Syria Imposes New Rules of Engagement on Israel

by Sayed Hasan translated for the Saker Blog

May 12, 2018

Source : http://sayed7asan.blogspot.fr/2018/05/la-syrie-impose-de-nouvelles-regles-de.html

On Thursday 10th May 2018, an unprecedented exchange of strikes happened between Israel and Syria. The mainstream media, as well as some “alternative” media like Russia Today, were quick to relay the Israeli army version, according to which the Zionist entity “retaliated” to an “Iranian attack by Revolutionary Guards’ Al-Quds Force” consisting of “twenty rockets” fired at Israeli positions in the occupied Golan, four of which were “intercepted by the Iron Dome” and the others “crashed into Syrian territory”, no damage being recorded in Israel. Israel has reportedly responded to this unprecedented “act of aggression” by a “large-scale operation” that would have destroyed “the entire Iranian infrastructure in Syria”, in order to deter the Islamic Republic from any stray impulse of future strikes.

This narrative takes for granted the postulates, data and myths of the Zionist entity’s propaganda – which imposes permanent military censorship on the Israeli media, exposing any offender to a prison sentence; and reading the international media, one might get the idea that, like American economic sanctions, this censorship is extraterritorial – but none of them can withstand scrutiny.

The aggressor is undoubtedly Israel, who carried out more than a hundred strikes against Syria since the beginning of the conflict. After Duma’s chemical stage attacks, this aggresion intensified with attacks on the Syrian T-4 base on April 9, which killed 7 Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Following the US announcement of withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, new Israeli strikes targeted Syrian positions on Tuesday (May 8th) in the southern suburbs of Damascus, and Wednesday (May 9th) in Quneitra, in the south of the country. Undeniably, Syria has only responded to yet another aggression, with a firmness that has shaken Israel and forced it out of the muteness to which it usually confines itself.

The Syrian – and not Iranian – response consisted of more than fifty – and not twenty – rockets against four sensitive Israeli military bases in the occupied Golan, which caused material damage and even casualties according to Al-Manar, Hezbollah’s media. These were not reported by the Israeli press because of the draconian military censorship forbidding mentioning Israel’s initial aggression, more than twenty rockets fired on Israel, the identification of their targets and any hint to the damage inflicted, in order to reassure the population inside and allow the vassal Western capitals to shout their sickening refrain of the sacrosanct-right-of-Israel-to-defend-itself. The Lebanese channel Al-Mayadeen specifically identified the military posts struck: 1/ a military technical and electronic reconnaissance center; 2/ border security and intelligence station 9900; 3/ a military center for electronic jamming; 3/ a military spy center for wireless and wired networks; 4/ a transmission station; 5/ an observatory of precision weapons unit ; 6/ a combat heliport; 7/ the headquarters of the Regional Military Command of Brigade 810; 8/ the command center of the military battalion at Hermon; 9/ winter headquarters of a special alpine unit. And as this channel has reported, even Israeli journalists and analysts have expressed doubts about this unconvincing version according to which these massive strikes, unprecedented since 1974 and therefore unexpected, would have proved harmless. Moreover, as Norman Finkelstein pointed out, nothing has changed for Israel’s wars in Gaza from 2008 to 2014 despite the deployment of the “Iron Dome”, only 5% of the – largely primitive – Hamas rockets being intercepted during “Protective Edge”; and one of the best missile defense specialists, Theodore Postol of MIT, has already revealed the chronic deficiencies of this system. It is unlikely that it was able to cope better with the much more sophisticated Russian, Chinese and Iranian rocket launchers that Syria has.

The success of the Israeli strikes, which, according to Israeli War Minister Avigdor Lieberman, almost destroyed “all of Iran’s infrastructure in Syria”, is largely exaggerated: Russian military officials, whose radars have followed this fight in real time, announced that more than half of the 60 missiles fired by 28 Israeli F-15s and F-16s – as well as 10 ground-to-ground missiles – were intercepted. The Syrian army records 3 dead and 2 wounded, a radar station and ammunition depot destroyed and material damage to Syrian anti-aircraft defense units. The latter have already demonstrated their effectiveness against strikes from Tel Aviv, Washington, London and Paris, unlike the mythical “Iron Dome” whose main role is to reassure the Israeli population.

The very presence of Iranian military bases and / or large Iranian contingents in Syria is a fable: Iran has only a modest presence (essentially composed of military advisers, indeed from the body of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards), unlike Hezbollah or Russia. Robert Fisk points out that “an Israeli statement that the Iranians had missiles in Syria was surely made in concert with the Trump administration”, that the Iranian forces in Syria are “far fewer than the West imagines” and that all Israeli statements should be reported with the utmost circumspection. Any objective reporting on these events should resemble that of Robert Fisk: “The latest overnight Israeli air strikes, supposedly at Iranian forces in Syria after a supposed Iranian rocket attack on Israeli forces in Golan – and it’s important to use the “supposed” and not take all this at face value – must have been known to the Americans in advance.” Indeed, these so-called unexpected attacks had been announced for days by the Israeli army, which had already conducted a so-called “preemptive strike” – rather a provocation – on May 8.

The “red line” that this alleged Iranian presence would pose to Israel is belied by the fact that Tel Aviv has, since the beginning of the conflict, been steadily slowing the progress of the Syrian Arab Army and, using various pretexts (delivery of arms to Hezbollah, response to actual or suspected gunfire from the Golan Heights, etc.), assisting armed terrorist groups in any way possible: weapons, intelligence, airstrikes coordinated with ground offensives, medical care, etc. Israel, the only country in the world that officially does not fear anything (and indeed has nothing to fear) from ISIS, Al-Qaeda and the like, has seen the situation in Syria turn from a dream – see a myriad of terrorist groups tear down the only anti-Israeli Arab regime, back of the Resistance Axis, and bleed Hezbollah – into a nightmare – to face Hezbollah, Syrian and Iran forces more battle-hardened and powerful than ever, and allied with the Palestinian Resistance, Iraq and Yemen, as well as Russia –, is only continuing its destabilizing work under new pretexts, and more directly: Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, had announced that after the defeat of proxies in Syria, their sponsors could either give up or intervene more and more openly.

