Israel Bombs Syria, Again

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There is no mystery anymore. Israel has been a major player in the Syrian conflict. The Syrian conflict has been an open arena for all the enemies of Syria – dubbed for historical irony as “friends of Syria” – to help themselves to the destruction of Syria the country and not the regime. In fact, all the enemies of Syria would have preferred a deal that would keep the regime intact in order to reassure Israel.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey were the visible players in Syria, but US and Israel were not far behind (or ahead). After all, the Western media are quite explicit that Qatar and Saudi Arabia would not act without the consent and orders from the White House. This is the second major bombing by Israel in Syria, but Israel has been most likely – as it was in Iraq – complicit in the assassinations of Syrian scientists and its opponents. There has never been a civil war or an internal conflict in the Arab world in which Israel has not played a major role. Some American media noted the presence of Mossad agents in Syria; Free Syrian Army gangs have been working with them.

The US and Israel have decided that the war criminal gangs of the FSA are the chosen militias that can receive US (and presumably Israeli) military aid. Those are very much like the warlords of Afghanistan: criminals who are willing to chant the right slogans and to issue the right press releases in return for large sums of cash and Western assistance.

Watching Saudi and Qatari media today was a return to the past: the spokespeople (let us call them spokesmen as they all are men in this pitiful “revolution” that was ostensibly led by secular and feminist women, according to the early pre-prepared narrative in the Western media and college campus presentations) of the Syrian exile opposition were actually gleeful that their country is being bombed by Israel. They used the same language that Bashir Gemayyel used to justify his relationship with Israel during the long years of the Lebanese civil war (and prior). They spoke about accepting help from anyone, “even Satan.” We know this code language. And some spokesmen of the opposition started to play their assigned role in the Israeli psychological operation by suddenly announcing that “large sections” of the Syrian Army have started to defect basically as soon as the bombing had begun.

This was never a “revolution”. I among other leftists in Lebanon signed a petition early on after the events in Deraa in which we denounced the regime and mocked and dismissed its narrative of armed groups roaming the country and shooting at people. I now figure that I was dead wrong: I do believe that armed groups were pre-prepared and armed to strike when orders (from Israel and GCC countries) arrive. They had a mission and it had nothing to do with the cause of liberation of Syria from a tyrannical regime.

The regime is still silent; probably resorting to its dreaded line about determining “the time and place of the battle with Israel.” But the battle never comes and responses to Israeli attacks never come either. The Golan is still occupied and the regime (like the opposition) is only willing to use its firepower inside Syria (or inside Lebanon in previous years) but not against Israel. Similarly, the Syrian armed groups have been flirting with Israel for a while now and their game has been exposed today. Their token statement of “neutrality” is belied by the statements of opposition “activists” on various opposition Facebook pages.

The US government and media play their usual roles. Never question what Israel does anywhere in the world. Justifications are provided instantly, and it was not a coincidence that the New York Times had a front page story about poor little Israel and how it has to fend for itself to defend itself from the conflict and turmoil in Syria. Only a week ago, David Ignatius of the Washington Post, having received different propaganda marching orders from the Israeli government, reported that Israel was in fact calm and just enjoying the carnage in Syria.

The conflict in Syria has long been outside of the hands of the Syrian people. It is not that a local-internal conflict became regional and international over a two years period. No, it was regional-international from the start. The US and its clients in the Arab counter-revolution movement were ready to steer Arab uprisings in a direction that pleases US and Israel. The fall of Mubarak required the fall of the Assad regime although the US and Israel are discovering that they can continue to do business with the Muslim Brotherhood.

This is not to say that the Syrian people don’t have more than a hundred reasons to overthrow the Syrian regime. They do, but this was not about the underlying causes of revolt in Syria. The Qatari, Saudi, Turkish, Israeli, and US beef with the Syrian regime was never about democracy. The Syrian regime had brutally repressed revolts and uprisings before and there were no criticisms heard and the Saudi government (and later the Qatari) was willing to bankroll the Assad dynasty provided that the two work together in Lebanon and in the region.

