by Stephen Lendman
A previous article discussed Israel's Wednesday attack on Lebanon. Reports suggested Syrian weapons and munitions heading cross border were struck.
It asked why would Assad send vitally needed weapons and munitions to Lebanon? He needs all he can get.
What's Israel up to? Is something else going on? Is it trying to provoke Syria to retaliate? Does it want to entrap it in all-out war?
Doing so would involve Washington and NATO. It would mean Syria's undoing. It would ignite regional conflict. Potentially it could morph into global war.
Assad's got all he can handle. He's contesting Washington's proxy war. He's got hostile neighbors. Turkey and Jordan are threatening. Israel attacked before. Naked aggression is longstanding Israeli policy.
In June 1967, it attacked Syria preemptively. It was long-planned. Israel wasn't threatened. Former Prime Minister Menachem Begin later admitted it.
"We must be honest with ourselves, he said. "We decided to attack."
Israeli Air Force Commander General Mordechai Hod said "(s)ixteen years of planning had gone into those initial 80 minutes. We lived with the plan. We slept on the plan. We ate the plan. Constantly we perfected it."
IDF Commander General Haim Barlev said "(w)e were not threatened with genocide on the eve of the Six Day War, and we had never thought of such a possibility."
Other Israeli military and government officials voiced similar sentiments. Israel wages wars of choice. So are separate premeditated attacks. Some precede larger conflicts. Others serve specific purposes.
Netanyahu wages war without declaring it. Gaza is bombed, shelled, and invaded regularly. Targeted assassinations are commonplace. So are cyber attacks, deadly explosions, other sabotage, as well as various covert and overt acts.
Last October, Israeli warplanes attacked Khartoum. An arms factory was struck. Israel accused Sudan of smuggling weapons to Hamas. Corroborating evidence was absent.
At the time, Israeli officials refused comment. Sudan's Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman said:
"Four military planes attacked the Yarmouk plant....We believe that Israel is behind it. The planes appeared to approach the site from the east."
"Sudan reserves the right to strike back at Israel." Two civilians were killed. The facility was partially destroyed. Osman added:
"We are now certain that this flagrant attack was authorized by the same state of Israel."
"The main purpose is to frustrate our military capabilities and stop any development there and ultimately weaken our national sovereignty."
He said analysis of rocket debris and other material implicated Israel.
In November and December 2011, Sudanese media accused Israel of attacking two alleged Gaza-bound arms convoys. Four deaths and two injuries were reported.
Sudan's military said little. Israel refused comment. It's largely silent about all aggressive acts. Regional neighbors and more distant ones have reason to fear.
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert flaunts Israel's "long arm." Its history reflects aggressive wars, preemptive attacks, and other lawless acts. It menaces regional stability.
Occupied Palestinians have most to fear. Lebanon was attacked in 1978, 1982, 1993, 1996, and 2006.
Southern Lebanon was illegally occupied for 18 years. Israel still holds Ghajar bordering Golan and Sheba Farms. It's valued for its water resources.
In 1981, Israel destroyed Iraq's Osirak reactor. Baghdad didn't retaliate. In 2007, an alleged Syrian nuclear site was bombed. At the time, evidence of one was suspect. Later confirmation proved none existed.
IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei said its experts analyzed satellite imagery. They concluded that the building struck was not a nuclear facility.
In February 2008, Seymour Hersh headlined "A Strike in the Dark," asking:
"What did Israel bomb in Syria?" On September 6, 2007, four Israeli aircraft entered Syrian airspace. Secret unprovoked bombing followed.
At the time, tensions were high. "(B)y almost any definition," Israel committed "an act of war." It said little. Syria denounced what happened.
A military spokesman said Israeli planes dropped munitions in an unpopulated area. Syrian air defenses "forced them to flee."
Weeks later, Assad said Israel warplanes struck an "unused military building." He added that Syria reserved the right to retaliate.
(A)nonymous sources" claimed Israel "destroyed a nascent nuclear reactor." With North Korea's help, it was "secretly" being assembled.