Iran, whose opposition to the racist and colonialist project of Israel has been a principle and even a dogma since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, is not easily provoked into an ill-thought reaction, and has always preferred to act with patience for long-term objectives – let us remember its restraint after the massacre of Iranian diplomats in Afghanistan in 1998. The goal of Iran is not to carry out a simple reprisal operation to avenge his officers and soldiers deliberately (or accidentally, as was the case in Quneitra in January 2015) killed by Israel, but to work for the complete liberation of Palestine by putting an end to the illegitimate “Zionist regime”, just like the Apartheid regime in South Africa, which, by the way, collapsed after its military defeat in Angola and Namibia against Cuban mulattoes, then viewed with as much racism as Israeli Jewish supremacism considers ArabushimAs Hassan Nasrallah pointed out, Israel’s direct aggression against Iranian forces in Syria is a major turning point in the history of the Israeli-Arab – or rather, Israeli-Arab-Persian – conflict, and Israel must now get ready to confront the Iranian forces directly – whether in Syria, occupied Palestine or even elsewhere. Moreover, when the Iranian missiles enter the scene, they are launched from the territory of the Islamic Republic and with undeniable success, as shown by the strikes against ISIS at Deir-Ez-Zor on June 18, 2017, in retaliation for terrorist attacks in Tehran.

As we can see, the reality cannot be more different from the fable that has been propagated by the majority of the media. “Journalists” who tamely take over Israel’s talking points turn into IDF propaganda outlets and mere agents of Netanyahu’s “diplomacy of lies”. Israel is indeed constantly lying to the world – and, increasingly, to its own people. And when its reckless actions have disastrous repercussions, it publishes hasty and contradictory communiqués in which it presents itself both as a victim and as a hawkish punisher, while also claiming, through Lieberman and via Russia, to have no intention of stepping into an escalation and hoping things will stop there – proclaiming the success of its retaliatory strikes is also a way to say it does not want/need to go any further. The international media contented itself with repeating these statements immediately after the first attacks, without any critical distance. Rational actors like Iran, Syria and Hezbollah – or Russia – are not in such a hurry to speak out and confirm or deny other’s claims, leaving their opponents getting entangled in their lies, and trusting in the primacy of the battlefield that becomes more favorable to them day by day. Moreover, the fact that a bitter setback for Israel, which literally reverses the strategic situation, is transformed into a military success by Zionist and Atlantist propaganda, and combined with Israeli protests of non-belligerency, can only confirm the Resistance Axis in its choices.

Yoav Kish, a member of the Knesset quoted by Al-Manar, stressed that regardless of the author of the strikes and their results – that censorship forbade from mentioning –, it was a major shift in the history of the wars of Israel, which is being attacked from Syria. Indeed, the Golan military installations are now directly targeted as a result of Israeli aggressions, and not just the Israeli air force, which has already seen its finest – the F-16 – be shot down on February 10, 2018. The journalists and Israeli analysts also pointed out the psychological and economic repercussions of this incident, with more than 20,000 Golan settlers having had to hastily find their way back to the shelters in the middle of the night (how much will they be at the next escalation?), and the beginning of the summer period having been ushered in by a wave of hotel reservation deletions due to fears of a war between Israel and Iran. The Zionist entity, which unabashedly inflicts the greatest loss and damage to the Palestinians and its neighbors, is severely shaken by the slightest losses, unbearable for Israeli society.

The accusation against Iran is explained by essential factors (the inherent racism of Israeli society and its Prime Minister, who more willingly believe in a dangerousness of Persian Iran than in that of Arab Syria) and circumstantial – a refusal to assume the consequences of the suicidal policy of the Netanyahu government, which led him to a direct confrontation with the entire Resistance Axis, not to say with Russia. And most importantly, Israel wants to capitalize on Trump’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal to advance its main obsession, much older than the Syrian crisis, namely Tehran’s ballistic program, which it wants the West to end with, exploiting the perennial nuclear pretext – let us remind that the manufacture, possession and use of nuclear weapons are unlawful in Islamaccording to Imam Khomeini and Ali Khamenei, supreme authorities in Iran. Netanyahu has made it clear that a war with Iran is inevitable, and that it would be better to happen now than later. Since 2005, he vainly strives for the United States to launch it for him, but no negotiation, sanction or aggression will ever deter Iran from its course. And just as the Israeli strikes on April 9, which were supposed to encourage Washington, London and Paris to conduct severe strikes on Syria, ended in a bitter failure, Israel only worsened its own situation yet again and finds itself alone in the face of the disastrous consequences of its actions, to the extent of the blind arrogance that triggered them.

What about Russia? Netanyahu’s presence in Moscow for the commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the USSR’s victory against Nazism, and reports that Russia would not deliver the S-300s to Syria, must not mislead us. Russia has invested far too much in Syria to allow anyone – be it Washington, Tel Aviv, Riyadh or Ankara – to reduce its efforts to nothing. Moscow said it would no longer tolerate Western strikes against Syria in case of a new chemical weapons masquerade, and that it is ready to provide Damascus not necessarily with the S-300 anti-aircraft system, but, according to Sergei Lavrov, with “whatever is required to help the Syrian army to deter aggression.” The current Syrian defense systems have already proven their worth – Including the Pantsir, which is much more suited to the needs of the Syrian army –, and allow to envision the day when Israel loses its only advantage, namely the air supremacy – that already was to no avail in 2006 against Hezbollah or 2014 against Gaza –, without which its supposedly “invincible” ragtag army would literally crumble. Israel’s use of ground-to-ground missiles for the first time, and the concentration of attacks on Syrian anti-aircraft defenses – IDF released the video of the destruction of a Pantsir S-1 system, probably inactive – proves that it is well aware of its limitations.

It is obvious that Israeli aggressions against Syria will be increasingly costly, both for the Israeli air force and for its internal military bases and population, because of the determination of Syria and its allies (Hezbollah and Iran) to respond to any aggression, of their experience and new capabilities, and of their successes on the ground. The Resistance Axis – of which Russia is not a part – is now able to face Israel directly on its own, with a united front and without fear of escalation. As for Israel, already overwhelmed by the peaceful demonstrations in Gaza that must culminate on May 15, it is not ready for war against a single member of the Resistance Axis, let alone against several of them simultaneously. The new equation imposed by the Syrian army on May 10 is more fearsome for Israel than the prospect of the loss of another F-16, as Damascus has shown its determination to wage war on enemy territory, and to strike the Zionist entity in its depth.

