Ex-Hostage: Syrian Rebels Used Chemical Weapons to Draw the US Into the War

Newser's Ruth Brown has written up an astounding, must-read story on what former hostages of the Syrian rebels have to say about their former captors now.

Take a few seconds to digest that first sentence. The people that Sen. John McCain wants Americans to fight and die for are hostage takers.

The rebels held Italian reporter Domenico Quirico for five months. Jeffersonian lovers of freedom and liberty tend not to take reporters hostage. Quirico did not develop any Stockholm syndrome.

"Our captors were from a group that professed itself to be Islamist but that in reality is made up of mixed-up young men who have joined the revolution because the revolution now belongs to these groups that are midway between banditry and fanaticism," he wrote, per the BBC. "They follow whoever promises them a future, gives them weapons, gives them money to buy cell phones, computers, clothes."

What I wrote last week, that the rebels resemble the Crips and Bloods gangs, holds up.

Brown also quotes a Belgian academic who was held hostage alongside Quirico. He alleges that the rebels are the ones who used chemical weapons, to frame Assad and draw the United States into the civil war.

Pierre Piccinin, has accused the rebels—of whom he says he was previously a "fierce supporter"—of framing Bashar al-Assad with last month's chemical weapons attacks, after overhearing their captors say as much on a Skype conversation with other rebels. But Quirico is less certain. "We heard some people we didn’t know talking through a half-closed door," he says, per the Times. "It’s impossible to know whether what was said was based on real fact or just hearsay." Nevertheless, he says, he does not support a US military strike against Syria, which he says would only strengthen extremist forces, reports ANSA.

The problem with any rebellion in the Middle East is that it is bound to pick up Islamist elements, at the very least. Syria's has grown an Islamist skin, spine and brain.