Have we learned nothing from Afghanistan and Iraq?

The recent death of Fr François Murad in northern Syria at the hands of Jihadist militants has been reported only sporadically in the western media. Damian Thompson at the Telegraph has this post, which provides several links to the various reports and to the graphic and upsetting video that reportedly shows the murder of the priest and two other so far nameless victims. 

There are, of course, many other people who have been murdered in horrible circumstances in Syria, and I am sure there have been atrocities on both sides, but this latest atrocity ought to make clear to us that so called rebels in Syria are not the sort of people that any sensible or moral person should have anything to do with whatever.

It is important to realise that the government of Bashar al-Assad is impeccably secular and has a proven track record of allowing freedom of worship. While no democrat, Assad and his government have been pluralist, in a manner of speaking. It is also true that Assad has been full of anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish rhetoric, not least on the occasion of the visit to Syria of the late Blessed John Paul II. But the opponents of Assad, and those who carried out this recent murder would, if this is possible to imagine, be even more anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli. And with them it will, should they come to power, not just be rhetoric either.

In their determination to bring down the government of Syria, the western powers wish to arm the so-called rebels. In other words they wish to put guns into the hands of those who committed these horrific murders. Have we learned nothing from Afghanistan and Iraq?