The Resistance Axis will soon have its eyes fixed on the occupied Golan, that Syria has never given up liberating by armed struggle – a right conferred by international law itself, this territory being recognized as Syrian by all the international community: any Syrian operation there is a legal and legitimate act of resistance against Israel’s 1967 aggression in and subsequent occupation, even without further provocation. As early as May 2013, Hassan Nasrallah announced Hezbollah’s participation in the opening of a new frontline in Golan. In March 2017, the Golan Liberation Brigade was formed by Iraqi Hezbollah, Harakat al-Nujaba, a movement backed by Iran and involved in the liberation of Iraq and Syria from ISIS. Today, Syrian strikes in the occupied Golan unquestionably open up a new chapter in the history of the Israeli-Arab wars, in which Israel will increasingly be forced into a defensive position. Are we going to see the IDF building a wall on the border of the occupied Golan to hinder any future invasion, as is already the case on the Lebanese-Israeli border to prevent Hezbollah’s promised incursion into the Galilee? Anyway, the next war against Israel will drastically change the map of the Middle East.

 

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The Israeli Government Role in Promoting Islamophobia Internationally

May 11, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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by Paul Larudee

Much of the study of Islamophobia is directed at the social and political causes and manifestations, including religious and political dimensions and racist characteristics.  However, Islamophobia is also used as a strategic tool or weapon; i.e., in pursuit of national agenda.

Many of us are familiar with Islamophobic movements within the Buddhist majority in Myanmar (against the Rohingya minority), and within Hindu nationalist parties in India. It is important to note, however, that it is characteristic of these movements that they direct their Islamophobia against particular groups of Muslims within their own societies, and are less concerned with creating an international movement against Islam.

This is what makes the case of Israel unique.  Although Israel, like Myanmar and India, seeks to marginalize and ultimately eliminate a specific population of Muslims – in this case the mostly Muslim Palestinians – part of its strategy for doing so includes encouraging and fostering Islamophobia internationally.  Thus, for example, Israel has successfully pursued strong military and diplomatic ties with the governments of Myanmar and India, and especially the Islamophobic movements within those countries.

It is clear, therefore, that Islamophobia within Israel is not only a matter of organized bigotry and social hatred, which one finds in other societies, but also of instrumentalizing or weaponizing Islamophobia as a strategic tool to legitimize and justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the territories under Israel’s control, as well as to support Israeli aggression towards other mostly Muslim countries in the region. Promoting and fostering Islamophobia internationally helps to increase and solidify international support for the Zionist genocidal project.  It is therefore treated as an important tool of Israeli and Zionist international influence.

My attention was first brought to this fact in casual but unusual circumstances. In early 1993 my family and I were on vacation at a Club Med in France where there were also Israeli intelligence officers and their families.  I got into a discussion with one in particular, who said that with the fall of the Soviet Union, Islam would replace communism as the new enemy.  It sounded a bit far-fetched, but in retrospect he knew what he was talking about, and more important, he was in a position to help make it happen, which of course it did.

The groundwork was laid much earlier.  As Deepa Kumar at Rutgers University reports, the effort to tie Islam to terrorism started at a Zionist funded neoconservative conference on international terrorism in 1979. Then, after a second such conference in 1984, “both US neocons and Zionists worked together to convince Western policy makers that ‘Islamic terrorism’ would replace communism as the West’s next great threat. By tying Islam to terrorism, neocons would gain political cover for their imperialistic ambitions in the Middle East, and Zionists would benefit from garnering Western sympathies for their struggle against Palestinian ‘terrorism.’”

Since then, researchers like Sarah Marusek, David Miller and others have cataloged international Zionist networks that sponsor Islamophobic propaganda and policies.  The work of Pamela Geller and the so-called American Freedom Defense Initiative is one of the well-known examples.  Geller’s anti-Islam billboards and bus advertisements are familiar to many, as well her so-called “Muhammed Art Exhibit and Contest” in Garland, Texas in 2015, resulting in the police killing of two armed men.

Geller is hardly alone, however.  According to the Center for American Progress, the US has six major organizations that manipulate Islamophobia in order to further US support for Israel. These are the Center for Security Policy, the Society of Americans for National Existence, the Middle East Forum, Jihad Watch, Stop Islamization of America, and the Investigative Project on Terrorism.  Sarah Marusek includes even more groups in her paper entitled “The Transatlantic Network: Funding Islamophobia and Israeli Settlements”, published in the anthology, What is Islamophobia?

These organizations constitute a network, as Marusek says, but the complete network is much wider and more diverse than the assets concerned with promoting Islamophobia.  They are known as the sayanim, the Hebrew word for helpers or assistants, and are composed of Zionists who have achieved important and useful positions in societies from which they can exercise powerful initiatives, especially when they operate in concert. Thus, for example, friendly journalists can work with lobbyists and others to quickly and massively spread influence, information, analysis and disinformation that are useful to Israel.

Such initiatives require coordination, intelligence, strategic planning, covert action, technical assistance, and other expertise.  For many years, the sayanimwere coordinated by the Mossad. However, following a 2010 report from the influential Reut Institute (a prestigious strategic think tank in Israel), organizational changes were made that moved such responsibility to the Ministry of International Relations, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs – better known as the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.  The report also notes that there are as many as 4000 sayanim in each of the major centers of power and influence, such as London and New York. A concentration of sayanim in important sectors of society that inform the public, such as film, entertainment, journalism, education and social media permits them to help shape public opinion.

In line with Reut Institute recommendations, the Strategic Affairs Ministry has grown in size and secrecy over the last decade.  Reut projected that Israel’s main strategic threat would no longer be to its military security but rather to its image and influence in other countries, especially the US and Europe.  According to this view, BDS was to be regarded as a serious threat, as well as the human rights NGOs, Palestine solidarity groups and the critical alternative press.  The Ministry of Strategic Affairs was therefore selected to coordinate a major new effort to combat this perceived threat.

