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Our Friends the Free Syrian Army

Theo Padnos, an American journalist and former hostage of jihadis in the Syrian war, writes about his experiences among them.  Somehow, Washington believes that we should be funding the Free Syrian Army (FSA) goons. Padnos’s experience suggests otherwise. Excerpts:

I returned to the F.S.A. troops. One told me that his unit had recently traveled to Jordan to receive training from American forces in fighting groups like the Nusra Front.

“Really?” I said. “The Americans? I hope it was good training.”

“Certainly, very,” he replied.

The fighters stared at me. I stared at them.

“Oh, that,” one said. “We lied to the Americans about that.”

More, after escaping from Al Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria:

By this point, I knew better than to seek refuge among the “moderates” of the Free Syrian Army. I asked a passing motorcyclist to take me to a hospital. At the hospital, a dour-looking man greeted me. “I am a journalist,” I said. “From Ireland. Please, you must help me. I love the Syrian people.”

“Don’t worry,” he said. “I am the F.S.A.”

The FSA, our dear friends and agents in Syria, sold or gave him back to the Nusra Front.

Finally, here is a lovely snapshot of what these monsters have in store for their families, and for ours:

Over the last 22 months, I had stopped being surprised when Nusra Front commanders introduced their 8-year-old sons to me by saying, “He will be a suicide martyr someday, by the will of God.” The children participated in the torture sessions. Around the prisons, they wore large pouches with red wires sticking out of them — apparently suicide belts — and sang their “destroy the Jews, death to America” anthems in the hallways. It would be a mistake to assume that only Syrians are educating their children in this manner. The Nusra Front higher-ups were inviting Westerners to the jihad in Syria not so much because they needed more foot soldiers — they didn’t — but because they want to teach the Westerners to take the struggle into every neighborhood and subway station back home. They want these Westerners to train their 8-year-olds to do the same. Over time, they said, the jihadists would carve mini-Islamic emirates out of the Western countries, as the Islamic State had done in Syria and Iraq. There, Western Muslims would at last live with dignity, under a true Quranic dispensation.

Read the whole thing.  I don’t for a second believe that these people can succeed in creating emirates in the West. But they can kill a lot of innocent people in the attempt.

Bashar Assad is a monster, but he is not a monster who has the intention and the means to kill us in our own countries.

Meanwhile, we continue to back the FSA:

“At this point, the intent of the coalition is to build a coherence to the Free Syrian Army elements that will give it the capacity and the credibility over time to be able to make its weight felt in the battlefield,” retired Marine Gen. John R. Allen, named by the White House to help coordinate the anti-extremist coalition, told reporters in Washington this month.

No fool like an American fool.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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