Stephen Lendman, Contributor
It shouldn’t surprise. Washington and Israel are longstanding imperial partners. Significant regional operations are jointly planned. It’s done well in advance. It’s for strategic advantage. Operations are part of a greater regional agenda.
On February 1, TIME magazine headlined “The Fallout from the Air Raid on Syria: Why Israel is Concerned,” saying:
Israeli warplanes struck several targets inside Syria overnight Tuesday, including a biological weapons research center that was reportedly flattened out of concern that it might fall into the hands of Islamist extremists fighting to topple the government of Syrian president Bashar Assad, Western intelligence officials tell TIME.
“(O)nly two airstrikes” were widely reported. One alleged Israeli warplanes targeted a weapons and munitions convoy heading for Lebanon.
Previous articles discussed what happened. They asked why would Assad send vitally needed weapons and munitions to Lebanon? He needs all he can get. If reports were accurate, evidence would have corroborated them. None was forthcoming.
What’s Israel up to? Is something else going on? Is it trying to provoke Syria to retaliate? Does it want to entrap it in all-out war? Doing so would mean Syria’s demise. Attacking Iran might follow. So could regional and global war potentially.
Mossad-connected DEBKAfile said Obama “green light(ed)” Israel to attack. Doing so had “three objectives.”
(1) The Jamraya research center serves “Syria, Hizballah and Iran.” DF said three targets were struck. Whether true or not isn’t known.
It claims they’re related chemical weapons storage, connected laboratories, a depot holding sophisticated weapons, and a truck fleet able to transport them “cross border.”
(2) The attack aimed to disrupt Syrian/Iranian/Hezbollah “cooperative military efforts.”
(3) Israel “took its first (overt) step into the Syrian conflict.” It’s been covertly involved for two years or longer. DF didn’t say.
It stopped short of calling Syria Washington’s war. So far it’s with death squad proxies. Israel’s attack may precede something greater. The fullness of time will tell.
A Jerusalem Post (JP) editorial headlined “Syrian spillover,” saying:
Israel “has a right and an obligation to prevent the anarchy in Syria from spilling over to Lebanon and endangering Israelis.”
Israel’s involved in Syria’s conflict. It’s been so since early 2011 uprisings. Potential spillover is its own doing. It’s got itself to blame.
JP suggests otherwise. “The time has passed,” it says, “for limited military measures designed to stabilize the situation such as the establishment of no-fly zones, safe areas, bombing campaigns and arming the opposition.”
JP barely stopped short of urging all-out war. Whatever Israel does is justified, it believes. National Security is the usual pretext. It’s a canard. Israel’s only regional threats are ones it invents.
‘Stop NATO’ editor Rick Rozoff told Progressive Radio News Hour listeners that Israel dramatically escalated the conflict.
Syria’s a warm up for Iran. Israel committed naked aggression. Recriminations so far haven’t followed.
Washington said little. Ban Ki-moon disgracefully urged both sides to show restraint. Doing so shows which one he supports.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
I’m not going to give any condemnation of Israel or rush into any criticism. There may be many things about it that we don’t know, or the Arab League or Russia don’t know.
Israel got away with murder. It’s done so many times before. Surgical strikes may be a prelude for greater conflict. The fullness of time will tell.
According to TIME, unnamed Western intelligence sources said “at least one to two additional targets were hit the same night, without offering details. Officials also said that Israel had a ‘green light’ from Washington to launch yet more such strikes.”
TIME claims Jamraya Research Center buildings destroyed were “warehouses stocked with equipment necessary for the deployment of chemical and biological weapons.”
No evidence corroborates it. TIME’s allegations are baseless.
Its source said Washington was “poised to carry out similar airstrikes around Aleppo if rebels threaten to take sites associated with weapons of mass destruction in that region.”
TIME hyped non-existent threats. Washington has longstanding ties to so-called “jihadists.” Hezbollah threatens no one. Nor does Iran, Hamas, other frequently named groups, or so-called “home-grown terrorists.”
TIME quoted former senior Mossad official Amnon Sofrin, saying:
If we succeeded all these years to deter the Syrians and all the other surrounding countries that possess weapons of mass destruction (from using them), it’s because we knew how to deliver the message, that the price would be very high.
In other words, invent threats. Conceal a greater agenda. Attack preemptively. Ignore international law. Sofrin suggested that Washington and Israel allied against Syria throughout the conflict.
Perhaps something greater is planned. Ousting Assad is long-term policy.
Former Assistant Secretary of State James Dobbins directs RAND Corporation’s International Security and Defense Policy. After Israel bombed Syria in September 2007, he asked: “Does this mean we are on the verge of another Middle East war?” Does Washington want it avoided or was Israel given “the green light” to proceed?
Israel “ha(d) a good case for bombing Syria.” Assad’s “helping to resupply Hezbollah.” At some point, they’ll “begin lobbing rockets at Israel.”
Israel and Syria “never lacked reasons” for war. Official circles knew about Israel’s intentions months in advance. Washington encouraged it. It supported Israel’s 2006 Lebanon war.
At the same time, Dobbins expressed concern about a region “literally in flames.” Things are much worse now than then. If greater war on Syria follows, everyone stands to lose.
Policy planners leave that issue unaddressed. So did TIME. Rhetoric instead points fingers the wrong way. The New York Times consistently turns truth on its head.
“Israel girds for attacks,” it hypes. Syria is “falling apart.” Chemical weapons threats are claimed. Israel has a right to act. It’s technically at war with Syria.
Conflict spilled cross border several times. Errant shells allegedly landed in Golan. It’s Syrian territory. Israel illegally occupies it.
Israeli tanks fired on Syrian artillery units. Allegedly it was in response to incoming mortar fire. Syria’s got all it can handle. The last thing it wants is war with Israel.
Netanyahu initiates provocations. Damascus shows restraint. Doing so may not prevent greater conflict. Assad is blamed for Western-generated crimes.
Israel’s very much involved. So are high stakes. Wider war threatens. Millions of lives are at risk. What follows bears close watching. Future articles will discuss more.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected] His new book is titled How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/