Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 16, 2007 / 26 Adar, 5766

As Syria prepares for war

By Caroline B. Glick


Printer Friendly Version

Email this article


Psychological warfare antics are working on Israeli Left, which is exerting massive pressure on the rudderless Olmert-Livni-Peretz government to force it to open negotiations with Damascus — negotiations that would lead to Israel's surrender of the Golan Heights in exchange for a piece of paper from Iran's Arab colony


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | This has been a banner week for Syrian diplomacy.

First, together with their big Iranian brothers, the Syrians were given a place at the table alongside US officials at the conference on Iraqi security in Baghdad last weekend.

At the same time as their underlings exchanged recriminations with the US, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and Iranian Defense Minister Mustafa Muhammad Najjar merged the Syrian and Iranian militaries at a summit in Damascus. On Sunday Najjar explained the deal to reporters saying, "We consider the capability of the Syrian defensive forces as our own and believe that expansion of defensive ties would ... help deal with the threats of the enemies."

Najjar added that Iran, "offers all of its defense capabilities to Syria." The meeting was capped off on Monday when Najjar signed a memorandum of understanding on military cooperation with his Syrian counterpart Hassan Turkmeni.

Tuesday, US Assistant Secretary of State for Refugees Ellen Sauerbrey became the first senior US official to visit Syria since Damascus engineered former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri's assassination in February 2005.

Following closely on Sauerbrey's heels was the EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana. Like Sauerbrey, Solana was the first senior EU official to step foot in the Syrian capital since Hariri was murdered. Unlike Sauerbrey, who came and left without making a sound, Solana used the occasion to drop a diplomatic bomb.

Standing next to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem Wednesday, Solana announced, "We would like to work as much as possible to see your country Syria recuperate the territory taken in 1967."

Israel should be very concerned by Solana's statement. 17 years ago, an American diplomat made a similar statement to another Arab dictator. It was swiftly followed by war.

On July 25,1990 then US ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie held a fateful meeting with Saddam Hussein. It occurred against the backdrop of a massive Iraqi military build-up along the Kuwaiti border. Glaspie received a cagey and defensive reply from Saddam when she asked the meaning of the deployment. According to the protocol of the meeting which she sent that day to Washington, Glaspie told Saddam that the US took no position on intra-Arab disputes.

At the time, and since, the common view has been that Saddam interpreted Glaspie's statement as American acquiescence to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait which took place eight days later.

Solana's statement that Europe supports the reassertion of Syrian control over the Golan Heights came in the midst of a massive Syrian deployment of offensive weapons systems close to its border with Israel. Early this week, Israeli military commanders revealed that since last September, Syria as deployed between 1,000 and 3,000 missiles and rockets close to its border with Israel.

This revelation followed the apparent murder of Russian journalist Ivan Safronov. Safronov, who fell to his death from his fifth floor apartment window in Moscow on March 2, told his editors at Kommersant newspaper just before his death that he was working on a story exposing Russian sales of advanced Iskander missiles to Syria and jetfighters to Iran.

This week, Michael Maples, the director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency announced that "Syria has a program to develop select biological agents." Maples explained, "Syria's biotechnical infrastructure is capable of supporting limited biological agent development." He added that Syria is seeking to install biological and chemical warheads on its missile arsenal.

Indeed, according to opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu, over the past year Syria has increased its military outlays by a factor of ten.

Syria is using the smokescreen of near weekly protestations of interest in negotiating with Israel to divert attention away from its clear preparations for war. Rather than see these statements for the psychological warfare antics they are, Israeli leftists have pounced on them. Led by Ha'aretz newspaper, the Israeli Left is exerting massive pressure on the rudderless Olmert-Livni-Peretz government to force it to open negotiations with Damascus — negotiations that would lead to Israel's surrender of the Golan Heights in exchange for a piece of paper from Iran's Arab colony.

Due to the government's general incompetence, it is unable to formulate a coherent policy towards Syria. The Left's calls for surrender talk consequently dominate the public debate on Syria. This in turn has paralyzed the state bodies responsible for taking measures to prepare the IDF and the public for the prospect of war.

The IDF's public assessment of the Syrian threat is evidence of the confusion. Last month, Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin addressed the Syrian threat at the government's intelligence assessment meeting. Yadlin said, "The chances of a full-scale war initiated by Syria are low, but the chances of Syria reacting militarily against Israeli military moves are high."

Yadlin's statement was presented to the public as good news. But it was not good news. Syria will not initiate a full-scale war against Israel because it would lose a full-scale war. Syria's comparative advantage against the IDF is found in the area of low-intensity warfare, and as Yadlin noted, there is every reason to expect that it is this sort of warfare that Syria is preparing to initiate.

