The sound and fury in Thursday's Senate debate signified grave doubts, but it ended in a lopsided 78-22 vote in favor of President Obama's plan to arm Syrian rebels for the fight against Islamic State terrorists. The House approved the plan by a 273-156 vote on Wednesday, and the measure, part of a trillion-dollar spending plan to keep the federal government operating through the end of the calendar year, is now on its way to the White House for the president's signature.
The supposed “moderate” rebels fighting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad — self-styled jihadists whom the Obama administration and Congress plan to supply with even more support under the guise of battling the Islamic State (ISIS) — recently signed a non-aggression pact with ISIS (also known as ISIL), according to reports from human-rights groups and French news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP). Lawmakers on Capitol Hill pointed to the news as yet another reason why supplying U.S. arms and support to Islamic forces to battle Islamic forces was a dangerous idea. The foreign-policy establishment, however, plans to proceed with arming and training jihadists anyway.
Members of Congress might feel a bit like comic Lou Costello in the famous "Who's on First" skit as they try to determine who to send arms and aid to in Syria to battle the terrorists of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS.
In a bipartisan display of reluctant cooperation, the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday voted 273 to 156 to approve President Obama's plan to train and equip allegedly moderate rebels in Syria.
Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 16, the nation’s two top defense officials, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, presented a less-than-optimistic prospect of success for the Obama administration’s new strategy to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).