The Strategic Affairs Ministry has informally been called the HasbaraMinistry, using the Hebrew word for explanation or propaganda. It certainly is that, but also much more.  The reorganization of the Strategic Affairs Ministry can be compared in scope to that of the Homeland Security Department.  A lot of security and intelligence functions were transferred from or shared with Mossad.  The Ministry became responsible for propaganda, influence and manipulation in other countries.  Coordination of the sayanim became part of its purview, as did thousands of students who were paid or received scholarships in return for haunting social media and the comments sections of websites.  The purpose was to dominate the media, insofar as possible, in countries vital to Israel’s plans and intentions, and to sway public opinion toward outcomes determined by Israel’s strategic goals.

Many readers are familiar with the “Brand Israel” campaign. Its function, suggested by the Reut Institute, is to mold Israel’s image in the media of the US and other countries.  Its tactics are PR on steroids, such as, for example, slipping subliminal questions into the Jeopardy quiz program and idyllic holy land vacations into Wheel of Fortune, but permeating nearly everything we see, hear and read in film, entertainment, journalism, education and social media for the purpose of molding public opinion.  With enough effort of this kind, we will presumably think of Israel as Disneyland.

Another example is Facebook and the personal collaboration between Mark Zuckerberg and Benjamin Netanyahu. After a meeting with Netanyahu, Zuckerberg hired a former employee at the Israeli embassy in Washington to be in charge of censoring so-called “fake news” on Facebook.  Only Facebook has the actual figures of who gets censored, but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that a lot more anti-Zionists than Zionists are affected.  Similarly, Islamophobic postings and Tweets seem to be at least somewhat resistant to censorship compared to ones that are labeled anti-Semitic (which are often merely critical of Israel).

But it’s not just about making Israel look like the good guys. Demonizing and dehumanizing Muslims also helps to justify Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians, as well as its belligerent policies toward its mainly Muslim neighboring countries. A successful program of Islamophobia helps to support Israel’s pogroms of Palestinians in Gaza, its settlements in and economic strangulation of the West Bank, its invasions of Lebanon, its attacks against Syria, and its promotion of US wars against Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Libya and Syria.  Making the US military a proxy for Israel greatly multiplies Israel’s capability, which is why Israel and its US lobby are working hard to create a new international war against Iran.

In order to provide the Strategic Affairs Ministry with all possible means of making such operations possible and successful, it has been assigned some important intelligence functions, including black ops and psy-ops capabilities, which used to be the exclusive purview of the Mossad.  This gives the ministry greater capability to engage in digging up or inventing dirt about people it wants to harm or discredit, especially in the BDS movement and other pro-Palestinian groups.

The hand of the Strategic Affairs Ministry is not always obvious, and it takes care to shun the light.  But occasionally its actions become known, as with the Aljazeera exposé of Israeli operative Shai Masot, working from the Israeli embassy in London and coordinating the actions of British citizens working with Israel. He coached them on how to demonize and “take down” members of parliament, including the Foreign Office Minister, Alan Duncan, who was considered insufficiently supportive of the effort to suppress BDS.

Al Jazeera has produced a similar exposé on the workings of Israel and its US lobby, but the release has been indefinitely delayed, which may be an indication of Israel’s power and influence and the effectiveness of the operations coordinated by the Strategic Affairs Ministry.  Nevertheless, a glimpse of such operations can be seen in the 2004 espionage indictmentsagainst AIPAC lobbyists Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman.  The indictments were ultimately dropped, partly because sensitive information would have to be revealed in order to successfully prosecute the cases (or perhaps that was just the excuse used to cover the fact that Tel Aviv gets to decide who gets prosecuted, not Washington).

France can be considered an extreme case.  People have been arrested there for wearing a Free Palestine T-shirt.  PayPal and several large banks in France recently closed the accounts of all organizations that support BDS, which has been ruled anti-Semitic.  Anti-Semitism is broadly defined, as you can see, and it is illegal in France.  You can be fined or jailed for practicing it.

But not for Islamophobia.  Islamophobia is free speech but anti-Semitism is racism. In fact, the French equivalent of AIPAC, known as CRIF, has publically declared that “Islamophobia is not a form of racism.  We have long drawn attention to the danger of conflating Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.  To do so would impede all criticism of Islam, such that the fundamental rights of [other] religions could not be respected. The CRIF will therefore block all resolutions against Islamophobia”.

The writings of Jacob Cohen are instructive in this regard. He has published a remarkable and very comprehensive exposé on the promotion of Islamophobia in France, including the actions of Israeli operatives and French Zionist organizations.  But there’s a catch.  In order to publish it in France without being arrested or sued, he has to disguise it as very thinly veiled fiction, in this case O.P.A. Kabbalistique sur les Nouveaux Indigènes. It is available only in French, but even in that language you have to know the persons and groups to which he refers with pseudonyms, and few outsiders know the French scene well enough to recognize more than a handful of them.

So what can we conclude from all this information about the involvement of Israel and the Zionist movement in sponsoring Islamophobia?  The point is that some sources of Islamophobia are not attitudes or social structures. We have to face the fact that there is a very potent, resourceful, well organized and well funded international movement that sees Islamophobia as a strategic tool in pursuit of its national interest. For this reason, it is largely impervious to education or negotiation or legal considerations.

In fact, Israel is also pursuing an apparently contradictory effort to encourage interfaith cooperation between Jews, Muslims and Christians, but with the same goal in mind.  That goal is to blunt criticism of Israel, whether by getting people to hate Muslims and thereby endorse Israel’s belligerence and ethnic cleansing, or by pressuring Muslims not to criticize Israel out of concern for potentially offending their Jewish brothers and sisters.  Since the two strategies are aimed at different populations, I suppose that they might be able to work simultaneously.  This is often how PR campaigns work.

The point is that in all the efforts at fostering tolerance and understanding we are faced with an adversary that is working quite diligently in the opposite direction for reasons that have nothing to do with how they view Islam as a religion or Muslims.  This is therefore a different type of challenge in trying to overcome Islamophobia.

• This article is a revised version of a paper read at the 9th Annual Islamophobia Conference in Berkeley, California, April 29, 2018.

