Thursday, November 17, 2011

The crazy theory that Israel supports Assad

Our intelligence has been insulted again on Juan Cole's blog, where he claims Israel supports Assad in the current disturbances and says Assad can hang on if Israel provides covert aid. There is no word for this position other than dishonest. Cole knows better and is lying to his readers.

The United States is clearly working to force Assad out. The Obama administration publicly said the opposition should not put down its arms. Obama is not doing this against Israel's wishes.

Where Syria is headed from worst to best case from Israel/US point of view:

1) Assad hangs on and the opposition loses steam and dwindles
2) As in Libya, an opposition council which has made commitments to Western parties takes power by force, holds elections after some delay and maybe, depending on what constitution is written, eventually leaves Syrian foreign policy as independent of US pressure as it is today, but quite plausibly does not.
3) Syria is mired in a deep civil war and internal destruction that makes it unable to influence the rest of the region for an extended period of time, even if hostile forces nominally win. This is what we've seen in Iraq.

If the Muslim Brotherhood completely took over Syria, the worst they could to do Israel is support Hamas and Hezbollah, which is exactly what Assad is doing. Syria is not in a position to wage a conventional war with Israel regardless of its leadership.

Today's Syria, or 2010 Syria is the worst case scenario for Israel. If you disagree, then what specific policy could Syria pursue that would be worse for Israel?

The best case for both the welfare of the people of Syria and for the principle of democracy would be for violence on all sides, particularly against the state to be subdued for long enough for elections to be organized in which anyone, including Assad can campaign and run.

Then after seeing election results it will be clear whether or not Assad has more or less popular support than the very passionate protesters in small cities who have outside support. It is very possible, almost likely, that he does.

If Assad is less popular than some alternative, then a graceful exit should be determined.

US policy, with Cole's support, seems designed to ensure scenario 3 above happens. That is a great outcome for Israel and a horrible outcome for the people of Syria.

Scenario 1 then elections is the only one that could possibly lead to a graceful transition of power even if Assad does not have more popular support than some Syrian alternative. Cole and Obama are doing everything in their power to foreclose this possibility.


Lidia said...

Arnold, are you sure that you are not me ? :)

I just was sizzling about the same post! I could add to your words that Russian-language Zionist media is staunchly anti-Assad. Of course, they did the same about Libya, and now are busy telling how barbaric Libyans are - now when the crime is committed. 

Regarding elections - I am not so optimistic. SA usually  buy voters wholesale - for ex, in Lebanon. They would do the same in Syria. Or USA simply would call election "not fair" (see "colored revolutions", esp. in Iran). The very existence of Israel and support for her from USA made democracy in the ME very difficult.

I am not going to say what I think about Cole, because I do not wish to dirty your blog :(

Lidia said...

regarding USA opinion of Kuwait. Just to see what is their position on Syria is really about:

The U.S. State Department's Human Rights Report on Kuwait, published earlier this year, notes that the country has a population of 3.4 million, of whom 1.1 million are citizens. "Local observers and the press considered the May 16, 2009, parliamentary election generally free and fair. Security forces reported to civilian authorities," the report says.I.e., from USA point of view, Kuwait has a  "parliament". Yes, sure, just like Switzerland, I suppose. 

Pirouz_2 said...

It is not just Juan Cole, many opposition members in Iran too make similar claims but about Ahmadinejad and Israel. Sadly these are people in the Iranian opposition who actually are decent. In case of Juan Cole I agree with Arnold that he is perhaps lying, but in case of some Iranian opposition members it is more a case of burrying their heads under the sand and trying to imagine an alternate reality which would suit their belifes rather than seeing the uncomfortable -from their own set of beliefs' point of view- reality.
In my opinion these people beacuse of the type of the audience that they try to appeal to cannot in any way try to some how explain why they have to support Israel. Supporting Israel under any circumstances is a big "no no". So they cannot make a reasoning along the lines of "between Israel and Ahmadinejad, Israel is the lesser evil". As a result they have to try to argue for the ridiculous idea that Ahmadinejad is the best choice for Israel.

