Whatever the case, no sides hold any love for Israel. Whoever wins this civil war will aim their guns at Israel should they get the opportunity. The only problem is that Syria is now the fault line for the Shia-Sunni conflict. The sunnis supported by the USA can not afford to lose this war, and neither can Iran supported by Iraq, Russia and China. The sides will fight to a bloody standstill. Lebanon will not remain inviolate. There is a reckoning to be had with Hezbollah which is shia and has actively interfered to prop up Assad.I also said that:
The sides will fight to a bloody standstill. Lebanon will not remain inviolate. There is a reckoning to be had with Hezbollah which is shia and has actively interfered to prop up Assad.Little did I know a few weeks ago that Hezbollah is nightly pasting the sunni villages just over the border in Lebanon with hundreds of rockets. Who would have thought that all those iranian supplied rockets could have a purpose other than the indiscriminate murder of Israeli civilians in Israel's cities?
The most important things that Israel could have done, it has done. It has trained incessantly since 2006, has improved its positions where needed, has warned the warring parties in no uncertain terms that if they attack Israel they will pay extremely heavily, and most importantly Israel has kept its fingers well clear of this poisoned chalice.
Those who like Jonathan Spyer and the Elder of Ziyon who have called for Israel or the West to invervene to support the FSA are wrong. There is nothing to be gained by actively intervening to helping one or other of the opposing sides, (even whilst Obama's USA is helping the islamists with training, funds and weapons via Turkey and Qatar).
The Elder says:
While defeating Iranian-backed Assad should still be the priority, the longer that his fall is delayed makes it more likely that the Syrian revolution will be completely hijacked by Islamists - and not even Muslim Brotherhood-type Islamists, but Al Qaeda terrorists.The West should keep out, must keep out, and whilst Russia is supporting Assad, can do no different, however much PM Erdogan wishes to drag Nato into doing his dirty work, have more kids from Estonia, Britain and Poland die in the cause of islamism.
And their goal is not just to take over Syria, but the entire Middle East.
The West has bungled Syria, badly, and things are only getting worse because of the endless foot-dragging.
If Turkey's hot headed islamist government allows itself to pitch its army into Syria, then all well and good. Erdogan has my vote, and i'll cheer him to the last dead Turkish soldier. But why should the West get involved? We saw what a disaster was Libya, and Afghanistan.
Spyer is worried;
Jonathan Spyer: My own view remains that the United States and its allies should engage closely with the rebels, identify deserving clients and begin to arm and support them. This has not yet happened to a significant degree and the result is the current stalemate. It’s understandable that many Westerners feel that given the rise of Sunni Islamism as a result of the downfall of secular Arab dictatorships over the last 18 months, the US interest is to stay out. Understandable, but wrong.
The US can either engage in the Middle East or disengage from it. The Obama administration appears to prefer the latter option. But disengagement doesn’t leave a vacuum. Rather, it leaves a space which is rapidly filled by advancing hostile interests – in the Syrian case Iran and Russia, with China as the silent additional partner.
These forces are currently backing the Assad dictatorship all the way. The Iranians, in particular, see the survival of the dictatorship as a cardinal interest. Should Assad or his regime survive in some form, this would represent a major strategic victory for the Iranians and their backers. It would keep alive the Iranian ambition of establishing a contiguous pro-Iran space from western Afghanistan to the Mediterranean Sea.As I have said before Syria is now the fault line in the muslim world, between the utopian zealots of shia and the sunni caliphate aspiring fanatics. They both have an ideal, they both hate the other so deeply that since Sadam Hussein was overthrown they have been killing each other by the hundreds daily.
The fault line that was between Iraq and Iran has moved closer to Israel, but it has also moved closer to Israel's major enemies of Turkey and Egypt now. Both those countries wish to bring about Israel's destruction and have recently begun to collaborate militarily, but they must first defeat the shia enemy (they aren't above provoking Israel with naval exercises off Israel's coast as a sequal to the Mavi Marmara stunt however). So the sunni world will fight the shia and keep fighting. They will fight themselves to a standstill, and if sunni jihadists wish to flood into Syria in ever greater numbers via Attaturk airport then all to the good. The more they come, the harder Hezbollah will fight, likewise Iran.
Spyer believes that a stalemate is a bad thing, that "Should Assad or his regime survive in some form, this would represent a major strategic victory for the Iranians and their backers."
And he misses the point. Stalemate means that the West's enemies bleed, lose treasure and suffer. So long as Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapon it is all to the good that it emerges with some 'gains'. After all if Iran was defeated the now almost wholly islamist sunni world would be free to turn its guns on Israel. Whilst Iran believes its winning or at least not losing the conflict it will expend ever greater resources to win this conflict with the sunni world. Iran is the underdog in the sunni world. Iran has less than 100 million people as opposed to hundreds of millions of sunnis, 1 1/2 billion throughout the islamic world. Pakistan and Indonesia alone have more people than Iran. There's plenty enough glory for both sides although Iran has much less scope to lose population with a smaller hinterland, and Spyer wishes to break the stalemate?
Sometimes just looking strong and keeping out of other people's squabbles is the wisest option. Obama's setting the USA to help the islamists win will not bring any dividends to the USA in the long run, just as helping secular elements of the FSA will likewise do little if any good, especially for Israel. There have not been any attempts by the FSA to show any lessening of animus for Israel. Were the secular FSA to win they would be just as hateful towards Israel as the Baathists were.
And of course, when the islamists win, of whatever flavour sunni or shia, the seculars in the FSA will be slaughtered. The facebook democrats in Egypt had their nose pushed out just as the secular Mujahideen were slaughtered in their thousands after they helped overthrow the Shah of Iran in 1979.
It is better to leave the different sides to fight this out in their own good time. As Spyer keeps saying, the FSA is gaining in strength all the time. There is no need to hurry the process but let things take their course. Syrians, Turks, the wider arab world and international jihadists need to bleed just as did NaziGermany. As with the germans, only once the horror of war has thoroughly wreaked its devastation on the region, will its peoples forswear jihad and the racist murders of christians and jews. Germany did not learn it in WWI, neither did muslims when fighting the humane opponent of Israel. Muslims will learn to abhor war whilst fighting each other, in the absence of the exercise of human rights or of any acts of human kindness.
As with Germany muslims and arabs sadly need to relearn the meaning of war so that there will be peace for a hundred years. Rather than being a quick war, it should be allowed to burn slowly and methodically, long enough for both shia and sunni to learn to understand that there is no glory in war, no god who wishes for people to kill each other, nothing to be gained through killing others purely on account of their ethnicity and religion.
The evil of the man who wrote a treatise extolling war, murder, killings and the forced conversion of others will become apparent in the coming years of war, where those who extol jihad will be caught up in its depradations and will along with their families suffer unspeakably.
I wish it could be otherwise, but unless those who wage the war are allowed to suffer the consequences, there will be no end of religious wars directed against Israel and the West. Let those who aspire to barbarity and war suffer the consequences rather than those who aspire to humanity and to live in a modern civilisation.
As often has been the case in the past, arabs and their friends the jihadists find the silver lining for Israel in the otherwise dark clouds of the islamic winter that is descending over most of the region.