Syria's President Assad may be the least bad alternative
Bashar Assad, admittedly, is not a good guy. He's minimally competent as a head of state, intolerant in the extreme of dissent, and bereft of popular support. He has received support, however, from an ally: Russia, in the form of Vlad the Impaler Putin. Putin also is not a good guy, with several opponents dying unexpectedly by unusual means and with some imprisoned because of excessive wealth. He has compounded this infelicity by confessing his admiration for Donald Trump.
This may suggest to some that we, the USA, should come in on the side of the "rebels" in Syria. Nothing could be farther from desirable or even acceptable. The rebels are Islamist and want to supplant the heretic Shi'ite Alawite regime with a sharia-compliant nation. This is in no one's interest – certainly not ours. The "rebels" we have so far spent half a billion dollars arming and supplying have immediately donated everything to the al-Nusra Islamists in Syria. John McCain famously said he could tell who were the good rebels by looking in their eyes. Well, thank God we didn't elect him.
To oversimplify, the enemy of my enemy is my friend – for now. So whatever Assad and Putin do in their own countries – leave Ukraine out of it for now – is beside the point. If they're going to kill ISIS, we're happy to oblige. Or...we should be. In fact, our elected representatives, and their appointees, and their catamites in the media, are horrified at the prospect of supporting, or being seen to support, such blackguards as Assad and Putin. No matter that they're working to kill those who plan to kill us. There are stains on their escutcheons that will not allow for approval.
Those devout Muslim Islamist/jihadists are in free range in this country, killing cops, attacking civilians, and we're concerned with the purity of soul of potential allies? If we should be able to form a stable alliance for the nonce, is there not some chance that we will be able to reform the miscreants? Do we not believe in rehabilitation? Improvement? Redemption?
Give me a break. If we had a reasonable president who had affection for America and an understanding of the world, we would not be having this conversation. Importantly, a unified American/Russian policy, for the moment, would counter the Islamic fundamentalism that has made a bloodbath of the Middle East and threatens the world. Once we reduce jihad to rubble, we can go back to...negotiating...our differences.
The obligation to survive trumps that to be nice.