Slipping Into the Syrian Darkness

My first thought when I read that the president’s sending 50 special ops troops into Syria to train the non-ISIS rebels was “isn’t the whole idea of tiny units of special ops troops that nobody knows they are there?” So it’s unclear to me why a “senior administration official” would be leaking this potentially inflammatory development, unless she or he opposes it and wants to blow it up.

If so, I can understand the sentiment, though that’s probably because I have this simplistic idea that in a regional civil war the U.S. ought either to stay out or to pick one side and stick with it. Yes, I know we are supposed to hate ISIS and Assad/Iran equally, but the fact is that they are trying very hard to kill each other, and we do not seem to have figured out how to fight ISIS without helping Assad or Iran.

In any event, if this is all a very bad idea, slipping into it by small measures won’t help, especially if it’s all over the front page of the Washington Post.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.