to their distorted vision of the seventh century (AD). ISIS and Al Nusra and all the other “Jabhats” and “Ansars” and myriad groupies get enough money from their well-known sources to be able to ‘buy’ whatever weapons they want from other Syrian ‘freedom fighters’, including the Free Syrian Salafi Army.
The fact is that within Syria there are no real non-Jihadi rebels anymore. This has been the case since late 2011, after the Wahhabis of the Persian Gulf region mobilized their vast financial, media, and volunteer resources and deployed them, armed with a strong dose of deep sectarian hatred, to commandeer a nascent uprising in Syria. Just a few years after deploying the same murderous resources to massacre Iraqi civilians in their towns and cities.
Within Syria the choice among rebels is between the following: (a) plain bad Wahhabis, (b) badder Wahhabis, and (c) the baddest Wahhabis. The crucial battles with Syrian regime forces in the past year or two saw all these various tiers of Wahhabi Jihadist groups join forces. Join forces and share weapons before the baddest of them, ISIS, started to push the others to the margins, to the periphery of history. Building up new mildly Wahhabi groups inside the Humorless Kingdom of Jordan and sending them into Syria to keep the civil war going will not do the trick either. The Jordanian Front is not likely to fare better than the Turkish front has done.
Or maybe the plain bad Wahhabis are the only palatable Hobson option available for the Western powers. They can appoint French pop-philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, co-liberator of Libya, as NATO high commissioner for Syria, to keep them from going badder and baddest. It did not work in Libya, but it might in Syria: hope springs eternal when supported with tribal petro-money.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum