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Beltway Confidential

You're either with Assad and Putin, or you're with Obama and al Qaeda

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Bill Kristol, editor of the Washington Examiner's sister publication, The Weekly Standard, urges Republicans to vote for war in Syria.

Kristol writes: "A vote against Obama will be seen as a vote for Bashar al-Assad, and for Vladimir Putin, and for the regime in Iran."

This guilt-by-association argument is an odd one for a hawk to deploy here, considering the news from Maaloula, a Christian village near Damascus:

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, rebel groups, a mix of the extremist Jabhat al-Nusra and the more moderate Free Syrian Army (FSA), attacked with full force.

"First they took a brick factory owned by a Christian guy, who is now missing," said the resident. "Then at around 5.30am, a car bomb detonated at the checkpoint at the entrance to the village.

"Some of the rebels entered a home near the checkpoint belonging to Yousef Haddad, a Christian. They tried to force him to convert to Islam."

A nun living in a convent in the village told the Associated Press that 27 orphans living in the convent were taken to nearby caves for shelter.

Also relevant, this video of Syrian rebels assassinating Assad's soldiers.

This is the nature of foreign affairs: It's often about choosing among competing murderous factions.

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