I harrumphed and stamped my foot upon hearing that the Obama administration had agreed to some small arms sales to some Syrian rebels. I called the decision a “betrayal.” It seems more and more that it was instead just a canny sop to the allies until they came to their senses, which they seem to have finally done:
British newspaper reports on Monday said British military commanders had advised Mr. Cameron that there was no purpose to be served by sending small arms, since such modest arms supplies were unlikely to sway the outcome of the conflict, which is now in its third year. British officials declined to confirm the reports that Mr. Cameron had abandoned the idea of arming the rebels, saying that since no formal decision had been made to send weapons in the first place, it was not clear how he could be cast as retreating from it.
Of course, one reason to have a blog is to sound off loudly enough to send a message. So I don’t regret publicly going after Ben Rhodes et al. But I was empirically wrong to over-read what was a minimalist gesture in a longer game plan. And not for the first time.