U.S. Official Warns Syria Israel Will Bomb
I just love unsourced stories like this in the Israeli press: they can mean everything or nothing or something in between. Usually they’re garbage as likely in this case. But what’s interesting is the sheer effrontery of whoever the U.S. official is:
An American source says that Syria allowed Hezbollah operatives to train within its territory in the use of advanced SA2 anti-aircraft missile batteries, the Kuwaiti daily Al Rai reported Sunday. In an interview, the senior U.S. official warned that if Syria supplies Hezbollah with this type of missile, Israel will bomb Damascus and a war will likely ensue.
According to the official, Israel has warned Syria not to allow the transfer of the SA2 missiles into the hands of Hezbollah, and views the transfer of such missiles as the crossing of a red line. He added that he did not believe that a war would break out soon, unless one of the sides violated the undeclared agreement not to cross the red lines defined by both sides.
The phrase “senior U.S. official” has Dennis Ross written all over it. But I suppose there are other pro-Israel lackeys in the White House it could be. Imagine a U.S. official having the temerity of doing Israel’s bidding in its battles with its neighbors. Which government does he think he serves? Washington or Tel Aviv?
The idea that a defensive weapon like anti-aircraft batteries would be viewed by Israel as grounds for war against Syria is typical of the Israeli strategic mindset. In their view, anything that threatens their military dominance, even military weapons designed to defend a neighbor’s sovereign territory, is grounds for attack. All I can say is that the Middle East is changing and the Iron Fist no longer works in terms of Israeli deterrence. Israel can no longer bomb its way to victory. I suppose it may take another wasted Lebanon war or two before this lesson sinks in. But eventually it will. At least I hope so. If it doesn’t, then Israel is doomed.
28 thoughts on “U.S. Official Warns Syria Israel Will Bomb – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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“Which government does he think he serves? Washington or Tel Aviv?”
Tel Aviv? Last time I checked, no government sits in Tel Aviv. If you’re referring to the Israeli government, you should probably say “Jerusalem.”
Picky picky picky, technically Tel Aviv because that’s where the military is.
He wouldn’t be the first US official to forget who he works for.
Israel is itching to drop bombs on somebody; maybe it’s trying to start World War II. Bombing Lebanon would not please anybody and would not help Israel to make friends in the region (but of course, it doesn’t want friends, it’s already established that). I also suspect Israel would get a good trouncing from Hizbullah and Syria.
I don’t blame Lebanon one bit for allowing Hizbullah to keep its weapons; they’re a better army and have experience with fighting Israel with success.
I know you’re being a facetious hasbarist but I’ll humor you for a second & a half. “Tel Aviv” is the standard designation when media wish to refer to the Israeli gov’t. No media outlet I’ve read has ever used the term “Jerusalem” to denote this & you certainly won’t see me doing it till there is a Palestinian state w. its own capital there.
Even at the Eurovision Song Contest, which tales place each year (and which is so horrible that it is hilarious to watch), Israel tries to rub it in: I have seen Israel call in to give its votes as follows: “Shalom, this is Jerusalem calling, the eternal capital of the Jewish state.”
Yes, I thought this year’s Eurovision Israeli entry was particularly offensive: Noa, who endorsed the Gaza war with gusto & an Israeli Palestinian singer. I think they came in 27th. No wonder.
True, even Michael Oren says “Tel Aviv” when he’s referring to the Israeli government – remember when he said Obama’s condemnation of the Goldstone Report “could have been drafted in Tel Aviv”?
I agree with Richard; I will refer to Jerusalem as a capital when it is the capital city of Palestine.
‘Advanced’ SA-2s? This is the missile system that shot down Gary Powers’ U-2 in 1960 – 50 years ago – and has been obsolescent for perhaps the last 30 years.
Makes you wonder what Dennis Ross or whoever is getting his knickers in such a knot about. When I saw that there were SA-3s I thought, this has got to be the equivalent of Commodore computer compared to the latest technology.
Any weapon for defence is also a weapon to attack, the former provide cover for the latter.
This is a meaningless statement.
Also incredibly stupid.
Indeed. Heaven forbid that anyone contest Israel’s “right” to unrestricted control of Lebanon’s airspace.
I do not understand, though, how they think this will stop Syria. It would seem that an Israeli threat to bomb Damascus over Damascus giving anti-air missiles to Hezbollah would simply . . . make it more likely for Damascus to build and place more anti-air missiles, particularly in their own territory. Or ask the Russians for SA-3s.
I suspect that enough time has passed since the 2006 Lebanon War that strategic stupidity in the IDF General Staff and civilian leadership is starting to overwhelm any sense of hesitation learned immediately in the aftermath of the 2006 War.
They’re idiots, engaging in sword rattling and freaking out over the imaginary existential threat. Israel thinks the only country who should have sophisticated defense systems is….Israel.
Of course this is not really about any existential threat, real or imaginary. The supposed existential threat is, as it has always been, merely a pretext. Israeli government and military officials know, as they have always known, that there is no such threat. They keep bleating about it constantly only for the benefit of the international public, and to keep the Israeli public fearful enough to go along with whatever they do.
Just like the US does with its “fight against terrorism,” or “war on terror,” or whatever. Fear is a great manipulating tool.
Yup. And sadly it works on a large enough percentage of the populace that it’s worth the effort.
C’mon everybody, don’t get overly het up. Israel is merely playing its role in the “great game”. It is the US that is behind all this, and Israel has hitched its future to US hegemony. They will stop at nothing to control that part of the world, even if it means attacking Iran. Of course, it will backfire, as the empire collapses, taking Israel (and its European allies) with it.
