The United States has not always gone to war with the best of intentions, it’s true. We have fought wars over land, resources and sometimes just to strategically stick our noses in other peoples’ business.

But we’ve never been mercenaries. We’ve never been hired thugs.

That’s the prospect we now face in Syria.

The recent gas attack that killed 1,400 civilians is the straw that broke the camel’s back in Syria — or so the White House would have you believe.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin has been touting a 100-page report that the Russians claim shows that it was Syrian “rebels,” not the government that used the poison on their own people.

The thing is, it fits.

The “rebels” are known to be led by men with ties to al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. It is also known that President Obama has been surreptitiously supporting them for years with money, personnel and arms.

But al-Qaeda has its own plans for the region and the world, and it’s not the least bit surprising that they might manipulate the United States into openly siding with them against the Assad government. There is a report floating around that the rebels obtained poison gas recently  with the help of Saudi agents. It wouldn’t be hard to open a canister on purpose or by accident and stage an “attack.”

Just 12 years ago al-Qaeda was crashing airplanes into the Trade Towers. How delicious it must be for the terrorist leadership to think that we may now be tricked into fighting to further their Islamist cause.

Even better, the Saudis and other Arab countries have offered to pay us to do it.

It wasn’t that long ago that Obama was bragging about killing Osama bin Laden (well, watching the camera feed while other guys killed him, anyway). Wonder how hard Osama would laugh at the idea of Obama working for him?

The Saudis are and always have been at the heart of the whole Islamist terror movement. They try to play it cool, but Saudi Arabia is the origin point of the Wahabbist sect whose medieval philosophy fuels all the world’s Islamist crazies.

It was also a Saudi royal family representative who solicited letters of recommendation to get a young Obama into Harvard, and it’s been suggested that the royal family paid for his tuition.

It’s possible that a war in Syria may represent the closing of a grand circle, with Obama finally paying back the Saudi royal family for its support by handing them control of a country has long stood in the way of their imperial ambitions for the region: a return of the Muslim Caliphate with a Saudi royal on the throne.

But the Saudis and their allies may have overplayed their hand with the offer to hire us, and Secretary of State John “I Served in Vietnam” Kerry may have given away the game by revealing the offer during a congressional hearing.

The question we face in Syria isn’t whose side we are on. Both sides are rotten. But the rebel side is composed of people from the same group that murdered thousands of Americans on September 11. Our president wants us to side with the killers of our brothers and sisters.

So the question we face in Syria is, have we really become so jaded that we are willing to sell our souls?