Source: https://dissidentvoice.org

SYRIAN ARMY DISCOVERED GERMAN, BRITISH MADE CHEMICALS IN DUMA – SYRIAN DEPUTY ENVOY TO OPCW

South Front

26.04.2018

Syrian Army Discovered German, British Made Chemicals In Duma – Syrian Deputy Envoy To OPCW

Syria’s deputy envoy to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ghassan Obaid during the briefing that was halt in The Hague. By RT

On April 26, Syria’s deputy envoy to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Ghassan Obaid revealed after the briefing organized by the Russian delegation to the organization, that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had discovered chemical weapons along with German and British made chemical materials in the militants positions in Syria’s Duma district.

“In the depot with chemical weapons left by terrorists in Duma, we have found chemicals from Germany, the United Kingdom, from the Porton-Down laboratory in Salisbury,” the Russian news outlet Sputnik quoted Obaid as saying after the briefing that was held in The Hague.

The Syrian deputy envoy to the OPCW called on the organization to inspect the sites where chemical weapons and toxic materials were discovered.

The OPCW visited two sites in Duma, where chemical weapons were allegedly used, and collected samples on April 21 and 25. However, the organization has not yet confirmed if its fact finding mission is planning to visit the former positions of the militants where tons of toxic materials have been discovered.

The April 26 case was not the first time when Syria and Russia announced the discovery of chemical weapons and toxic materials in captured positions of the militants around Damascus. On March 21, the Ministy of Defense of Russian announced that the SAA had seized 40 tons of toxic material in the Eastern Ghouta region. Despite of this, the OPCW didn’t take any steps to investigate these cases.

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Report: Pro-Israel Groups Demand Changes to Virginia Textbooks

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Grant Smith and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) have released a report on efforts by Israel advocacy groups to effect changes in textbooks used in public schools in Virginia. According to IRmep, the requested changes include:

  1. Deletion of references to Israel “occupying” territories captured during the 1967 Six-Day War and substituting “controlled.” International conventions clearly outline the responsibility of occupying powers and the illegality of collective punishment and population transfers.
  2. Changes to maps to recognize Israel’s declared “annexation” of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The U.S. and most other countries do not officially recognize Israeli annexation of either territory.
  3. Substitution of references to “occupied territories” to “captured areas.”
  4. Substitution of references to “Jewish settlers” and “settlements” with “building of homes and communities.”
  5. Deletion of a lesson reviewing a video documentary by Iranian-American religious studies scholar, author, producer and television host Reza Aslan.
  6. Deletion of an activity based on reading the biography and work of Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi.
  7. Substitution of an editorial cartoon titled “The Mideast Peace Game Rules” with a cartoon of an Arab suicide terrorist holding a  “Road Map to Peace” game hostage.

A group calling itself the “Institute for Curriculum Services” proposed the changes to the Virginia Department of Education on February 28. You can go here to see a summary of IRmep’s findings, and here to access a more detailed review that includes documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

IRmep also outlines a number of “common themes” which emerge in the requested textbook changes. These include eliminating or replacing historical artwork created for predominantly Christian audiences; deletion of all references to “Palestinian territories”; as well as characterization of Judaism, i.e. Old Testament theology, as “God’s covenant” while relegating the tenets of Islam to mere expressions of “Muslim religious belief.”

Apparently the changes being sought in Virginia textbooks are a part of an overall nationwide effort. IRmep cites a spokesperson for the “Institute for Curriculum Services” who claims to have successfully made more than 11,000 changes to textbooks in US public schools.

The Israeli lobby has long had yokes locked around the necks of our Congress men and women. Now it seems they are trying to solidify their control over our public education system as well. If you think the millennials of today are daft, succored as they have been on identity politics, imagine what the next generation will be like after being fed a steady diet of Israeli propaganda in their school textbooks. Any school teachers who attempt to explain the truth about Israel and its genocidal occupation policies doubtless will risk being fired.

This is how the people of America are being robbed of the power of independent thought. Pretty soon, the only free countries left in the world will be those that don’t have Israeli lobbies.

Jewish Guilt is the Discourse of The Goyim

April 24, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 The Unconscious is the discourse of the Other, Jacques Lacan

The Unconscious is the discourse of the Other, Jacques Lacan

By Gilad Atzmon

For quite some time the British have accepted that British Jewish organizations have hijacked the political discourse. As has happened in other Western countries, the British political establishment has engaged is a relentless rant against antisemitsm. Sometime the focus drifts for a day or two. An alleged ‘Russian nerve gas attack’ provided a 48 hour pause. Occasionally we bomb Arabs in the name of ‘human intervention’ only to realize a day or two later that we have, once again, followed a premeditated foreign agenda. But, somehow, we always return to the antisemitsm debate, as if our media and politicians are a herd of flies gravitating to a pile of poop.

Last week the BOD/JLC, two Jewish organisations that claim to ‘represent’ British Jews published this painful to watch video.

https://youtu.be/pnEYxMHb-RU

Judging by the number of viewers, Brits are tired of this nauseating outburst. Brits know very well that when it comes to hate crimes, Jews are not high on the victim list; Jews are far less ‘victimized’ than Blacks, Muslims, Roma, trans-sexuals, gays and many others.

Since Jewish community ‘leaders’ remain obsessed with anti semitism, I will try to help these ‘leaders’ understand the universal perspective on the meaning of antisemitsm.

True Antisemitsm is when IDF snipers film themselves   shooting unarmed Semite protestors* like sitting ducks while laughing their heads off!

True Antisemitsm is when the Jewish State legislates and enforces institutional racism against actual SemitesBlacks and Goyim in general.

The Gaza siege is an example of what common people see as real Antisemitsm. It is designed  to humiliate and deprive  Semites for being Semites and it has turned Gaza into the largest open air prison known to man.

Enough is Enough is humanity expressing collective fatigue of these barbarian actions.

I would prefer to believe that the Jewish fear of antisemitsm is actually an expression of collective Jewish guilt.  For obvious reasons, Jews find it hard to compartmentalize Jewish identity within the context of the Jewish State being a rogue State.

There are a few modes of dealing with collective guilt that have been recognized.  Repression seems to be the most common one. Some argue, in that regard, that escapism and denial are Israel’s primary belief systems.

