Another Fine Middle East Mess
The latest from Syria:
Promised American military aid has not yet arrived, a month after a major increase in such aid was announced, because Congress has refused to approve the program (as required by law). Politicians from both major parties have united to oppose the government on this and the president has not yet been able to convince Congress that the government has a workable plan to get weapons to the Syrian rebels without also arming Islamic terror groups. There have already been documented incidents where rebel Islamic radical groups and even pro-Assad militias have been seen using American weapons previously sent to the rebels. Congress believes that is more than just the normal fortunes of war (rebels losing American weapons in battle or selling them for any number of reasons). Opinion polls in the U.S. indicate that about 60 percent of Americans oppose arming the Syrian rebels. Since September 11, 2001, Americans have become very familiar with Arab politics and want to avoid it. The Turks, who controlled most Arab states for nearly 500 years (until 1918) has a similar attitude. Many Syrians are coming to agree with the Americans and Turks and that the Islamic radical factions among the Syria rebels are more trouble than they are worth. For over a year now Syrians have been hearing of (or experiencing) Islamic radicals enforcing (often with the death penalty) Islamic lifestyle rules (how to dress, behave, and so on). This sort of thing is very unpopular with most Syrians and is causing growing friction with Islamic radicals (most of whom are foreigners).
Syria is so broken now I don't know that there's any putting it back together again. Libya was relatively lucky -- it's only breaking into three or four pieces. Tunisia will likely hold together. Iraq will may fully succumb to Iranian meddling, until that unholy conglomeration comes crumbling apart, too.
But Syria? Syria looks like fine China thrown forcefully onto a tile floor -- assuming you first took a sledgehammer to the tile.