Of course, Syrian Islamists are no friends of the United States — merely the enemies of one of its enemies. Indeed, their long-term aspirations are
arguably more reprehensible than those of the mullahs in Tehran — Shiites, after all, aren’t obsessed with converting others their faith. Syrians have also
been prominent in the leadership of al Qaeda, easily recognizable by the surname al-Suri in their noms de guerre: Notable examples include Abu Musab
al-Suri, a major al Qaeda ideologue; Ghazawan al-Suri, the leader of al Qaeda in Mosul captured in 2007; Abu Zaid al-Suri, a deputy leader of al Qaeda in
the Iraqi town of Rawah, captured in 2006; Abu Layla al-Suri, the leader of al Qaeda in Diyala, killed in 2008.
For the foreseeable future, however, Iran constitutes a far greater and more immediate threat to U.S. national interests. Whatever misfortunes Sunni
Islamists may visit upon the Syrian people, any government they form will be strategically preferable to the Assad regime, for three reasons: A new
government in Damascus will find continuing the alliance with Tehran unthinkable, it won’t have to distract Syrians from its minority status with foreign
policy adventurism like the ancien régime, and it will be flush with petrodollars from Arab Gulf states (relatively) friendly to Washington.
So long as Syrian jihadis are committed to fighting Iran and its Arab proxies, we should quietly root for them — while keeping our distance from a conflict
that is going to get very ugly before the smoke clears. There will be plenty of time to tame the beast after Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions have gone
down in flames. :check: