I don't know why anyone's surprised. Didn't they see the video of the Syrian rebel eating the heart of a Syrian soldier he killed? Or the many execution videos they've been posting for the past year or so (as Diane Sweet points out)? This is what war is. Once a war begins, the line between "good guys" and "bad guys" becomes very, very blurred. That's why it's important to be as cautious as possible before getting involved -- because as we've so often learned (although apparently not often enough), the cure may be much worse than the situation we're attempting to remedy:
The Syrian rebels posed casually, standing over their prisoners with firearms pointed down at the shirtless and terrified men.
"If they regard anyone associated with the old regime as evil, one can only imagine what they will do if they come to power."
The prisoners, seven in all, were captured Syrian soldiers. Five were trussed, their backs marked with red welts. They kept their faces pressed to the dirt as the rebels’ commander recited a bitter revolutionary verse.
“For fifty years, they are companions to corruption,” he said. “We swear to the Lord of the Throne, that this is our oath: We will take revenge.”
The moment the poem ended, the commander, known as “the Uncle,” fired a bullet into the back of the first prisoner’s head. His gunmen followed suit, promptly killing all the men at their feet.
This scene, documented in a video smuggled out of Syria a few days ago by a former rebel who grew disgusted by the killings, offers a dark insight into how many rebels have adopted some of the same brutal and ruthless tactics as the regime they are trying to overthrow.
As the United States debates whether to support the Obama administration’s proposal that Syrian forces should be attacked for using chemical weapons against civilians, this video, shot in the spring of 2012, joins a growing body of evidence of an increasingly criminal environment populated by gangs of highwaymen, kidnappers and killers.