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20 January 2015


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Good news.

That said, somebody in DC ought to bother telling the Izzies.


Daniel McAdams

Are the 1k US troops to SA and Qatar to train 5k rebels an insurance policy? Or is stated US shift for peace plan just a ploy to wrong-foot a regime that no-doubt craves, Stockholm Syndrome-like, re-acceptance from former friends in the West? If you can't kill them, kill them with kindness...and then kill them? I am curious about this.

Babak Makkinejad

Israelis were not instigators of the War-in-Syria-to-Wound Iran policy.

William R. Cumming

P.L.! I agree with you that Iraq has been de facto portioned!
Has Syria?

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

I never understood the Israeli government's attitude about this conflict. Unless the idea was that Syria itself disappear as a state entity, with no claim on the Golan. Maybe the climb down from regime change is a recognition that the cheaper way to accomplish this goal is through protracted 'negotiations'. Like the fake Isreali/Palestine negotiations.


I just read a few days ago that the Dept. of Defense was going to attempt to train up a new 'moderate' faction from scratch. What I read could be bunk, but if true it certainly belies the notion that Washington DC collectively grew a brain cell. Even if this is a left-hand/right-hand factional thing, no one left on the Syrian side is going to believe US peace efforts if a different part of the government is still paying 'moderate' Islamists to have them murdered.

I didn't save and can't find the article, and don't have time for a thorough search.


How exactly is this going to work with US sending 400 trainers to middle-east to train "moderate" rebels (with the help of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar. I'm sure US would get totally non-jihadi rebels with partners like these) that would finish ISIS and then finish Assad.


What exactly is US expecting from these? Throw everything at the problem and hope that things eventually work out?

I really have no idea how others (Assad, Russians, Arabs) are going to interpret these actions.


Confusedponderer, and all,

Exactly, my very first thought. Netanyahu & his Kabinet of Krazies aren't going to like this.

Swami Bhut Jolokia

Must be the crisp January air in DC, clearing out the cobwebs of 'American exceptionalism' thinking.

Wait for apoplexia from the usual characters: McCain, Graham, all the Republican presidential hopefuls, Fox News...


Col: Another gem: "...by god knows what was never a good idea and it has foundered like a wind bedeviled ship on the rocks of reality."


"You can count on the Americans to do the right thing after they've tried everything else."

Alas, there is no proof Churchill said that, nor any definitive proof that it's correct.


Its no coincidence that Hussein, Gadaffi etc were taken out....basically secular, multi-confessional governments also, but because they stuck the finger out to western corporations. Behind it all is the almighty profit motive.



Factional in-fighting within the government continues. pl


but the knocking off such 'targets of opportunity' sure doesn't help.

And that is the benevolent reading. It is probably unjustified considering Israel's record of using selective assassination in order to forestall, stall or kill talks they don't want to happen or succeed.



I am sure Benjamin received a text from some one at the principals meeting when this decision was made, and he followed with his typical reaction.

Charles I

Israel is the only legitimate - democratic - state.

Eretz Israel requires land.

Palestine has proven that legalisms like that's not a state, you don't own that stateless land, where is the paper deed issued by the Ottomans's that you did not file at the State of Israel's Land Titles office, etc, are a facile fetish of the current Zionist program they flourish at their dispossessed like a magic charm possessed of Holy Writ.

Unified governed states with defined borders possessed of any nationalism whatsoever is a spanner in the skoda. No state theoretically, legally equals no nation, no nationalism, no law, not tile, just terrorists


I’d suggest that the ‘Izzies’ were very much aware.
In one move they have:
- Set story line and stage for HZB or IRG attack on ‘the Jewish Nation simply exercising its right to self defense’. All with the potential for direct Israel/Iran conflict.
- Placed the focus on HZB / IRC personnel in Golan rather than Jabat al Nusra / IDF
- Made Nasrallah / HZB ‘put up or shut up’ on threats to retaliate with long range missiles.
- Further destabilized Lebanon
-Further empowered IRG in internal dispute over nuclear negotiations.
- Enhanced BiBi’s electoral prospects.

On . 1 Dec. 2014 report to UN SECGEN from UNDOF provides documentation of ‘Izzie’ cooperation with insurgents (read Jabat al Nusra) across the Israeli side of the UNDOF area of separation in the Golan and documents the ‘re-deployment’ of UNDOF from Syrian side of ‘area of separation’.

On 15 Jan Nasrallah gave a public interview that in addition to ‘warning’ the ‘Izzies’ against ‘stupid moves in Lebanon or Syria, and he stated that ‘a unity government that includes Syrian opposition figures …might be one of the ways that calm can be restored’.

On 13 Jan, Kerry’s statement of support for UN/Russian ‘local cease fire’ initiatives, even though ‘leading opposition groups’ are opposed.

Oops … ‘Izzies’ have to get a move on before game over.

On 19 Jan they attack HZB and IRG personnel on Syrian side of ceasefire line.
AP quotes that esteemed news organization, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, ‘fighters were in the area to plan attacks along the Israeli-controlled frontier’.
NYT: Eyal Ben-Reuven, a retired Israeli major general, said in a call with international journalists that the presence of such a high-ranking Iranian figure alongside Hezbollah commanders near the Golan Heights suggested that they may have been “planning an operation against Israel on a high level.”
WP: “The attack …which Israeli officials quoted by news agencies have said was intended to preempt a planned Hezbollah infiltration into Israel”
HZB Al Manar counters with ‘senior figures were visiting the area was to study the cooperation there between insurgents and Israelis’.

Larry M.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg,

I share your puzzlement regarding Israeli policy on the Syrian civil war. What could Israel possibly gain if the islamists won? It is only a hunch, but I think I gather this from occasional published comments by serving and former Israeli intelligence bosses over the past decade: They are much less enthusiastic than prime minister Netanyahu & company about toppling Arab leaders, even hostile ones. Maybe the intel people prefer the enemies they to the ones they don't.

For instance, after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the then head of Israel's internal security service, Yuval Diskin, said that Israelis might come to regret the time when Saddam Hussein was their most dangerous enemy. As for Israeli political leaders of Netanyahu's persuasion, I have the impression that they think that as long as they get rid of Arab leaders, or states, strong enough to put up a military challenge, they will be able to take care of whatever follows them.


I think there are often two mistakes made by most people when Israeli actions and intent are discussed. Firstly the strength of the international Hasbara message makes people assume that Israel is a land of Jewish consensus. In my experience this far from true. Israeli society has several significant fault lines which is why generating external threats and hatred is so important to the Israeli leadership as it is the only thing that drives alignment of the society. Secondly people assume the israel project operates on a strategic footing. This may have been true at the start but now it is an incredibly tactical operation. These two facts combine to mean that Decisions and actions are mostly made in the moment and in Pavlovian responses to the stimuli of internal and external current activities driven by a desire to not find a response base on other than force. It is an off the line of march society.

Babak Makkinejad

That has been my sense of it since the Shah was overthrown and the new government was established.

Phil Cattar

There is very little oil in Syria and that,among other things,changes the equation.

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