Today's award for the most euphemistic lead paragraph goes to the New York Times. Paraphrasing Hillary Clinton, the Times says the U.S. has agreed to "send communications equipment to help rebels organize and evade Syria's military."
It might be nice if there were communications equipment whose use is inherently confined to evasive maneuvers. But I'm not aware of any. Inevitably, the equipment we're giving the rebels will help them organize as they attack Syria's military, not just as they retreat. It may even help them attack Syrian civilians who share the Alawite ethnicity of Syrian president Bashar al Assad. (Rebel attacks on Alawite civilians took place during the siege of Homs.) What's more, according to the Syrian National Council, this "communications equipment" is going to include night-vision goggles--and I doubt it's just nighttime evasions that the rebels have in mind.
As I've said before, the Syrian situation is such a mess that I don't claim to have a solution. And I guess that limits how indignant I can get about solutions that other people are pushing, including those that my government is pursuing. But could we at least be honest about we're doing? The U.S., by giving the rebels this communications equipment, is now officially helping Syrians kill other Syrians. That's a big step.