RE: “Israel has hitched its future to US hegemony” – Gene Schulman
MY COMMENT: “Empire today, empire tomorrow, empire forever!” – spoken with an thick Alabama drawl, circa 1963
P.S. “I’m gonna throw dem guh’ment burracrats’ ‘puters in da Poe-toe-mack!”
RE: “an thick”
SHOULD READ: ‘a thick’
[comment deleted for violation of comment rules]
RE: “If it doesn’t, then Israel is doomed.” – R.S.
MY COMMENT: This scenario sounds like “Reverend” Hagee’s favorite ‘wet dream’! “Rapture in our time!” Sorry Israel, but The Rapture™ is well worth a little ‘collateral damage’!
“ I suppose it may take another wasted Lebanon war or two before this lesson sinks in. But eventually it will. At least I hope so. If it doesn’t, then Israel is doomed.”
Richard, I find these final two sentences extremely and deeply disturbing. I know you are not casual about non-Jewish lives or the well-being of Lebanon and its people, but it sure does sound here as if you are placing Israel’s survival as a Jewish ethnocracy at a far, far higher value than the thousands of Lebanese who will lose lives and limbs in order for Israel to learn its lesson and avoid dooming itself Just by referring to repetitions of 2006 as “another wasted Lebanon war or two” and merely a way to save Israel as a Jewish ethnocracy sounds very, very cold-heartedly self-referential. I know you want to see Israel survive as a Jewish state and all, but you make yourself sound quite willing to see Lebanon and its people suffer repeatedly for that goal. If Israel needs to murder and maim a few thousand more Lebanese in order to learn its lesson, then it should be doomed now before it has the chance.
If Israeli Jews want to keep shedding their own blood, that is their business, but they have no right to shed the blood of others. Israel should crumble now before it has a chance to shed one more drop of Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian, Iranian, Iraqi or any other sort of non-Jewish-Israeli blood. If Israel needs to murder thousands more Lebanese to survive, then let it die now, please.
Really, Richard, I am quite upset and angry right now, and if I did not know you and understand your position pretty well, I would be far less polite toward you than I have just been.
I don’t know whether Israel may be doomed now after the horrors it committed in Gaza & Lebanon or whether it must perpetrate further horrors before its fate is sealed. Perhaps somehow Israel will see the error of its ways & will liberate itself from such a fate. I don’t wish to see Israel doomed. I hope something brings it to its senses.
And no, I don’t mean to say that if what it takes is another war with Lebanon & the killing of another 1,200 Lebanese that this is satisfactory to me. If that is the meaning you took away then I apologize. I really meant to be bitterly satirical and was not posing a straightforward statement of fact. I meant to convey the horror of an Israeli policy based solely on military dominance.
Whether or not Israel fights another Lebanon war is not in my power to determine. If it does, you know I will be shouting from the ramparts against the idiocy of it all.
What is so disturbing is that Israel does seem to care only about Israeli lives and routinely engages in disproportionately lethal and preemptive attacks on its neighbors. This is the lousiest foreign policy imaginable, and I think this is what Richard was pointing out. As in the case of Lebanon in 2006, Israel attacked and Hizbullah responded with equal force; as a result, Israel once again calls Hizbullah terrorists, failing to see cause and effect. This kind of mentality could be Israel’s doom, especially when it is not consistent or sincere in diplomacy.
“Perhaps somehow Israel will see the error of its ways & will liberate itself from such a fate.”
I would not wait to breathe until that happens, if I were you. I have said numerous times here and elsewhere that the only real existential threat to Israel is Israel, and I came to that conclusion after many years of study and observation.
As I am sure you have surmised, I would be overjoyed to live long enough to see Israel meet its “doom” as a Jewish state. That is, I wish to see the end of Israel as a Jewish ethnocracy, or for that matter any kind of an ethno-religiously-based state, and its transformation into an actual democracy, so doom is not really a good word to describe what I fervently hope will happen sooner rather than later. As for what you meant to say, I could not believe you meant what your words said, and I am glad you have confirmed that.
Rather than “doom,” I prefer to call it a transformation from a supremacist Jewish state to one that recognizes the equal rights of all citizens. I think this future Israel can be a homeland for both its Jewish & Arab citizens. I think we’re prob. pretty close on what we’d like to see Israel become, we’re coming at it fr. diff. personal histories & backgrounds.
Israel can still be the home of the Jewish people; this does not preclude it also being populated by non-Jews. If the obsession with being demographically Jewish would end, it would be so much more sensible, and it could become a truly open and progressive society, the guardian of Jewish history, and share the religious histories of Christianity and Islam as well?
This article makes more sense today than it did eight months ago.
As for the latest mod of the SA 2 or Sa 3, if there is an organized attack on Israel by Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria, the so called defensive missiles can prevent an Israeli counter attack.
The next war will not be a ground war it will be nuclear probably neutron but not with Iran, it will be with Syria.
Now we know that if this war takes place, the command post for Hamas and Hezbollah is in Damascus where they will control their forces from.
Since now Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza have tens of thousands of missiles to obliterate Israel, Israel will have no alternative but to nuke Damascus and other key military locations.
Israel has the Patriot and Arrow but they will be overwhelmed. In fact probably the only chance Israel has is to make a first strike. But whatever the case Israel wins as usual.
I think Monte Judah’s presentation “Order of Battle” makes the situation very clear.