The conspiracy against the Syrian Revolution has never been more pronounced than it is now after the deal to rid the country of its chemical weapons. It is clear to anyone who is thinking critically that we are witnessing an international conspiracy with the implicit approval of Arab states; as always, Israel will be the main beneficiary.
The saga of the military strike against the Syrian regime is only one of many plans implemented to achieve pro-Israel desires with regard to the conflict. It is true that at least one aspect is related to Obama’s and US prestige, especially after his infamous “red lines” declaration. However, the most important aspect concerns Israel, since the main demand of the Zionist state was and remains the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons; Tel Aviv fears that they might fall into the hands of “groups that cannot be controlled”.
It is known that the policy of attrition in Syria is still the preferred policy of Israel; a key state in the region is being destroyed whilst Iran, Hezbollah, Turkey and the Arab Spring are being drained of resources and Sunni-Shia sedition is the order of the day. Despite the conspiracy, the rebels are making progress and it is quite possible that they might eventually win the war. The main issue for Benjamin Netanyahu is thus to get rid of Syria’s chemical weapons and its long-range and anti-aircraft missiles, which in his eyes must not be controlled by a government run by Islamists of whatever hue.
The use of chemical weapons in Syria, no matter who did it, has given Israel and its supporters an opportunity to do just that. The objective for the military strike was to target the chemical and other weapons, probably missiles. When the Russian initiative was introduced, Israel decided that the disposal of chemical weapons under international supervision is the better option. Obama was given the chance to come down off his high horse and no longer has to fear a Congress refusal to grant legal approval of a military strike.
The chemical weapons deal is a defeat for Syria, which had them to improve its deterrence factor against Israeli aggression. The people of Syria have gone without basic necessities in order to pay for these weapons. The regime gave them up so that it can stay in power, even though regime change was not on the US agenda for the military strike. Israel would not like to see the Assad regime fall in any case; it’s a case of better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know. It should be remembered that strikes over three days cannot totally destroy a system no matter how fragile that system may be. The regime, though, feared the unpredictable consequences and for that reason decided to give up its chemical warfare capability.
The Russians, who have become guardians of the Syrian Regime, are no less concerned than the Americans about Israel’s security. When asked by Netanyahu to stop the S-300 missiles deal, they obliged, just as they did with Iran. Moscow presents its position in a very smart way and uses its status with the Syrian regime to ensure their continued presence as a major international player.
It is important for those among us who counted on the Americans and their military strike not to forget that the Americans slowed down the revolution’s progress by denying to the rebels the means to obtain qualitative weapons. The US put pressure on countries supporting the revolution not to provide such weapons and, in doing so, has more or less ensured that the regime would stay in control.
Not only do the Israelis and their supporters now have a means to rid Syria of its chemical weapons but also a way to make sure that Iran’s nuclear development programme is taken out of the equation. A deal with Syria may entail the lifting of sanctions on Iran and keeping Assad in power. That would see a weakened Assad in control instead of unpredictable rebels and the Iranian nuclear threat put aside.
Another aspect of this shameful scandal is the position of the Syrian regime, Iran and the army of the Arab “Shabeeha” who all regarded the Russian initiative and Washington’s approval as a great victory, with the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister declaring a victory for the Resistance Front. Is there anything more humiliating or degrading than such joy and harmony between them and Netanyahu?
All of this, of course, is a slap in the face for those Arab countries which supported the Syrian rebels, as well as for Turkey. Collectively they offered political cover as well as funding for the military strike but were neither consulted over the decision to cancel or postpone it nor asked about the new agreement. They need to respond by declaring a road map of their own with decisive actions and unequivocal support for the Syrian people, including the supply of qualitative weapons.
It must be made clear that what the Americans, Israelis and Russians have in mind is not a matter of fate. Even if the Arab supporters don’t move as required and the struggle takes much longer than expected, a victory for Assad and the maintenance of the status quo should not be acceptable, at whatever cost and whatever the sacrifices might be.
The author is a Jordanian writer. This article is a translation of the Arabic text published in Ad Dustour Newspaper on 17 September, 2013.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.