President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that France had delivered weapons to rebels battling the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad "a few months ago."
The deliveries took place "a few months ago, when the Syrian rebels had to face both the armies of the dictator Bashar al-Assad and this terrorist group Islamic State," Hollande told reporters on a tour of the French island of La Reunion.
"We cannot leave the only Syrians who are preparing a democracy ... without weapons," he added.
What is happening currently in Syria is "terrible," he said. "On one side, the state of Bashar al-Assad which continues to crush and massacre, (on the other) Islamic State, and, in the middle, those who were supposed to lay the ground for the future, caught in a pincer movement."
"So we should not stop the support that we have given to these rebels who are the only ones to take part in the democratic process," said the president. ...
He added in that interview that the international community bore a "heavy responsibility" for what is happening in Syria, with its knock-on effects in Iraq.
"If, two years ago, we had acted to ensure a transition, we wouldn't have had Islamic State.
"If, one year ago, the major powers had reacted to the use of chemical weapons, we wouldn't have had this terrible choice between a dictator and a terrorist group," adding that the rebels "deserve all our support".
What if Assad (or Saddam Hussein, or Moammar Qaddafi) had been supporting forces attempting to overthrow by armed rebellion the Fifth Republic? The arrogance on display here is astonishing.
The problem according to Hollande is that "we" did not arrange two years ago for Assad to make way for "rebels" more favorable to Europe/US. The problem was compounded, according to Hollande, because one year ago, Europe/US did not "react" to the use of chemical weapons, presumably with overt war against Assad instead of, as was done with Russia's help, preventing further use of chemical weapons (including by "rebels").
And now faced with the choice between a (secular, unlike that of "friendly" Saudi Arabia) dictator and a terrorist group, Hollande supports escalating the cause.
There were always questions about the multifarious Syrian anti-Assad rebels. It was always clear that destabilizing Syria would empower ideological fighters of all kinds, including those of the Islamic State stripe. After Europe/US overthrow of relatively stable Iraq and Libya, those countries are deadly messes — did nobody think that might be the result also of taking the fight to Syria?
Or maybe that is exactly what is wanted. After all, the weapons trade is doing very well. As is the consequently necessary security state in Europe/US.
Yes, the international community bears a "heavy responsibility" for what is happening in Syria. Hollande is representative: an idiot and a terrorist.