"... The bombing raids, unprovoked and illegal, were of course immediately supported by the US and British governments. Since Israel has illegally occupied Syria's Golan Heights for 46 years, perhaps the legitimacy of a few more air raids hardly merited serious consideration.
But it's only necessary to consider what the western reaction would have been if Syria, let alone Iran, had launched such an attack on Israel – or one of the Arab regimes currently arming the Syrian rebels – to realise how little these positions have to do with international legality, equity or rights of self-defence.
Israeli officials have let it be known that the attacks, launched from Lebanese airspace, were aimed at stockpiles of Iranian missiles bound for Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia resistance movement and governing party. They were not, it was said, intended as an intervention in Syria's civil war – but as a warning to Iran and protection against Hezbollah attacks in a future conflict.
That's not how it seemed to the Syrian rebel fighters on the ground, filmed greeting the attacks with cries of "Allahu akbar", unaware of who had actually carried them out. By bombing the Syrian army, which has recently made advances in some rebel-held areas, Israel is clearly intervening in the war.
The raids follow the public declaration by Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah last week that his fighters are supporting government forces inside Syria– which are also backed by Iran, Russia and China. It is Syria's role as the pivot of Iranian influence across the Middle East that has turned the Syrian war into a potential regional conflagration.
Having hedged its bets, Israel has now started to make clear it regards the prospect of Islamist and jihadist groups taking over from the Assad regime as less threatening than the existing "Syria-Iran-Hezbollah axis", as the Israeli defence ministry official Amos Gilad put it recently.
That has coincided with talk of creating an Israeli buffer zone inside Syria, while Israeli officials have been pushing claims that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons. Since Obama declared that the use of chemical weapons would cross a "red line", allegations of their use have become a crucial weapon for those demanding increased western intervention, in a bizarre echo of the discredited orchestration of the invasion of Iraq a decade ago.
That effort came unstuck this week when the UN investigator Carla Del Ponte reported that there were "strong concrete suspicions" that Syrian rebels had themselves used the nerve gas sarin. The claim was hurriedly downplayed by the US, though the rebel camp clearly has an interest in drawing in greater western intervention, in a way the regime does not....."
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Israel & Al Qaeda: A match made in hell!
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 12:18 PM