Over the past several years, Syria has built up massive artillery, missile and rocket arsenals that are capable of causing extensive damage to the IDF and to Israeli communities in the Golan Heights and the Galilee. So too, Syria fields a highly trained commando corps capable of exacting physical losses and tactical setbacks to the IDF.

Syria has two good reasons to go to war against Israel. Since 1973, every Arab state and terrorist organization that has gone to war against Israel has benefited from their aggression. Syria no doubt expects for the pattern to continue. In all likelihood, if Syria is able to fight Israel to a stalemate as Hizbullah did last summer, the Israeli Left, the EU and the US can be expected to increase their pressure for an Israeli surrender of the Golan Heights.

Moreover, a war with Israel would shore up Assad's dwindling support at home. Sherko Abbas, a Kurdish-Syrian exile living in the US heads the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria. He explains that due to Syria's economic weakness and the Assad government's profligate corruption, the regime is widely despised by its Syrian subjects. According to Abbas, the organized domestic opposition to the regime crosses ethnic lines and includes Kurds, Druse, Alawites, and even members of Assad's family clan.

Three years ago, regime sponsored Sunni thugs attacked Kurdish soccer fans in Dayz az Zawr, a Kurdish city along the border with Iraq. The attack led to three days of Kurdish anti-regime riots. Rioters destroyed regime monuments and burned government offices. Brutally quelled, the riots left 85 Kurds dead, hundreds wounded and thousands imprisoned.

Numbering between 2.5-3 million, Kurds make up some 15 percent of the Syrian population. On Monday, hundreds of thousands of Kurds flocked to cemeteries to publicly commemorate the anniversary of the riots. As Abbas sees it, the fact that the Kurds were unafraid to publicly commemorate their uprising is proof of the regime's weakness.

Most Israeli politicians claim that were the regime to be overthrown, it would be replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood. The specter of an Islamist government arising in Syria is seen as sufficient reason for the Israeli government to do nothing to destabilize the Assad regime despite its strategic partnership with Iran.

Abbas disputes this view. He claims that the Muslim Brotherhood is a spent force in Syria. "If the Brotherhood were capable of replacing the regime, it would have overthrown it when there was a chance in 2004," he argues.

To offset his regime's unpopularity, over the past few years Assad has imported more than 100,000 "immigrants" from Iran. These new Persian-speaking Syrians are keen to influence their adopted society. To this end, they have built new Shiite mosques throughout the country and are paying Syrians to convert to Shiite Islam.

According to Abbas, the regime has settled its new loyalists in Damascus, Latakiya, Homs and Aleppo. All these areas - in close proximity to Lebanon and Israel — are of strategic importance to the regime.

By the same token, repeated press reports from Syria over the past year indicate that Assad replaced his Syrian security detail with a new presidential protection force comprised of members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and Hizbullah.

With Syria clearly on war footing, there are several moves Israel must make right now. Militarily, Israel must prepare for war. The IDF should be pre-positioning equipment in the Golan Heights; training its reserves and regular forces for war, and updating its doctrine for fighting in the Golan Heights. So too, municipal authorities should be readying their bomb shelters for another war and preparing contingencies to evacuate civilians from the North.

If Syria does initiate hostilities, the IDF's goal must be to destroy the Syrian military and avoid a stalemate at all costs.

Diplomatically, Israel must work to cancel the diplomatic gains that Syria made this week. The goal must be to return Syria to the international isolation it has been relegated to since it engineered Hariri's murder.

Israel must also identify and assist forces in Syria that are working to undermine and topple the regime. Last week the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee invited Syria's US-based agent Ibrahim Suleiman, who held contacts with the far-left former director general of the Foreign Ministry Alon Liel to address its members. That invitation should be rescinded. Rather than Suleiman, the Knesset should invite regime opponents to speak to its members.

Working with the Kurdish opposition, the US-based Center for Democracy in the Middle East operates a satellite television station that runs limited broadcasts into Syria in Kurdish, Arabic and Persian. The station educates its viewers about the regime's corruption, suppression of human rights and democracy. It calls for peaceful coexistence with Israel and the rest of Syria's neighbors. Israel should be helping to fund, expand and run these broadcasts.

For its part, the regime itself announced this week that it is planning to launch a satellite television station that will advance the Syrian-Iranian line to the Arab world. Imagine how refreshing it would be for audiences to have the opportunity to watch something other than jihad on television.

In all its dealings with Syria, Israel must understand that today Syria is a clear enemy whose interests are diametrically opposed to the interests of the Jewish state. As a result, in all arenas and at all times, Israel should be working to weaken and destabilize the regime. There is much it can do to advance this purpose.

Unfortunately, until the current government is replaced, it is hard to imagine how this can happen.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. Comment by clicking here.

Up

© 2007, Caroline B. Glick