Acknowledgment of guilt is, undoubtedly, far more painful. The Germans made it into their way of living after the last big war. Maybe Jews can actually learn from the Germans — instead of attempting to emulate 3rd Reich’s racist agenda—— Israel and its supporters  should try to reproduce German’s post WWII  remorse.   As it happens, there are a very few Jews and Israelis who acknowledge their responsibility for the Palestinian plight and support the Palestinian Right of Return. These rare Jews are brave enough to admit that Israel is inherently anti-Semitic and racist to the core.

However, silencing Israel’s dissent is the usual Jewish political method to resolve Jewish guilt.  Attributing the ‘Antisemitic’ slur to others is how both Zionists and the so called ‘anti’ kick the ball to the goyim’s yard. This method was effective for a while but it doesn’t work anymore: being called an anti-Semite in 2018 is a synonym for an ethically driven humanistan anti racista truth tellerpeace and Justice role model, a rock star. The list of ‘anti semites’ is growing exponentially, probably in direct proportion with the tidal rise in Jewish guilt. The more guilty (some) Jews feel, the more the rest of us are becoming anti-Semitic in their eyes.

“Unconscious is the discourse of the Other,” was, probably Jacques Lacan’s most astute psychoanalytical observation. It is the fear that the Other, in this case, the gentile, the humanist, sees you truly. It is the fear that the goy can detect your shame. Jewish Guilt as such is the unbearable fear that the Goyim know.

If they want to burn it, you want to read it!

cover bit small.jpg

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto,

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).

Portman and Corbyn

April 22, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

Last Thursday, The Genesis Prize announced it was cancelling its so-called “Jewish Nobel” prize ceremony in Israel in June because its 2018 recipient, Natalie Portman, said she would not take part in light of “recent events.”

The Jewish foundation said that Portman’s representative notified it that “recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”

According to the Forward Portman didn’t reject the prize itself, but said she could not “in good conscience” share a stage with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

So again, the Israelis are upset. Gilad Erdan, Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Minister of Information wrote to Portman to tell her that she had been hoodwinked by Hamas propaganda and invited the Jerusalem-born Hollywood star to come and see the truth.

“It is not surprising that you have seen the media reports which have distorted the truth and portrayed the recent riots on the Israel-Gaza border as peaceful demonstrations, and Israel’s response as disproportionate. It is in fact precisely this narrative which Hamas hoped to portray when it organised the riots. Unfortunately it appears that this Hamas-designed narrative has impacted your decision.”

Is Erdan, as it seems, admitting that Hamas has defeated him and his Hasbara ministry in the propaganda war?  I would like to correct Erdan, ’riots’ isn’t really the appropriate description of a mass protest by those incarcerated in the biggest open air prison known to man. Outside the Jewish ghetto it is seen as a ‘Liberation struggle.’

Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev lambasted Portman, saying she had “fallen into the hands” of the BDS campaign that aims to isolate the Jewish state.

Likud MK Oren Hazan demanded that Israel cancel Portman’s Israeli citizenship, and labelled her

“an Israeli Jewess who on the one hand makes cynical use of her origins in order to advance her career and who, on the other hand, prides herself on having avoided being drafted into the IDF.”

The take home message is simple and devastating. Tolerance and pluralism don’t seem to be the prime characteristics of Jewish politics. What we see instead is the expectation that the entire tribe adhere to a single ideology. It seems that Israel’s leading party does not accept that Portman is openly upset by the images of Israeli soldiers shooting Palestinian protesters as if they were sitting ducks.

Sadly, this form of authoritarian behaviour is not limited to Israel. Here in Britain the Jewish ‘so-called’ representative bodies exercise the same tyrannical tendencies.

Recently  we watched an  organised Jewish campaign against Labour leader  and life long anti racist, Jeremy Corbyn.  When Corbyn celebrated the Passover dinner with Jewdas, a radical progressive Jewish group, other British Jewish organisations reacted with the same intolerance.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC Radio, Jonathan Arkush, the President of the BOD, a body that claims to ‘represent British Jews’  said: “What Jeremy Corbyn did last night was the very thing which we wrote to him about last week…stop giving credence to ultra-fringe groups that say anti-Semitic things, who are far from representative.” One would expect the BOD that claims to ‘represent Jews’ to represent all Jews including the so-called Jewish fringe.

The Jewish Labour Movement said Mr Corbyn’s attendance at the Jewdas Seder “topped off the worst week on record of awful relations between the Labour party and the Jewish community.” Apparently the Jewish Labour Movement also do not approve of the Jewish Fringe. Campaign Against anti-Semitism called Mr Corbyn’s meeting with Jewdas a “two-fingered salute against mainstream British Jewry”. I would remind the Campaign Against Antisemitsm that what is seen by some as a ‘two fingered salute’ is seen by others as a ‘V’ for victory.

I thank Natalie Portman, Jonathan Arkush, Gilad Erdan, the Jewish Labour Movement, Campaign Against Antisemitism and of course Jeremy Corbyn.  Together they provide a window into authoritarian tribalism. In fact it would be impossible to fully grasp the tragic continuum known as Jewish history without prospecting the Jewish present as it fully unveils itself.

If they want to burn it, you want to read it!

cover bit small.jpg

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto,

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).

 

Lies and Deception in the Failed US Strike on Syria

Lies and Deception in the Failed US Strike on Syria

Lies and Deception in the Failed US Strike on Syria

At 4am on April 14, the United States, France and the United Kingdom executed a strike on Syria. The Syrian Free Press reported:

US Navy warships in the Red Sea and Air Force B-1B bombers and F-15 and F-16 aircraft rained dozens of ship- and air-launched cruise missiles down on the Syrian capital of Damascus, an airbase outside the city, a so-called chemical weapons storage facility near Homs, and an equipment-storage facility and command post, also near Homs. B1-Bs are typically armed with JASSM cruise missiles, which have a 450 kg warhead and a range of 370 kms. US Navy warships launched Tomahawks, which have 450 kg warheads and an operational range of between 1,300 and 2,500 kms. The British Royal Air Force’s contingent for the assault consisted of four Tornado GR4 ground-attack aircraft armed with the Storm Shadow long-range air-to-ground missile, which the UK’s Defense Ministry said targeted ‘chemical weapons sites’ in Homs. These weapons have a range of 400 kms. Finally, France sent its Aquitaine frigate, armed with SCALP naval land-attack cruise missiles (SCALP is the French military’s name for the Storm Shadow), as well as several Dassault Rafale fighters, also typically armed with SCALP or Apache cruise missiles. According to the Russian defense ministry, the B-1Bs also fired GBU-38 guided air bombs. Undoubtedly weary of the prospect of having their aircraft shot down after Israel lost one of its F-16s over Syria in February, the Western powers presumably launched their weapons from well outside the range of Syrian air defenses, with all the targets located just 70-90 kms from the Mediterranean Sea, and having to fly through Lebanon first.