Evidence was circumstantial at best. Hersh spent months researching his article.
He "was repeatedly told by current and former intelligence, diplomatic, and congressional officials that they were not aware of any solid evidence of ongoing nuclear weapons programs in Syria."
Center for American Progress nuclear policy director Joseph Cirincione said:
"Syria does not have the technical, industrial, or financial ability to support a nuclear weapons program."
"I've been following this issue for fifteen years, and every once in a while a suspicion arises and we investigate and there's nothing. There was and is no nuclear-weapons threat from Syria. This is all political."
Others Hersh interviewed expressed similar sentiments. Alleged evidence was suspect at best, fake at worst. No concrete proof existed.
"Much of what one would expect to see around a secret nuclear site was lacking at the target, a former State Department intelligence expert who now deals with proliferation issues for the Congress said."
"There (was) no security around the building. No barracks for the Army or the workers. No associated complex."
A former senior US intelligence official had access to current information at the time. "We (have no) proof of a reactor," he said. "No signals intelligence, no human intelligence, no satellite intelligence."
Best evidence was a North Korean ship. Both countries had routine business dealings for years. North Korean laborers went back and forth routinely. They did nothing out of the ordinary.
They worked at the site. It was unrelated to nuclear or chemical warfare. "Syria concluded that chemical warfare had little deterrent value against Israel."
The facility struck "was to be one of a string of missile-manufacturing plants scattered throughout Syria, all low tech, not strategic."
Whatever was attacked had nothing to do with nuclear reactor development. Washington was involved. It partners with Israeli aggression and high crimes.
The White House declined comment. Hersh said "aerospace industry and military sources told Aviation Week & Space Technology….that the United States had provided Israel with advice about 'potential target vulnerabilities.' "
Washington's involvement dated back months earlier. It was linked to a possible war on Iran. Defense Intelligence Agency officials believed Syria was installing new Russian-supplied radar/air defense systems.
Entering its airspace would entail risks. Israel's preemptive strike warned Iran. It's been targeted for years. Tehran's well aware of Israel's intentions. Conditions now are much like earlier. In some respects they're worse.
A previous article said Israeli warplanes violated Syrian airspace multiple times. They overflew the Beka Valley. They attacked a weapons storage facility. They struck a convoy allegedly en route to Lebanon.
On Wednesday, they bombed a scientific research center near Damascus. Israel committed naked aggression. What follows bears watching. More on what happened below.
Israel is serial aggressor. It's targeted Syria for decades. In August 2008, Mossad assassinated Mohammed Suleiman. He was General and Special Presidential Advisor for Arms Procurement and Strategic Weapons.
He was in charge of financing and arming Syria's military. He had close ties to Hezbollah. Longtime Israeli spy Ali Jarrah provided logistical information. Israel used it to kill him.
Months earlier, Mossad killed Imad Mughniyeh. He was a senior Hezbollah leader. He was assassinated by car bomb in Damascus.
He was falsely accused of masterminding the 1983 US Embassy Beirut attack. He was spuriously linked to truck bombing French and US marine barracks in Lebanon.
Without evidence, he and Hezbollah were claimed to be involved in highjackings, hostage taking, rocket attacks against Israel, suicide bombings, and more.
Argentinean officials also bogusly charged Mughniyeh in connection with the 1992 Israeli Buenos Aires embassy bombing. It killed 29 and wounded another 242 civilians.
For years, Israel and Washington worked closely with Syrian opposition groups. They spread anti-Assad propaganda. They manufactured events and misinformation leading up to the March 2011 uprising.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah accuses America and Israel of making false terrorist charges. They're for political, not legitimate, reasons. At issue is resisting imperial aggression.
Washington and Israel fund, direct and control events on the ground. They work closely with key NATO partners and regional allies. They're waging proxy war. They want Assad toppled. They want pro-Western puppet leadership replacing him.
Israel's long history is bloodstained. Individual and mass killings are commonplace. Alleged Arab terrorists are blamed. Current favorites include Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and other Palestinian resistance groups.
