The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

Will Israeli-backed Syrian rebels target Israel in a false-flag attack to trigger foreign intervention?

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Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
September 16, 2013

In a memorable September 14 piece in Consortium News entitled “How War on Syria Lost Its Way,” ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern writes:

As the march toward war began meandering off in unexpected directions, I was lucky enough to observe, up-close and personal, the angry reaction of some of Israel’s top American supporters on Monday evening. That was after Russia drew Obama a new map for how to reach the desired destination of removing chemical weapons from Assad’s arsenal without going to war.

McGovern goes on to the describe the morose atmosphere that evening that permeated the studio of a key media facilitator of war:

After doing an interview on CNN International, I opened the studio door and almost knocked over a small fellow named Paul Wolfowitz, President George W. Bush’s former under-secretary of defense who in 2002-2003 had helped craft the fraudulent case for invading Iraq. And there standing next to him was former Sen. Joe Lieberman, the neocon from Connecticut who was a leading advocate for the Iraq War and pretty much every other potential war in the Middle East.

Finding myself in the same room with two gentlemen responsible for so much misery in the world, I fell back on my recent training in non-violence, as we watched Piers Morgan try earnestly to spin the day’s astounding events. On the tube earlier, Anderson Cooper sought counsel from Ari Fleischer, former spokesman for George W. Bush, and David Gergen, long-time White House PR guru.

Fleischer and Gergen were alternately downright furious over the Russian initiative to give peace a chance and disconsolate at seeing the prospect for U.S. military involvement in Syria disappear when we were oh so close. After some caustic and condescending outbursts, an almost surreally disconsolate mood set in. It looked like these fellas were not going to get their war.

Later remarks by Lieberman and Wolfowitz reflected a distinctly funereal atmosphere. I felt I had come to a wake with somberly dressed folks (no pastel ties this time) grieving for a recently, dearly-departed war.

Despite the unexpected setback for the proponents of war, the veteran intelligence analyst observes that “so many others in and around Syria have powerful incentives to reverse the progress made.” Warns the co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS):

One still has to wonder what might revive prospects for U.S. missile strikes. Some in the Middle East are worried about the possibility that radical jihadists among the Syrian rebels might try to derail peace talks by launching a chemical weapons attack against Israeli targets with the hope that the provocation will be blamed on the Assad regime and set off a rush to retaliate.

But given that “frustrated” Israeli officials share the Syrian rebels’ interest in resuming the drive toward a U.S. attack, isn’t there a reasonable probability that the country’s intelligence agents, operating in Syria under the guise of delivering humanitarian aid, would assist the jihadists in carrying out such a false-flag attack?

One suspects that Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avigdor Liberman may have been mentally preparing people for such an event when he made the following disingenuous statement:

Israel has no interest, will or intention to take part in the Syrian civil war, but Assad must understand in the clearest way possible that if he and his regime do not leave us a choice and he attacks Israel or transfers chemical weapons to Hezbollah, Israel will respond in the harshest way possible, including toppling his regime.”

Similarly, a “dismayed” Prime Minister Netanyahu recently hinted that Obama’s last-minute resort to diplomacy would force Israel to take matters into its own hands. As the Times of Israel reported:

In remarks whose content and timing implied criticism of President Barack Obama’s handling of the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, and a concern that Israel could not depend on the US to thwart Iran’s nuclear drive, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday declared that nations that use weapons of mass destruction must pay a price, and said that his own actions as leader of the Jewish state revolved around the conviction that ultimately Israel had no one to rely on but itself when facing enemy threats.

Speaking at an Israeli Navy graduation ceremony, Netanyahu cited a 2,000-year-old saying by the Jewish sage Rabbi Hillel, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” And he said this rule “is more relevant than ever these days in guiding me, in my key actions as prime minister.” Its practical application, he said, “is that Israel will always be able to protect itself, and will protect itself, with its own forces, against all threats.”

In light of Israel’s long record of pulling off false-flag terrorist attacks with impunity against both Jews and non-Jews around the world, a chemical weapons attack by Israeli-backed Syrian rebels targeting Israel is, in the words of Ray McGovern, “a threat that the cooler heads in the Obama administration should anticipate and be ready to head off.”

Maidhc Ó Cathail is an investigative journalist and Middle East analyst. He is also the creator and editor of The Passionate Attachment blog, which focuses primarily on the U.S.-Israeli relationship. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter @O_Cathail.

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

September 16, 2013 at 8:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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