Recapping the information on the strike, the US and its allies used the following assets:

● 2 destroyers (USS Laboon, USS Higgins)

● 1 US cruiser (USS Monterey)

● 1 French frigate (Georges Leygues)

● 5 Rafale jets

● 4 Mirage 2000-5F

● 4 British Tornado fighter-bombers

● Virginia-class submarine USS John Warner

● 2 US B-1B bombers

Their ordnance brought to bear consisted of the following:

● The cruiser Monterey launched 30 Tomahawk missiles

● The destroyer Higgins 23 Tomahawks

● The destroyer Laboon 7 Tomahawks

● The submarine John Warner 6 Tomahawks

● 2 B-1 bombers 21 JASSM missiles

● 4 British Tornado GR4 fighter bombers 16 Storm-shadow missiles.

● The French Languedoc fired 3 MdCN land-attack missiles.

The US Pentagon reports the strike group targeted:

– 76 missiles at the Barzah research center in Damascus:

(Source)

– 22 missiles at an undefined “chemical” structure:

(Source)

– 7 missiles against an undefined “chemical bunker”:

(Source)

The Syrian anti-aircraft forces responded, firing a total of 112 air-defence missiles:

● the Pantsyr system fired 25 missiles and hit 24 targets;

● the Buk system fired 29 missiles and hit 24 targets;

● the Osa system fired 11 and hit 5 targets;

● the S-125 system fired 13 missiles and hit 5 targets;

● the Strela-10 system fired 5 missiles and hit 3 targets;

● the Kvadrat system fired 21 and hit 11 targets;

● the S-200 system fired 8 and hit no targets.

(Source)

The Russians have stated that the target of the raids and the effectiveness of the missiles have resulted in a big fiasco for the Americans:

● 4 missiles were launched targeting the area of the Damascus International Airport; these 4 missiles were intercepted.

● 12 missiles were launched targeting the Al-Dumayr Military Airport; these 12 missiles were intercepted.

● 18 missiles were launched  targeting the Bley Military Airport; these 18 missiles were intercepted.

● 12 missiles were launched targeting the Shayarat Military Airport; these 12 missiles were intercepted.

● 9-15 missiles were launched  targeting the Mezzeh Military Airport; 5 of them were intercepted.

● 16 missiles were launched targeting the Homs Military Airport; 13 of which were intercepted.

● 30 missiles were launched targeting targets in the areas of Barzah and Jaramani; 7 of which were intercepted.

The effectiveness of the attack is called into question, especially in light of the prompt reaction of the civilian population that took to the streets in support of Bashar al Assad and the Syrian government only a few hours after the US-led attack.

(Celebrations the morning of the 14th of April in Umayyad Square, Damascus )

What emerges immediately from the Syrian/Russian and American narratives are contrasting assessments of the outcome of the attack.

We can certainly try to dispute some statements. The Americans repeated that at least two chemical-weapons laboratories together with a chemical-weapons storage center were affected. As evidenced by the images shot by PressTV a few hours after the attack, the structure is destroyed but there are no chemical contaminations. To confirm this, the television operators were able to perform interviews and live footage a few meters from the site of the strike without experiencing any physical effects, which would have been impossible were the American version of events true, given that the release of chemical agents would have made the whole area inaccessible.

Further confirmation comes from Ammar Waqqaf interviewed on The Heat on CGTV, claiming that his relatives were about 500 meters from one of the alleged chemical-weapons research centers attacked by the Americans. Ammar says that even in this case, no chemical agent appears to have been released, thus disproving Washington’s claims.

Another important consideration concerns the targets. For Washington, the targets were limited to research laboratories (Barzah and Jaramani) and storage centers. But Moscow revealed that the objectives also included military bases as well as the civilian Damascus International Airport, namely: Al-Dumayr Military Airport, Bley Military Airport, Shayarat Military Airport, Mezzeh Military Airport, Homs Military Airport. These were mostly unsuccessful attacks.

In light of the foregoing, we can assume that the operational goal of the Americans was twofold. On the one hand, it was aimed at the media, to show a response to the (false) accusations of a chemical attack in Douma (Robert Frisk has just dismantled the propaganda and RT reminds us of the various false flags perpetrated by the US in the past to start wars); on the other, it was used by the military to actually permanently damage the Syrian Air Force, as suggested by the warmongering neocon Lindsey Graham. The failure of this latter objective could be seen in the following hours when the Syrian planes resumed operational tasks.

What does all this information tell us? First of all, the American goal was not to hit the non-existent chemical weapons or their production sites. The aim was to reduce as much as possible Syrian Air Force assets at different military airports. The mission was a failure, as reported by the Russian military envoy in Syria thanks to the air-defense measures of the Syrian forces as well as probably a high electronic-warfare (EW) contribution from the Russian forces present in the country. Very little has been leaked out in technical terms from the Russian Federation, which officially states that it did not contribute towards defending against the attack. It is probable that Russia played a decisive role in terms of EW, with its little-known but highly effective systems as demonstrated in previous attacks in 2017.

Moscow has no interest in promoting its cutting-edge EW systems, and often does not confirm the reports issued by more or less government agencies, as in the case of the USS Donald Cook in 2014. Yet Russia Beyond explains EW as probably being fundamental in foiling the American attack:

Before the electronic jamming system kicks in, the aircraft scans the radio signals in its zone of ​​activity. After detecting the traffic frequencies of the enemy’s equipment, the operator on board the aircraft enables the jamming system in the required bandwidth,” a defense industry source told Russia Beyond. In addition to onboard systems, there are ground-based Krasnukha-4 EW complexes stationed around the Khemeimim airbase, Russia’s key stronghold in the Middle East. Their purpose is to suppress enemy “eavesdropping” and weapons guidance systems. The Krasnukha-4 blinds enemy radar systems to targets at a distance of 250 km.

