Ban Ki Moon, head of the organization of arab and islamic tyrants (and other assorted despots) otherwise known as the UN has condemned Israel. What a surprise.
How dare Israel go into the hyena's den and smash his teeth. Israel should always wait for the UN to solve things peaceably as it did in Rwanda, Srebrenica, Darfur and now in South Kordofan.
Israel maintains its dignity, and its silence. Let the wolves howl, let the Syrian rebels unite with the Assad regime in talking of the jewish foe, of attacks by “external occupying forces” . Let them curse in frustration, and know that Israel will not wait for its enemies to come knocking, but will search them out and frustrate their plans in Israel's own time, on their own territory.
Israel seeks no war, no bloodshed, but by creating such a maelstrom in Damascus (the amount of munitions stored in the syrian army dumps is mind boggling. There is no way that 8 warplanes can deliver the amount of ordinance needed for a tiny fraction of that fireworks party) Israel has struck a very strong deterrent posture. Arabs will be impressed. And when arabs are impressed, they will normally look, as with the school bully, for an easier target.
Netanyahu has shown that Israel can keep its nerve in the face of the threats now being levelled at it. After delivering a pasting that Assad will not soon forget, Netanyahu took off for China. That sends one strong message to Israel's enemies, saying in effect, "I think so little of you that i'm off to trot." Netanyahu could not have acted better. But then, Netanyahu now has Moshe Ya'alon at the controls of the IDF, not the effete Ehud Barak, a man who went out of his way to understand, even justify the terrible atrocities committed by palestinian arab bombers against innocent israeli civilians.
Assad will hopefully now wish to cease attempting to reinforce Hezbollah with his most modern munitions and thus avoid further Israeli interventions. But that is a somewhat forlorn possibility as Assad is joined hip and thigh with Hezbollah and Iran. Assad is no longer an independent actor, if he ever was so until Assad finally goes (hopefully not too soon) Israel must expect further provocations, attempts to test the 'red line.'
Israel is now on high alert, has been for the last few days when a surprise exercise of ground troops was called in the north (now we know the reason, the troops are there so that Assad and Hezbollah don't get any ideas about how as arabs they have been 'humiliated' and in need of a little revenge).
As long as Israel's enemies don't talk themselves into doing anything foolhardy (difficult at the best of times for arab leaders who let their tongues wag their bodies), Israel must once again try and sink into the background, its red lines from now on being well understood by its enemies.
This is in contrast to Obama's chemical weapons red line fiasco. When Assad broke it by using chemical weapons, Obama shrank from acting. US credibility having been low for a while is now bumping along the bottom not just in the middle east, but in the world as a whole. From the Green revolution in Iran to Benghazi Obama has shown the USA as a broken reed (And of course China is watching, learning, and aggressing against its neighbours, sure in itself and in this US administration's reaction to its provocations).
Of course the USA is a mighty nation, one that has proved itself time and again, so just as soon as the american people shake themselves out of their stupor and elect a real leader, the world will sit up and take note. Okay, that will take a little while, but Israel can hold on, and some.
The shia and the sunni must be allowed to get on with their beloved business of showing each other just how right their lethal interpretation of islam is. My feeling is that they are both right. Islam is indeed a cruel, intolerant, crusading and imperial religion, the fruit of a poisonous and anything but 'holy' text.
Muslims will in a week or two's time have necessarily forgotten Israel, and it will remain forgotten until the next time islamist arabs try to test Israel's red lines.
My belief is that nothing has changed. The struggle will be brutal, and slow and very bloody, even with the West supporting the rebels, and maybe because of it. Absent this support the sunnis might have lost under the total commitment that Iran and Hezbollah are giving to this cause.
Neither side can afford to lose, not the alawites who stand to be slaughtered should they fail to create their redoubt, not Hezbollah who might find their whole community in Lebanon slaughtered by the sunni victors in Syria and their allies in Lebanon, should they fail to keep the lines of communication open to Teheran. The shia in Lebanon are beginning to feel very lonely and unloved.
So ironically the intensified efforts at shipping missiles to Hezbollah are all about Assad's building a defensive line of fortifications rather than any real intention to use those ground to ground missiles against Israel.
But Israel is not interested in allowing Hezbollah to build that impregnable shia-alawite redoubt, buttressed by game changing weaponry, directed at Israel or not (in the first instance). Hezbollah is the black mamba of snakes, unpredictable, agile and very deadly. You can't keep that sort of pet out in the open, confined or at all. The problem is that as well as the shia black mamba, we have the sunni fer-de-lance.
Israel's interest is in having the alawaites and Hezbollah isolated from each other as much as possible so as to break the direct line of supply through Iraq to Iran. Netanyahu is acting with great strategic skill and foresight here, only intervening when absolutely necessary in a war that Israel otherwise has no interest in taking part in.
For Israel the best outcome is one whereby these two snakes live together in the same pit and unable to unite with others of their species. The snakes will just as happily bite us as each other so it is not in our interest to feed them unless one is failing so badly that the other might become strong enough to devour the other.
So arabs will slaughter each other and weaken themselves so much that they will at some time in the not too distant future learn a holy terror, not the terror they have enjoyed making and inflicting on others until now, but the terrible fear of war close by in their own neighbourhood, affecting themselves and their families for months or even years on end. No matter how much they 'love death as we love life', the gnawing and unending fear can not but eventually have results.
Like the nazis arabs still hold to their koranic racist and imperial beliefs, ideas which extoll the virtues of armed conflict, murder and looting of one's enemy.
But should this conflict go on for long enough, even arabs will learn that war is not glorious, that nobody wins from war, that death and destruction is terrible, and is sought out only by fools, and evil people inspired by equally evil books, promoted by charlatans who wish for others to pay a bloody price.
This war will go on , supported on the one side by Iran and Iraq and their allies, and the sunni states on the other. It will go on and on until the lesson is learned, until there has been so much death, destruction and misery that as with the nazis, the glory of war is all gone, leaving only the terrible memories of the survivors.
Israel must not listen to those like general Ashkenazi who would have Israel take sides with one enemy against another. The enemy of my enemy in the middle east is not my friend. He will not thank you beyond today's battle. Tomorrow or even late this evening, he will be at your throat.
Israel must now pull back into its shell, doing no more than looking sullenly over the ramparts at its enemies. They'll understand.