Lidia said...

two funny news from Cole's 
1) he let Arnold's post through
2) one Yusuf legere who usually backs NATO's "revolutions" says something really ridiculous to "refute" Arnold's post. The most funny of all - Yusuf uses the example of USA dealing with Israel/Palestine as an argument :)

Arnold Evans said...

About Cole lying.  He was careful not to put that Israel supports Assad into his own words and to use "if" for Israel covertly supporting Assad.  So he could pass a test of not saying anything directly false.  But he was, I think deliberately misleading his readers, which I consider lying.

I'm sure someone in Israel really did say there is a danger of both Egypt and Syria being controlled by the Muslim Brothers.  That would be bad for Israel because it would lead to tangible policy changes - in Egypt.

On the other hand, Peres, Netanyahu, Hillary Clinton and the White House spokespeople have spoken in favor of Syria's opposition.

"Western diplomats" also have told news organizations that they are calling Syrian generals and asking them to join the opposition.

It is clear to anyone who examines the situation as closely as Cole does that Israel at this time favors Assad losing power, or the above would not have happened.

I still consider it a lie for Cole to lead his readers to believe otherwise.

lysander1 said...

I agree with Arnold that Israel would like to see Assad fall if he would not consent to a Mubarak arrangement in exchange for his continued rule without western opposition. However, should the regime fall, it is not at all clear that what follows will be better from Israel's point of view. After all, Israel also favored the invasion of Iraq, but the result has not been to their benefit.

The best scenario for Israel would be a new government under the sway of Saudi Arabia. That is a possible outcome.

Another possible scenario would be a nationalistic Syrian government that still demands the return of the Golan and maintains its ties with Iran and Hizbullah. Granted, that is what we have now, but such a government would enjoy a degree of international legitimacy that the current government never did.

The civil war scenario obviously would be a disaster for for the Syrian people but would yield few benefits for Israel. It would essentially be a mega Lebanon with different factions and no one controlling the border. Guerrillas can conduct raids and fire rockets all the time. Israel's primary response of massive bombardment works well to deter nation states but is not very effective at deterring guerrilla groups.

Also, the west is not able to control the fires it starts. Civil war in Syria can easily lead to instability in Jordan. A collapse of the Jordanian government would be a disaster for Israel. And it wouldn't help Saudi Arabia much either.

And so, while Israel likely is rooting for the fall of the Assad regime, they should be careful what they wish for.

That said, I am not yet predicting the fall of the Syrian government.

memo is money said...

If you know something about religius sects of Islam, you would be wise enough estimate that Assad would be the big loser of an election. I'm not a proponent of Zionist political agenda, no muslim can buy their ideals and ideas. However, you should be blind to ignore how Assad and his father run the country, completely dismissed Sunni muslims and supported denominationalist movements and PKK terror in Turkey. It is impossible to support Baas regime, which says it is anti-imperialist but at the same time co-operates with imperialists to ensure his sovereignty. We, muslims, could not handle another frickin' war which will take place in Middle east and probably will fill bankers' pockets with the money blooded with hundreds of thousands of muslims' blood, however, Assad first should get help from other muslim countries to cut his merciless brother Mahir's and uncle Rifaat's impact on the government and military, then Syria should go to the polls.

lysander1 said...

Can't say I have much sympathy for Assad, and in an open election where candidates of the entire spectrum can run, he would have no chance. However, in a civil war situation such as now where the only choices are between Assad and an armed opposition which might itself have no democratic leanings, I'm not at all sure a majority of Syrians would side with the armed opposition. I have no illusions of what the Baath regime is like, but it is entirely possible that many Syrians view it as the least bad option of what is available at this moment. Even though they despise it otherwise.

And it is hard to say with certainty that they are wrong. Qaddafi was no prize for sure. But the current rulers (to the extent that there are rulers at all) are violent, oppressive and destructive. That may change with time, but it is not an example I would want to see followed in Syria.

Arnold Evans said...

I'm really trying to get my thoughts on Syria together enough that I can write a blog post about it.

Assad should leave power, preferably gracefully and with as little blood as possible, if and only if polls demonstrate that the people of Syria prefer someone else or some other party.

