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article imageOp-Ed: Blaming Israel

By Paul Iddon     Feb 3, 2013 in World
The Syrian President's latest pronouncements with regard to Israel directly reflect the view of the conflict held by many in the West.
Making his first announcement since the apparent Israeli strike on a military research center in Damascus, the Syrian President has accused Israel of seeking to “destabilize” his war-ravaged state. He contended that this Israeli strike has “unmasked the true role Israel is playing, in collaboration with foreign enemy forces and their agents on Syrian soil, to destabilize and weaken Syria.” These statements followed Mr. Assad's assurances to the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, of all people, that Syria is ably ready to confront what he calls “current threats...and aggression” towards his state.
The Israeli strike followed Iran's warnings to Israel that an Israeli strike on Syria would be seen as an attack on Iran. Ehud Barak has declared that the strike was “proof that when we say something we mean it.” Commenting on the alleged transfer of anti-aircraft weaponry from Syria to Lebanon that was destroyed by Israeli jets, Mr. Barak asserted that Israel doesn't “think [Syria] should be allowed to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon.” Given the failure of the United Nations to broker a successful ceasefire and both sides of the war blaming the other for the continuation of hostilities Israel can reasonably be expected to seriously doubt any reassurances from Damascus on a variety of issues, such as the “assurances” the Assad regime is giving pertaining to the security of its chemical stockpiles and a number of other issues that could serve to threaten Israel's national security, such as the transfer of hi-tech weaponry to the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.
Assad's comments accusing Israel of playing a large role in destabilizing 'his country' aren't surprising and were to be expected. Such accusations have actually been taken a lot further by highly conspiratorial elements within the Arab world and indeed in the west that contend the whole war was orchestrated by outside entities. Whilst it is true that elements within the Syrian insurgency are directly supported, funded and even armed by regional rivals of Syria such as Saudi Arabia, contending that there would be no resistance to Assad's rule without the orchestration of such an insurgency by foreign powers such as Israel would be wholly absurd.
This author has in the past stressed that arming the Syrian opposition constitutes aggression against the Syrian state and undermines the United States' potential of being an arbiter and clearly places it as a supporter of one side of the conflict. That was several months before President Obama declared that the ragtag oppositional forces were the true representatives of the Syrian people. Furthermore, I on another occasion contended that the United States and the western bloc of the United Nations Security Council shouldn't put themselves in such a position since they cannot, without being total hypocrites, reasonably criticize China, Russia and Iran for their blatant and one-sided support of the Assad dictatorship.
Nevertheless, other journalists and commentators have very foolishly contended that Assad is, without doubt, a legitimate leader and the opposition is wholly made up of “foreign fighters”, a saying that irked those same commentators when the Syrian-funded Iraqi insurgency was rightly dubbed by coalition forces in Iraq as “foreign fighters” or “Jihadists”. When Assad's military was leveling entire neighbors and killing scores of civilians in the city of Homs back in February 2012, where and when Marie Colvin was killed, The Nation magazine contended in evaluating the regional situation that the conflict would possibly lead to a massacre of the regimes Alawaite minority! It is essential to recall these are the people who scoff the loudest when it comes to Israel's claim of defense against the relatively ineffective munitions that Hamas hurls at Israeli civilians. Yet they can look at Syrian forces leveling entire neighborhoods full of civilians, under the pretext of fighting lightly armed insurgents, and conclude that they are acting in the prevention of a possible slaughter of that country's ruling Alawaite community. The very idea of a benevolent Assad being under siege at such a time when his forces, including ones led by his brother who stirred up destructive sectarian violence across the country, were mowing down thousands of civilians in tight-knit city districts wholly in self-defense is stifling in its abject absurdity.
Another 'attitude' that is becoming quite prevalent in many supposed learned peoples analysis's of the subject is the idea that the Syrian revolution is somehow different. Assad is portrayed as standing against much lauded American imperialism, unlike Mubarak who was a dictator which the United States supported and the people were therefore justified in toppling. The sad and depraved fact of the matter is that in many peoples minds the 60,000 or so Syrian people that have been massacred are 'sacrifices' in the fight against an ill-defined imperialism. Such cretinous and spurious commentary and journalism does little more than serve the hollow rhetoric of the mass-murderer Assad. Who, like many tyrannical Arab dictators, tries to divert attention from the effects their brutal rules and oppression have by fomenting hatred for Israel. This is probably what Assad is trying to do at present, that is essentially imply that the entire opposition is wholly an Israeli supported and largely foreign entity.
In the meantime, anyone who still actually cares about the lives of the Syrian people will be well aware of the latest butcher of civilians in Aleppo following a bombing leveled against the city by another one of the regimes MiG jet fighters. Sadly one is nearly used to seeing such wanton slaughter. But there is a creepy acceptance and passivity towards the killers amongst many whose skewed sense of politics have palpably deluded them to the point that sub-consciously ignore and willingly downplay, to the point of irrelevance, such things. Watch this video and imagine if Gaza had gotten a quarter as bad as that during the Israeli operations against Hamas. Then ponder how loudly we'd be told by certain circles of impending and wanton cruel and heinous mass slaughter of Palestinian civilians, how the Israelis wag the tail of the American dog and how they are in reality no better than the Nazis were.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has recently featured an article pertaining to the CIA assessment of the Middle East situation on the eve of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. What is interesting, and totally relevant to today's situation, is how that intelligence agency during that period put far too much faith in the what is referred to as the “rational actor fallacy.” If they were mistaken about the father Assad then why should we today with so much hindsight concerning the crimes and repressive nature of the regimes in Tehran and Damascus, the main architects of the current repression in Syria, believe that they are simply misunderstood actors that are in essence rational. Especially given the blood of their own people these regimes have on their hands.
Israel is standing up to this mass-murderer and thug and will face him down if he attempts to engage them. This observer thinks it is about time that someone did just that and stood up to the true tyrants, not apologize and in a trivial and frivolous manner relativize their heinous crimes against humanity.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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