Today Obama announced that we're going to begin military aid to the Syria rebel group Supreme Military Council. Supposedly, this is because the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on rebels and civilians. Despite the fact that we've repeatedly condemned Russia for seeking to aid the Syrian regime, we're going to do the opposite and arm the opposition which has a massive group of hardline extremists that will likely turn against the US as soon as they are in the position to do so. Furthermore, there are rumors, according to the UN, that the Syrian rebellion has also used chemical weapons. This combined with the fact that 93,000 civilians have been compared to the 150 killed with the chemical weapons usage makes me think that this is a shaky argument at best. I certainly hope we don't find ourselves arming a group that also used chemical weapons.
Before this announcement and continuing after, John McCain has and is calling for a "No Fly Zone" in Syria, while the Obama administration has declined to implement one because of Syria's air capabilities. However, it's been effectively confirmed that Israel has in the past bombed Syria. A no fly zone would preclude Israel from bombing Syria in anyway shape or form. In fact, when Russia wanted to enact a no Israeli fly zone, through providing anti aircraft weapons (only capable of hitting planes), the US condemned this as aiding the Syrian regime. It's also likely that those same systems would have been able to hit the majority of US planes as well as the Israeli Air Force, so we were as much protesting anything that would have prevented our Air Force from dominating the sky above Syria.
Based on the interviews I've heard, I don't think the end result in Syria is going to be a beneficial one for the US unless something magical happens. Where we arm the right people and they are the only ones we help and they automagically kick the Syrian Regime out of the country. It's not going to happen. Even after Assad is overthrown (if he is) it's likely that Syria will continue to be consumed by a civil war, which will likely be even more of a religious civil war than it is now. Now it's as much ethic based as not.
On Reddit, there's a meme that's arguing that the reason we entered Syria now is an attempt to distract the US media from the NSA and Prism debacles. This could be on the right trail. The news is dominated by the fact that we're supplying aid to the rebels, what the implications of these actions will be and what won't be. I think getting involved in another conflict in any manner isn't good for the US, especially if the side we backs fails, which it is still likely to do so. We've lost any moral authority we had with Russia in an argument regarding supplying weapons to either side.
I do not think that this will pull people away from the NSA issue, we're going to keep seeing it. I'm going to keep writing about it - I just wanted to post something about the hypocrisy of the US entering the Syrian civil war. The big story for this week and next week is still the NSA and PRISM. We are going to continue seeing new developments in this area and we need to keep our eyes on it. If we don't keep pushing this, it will become 'ok' through passive consent. That's not acceptable.