The US decision to list the Syrian rebel movement Jabhat al-Nusra as a supporter of terrorism, on the grounds that it is an offshoot of Al-Qa'ida in Iraq,appears to have backfired; in response 29 militias and coordinating committees announced a new pro-Jabhat al-Nusra front, which presumably was not rhe result the US was seeking. If they were seeking to marginalize the group, they instead won it new allies. One mystery is why, exacrly, the US chose to take this action now at a time when generally the US has been expressing support (smostly verbal) for the rebels), and the rebel advances have been getting generally positive coverage in the West.
Perhaps they would have done better to ollow the lead of blogger Karl ReMarks, who offers this "Secular Idiot's Giude to Syria's Jihadist Groups." It's funny, if irreverent, and a reminder that ridicule can sometimes be effective where "terrorism" labels are not.[view whole blog post ]