The militarization of the opposition can only possibly lead to civil war at best.  The militarization of the Syrian opposition is being conducted by enemies of Syria who want to see Syria destroyed as a state the way Iraq and Libya were.

Saudi Arabia is not an independent country.  Saudi  Arabia does what Israel tells it to do.  I have no doubt and no surprise that Saudi Arabia is working to push Syria toward civil war.

Turkey is harder for me to understand. Whatever Erdogan's feelings are toward Assad, civil war would kill many many innocent Syrians and would be very bad for Turkey, as the Iraq occupation was.  Erdogan could be doing a lot more to prevent that than he is.  I'm disappointed by that.

With those examples so recent and so close, I expect and mostly hope many Syrians will not cooperate with the destruction of Syria that Syria's enemies are working toward.

With that said.  What if Assad is not willing to gracefully leave power if he loses elections?

I have to say he did make a proposal to allow parties to run freely in elections.  It would have been great of the armed opposition had stopped for long enough for everyone to see if Assad would go back on that proposal.

Votes are more important than either armed opposition or even peaceful protest.  Peaceful protest is a fetish of Westerners like Barack Obama because they know those protests can be manipulated as they were in Iran in 1953.  What is much more important is elections, who can run, how votes are counted and that they are weighted equally, how the contestants can compete and what happens with the results.

The best way forward for Syria as of today would be for the opposition to accept a reasonable date in the near future for elections that any party can participate in, including Assad's Baathists.  Then after elections, with the results in hand, for negotiations to begin on moving Syria's policy bodies, including its executive leadership into alignment with the demonstrated voting powers of the different groups or ideologies in Syria.

The best thing for Syria, if Assad agrees to an election day for parliament that everyone can contest, as I understand he has, would be for all armed and even non-violent opposition to stop until that day.

If on that day, elections are canceled, that would put the opposition in a stronger position than it would be grinding out in this current low-level warfare until that time anyway.

If elections are not canceled, then the results should shape the future of Syria.

I'm stunned and disappointed that Erdogan has not put forth a proposal such as this.  Israel/Saudi Arabia/US are not going to stop arming the opposition and encouraging a civil war.  Turkey, by its own interests, should be working with Syria to prevent that.

As of now, further death and destruction, to say nothing of civil war, is unnecessary and preventable in Syria.

If a civil war happens, anti-Zionist forces, like in Iraq, are going to come out ahead in the end anyway.  That is not Israel's point here though.  Like Iraq, Israel prefers a destroyed anti-Zionist state to a strong anti-Zionist state.

Turkey should have the opposite preference, but today is acting like it does not.

I'll edit this into a post later.

Enoughbreadandcircuses said...

Here's another crazy theorist who believes that Israel supports Al-Assads (the dynasty which has kept the Golan Heights safe for 40-something years) - a Lebanese Future Bloc MP. But hey, what would he know about regional politics, right? -

Still, we should listen to what the American and Israeli politicians say they believe and believe that instead - because it's not like they ever lie... 

Lidia said...

If Israel "supports" Assad it did it in very peculiar ways - by bombing Syria, for ex. And, of course, Obama IS a big lair, the question is - WHAT lies he says? Does Obama lie when he said that Ahamdinejad is a dictator, and that Iran is making a-bomb? Of course, Obama lies. But does it it mean that Obama does lie when he says he want Iran rulers overthrown? Does Obama "supports" Iran rulers? 

And a "Lebanese Future Bloc MP" is a tool of Saudi royals, as they ALL are. So, he is a lair too, he is told by Saudis and maybe USA as well to attack Assad, so he does it in every stupid way he (?) could invent. To cite Fatfat as a source is like citing Bush-jr on Hegel - if I could borrow from Angry Arab :)

As Arnold pointed, Assad DOES support Hezballah and Hamas, and it is NOT what Zionists like, they prefer regime in Syria which would be a foe of Iran, and SNC is making such future more plausible.

Lidia said...

"Failure to support the opposition "within Syria" -- armed and unarmed -- would allow Assad to stay in power for much longer."

Says such great friend of Arab people as ultra-Zionist WINEP

A part of this article is named frankly enough 

"Aiding the Opposition "Within Syria" Best Serves U.S. Interests"