Mossad specializes in car bombings. Assassinating former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was classic Israeli state terror.
On February 14, 2005, compelling visual and audio evidence revealed real time intercepted Israeli aerial surveillance footage. They showed routes Hariri used on the day he was killed. Israel was clearly involved.
Syria initially was blamed. Assad denied responsibility. Hezbollah was later falsely named and indicted.
It was typical Mossad targeting. No one at the time knew for sure. The powerful blast ripped a 30 foot crater in the street. Besides those killed, over 100 were injured.
No evidence proved Hezbollah's involvement. It had nothing to gain but plenty to lose. Israel and Washington benefitted greatly. Mossad's dirty hands were responsible. It long ago perfected the art of killing. It blames enemies for its own crimes.
On January 30, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined "Army Command: Israeli Warplanes Violated Syrian Airspace and Bombarded Scientific Research Center in Damascus Countryside."
General Command said "this attack came after Israel and other countries that oppose the Syrian people utilized their pawns in Syria to attack select vital and military locations in an attempt to undermine Syria's support for the resistance and just rights in the region, with these pawns succeeding and failing to strike at sites such as air defense systems over a period of almost two years."
Low-flying Israeli aircraft eluded Syrian radar. The facility targeted was destroyed. Two workers were killed. Five others were injured.
"Israel is the motivator, beneficiary and sometimes executor of the terrorist acts which target Syria and its resistant people, with some countries that support terrorism being accomplices in this, primarily Turkey and Qatar."
Russia condemned Israel's attack. It's "deeply concerned." UN Charter provisions were violated. A Foreign Ministry statement called what happened "unacceptable, no matter where (Israel's) motivations lie."
Hezbollah called Israel's attacks "barbaric." A statement "condemn(ed) this new Zionist aggression on Syria."
"What happened in Syria….requires a massive, widespread condemnation campaign by the international community and all Arab and Islamic countries."
The attack "openly reveals (Israel's) motives toward (toward) Syria over the past two years and the criminal thinking aimed at destroying Syria and its army and eliminating its pivotal resistance and rejectionist role to pave the way for unfolding the chapters of a major conspiracy against (Syria) and against our Arab and Muslim peoples."
"Hezbollah which expresses full solidarity with Syria, its army and people, underlines the need for some to be aware of the dangers behind the attack."
Orwell once said "Every war when it comes, is represented not as war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac." Targeted leaders are called tyrants, despots, and/or mad dogs.
Winning wars involve manufacturing consent. Propaganda glorifies them in the name of peace. Managed news enlists public support.
Mind manipulation convinces people to back what they should condemn. Doublespeak duplicity masks imperial intentions Nations are destroyed to free them. Monied interests benefit most.
On January 30, Stop NATO headlined "Russian Experts Warn of Unacknowledged, Ongoing Third World War." Its "goal is to become the author of a new world order of the post-war era."
Russia's Defense Minister, General Sergei Shoigu, addressed possible threats and risks Moscow faces. Some experts believe "the border between" war and peace "is being erased."
Nations wage wars without declaring them. Current conflicts differ from earlier ones. The consequences are similar.
"Pessimists claim" WW III is ongoing. It's waged "under new rules." Its goal is "to affect people's mentality." Winning "an information war" is prioritized.
Ruining nations and establishing puppet governments "is less expensive and more efficient than destroying (their) armed forces." Modern technology makes it possible.
Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) said reports of Israeli air strikes "touched off high military alerts across the region." Syria's Golan forces are on high alert. So are Lebanese, Jordanian, Turkish, and US regional militaries, as well as Russian warships off Syria's coast.
What follows remains to be seen. According to DF:
"The prevailing estimate in military and intelligence circles in Washington and NATO capitals is that the Israeli air attack on the Syrian military site near Damascus was but the opening shot for the coming round of military blows they expect to be exchanged in the near future between Israel, Syria and Hizballah, with Iran possibly waiting in the wings for a chance to pitch in."
Regional states and humanity have reason for concern.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.