What ever happened to Assad's vaunted air defense systems? You know, the ones that were said to be so formidable, so far above what Qaddafi had, that the very idea of imposing a "No Fly Zone" over Syria was unthinkable?
After all, it hasn't even been degraded yet, except by Assad's turning his fighters into bombers so that he could use them for destroying his nation instead of defending it. All his ground based air defenses should be intact and yet Israeli jets were able to penetrate miles into Syria unopposed and hit targets near Damascus.
What's up with that?
Is it possible, like some people think was the case with our own Pearl Harbor or Tonkin Gulf attacks, that Assad kinda just let this happen because he could see that the political advantages that could flow from such an attack would far out weigh the material damage done. Certainly, Assad is not going to worry about a couple more Syrian corpses on that pile that is already 65,000 bodies high.
This also raises the question of why did Israel do it? They have claimed all along that while they would like to see the awful Bashar Assad go as much as everybody else, they have stayed out of it because they knew that even the slightest appearance of support for Assad's opposition would be like the kiss of death for them.
So now they strike at Syria and for the first time in a long time, the Arab League is in Assad's corner. They had to know that was likely to be the result of their air strike. That and a lot more.
Therefore striking a single military research center makes no sense. What would it accomplish? Even if there were WMD there, they aren't all in one place so hitting just one site, and putting Assad in a "use'm or lose'm" situation with regards to the rest would be very dangerous.
Striking a convoy makes sense if they thought something very bad was going to Hezbullah. Still they would have to know that any such strike would be a big propaganda boon to Assad, a political advantage to him worth a lot more than a truck load of SA-17s.
Still, I don't see Israel looking to pick a fight with HZ right now when they are much more focused on killing fellow Arabs than killing Jews.
It is even possible that Assad authorized such a transfer, and made sure the facts were well known, with an eye to provoking just such a strike.
But if you are a regular reader of my diary, you already know that I think Israel likes Assad, and that my favorite Latin phrase is "Cui Bono".
So at this point I think it very likely that Israel initiated this attack and Assad allowed it to happen all for the benefit of Assad in these troubling times and the rest of us are just being played.
Some people here have an attitude like this about the conflict in Syria: "I've looked all over the map of the US and I can't find Syria!" To them I say:
No offense, but if you don't think the world will pay a high price for allowing Assad to wreck his country, then you are a fool!
Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 6:14 PM PT:Business Insider has come out with this very interesting report on Israel's Strike on Syria. They are confirming the Assad regime's claim that it was a military research center and not a convoy that was hit. It would appear that this strike happened 48 hours before it became news and that US officials knew they where lying when they said that the strike was against SA-17 missiles headed for Hezbollah. That was just a cover story.
If this is true, it strengthens my view that the Israeli strike, which has given political support to Assad, from the Arab League and in other quarters, was designed to do just that.
While I could chalk up a strike to stop a high-tech missile transfer to Hezbollah to exigent circumstances, I have not yet heard any reason why this military research center needed to be hit right now, just when Assad is on the verge of losing Damascus.
Unless that is the reason.
And, frankly, if the target was Assad's WMD, it might even make sense that the charge of FSA assistance could be true.
They wouldn't want foreign troops landed to secure them. They wouldn't want them and they certainly wouldn't want them to fall into the hands of some of their "allies." The site is said to have been guarded by 3,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the FSA wouldn't mind seeing them get bombed.
Israel's Strike On Syria Was A Brilliant Tactical Move
Feb. 1, 2013, 1:09 PM
Much like the air campaign against Hamas targets inside the Gaza strip, Israel's airstrike in Syria looks like a well-timed tactical move—and the confusing media reports regarding the attack may be part of the plan.
The Jerusalem Post reports that a Western diplomatic source told Iraqi daily Azzaman that the attack took place more than 48 hours before it was leaked by Israel.
Furthermore, the source said the reports about a strike on a convoy carrying weapons into Lebanon were probably meant to divert attention away from the operation's main objective: To use F-16 aircraft to fire at least eight guided missiles at a military research center near Damascus.
On Wednesday U.S. officials — who said they were given forewarning of the strike — told The Wall Street Journal and other outlets that the Israelis were targeting a convoy of trucks allegedly carrying Russian-made SA-17 missiles to Hezbollah.