Saturday, September 9, 2017
The second item by Sharmine Narwani was published just a day before Israel bombed the sovereign state of Syria for the .... I have lost count of the number of times it has.
Israel Launches Air Strikes On Syria And Assad's "Waiting Game"
Immediately after Israel's latest unprovoked strike on Syria we posed the question, did Benjamin Netanyahu just panic? The answer is yes, Israel is now acting from a position of desperation as it has failed in its goal of regime change in Syria. Overnight (Wed. evening/Thursday early morning), Israel attacked a Syrian military base near the town of Masyaf at about 3:00 a.m. which Syria has now confirmed in a statement that warns of "serious repercussions". Syria reported two troop deaths in the attack. It appears to have been a massive strike - grainy photos show a large fireball lighting up the night sky outside of Masyaf.
Israel appears to have timed its attack to occur on the very night a controversial U.N. report was released earlier in the day (Wednesday) which blames the Assad government for using chemical weapons against civilians at Khan Sheikhoun in April. A number of Israeli analysts and media reports purport the Masyaf base to be a site for chemical and non-conventional weapons storage (such as "barrel bombs") while claiming the attack was motivated by "humanitarian" concern for Syrian civilians.
But this is the reason for Israeli media and defense officials quickly claiming that the strike at Masyaf was on a chemical weapons facility: they know the "humanitarian" angle sells in the West, especially when coupled with allegations of civilians being gassed. Currently, this is putting the dubious and contested claim that the Syrian government attacked Khan Sheikhoun with sarin gas back in the spotlight at a time when Israel is eager to sell war for regime change while casting its actions in terms of protecting and defending civilians from a brutal dictator. In typical fashion the big newsrooms, which rarely report from inside Syria but instead opt for the comfort of Beirut, are uncritically echoing the "humanitarian airstrike" narrative. The New York Times, in a report filed from Jerusalem, narrates the attack as follows while relying on unnamed "former Israeli officials" and a single Syrian pro-opposition outlet:.......
Sharmine Narwani at TheAmericanConservative
Israel’s Geopolitical Gut Check
A once favorable balance of power has shifted, clipping Tel Aviv's wings.
Tel Aviv has had a bad few weeks. A once favorable regional balance of power has suddenly shifted in a direction that clips Israel’s wings—all while adversaries on its borders are making swift strategic gains.
At the core of the issue is Israel’s obsession with Iranian ascendancy in the region. The 2015 nuclear deal that ended the Islamic Republic’s isolation was a real setback for the Israeli establishment, but what really hit home this summer was a steady succession of political and military victories for the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad and his Iranian and Hezbollah allies.
So Israel’s power players headed to the United States and Russia to try to claw back some lost leverage on the ground.
They returned from Washington empty-handed, unable to wrest guarantees on keeping Iranian and allied troops out of southern Syria, where the U.S. and Russia in July established a de-escalation zone near Israel’s border.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s consultations with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi went nowhere too. Russian accounts of those talks describe a highly “agitated” and “emotional” Netanyahu who was told in no uncertain terms by a calm Putin: “Iran is Russia’s strategic ally in the Middle East.” To Netanyahu, Putin offered what must have comparatively felt like crumbs: “Israel is also an important partner of Russia in the region.”
The Israeli prime minister and other senior officials went on the offensive after that meeting, promising to “defend ourselves by all means” from Iran’s ambitions in Syria, and threatening military attacks on Assad’s “palace in Damascus.”........