A Civil War Within A Civil War


Al Qaeda just killed one of the Free Syria Army’s top commanders. The Syrian opposition now has to defeat the Jihadist maniacs and the Assad machine. It reveals to me just how nuts it is to intervene in that almighty and intractable mess. But it also reveals a possibly positive dynamic we have seen in the past: giving al Qaeda enough rope to hang themselves with the resident population has often led to their defeat. It did in Anbar and in Jordan. And far better for Arabs to suppress al Qaeda than Westerners.

Meanwhile, a reminder of how quixotic the attempt is to reconcile the irreconcilable in the current Arab moment:

New attacks on Iraqi Shiites killed at least 24 people while assaults Friday against policemen killed five, officials said, as insurgents press their campaign to exacerbate the country’s renewed sectarian tensions.

And the beat goes on.

(Photo: An opposition fighter stands over seven year old Ahmad Jabir, who was injured alongside some his family members by a shell, as he lies on a X-Ray machine after he brought the boy to a hospital in the town of Al-Bara, in Syria’s northwestern province Idlib on July 8, 2013. The town of Al-Bara has been under regular shelling during the past few weeks after clashes between rebel forces and the Syrian army started around the highway that connects the Idlib and Latakia provinces. By Daniel Leal Olivas/AFP/Getty Images.)