Welcome to Barack Obama's Syrian War.

Ah, sorry: ‘conflict.’ That’s what we call wars when we don’t want to call them wars. It’s sort of a tradition, for Democrats: see Korea, Vietnam, and Serbia. At any rate: …and so it begins.

The White House will announce Friday that a small number of U.S. special operations forces will be sent into Syria, according to a senior U.S. official.

The senior U.S. official said that the forces will be stationed in northern Syria and work alongside groups with a proven track record of fighting ISIS. The move will be described as a “shift” but not a “change” in U.S. strategy against ISIS, the official added.

Translation: the Syrian Kurds are going to be getting more support. Finally. I mean, it was only the smart thing to do all along, after all.  Unfortunately, the President felt the need to try to do every other possible thing first, including sitting in a corner with his blue wool woobie over his head – but, hey! It’s not like there are actual human beings in Syria there, right? Or that you have to scratch your head and think about whether you should prefer IS, or the Russian-backed Assad regime:

As talks began, Assad’s regime carried out one of its bloodiest attacks for month. Rockets exploded in a crowded market in Douma, an urban area north of Damascus, killing more than 40 people and injuring 200. Video footage from the area showed bodies strewn among wreckage. Human rights groups have accused Assad of deliberately trying to drive civilians from rebel-held areas by targeting markets and hospitals.

This strategy has been most evident in Douma and other towns along the industrial belt north of Damascus, which have suffered poison gas attacks as well as barrel bombs. In August, 117 people were killed during a single day of air strikes in Douma.

Trick question, of course: you should prefer neither. You should prefer the one people in the region who actually like Americans, who can conduct ground operations on their own*, and who are busily putting together a for-real, legitimate, and reasonably free and democratic nation-state. But God forbid that Barack Obama ever listen to anybody who isn’t him. Ever.

One last note: the fact that I even had to write out ‘Russian-backed Assad regime’ should act as an endlessly-full Reservoir of Shame for every idiot in the current administration who managed to get us in this mess. It won’t – they’re all too busy blaming George W Bush, despite the fact that he knew how to win wars and Barack Obama largely does not – but it should. And maybe some day they’ll learn better.

Yeah, yeah, optimism run amok on my part.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Admittedly, they’re much more effective with the USAF providing air support. Then again, that’s just true generally.