Israel Prepares to Invade Syria
Saturday July 15th 2006, 8:13 am
As to be expected, the story about a Hezbollah drone hitting an Israeli warship was tweaked this morning to fit the emerging agenda. “Senior Israeli army officers said Saturday that the rocket which hit an Israeli missile boat off the Lebanese coast Friday night was an Iranian-built radar-guided C-802,” reports the Bangkok Post.
How Israel mistook an “aircraft rigged with explosives” for a missile, as the Associated Press reports, is not explained. However, blaming Iran certainly fits the picture, as both Israel and the United States are trying to drag Iran and Syria into Israel’s invasion of Lebanon and thus widen the conflict, as planned.
In a Market Watch article provocatively entitled “Bush points finger at Hezbollah, Syria,” we learn that our ruler, attending a globalist confab in St. Petersburg, Russia, has blamed Syria for Israel’s invasion.
“In my judgment, the best way to stop the violence is to understand why the violence occurred in the first place,” said Bush. “And that’s because Hizbullah has been launching rocket attacks out of Lebanon into Israel and because Hizbullah captured two Israeli soldiers,” Naharnet reports.
No mention here of the hundreds of Lebanese held illegally in Israeli torture dungeons. Earlier this month, the Lebanese government complained to the UN Secretary General representative in Beirut about “the nonstop arrest of detainees, and … the hundreds of missing persons, which poses as a violation of human rights.”
Israel has admitted abducting Lebanese for political purposes, but for some reason this fact is not mentioned in the corporate media. In the late 90s, before Israel was evicted from southern Lebanon by Hezbollah, it was a common practice for Israel to abduct entirely innocent Lebanese and hold them as “bargaining chips, ” and not hold them, according to Amnesty International, “for their own actions but in exchange for Israeli soldiers missing in action or killed in Lebanon.” As usual, these facts are ignored by our appointed ruler and the corporate media.
According to the al-Hayat newspaper in London, “Israel gave Syria 72 hours to stop Hizbullah’s activity, bring about release of kidnapped IDF troops,” or else, reports Yedioth Internet, “it would launch an offensive with disastrous consequences,” in other words Syria will suffer the same sort of attacks Lebanon is now suffering.
Not unusually, word of this warning emerged from the Pentagon, currently under the control of Likudite neocons. Al-Hayat reported “a senior Pentagon source warned that should the Arab world and international community fail in the efforts to convince Syria to pressure Hizbullah into releasing the soldiers and halt the current escalation Israel may attack targets in the country,” in other words civilian infrastructure will be targeted.
As if to confirm Israel’s impending invasion of Syria, Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja of Finland said the European Union considers “the situation to be very bad and there is still the possibility that it could get worse and that the conflict could spread, especially to Syria…. This is in no way desirable. The consequences could be really uncontrollable,” reports Reuters.
Of course, it is eminently “desirable” for the Israeli government and the neocon faction currently riding high in the government of the United States, as they have plotted for some time to go after Syria and Iran, that is to say blowing up its civilian infrastructure and slaughtering its citizens.
Al Bawaba reports “Israeli warplanes launched four missiles at a border crossing point between Lebanon and Syria on Saturday, witnesses said. A Syrian army position is located in the area” near Masnaa. “Witnesses said Israeli planes fired four rockets at the Masnaa crossing point between the last Lebanese post and the first Syrian army position on the Beirut-Damascus road,” Reuters adds. Moreover, according to the al-Mustaqbal Lebanese news network, “the IAF hit targets belonging to the Syrian army” prior to the Masnaa raid, Yedioth Internet reports.
As if to remind us the real target is not puny little Hezbollah and Hamas, but rather Syria and Iran, neocon kingpin William Kristol, writing from his perch at the Murdoch funded Weekly Standard, tells us the “war against radical Islamism is likely to be a long one. Radical Islamism isn’t going away anytime soon. But it will make a big difference how strong the state sponsors, harborers, and financiers of radical Islamism are. Thus, our focus should be less on Hamas and Hezbollah, and more on their paymasters and real commanders—Syria and Iran.” No translation is in order—the United States must attack Iran and Syria, that is after Israel stirs up the cauldron with a provocative bombing campaign. “For while Syria and Iran are enemies of Israel, they are also enemies of the United States. We have done a poor job of standing up to them and weakening them. They are now testing us more boldly than one would have thought possible a few years ago. Weakness is provocative. We have been too weak, and have allowed ourselves to be perceived as weak.”
Israel’s enemies are the enemies of the United States, as Israel has the White House, Pentagon, and Congress under its thumb, from rabid pro-Israel activists in decisive positions in the Bush administration to AIPAC’s stranglehold over Congress.
Syria and Iran are next on the bombing sortie. Syria will be an easy target, as it is nearly as helpless as Lebanon, but Iran will be a tough nut to crack.
If Israel attacks Iran, as it has threatened for months (and has acquired the military hardware to do so), all hell will break loose, especially for the U.S. troops in Iraq, currently facing the distinct possibility of a Shia revolt and “civil war.”
Expect the United States to react accordingly.
According to Stratfor Intelligence, Israel plans not only to launch “a major, sustained assault into southern Lebanon to eliminate the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah,” up to the Litani River, of course, but also plans to “make a pre-emptive strike against the Syrian air defense network, which Israeli planes successfully penetrated in June, buzzing Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s private residence,” a sort of warning of things to come, as I noted the other day. Stratfor has more confidence in Syria’s air force than I do, but then I’m not an “intelligence expert,” as Strafor claims to be:
Despite the political stunt flyby, Syria’s air defense network is still amply equipped and its air force boasts, among other aircraft, 80 MiG-29 and 10 Su-27 fighters. Operationally, Syria has always crumbled when it faced the IDF, and its air defense and pilot training regimens are certainly below par. But nevertheless, Syria’s air defense network extends over much of southern Lebanon and poses a very real danger to IAF operations over Lebanon. Israel successfully devastated this air force in 1982 in a pre-emptive strike. If the Israelis decide that Syria might resist their efforts in Lebanon, Israel will not hesitate to take the network out. A devastating pre-emptive strike is preferable to a protracted engagement with the whole air defense network at full alert—a much more complex endeavor that would detract from operations in Lebanon. As long as the Israelis leave Syrian assets intact, they fight with an exposed right flank.
As Strafor views it, Israel will launch a ground offensive as soon as July 16 “when the reservists of the Israeli Northern Command who were just activated will have had 72 hours to spin up. However, since rockets fired from Lebanon hit Israel’s port city of Haifa on July 13, Israel’s 7th Armored, Golani and Barak Brigades—some of the elite and most decorated units of the regular Israeli army—might push ahead as far as the Litani and let the reservists catch up later.”
As the Lebanese well understand, another occupation of their country will result in human rights abuses, as the Israelis consider the Lebanese on par with the Palestinians.
In 1998, the Commission on Human Rights deplored “the continued Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied zone in southern Lebanon and western Bekaa, demonstrated in particular by the abduction and ongoing arbitrary detention of Lebanese citizens [in the Khiyam and Marjayoun torture centers], the destruction of their dwellings, the confiscation of their property, their expulsion from their land, the bombardment of peaceful villages and civilian areas, and other practices violating the most fundamental principles of human rights.” In short, the Lebanese may expect the same sort of brutality meted out to the Palestinians.
Of course, this criminal behavior, stretching over nearly two decades, has nothing to do with the formation and radicalization of Hezbollah.