The New York Times reports on the backlash against the listing of one armed Syrian group as a terrorist organization:
More than 100 antigovernment organizations and fighting battalions have called online for demonstrations on Friday under the slogan, “No to American intervention — we are all Jabhet al-Nusra,” a reference to the group’s Arabic name.
Micah Zenko sums up the article this way:
— Micah Zenko (@MicahZenko) December 12, 2012
It is grimly fitting that a move that was presumably intended to distinguish the relatively acceptable elements of the Syrian opposition from the unacceptable, jihadist elements has instead driven the former to embrace the latter in such a way that should make increased support for any of them next to impossible. If anti-Assad forces want to identify themselves with a group that has apparently “killed Syrian civilians in more than 40 suicide bombings,” they can do so, but that just gives opponents of U.S. intervention one more reason to insist that the U.S. stay out of the conflict. If this latest reaction isn’t the clearest indication possible that the U.S. should avoid deeper entanglement in this conflict, which Washington has never fully understood and cannot successfully navigate, I don’t know what would be.