It is not that the there is no Syrian revolution (and there is not), but the outcome of the conflict in Syria is now certainly not going to be democratic. You can make that prediction on the basis of the sponsors of the “revolutionaries” and the ideology (and practices) of the active armed groups in Syria. But the Syrian armed groups are being fooled by US and Israel into thinking that the Syrian throne is now within their reach, while the two sides hope for a longer protracted conflict that would exhaust and fatigue the entire Syrian nation and would distract them from considering harming Israeli interests.

The Syrian regime has shown in the past that it was willing to do business under the table with Israel. The Syrian National Coalition and all the active armed groups in Syria have proven that they are willing to align with Israel before they reach power and to do business over the table. That can only bode ill for the future of Syria.


President Obama''s feckless response to Syria''s reolution gives some credence to As'ad's claim that the West/Israel see their advantage in continued chaos
But here in the dark caverns of the American Right, we wish for nothing less than the total destruction of the regime, and their Iranian allies.

The fan of the most stupid prez in USA history (no mean feat) could remember how his rulers wanted nothing but destruction of Afghanistan regime in the end of 1970th They did their best and made the Al-Qaida in result. 9/11 anyone?

It's too bad it took you over two years of Syria being destroyed to finally arrive at this conclusion. I always find great insight in your news and analysis, but often is the case, you often let your ideals overpower pragmatism, and in this case, even overpower the truth in these issues. This was an armed uprising in the very first days of the "revolution", and anyone who said elsewise was a Assad supporter to you. While you mocked the truth, Syria suffered. I respect that you admitted you were wrong. But now you continue to berate "the Syrian regime" (as you and Western media outlets like to call them) for not attacking/retaliating to Israel which would surely be even more catastrophic for Syria. It's a good thing you are just a political scientist and not the leader of a country.

what did you expect Mr Abikhalil, when your thugs of the PLO were raining shells on Dekwaneh and Achrafieh, from that so-called Resistance Camp of Tell el Zaatar [which was offered to them graciously by the Maronite Order to camp in]...? what did you expect, when they threatened to overrun the whole Christian Zone in 1976...? did you expect them to ask for ammunition from Iran? Yes... Satan is Good. Long live Satan.

War criminals have much in common. Assad bombs Palestinian Syrians again and again. Assad literally massacres Syrians again and again. Meanwhile, people in Banias heard that California has nice cuisine, are are awaiting As'ad to enlighten them on the matter.

Excellent analysis, Professor AbuKhalil. What is your opinion of the so-called leftists and former leftists, who continue to view the civil war in Syria as a revolution to create a democratic state, when the facts show as you pointed out that the end game is the installation of a puppet regime in Damascus to do the bidding of Israel in the area?

People should rally behind Assad before it's too late and the West and its Arab client regimes destroy Syria.

Dear As`ad,

very well written article and analysis. Thanks.
Your point has only one flaw in my opinion: No matter that the syrian regime has not directly fought Israel and has not retaliated when attacked by Israel, but this does not make the regime a friend of Israel, whether under or over the table.
Fact is that the syrian army fought - although with little success - against Israel in Lebanon and lost men and material. This was definitely not "staged".
An even more clear fact is that ALL of the problems Syria has today - isolation, sanctions, civil war - ARE because of its stance regarding Palestinians and its position vis a vis Israel. While Sunni ruled Jordan and Egypt made peace with Israel and de facto got protectorate vasalls or receivers of funds from the US, Syria did not give in. Had Syria given up the friendship with Iran and the support of Hezbollah and (until 2012) the hosting of Hamas officials the Americans would not have green light to Saudi Arabia and Qatar to bankroll the "revolution" and they had not allowed the flow of men and weapons from Libya and elsewhere to fight in Syria. Noone would have cared for syrian human rights violations if Assad was another King Abdullah.

Excellent point. Watch where the barrel of the gun is pointed (the Syrian government) and ignore all other talk about under and over the table understandings.

So you want Syria to take Israel head on, and engage in a direct war ,which will for sure result in the destruction of not only the Syrian army but the entire Syrian military and civilian infrastructure, basically similar to what sad dam did. If Syria does not do that, then they are not retaliating to Israel s aggression.
In my opinion, open conflict with Israel is what Israel wants, because it gives them the opportunity to destroy Syria, which they can easily do given their military superiority. In my opinion, providing support to Hizbullah, in Lebanon, is also retaliation against Israeli aggression, and very effective response

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