Bad Idea To Support “Moderate Syrian Rebels”

I have expressed support for the U.S. decision to try to undo one of the negative effects -the creation of the Islamic State- of some of its previous mistakes -most importantly the second Iraq war- by bombing Islamic State positions, and a few times also al Qaeda positions. This bombing campain has been crucial in preventing the Islamic State from taking the Kurdish city of Kobane and arguably also Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdish areas.

However, another part of the U.S. strategy against the Islamic State, arming so-called “moderate” rebels in Syria is mistaken. The so-called “moderate” rebels (who often aren’t so moderate as Obama claims and are often allied with al-Qaeda) generally only fights the Islamic State because the Islamic State attacks them. They almost never launch an offensive against the Islamic State and instead views the Assad government as their main enemy.

And while I certainly don’t deny that the Assad government is vile, it is nonetheless far less evil than the Islamic State (and al-Qaeda and most other non-Kurdish Syrian rebels) and it is the military force that has the greatest capability of repelling the Islamic State.

By arming and supporting allegedly “moderate” Syrian rebel groups, you will force Assad to distract more of his military forces to fighting them, strengthening the Islamic State.


Prices Are Falling- And So Is Unemployment

There has been some hand wringing over the fact that the Euro zone (and a lot of other currency zones as well) has experienced a falling consumer price index recently. But why should we be concerned about the fact that consumers are experiencing higher purchasing power? That sounds great to me, as a consumer i like it when i see that restaurants and stores lower the prices they charge me.

It is alleged that deflation will lower growth and increase unemployment. Yet on the same day that Eurostat published preliminary numbers of a 0.6% drop in the Euro area CPI (entirely due to cheaper oil) it also released a report showing that the Euro area unemployment rate fell from 11.8% in December 2013 to 11.4% in December 2014. It appears that price deflation does not have such a negative effect on growth as some people asserts….