Do not realize that:
1) the longer the conflict goes on, the better. It weakens both sides, and it uses up men, money, materiel, volunteers from the outside Muslim world. It helps to use up more Iranian billions,and Iranian attention.
2) in the end, it is preferable that the Alawites control as much territory as possible. They from now on will be concerned only with their own survival, and having seen that being plus-royaliste-que-le-roi on the subject of Israel didn't buy them the immunity they hoped, they may continue to bleat about the Zionist enemy but will unlikely ever again to waste their own lives and weapons to further a Sunni Muslim cause. Syria is, for a long while, no longer a military threat to Israel. The Alawites will have to withdraw intro themselves, to protect themselves, to stay alive.
3) The chemical Iand biological) weapons must be kept under control of the Alawites, or be destroyed by Western powers. Nothing should be done to cause the precipitous downfall of the Alawites. If it must happen, let it happen slowly, so that they have time to take those weapons with them, into an Alawite heartland, redoubt, Vendee.
4) in the end, it is preferable that the Sunni Muslim rebels possess as little advanced weaponry as possible
5) any such military intervention in Syria -- after Iraq and Afghanistan -- even if it consists only in supplying weapons, not troops to use them, will make less, not more likely, the only American military intervention that matters -- an attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear project.
It is in the nature of things that if the Americans supply weapons, some or most or all of those weapons will be used by the wrong people, fall into unintended hands, have unintended consequences, possibly even be acquired by the worst of the Muslim fanatics. And if that something inevitably goes wrong, what are now presidential velleities vis-a-vis Iran will never harden into will.
That's why,when I run across something like this:
Syria: Everyone But Obama Wanted Action
by Elliott Abrams
February 7, 2013
It has emerged in the last few days that Secretary of State Clinton and CIA Director David Petraeus wanted last year to arm and train the Syrian rebels.
I think to myself: Good God. How hard is it to make sense of things, and among those things is the matter of how to divide, demoralize, weaken the Camp of Islam. And just how hard is it to learn to think for oneself, to hold back from that crowd-psychology and that lemming-leap?