The general public is yet to understand that the American attack was a complete fiasco, much to the irritation of Lindsey Graham, thereby confirming Damascus’s narrative, which presented Syria’s response as decisive and effective.

The logic of the matter must also be considered. We know that the US and her allies launched 105 missiles aimed at various targets, including some military bases, but none of them hit the targets indicated, except for two buildings already emptied previously and a non-existent chemical-weapons depot. The Pentagon amplified the military report with the lie that only two research centers and a chemical-weapons depot were intentionally bombed with something like 105 missiles; this in order to account for the number of missiles launched and to drown out other assessments that contradict the preferred narrative. But it is ridiculous to believe that the US used 76 missiles to hit three buildings. A much more plausible explanation is that there were many more targets but only three of them were hit, this measly success carrying zero tactical or strategic importance.

We should ask ourselves what the real goal of Washington was. First, let us split the story into two parts. On the one hand we have a PR exercise, and on the other an intended military strategy. In the first case, Washington was able to pursue its self-assigned role as “protector of the weak”, like those victims of the alleged Douma chemical attack. The intended optics were those of a humanitarian intervention, in line with the West’s self-assigned role of regent of the post-World War II neoliberal world order. In reality, we know very well that US hegemony is based on millions of deaths in dozens of wars scattered around the globe. According to the fictitious narrative of the media, it all boils down to good-guys-versus-bad-guys, and Assad is the bad guy while the US is the good guy punishing the regime for the use of chemical weapons.

The success of PR exercise depends very little on the military outcome and much more on the story as told by the media. It is based solely on the affirmation of the role taken up by the US and her allies, that of being in the right and driven only by the noblest interests. But such a series of unreasonable lies has only served to drag the world into chaos, diminished the role of the mainstream media, and destroyed the credibility of practically the whole Western political class.

From a military point of view, however, the goals, intent and results show a far more disturbing result for Washington and her allies. Soviet-era weapons that were updated by Moscow and integrated into the Russian air defense infrastructure network severely degraded the effectiveness of the American attack. Washington wanted to ground the entire Syrian air force, hitting air bases with precision, but failed in this objective. It remains to be seen whether this attack was a prelude to something bigger, with the USS Harry S Truman Carrier Strike Group currently heading towards Syrian territorial waters. Following the logic of deconfliction with Russia, it seems unlikely that a more intense attack will occur, rumors even circulating that Mattis dissuaded Trump from targeting Russian and Iranian targets, being well aware of the risks in a Russian response.

Let us focus for a moment on the risks in this kind of scenario. We are told that it would have brought about World War Three. This is probably true. But the consequences could also entail something much worse for Washington than for the rest of the world. The rhetoric that an American attack on Russian forces in Syria would trigger a direct war between the two superpowers is certainly true, but perhaps it is wrong in its interpretation. The danger seems to lie less in the possibility of a nuclear apocalypse and more in exposing the US’s inability to go toe to toe with a peer competitor.

While we cannot (and hope not to) test this hypothesis, we can certainly join the dots. If Soviet-era systems, with a slight Russian modernization, can nullify an American attack, what could the Russian forces do themselves? They could probably even block an attack of the scale visited on Baghdad, where several hundred missiles were directed towards civilian and military targets. It would be highly unlikely in such a scenario for Washington to peddle the false propaganda of a successful attack with little in terms of bomb-damage assessment commensurate with the number of missiles launched.

Already in the April 14 attack, the explanation that 76 cruise missiles were directed against three buildings is ridiculous but is nevertheless sustained thanks to the lies of the mainstream media and the paucity of available information. However, when thinking of 500 Tomahawks launched with limited damage to the Syrian infrastructure, even that would be impossible to sell to a very ignorant and deceived public. It would be the definitive proof of the decline in American military effectiveness and the potency of Russian air-defense systems. Just like during Putin’s presentation of new weapons some months back, when the Empire feels its core (military power) is threatened, it simply dismisses such reports as false, in the process becoming a victim of its own propaganda.

Yet one would only need to listen to the words of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Michael Griffin, in a conference at the Hudson Institute where he explained how Moscow and Beijing capabilities are far more advanced in hypersonic and supersonic missile defense and attack capabilities. He openly explained that Washington takes about 16 years to implement a paper-to-service idea, while its rivals in a few years have shown that they can move from concept to practical development, gaining a huge advantage over rivals like Washington.

The problem is inherent for the United States in its need to keep alive a war machine based on inflated military spending that creates enormous pockets of corruption and inefficiency. Just look at the F-35 project and its constant problems. Although Moscow’s spending is less than twelve times that of the United States, it has succeeded in developing systems like hypersonic missiles that are still in the testing phase in the United States, or systems like the S-500, which the US does not possess.

The S-300, S-400, P-800 anti-ship missiles and the 3M22 Zircon hypersonic missiles, in addition to EW, pose a fundamental problem for Washington in dealing with attacks against a peer competitor. The military in Washington are probably well aware of the risks of revealing the US to be a paper tiger, so they prefer to avoid any direct confrontation with Russia and Iran, more for the purposes of maintaining military prestige than out of a desire to avoid risking World War Three. If Russian forces ever were targeted by the US, in all probability Moscow would simply disable the electronics of the US ship rather than sinking it, leaving it to float in the Mediterranean uncontrolled for days.

The last fig leaf hiding the US military’s inadequacy rests in Hollywood propaganda that presents the US military as practically invincible. Accordingly, some sites have spread stories that Russia had been forewarned of the attack and that the whole bombing event was the same sort of farce as a year ago. In the first place, it is important to clarify that Moscow had not been given advanced warning of the targets, and the reason for this is simple: the attack was real and, as explained above, did not succeed precisely because of Moscow and Damuscus’s effective parries and blocks.

In reality, Washington has failed in its military strategy, and the media have turned to the usual propaganda of chemical weapons and the need to enforce justice in the world and proclaim a non-existent success. In the meantime, Moscow fine-tunes its weapons and prepares to deliver the S-300 to the Syrian state and its allies (Lebanon?), effectively limiting Washington’s ability to attack in the Middle East. This is a fitting conclusion for a story that has only damaged the status of the United States and her allies in the Middle East, bringing Syria closer to a final victory.

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