Monday, June 17, 2013

Proxy Wars, Russia And The Golan Heights

The proxy war in Syria continues to escalate, and the Golan Heights may be the prize. Russia has become increasingly agitated and Putin's actions recently are very revealing:

Russian President Vladimir Putin set the tone for the discussion on Syria at the G8 summit which opened  in Northern Ireland Monday, June 17, when he rounded harshly on British Prime Minister David Cameron in London Sunday for supporting rebels who “kill their enemies and eat their organs.” Hitting back at this week’s decision by US President Barack Obama – whom he will meet privately at the summit - to give the rebels “military support” – Putin asked: “Are these the people you want to supply weapons?”

But the Russian president will make sure that the voices of his allies, Bashar Assad, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hassan Nasrallah, are heard loud and clear in the conference hall, until they are acknowledged the victors of the vicious Syrian war. If world leaders hold back, the Syrian and Hizballah armies will continue their march on Aleppo, Syria’s biggest town, for their next bloodbath.

The light arms President Obama proposes to release for the Syrian rebels don’t give them the smallest fighting chance against the fighter-bomber jets, heavy tanks, and unlimited ordnance supplied Bashar Assad’s army by Russia and the missiles and troops coming in from Hizballah and Iran.
This unbeatable preponderance makes the fall of Aleppo and Assad’s victory a foregone conclusion 

Russian and Middle East sources report it is a tall order indeed, given the list of at least four pre-conditions Putin plans to put before the US President on the strength of his partners’ war successes:

1. Geneva-2 will not be convened by the US or Russia, as first agreed, but by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. This would force Washington to stay within the bounds of UN resolutions and not act as did the US and NATO in Libya to overthrow Muammar Qaddafi outside their Security Council mandate.

2. Bashar Assad must remain in power as the legitimate ruler of Syria. Russia’s sale of arms to the Syrian government in Damascus was therefore legal.

3. Iran must be given a seat at Geneva-2.

As matters look now, Assad’s drive to recapture all of Aleppo will continue after the G8 leaders have gone home. Putin, Khamenei, Assad and Nasrallah will continue their hideous victory march and the US, West and Israel will continue to hold back from intervention that could reverse the tide.

It started badly and then got worse. To begin with President Putin and his delegation were late. Their plane into the UK was delayed and when they did finally arrive at Downing Street, they had to be taken in through the back entrance to avoid a Turkish protest taking place on Whitehall. You could imagine Putin musing that you wouldn’t see that happening in Moscow.

After the obligatory forced smiles for the camera outside Number 10, Mr Putin and David Cameron got down to business.

What went on in the meeting was, of course, private but what was clear to everyone at the press conference afterwards was that the Russian President was not in a happy mood.

Smaller than David Cameron – but stocky – Mr Putin managed to carry off an air of menace effortlessly. His dead eyes darted around the room – meeting the gaze of journalists and holding it for slightly too long before moving on dismissively.

When it was his turn to speak he somehow managed to convey disinterest and disdain with his body language even though the translated words were ostensively warm. But even the translator could not disguise the President’s virulent reaction to the one question that a British journalist was allowed to ask.

David Cameron, he was told, had said last year that those who supplied arms to the Assad regime had blood on their hands – what was his reaction? Distain turned to undiplomatic anger that no translator could put a gloss on.
“You will not deny that one does not really need to support the people who not only kill their enemies, but open up their bodies, eat their intestines in front of the public and cameras,” he almost spat.  “Are these the people you want to support? Is it them who you want to supply with weapons? Then this probably has little relation to humanitarian values that have been preached in Europe for hundreds of years.”

Standing next to him, Mr Cameron looked distinctly awkward. His heckles raised, Putin did not seem to be in the mood to stick around. Before Mr Cameron had even finished answering the the final question, he removed his ear piece, picked up his notes and stood irritably waiting the for the Prime Minister to finish.
It does not augur well for the G8.

Thousands of Syrians are currently training in Iran to serve as a force ready to storm Israel’s northern Golan Heights, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.
The officials said between 3,000 and 5,000 Syrian men were being trained in the event Syrian President Bashar al-Assad decides to open a front against the Golan Heights, which borders Syria.

The training is being overseen by the Al Quds Force, the elite unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard responsible for the country’s extraterritorial operations, the sources said.
The Syrian forces are slated to return to their country next month, the sources added.
This is not the first report of Iran aiding Syria in preparations for ground attacks against Israel.

