Friday, August 30, 2013
The Coming Syria Hit: Reflections
Assad Has Been Using Chemical Weapons for Some Time - Amos Harel
The general view among senior Israeli defense officials is that Assad has been using chemical weapons systematically for months, whenever he was unable to dislodge rebel forces from strategically important areas. But he has been using them only on carefully chosen targets and in low doses - just enough to be effective against the rebels, without causing enough casualties to rouse a sleeping world. But something went wrong last week, resulting in more casualties than expected.
Assad Senses West's Weakness - Ron Ben-Yishai
The use of chemical weapons has become almost routine in Syria. The regime is using these weapons to deter the opposition and the rebels by attacking the non-combatant civilian population. This is a war crime that is taking place without any response from the international community.
In addition, as the Assad government becomes less and less apprehensive about using chemical weapons, and should the regime feel it has nothing to lose, it may also use chemical weapons against Israel.
What Will Assad Learn from a Western Missile Strike? - Jeffrey Goldberg
So what exactly is the most telegraphed missile strike in history meant to achieve? Is it meant to signal to Syria's barbaric president, Bashar al-Assad, that he should please resist the urge to kill his country's children with chemical weapons and instead limit himself to killing children with bullets and bombs, which he has used effectively and without much outside interference for more than two years?
Assad's plan is to hunker down, survive whatever attack is materializing on the horizon, and emerge from his bunker declaring victory over the perfidious Americans. He may also conclude that every brutal thing short of Obama's chemical-weapons red line is permissible.
The Unlikely Winner of the Arab Revolutions Is Israel - Dominique Moisi
At this point, more Arab lives have been lost in Syria's civil war than in all of the Arab-Israeli wars combined.