Remember Fast and Furious, the ill-fated gun-running operation in which weapons were allowed to walk into Mexico? Many of these guns ended up in the hands of cartels and didn’t turn up again until after they were used in violent crimes, including murders.
If Fast and Furious was a fiasco, how much worse is the potential of a foreign policy predicated on arming rebels in countries filled with Islamic radicals, where the U.S. government has little clue what is going on and no direct control over the weapons’ distribution?
This hands-off approach is designed to avoid accountability, but it leads to longer-term problems. The New York Times story on the weapons going to Libyan jihadists noted, “Relying on surrogates allows the United States to keep its fingerprints off operations, but also means they may play out in ways that conflict with American interests.”
No background checks, no waiting periods, nothing even as strict as the so-called gun show loophole.
You can also bet that these are military-style weapons, with no restrictions on magazine clips.
To quote the next line from Warren Zevon, “The shit has hit the fan.”
The theory behind this Fast and Furious foreign policy is that the Obama administration can wage the war on terror without consequences. But even the most clever politicians and policymakers cannot avoid the law of unintended consequences.
There’s an old adage in the gun control debate: When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
Imagine how much truer the second half of that statement is when guns are shipped to outlaw nations.
W. James Antle III is the editor of The Daily Caller News Foundation. Follow him on Twitter.