In May, WND reported the Iranian-backed Hezbollah was establishing training camps near the Syrian capital of Damascus to prepare for possible guerrilla warfare targeting the Golan Heights, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.
The officials said the camps are training Palestinian groups as well as special units connected to Assad’s Baath party for operations against Israel if such actions are green-lighted by Syria in the near future.

Syria spirals out of control.  Iran marches toward nuclear Islamageddon.  So, naturally, Secretary of State  John Kerry schedules yet another trip to "solve" the region's relatively stable, if not ideal, Israel-Palestinian dispute. 

Like so many in foreign policy circles, Kerry and the Obama administration know -- absolutely know -- the key to peace in Israel's neighborhood: Israel's withdrawal, with perhaps minor adjustments, from all West Bank territory conquered in 1967.  
Yet history indicates that withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, absent major changes, is arguably the single most counterproductive act imaginable for long-lasting peace.  There is no greater obstacle to peace than the perpetual temptation to launch another war against Israel from such lopsided lines.

What is so sacred about the pre-1967 lines, anyway?  In 1967, there was neither peace nor an independent Palestinian entity.  Similar lines were part of the 1947 Partition Plan and were overrun by invading Arab armies.  The pre-1967 lines were never an internationally recognized border -- thanks to Arab insistence that they not be.  They were merely the armistice lines of 1949, an armistice honored mostly in the breach.  In 1967, Arab armies finally shredded the armistice by attacking across those lines, in spite of Israeli pleas to Jordan's King Hussein not to do so.  With new ceasefire lines in 1967 and 1973, the pre-1967 lines were rendered meaningless, having lasted all of 18 years: 1949-1967.  RIP.

We all know Israel is small, but we rarely appreciate just how tiny and exposed it is.  Pre-1967 Israel is about one tenth the size of Kansas, roughly the size of New Hampshire.  But even that exaggerates the practical reality of Israel's size, as about 57% of pre-1967 Israel is made up of the sparsely inhabited Negev Desert.  Most of Israel's population, business, industry, and technology reside in the narrow central Coastal Plain.  That is a strip of land between the WestBank and the Mediterranean Sea which varies between 9 and 11 miles wide.  "Start-Up Nation" Israel squeezes into that Rhode Island-sized area.

Think about that.  An entire country, nine miles wide.  A bicycle could easily cross it in 30 minutes -- and a rocket in a matter of seconds.  Nine miles is less than the distance from Barack Obama's Chicago home to Wrigley Field.  It's the distance between Manhattan's George Washington Bridge and Holland Tunnel.  It is one and a half times around the Central Park loop.

The next time some radical speaks of "driving the Jews into the sea," keep in mind how short a drive that is.

Tellingly, even "moderate" Palestinian leaders have rejected any material adjustments to those lines, unless demanding that those lines be adjusted in the other direction -- i.e., into pre-1967 Israel.  Just this week, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat demanded the strategic high ground of Latrun, which overlooks Israel's all-important Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway.  Dare we ask why?
From Israel's perspective, having frequently faced eradication at the hands of Arab neighbors, the peace process is like a sheep trying to make peace with a wolf: it can be done, as long as the sheep stays alert and armed and takes ample precautions.  But when the wolf insists that the sheep leave its pre-1967 neck exposed, it is fair to question the wolf's motives and decline the wolf's terms for "peace."
John Kerry can afford to be wrong about what he "knows" will bring Israeli-Palestinian peace.  Israel can't.

Also see:


WVBORN56 said...

The comment section on the Blaze regarding the Left Behind movie was discouraging. The attacks from the "Christians" touting a post-tribulation rapture far out numbered those supporting a biblical viewpoint. Their venom and self righteous attitudes were so sad. The bride of Christ is being attacked from within as well as from outside the church. We expect from the world but not from those claiming to be brothers in Christ?

Stephen said...

Stocks were up again.....up
and up we go. Despite all the problems in this world, stock
bulls do NOT SEEM to notice.

Maybe they know something we don't ??

and yet, margin debt continues at
RECORD levels.

NONETHELESS......I have to give
credit where credit is due...

I still CANNOT SAY that the top
is in. It may NOT be. and if not, next target for bulls would be 16000 on the dow......

Stephen >>>>>>>>>>>>

john said...

Still trying to make the connection between the dow jones, and when the God of Heaven will shout to His Church COME UP HERE!!!?
BlessYa Stephen!!!
If anyone can help with that please? Chapter and verse would be very helpful...

Scott said...

Stephen is actually correct, he just has the order of events wrong - but we all love him anyway :)

But seriously, there is a connection. When the gathering up takes place the world's economy will immediately tank, stocks included. Epically - like never seen before.