Those who think Israel carried out strikes against Syria without consulting the US should 'go back to kindergarten'. Obama's strategy of different
tactics only has one aim -- which is not peace in Syria, Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar says.
In a space of less than three days Israel has bombed Syria twice. Escobar believes this to be a deliberate provocation involving multiple players, and
says the biggest mistake Syria (or Iran) could make right now is to carry out any type of retaliatory action. He explains why in an interview with
RT: The U.S. said Israel is justified in its concerns over the Hezbollah threat. So wasn't making a move to defend itself the right thing to do?
Pepe Escobar: Let's recapitulate. First of all, this is an act of war and a provocation at the same time. Why happening now? It starts with Chuck
Hagel, Head of the Pentagon's tour in the Middle East and Israel a few days ago. Remember that Chuck Hagel was against arming Syrian rebels, and then
he changed his mind and said that rebels actually used chemical weapons in Syria with no evidence. At the same time rebels start losing ground inside
Syria. The Syrian army has been making advances in the Homs corridor these past few weeks. And at the same time we also know that all these divergent
strands of the Free Syrian Army - they are basically the one that are really fighting on around jihadis. Obama cannot arm jihadis in Syria, period.
So what is his fallback plan: a kind of mini shock-and-awe. But would the US start a shock and awe in Syria? No. It's by proxy. It's via Israel.
This is what Hagel and the Israelis were discussing only a few days ago.
RT: So, you are saying Israel has gone ahead with this with US blessing? It did not act alone?
PE: If anybody believes that anything Israel does in the Middle East it does not consult the Americans, you should go back to kindergarten. It does
not work like this in the real world. They did it because they were consorted with the Obama administration which is in a bind at the moment. They
cannot intervene directly in Syria. They know that the support for the so-called rebels and all their different strands is going nowhere, because they
are likely retreating instead of advancing. So, Israel with this provocation they are waiting for a response either from Syria, or from Hezbollah, or
better yet -- from the point of view of the Obama administration and Israel -- from Iran. So if Iran and Syria don't do anything for the moment, they
just wait. This will be seen as it is, just a provocation. But if there is the slightest bit of response, from either Syria or Iran, this will be the
perfect pretext for what? A mini shock-and-awe against Syria.
RT: What sort of a response are you expecting from Syria? It surely can't just choose another conflict bearing in mind circumstances at the moment.
Iran would really respond militarily to what happened in Syria?
PE: Exactly! That's the point. The hardliners in Washington and Israel are expecting exactly that -- a non-measured response from Iran. It's not
going to happen. The Iranians might calibrate their response for months from now in fact... different targets. Maybe not even in the Middle East.
Israelis interest outside of the Middle East. The Syrians, they are moving some of their missiles to the northern part of Syria. You don't know what
they are going to do about it.
RT: How dangerous is this situation now? Is this really a sign of what everybody was really worried about -- a sparking of a regional conflict?
Yes, absolutely. And in fact this proves how desperate this so-called coalition of the willing ...US, Brits, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey
are with what is going on inside Syria. They were expecting Bashar al-Assad government to collapse in a few months. But it has been two years and it
is still in place. There are no major defections. They still control the business classes in Damascus and Aleppo. It is still there and could fight
for a long time. And they want a quick resolution, so they use Israel as a proxy. It's the perfect foil. And they can blame Israel in fact, the
Arabs. The Arab league which nowadays is an annex of NATO, they are blaming Israel. But Saudi Arabia is into it as well. Because the US, the Saudis
and the Israelis they are actually arming rebels as well, they see that it is going nowhere. Ok. Let's activate plan B. Let's start bombing Syria
and see if they respond.
Regradless of Israel contacting the US, and regardless of the US giving a green light or not - how is this Obama's plan?
Potentially "taking advantage" of the situation still isn't a fall-back plan, it's just, in that case, an "opportunity".
I'm not sure I'd call it a fall back plan. The ultimate prize in the war has seemed to be Iran for at least a year or more in obvious moves. Perhaps
much much longer than that. Syria is an obligated ally of Iran and visa versa. So...If we went for Iran with Syria intact, we seriously risk a
dangerous enemy hitting from a whole different direction while committed to what, if attempted, will be the fight of our collective lives, IMO. Iran
will be a nut to crack unlike anything since World War II as I read it. That's secondary to the topic of course, though. Syria has to fall first..and
so it shall, by the looks of things.
Then there is the ever increasing aid, first under Hillary and then doubled under Kerry for the FSA terrorists. That would seem to indicate planning
and intent beyond much question.
For the record though, I think the U.S.'s best position here is NO position and we withdraw entirely from this mess. It could just be that without
the "Big Dog" to give support to one side or another, it all dies down and the FSA either breaks up or gets stomped ..as has nearly happened at
least twice before when they cried for help and outside nations came running. I don't think it's our fight either way and we've got no business in
the sectarian war. That's just me though.
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