Saturday, May 4, 2013

Israel Bombs Syria as the U.S. Weighs Its Own Options

Chemicals maybe get a lot of press and attention, but one of the clear things worrying us is advanced conventional weapons,” said one senior Israeli official

NY Times

While President Obama continues to redefine "red line", Israel has moved out unilaterally to prevent Hezbollah from moving advanced conventional weapons.  Israel previously bomber SA-17 surface-to-air missiles launchers last January.

The United States flew the majority of air missions over Libya to help rebels in their fight against Qaddafi.  Qaddafi used his military to try to squash the rebels but at least according to open source reports, he did not resort to chemical weapons.  Contrast that with the situation in Syria this week where reports are very strongly indicating the use of Sarin gas.  The US response?  “We don’t know how they were used, when they were used, who used them,” President Obama in a press conference.

Why the softening and lack of action?  Perhaps Russia;

Spooked perhaps by the specter of the Iraq war, the US says it now has to present hard evidence of chemical weapons use to the UN. Notably, it needs to persuade Russia that the Assad regime used deadly sarin gas against its own people.--CS Monitor

Latest estimates are 70,000 people have been killed in Syria.  Even if the question about chemical weapons can't be answered definitely, the number of casualties would certainly warrant more action by the United States.

No, I don't want a war but the Obama administration has talked a great game that it is unwillingly to back-up when the shit gets real.  We have the Benghazi attack where US Ambassador Stevens was killed and the US took no action (eerily reminiscent of the Tehran Embassy crisis in 1979).  The President's reluctance to commit is only going to embolden more groups to attack.

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