"We've made a decision that the Syrian Opposition Coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime," President Obama told Barbara Walters during an interview Tuesday.
So he means now that the coalition apparently meets some sort of affirmative action hiring scheme, we can endorse them?
No, that's not it.
Obama's Administration has unofficially recognized the Syrian rebels for some time now, since the U.S. has been the major funder and armorer of the opposition. The Administration just didn't want the American public to recognize what it's been up to in the Middle East.
The sole reason for the uprising against Bashar Assad isn't because the Syrian people suddenly had a craving for freedom, despite the White House narrative, it's because Assad wouldn't play along with Obama's schemes for the Middle East.
What Obama's announcement means is that now that he's secured his re-election, Obama is moving into a new phase in his confrontation with Russia, which is what the Syrian "civil war" is really all about.
Twenty-nine rebel groups have pledged their allegiance to the Nusra Front, an al-Qaida aligned group that killed U.S. troops in Iraq. Funding terrorist groups is a crime under the National Defense Authorization Act. We're dealing with them anyway.
In fact, our funneling of money, arms and al-Qaida-connected personnel into Syria gets to the heart of what happened in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, a story which has been all but buried alive by the mainstream media. And it gets to the heart of what's wrong with Obama's Middle East policies.
Obama wants to be the big man in the Middle East. He apparently figures he can accomplish that by overturning existing governments and installing new players in the capital buildings.
Most of those new players have turned out to be members of the Muslim Brotherhood or to have connections to it. Rather than moving toward democracy, the "Arab Spring" countries have mostly traded one tyrant for another, with the added bonus of the implementation of sharia law in those lands where it wasn't the norm before.
The Obama Administration seems to be OK with tyrants so long as they follow Obama's wishes. But therein lies the problem. The attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans can be viewed as terrorist-aligned groups asserting their independence and reminding Obama who's really in charge.
"Obviously, with that recognition (of the Syrian coalition) comes responsibilities," Obama told Walters. "To make sure that they organize themselves effectively, that they are representative of all the parties, that they commit themselves to a political transition that respects women's rights and minority rights."
It's statements like that last about women's and minority rights that make you wonder if Obama is really that stupid or if he's just playing to his liberal audience.
Publicly, Obama seems to think that he can rule the Middle East with the force of his personality, but so far, it just looks like his foreign policy is one colossal miscalculation.