According to testimony at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, the Pentagon, Defense Department and CIA presented a plan to supply weapons to Syrian rebels for the purpose of saving lives. The U.S. currently supplies only humanitarian and non-lethal aid such as intelligence assessments and maps of where to kill people. American weapons are also supplied to the rebels, but only after first being transferred to other countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Turkey so that someone other than the U.S. can deliver them. In some cases it also means that someone else pays for them, as well.
The Pentagon plan, however, would eliminate the middle man so that the U.S. could be credited with the lives saved by these weapons and so that the rebels and the people saved would owe a debt of gratitude (if they win) to the Americans. “The nonlethal aid is doing a lot of good, and our rebel friends are very grateful for it,” said a chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, who preferred not to be named. “However, lethal weapons are much more effective at saving lives.”
“…lethal weapons are much more effective at saving lives.”
“That’s right,” added an outgoing Secretary of Defense, who also preferred to remain anonymous. “The more lethal they are, the more lives they save. Look how many lives were saved by the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
The plan was shelved over concerns about the mixed results of supplying such aid to al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, which helped them defeat the Russians but led to later inconveniences. Nevertheless Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Sen. John McCain of Arizona backed the plan on the grounds that the opportunity to repeat history should not be ignored.
The senators found enthusiastic support from the National Rifle Association, which has long supported the principle that weapons are the best way to save lives and that the American people are entitled to own the same weapons as the U.S. military. “The only problem with the Middle East,” said spokesman Wayne LePire, “is that there aren’t enough lethal weapons.”