In explaining Why the Obama Administration Is Favoring al-Qaeda's Main Syrian Ally, Gareth Porter points to a piece by Charles Lister from last year. This in turn points to [http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-deadly-consequences-of-mislabeling-syrias-revolutionaries/2015/07/10/6dec139e-266e-11e5-aae2-6c4f59b050aa_story.html a Washington Post editorial by Ahrar Al-Sham's Labib Nahhas (their "head of foreign political relations"), where he says "We have been falsely accused of having organizational links to Al-Qaeda and of espousing Al-Qaeda’s ideology. Nothing could be further from the truth.” Nothing, whatsoever. They are, like, the polar opposites of Al Qaeda. Except of course they continue to fight alongside them. Lister explains why this makes Ahrar Al-Sham useful: Through private discussions with a variety of Islamist actors in Syria, a clear belief emerges that remaining in close quarters with Jabhat al-Nusra is the only viable method of controlling the limits of their behavior. This may be enabling the group in the immediate term, they admit, but the consequences of a constrained but viable al-Qaida affiliate still dominated by Syrians is seen as more favorable than making the whole group an enemy. So the moderate Islamists, if not their external supporters (including the USA) seek to avoid making an enemy of Al Qaeda, and instead cozying up to and thus "controlling" the group, to use its terrorism is a directed way, as if they wouldn't notice. And isn't this in the best spirit of the "War Against Terrorism," both before and after the 9/11 attacks? Lister adds:
- It is easy for those outside Syria to present this as a weak excuse, but when the vast majority of the Syrian opposition think and act in the same way, the dynamics at play ought to at least be acknowledged.
Nahhas helps him make this point, explaining in his op-ed “the term ‘moderate’ is…[so] narrow and arbitrary…that it excludes the bulk of the mainstream opposition.” As used, the term still seems to include his Islamist group, Jaish Al-Islam, and everyone else besides Al-Nusra and Daesh (officially - but of course they're still seen as useful - not allies, but perhaps able to be "controlled"). --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:52, 14 June 2016 (UTC)