Jul 24, 2012

Syria Threatens Israel with Chemical Weapons, Obama Pressures Israel

Caroline GlickBy Caroline B. Glick

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I am travelling now and so have been very much out of the loop for the past several days. But I have noticed a couple of things that I think need to be pointed out. First, there is Syria. Today it was reported that the Syrian regime is threatening Israel with chemical weapons. According to Reuters' report:

Jihad Makdissi

Syria Says Could Use Chemical Arms Against Foreigners

Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said the army would not use chemical weapons to crush rebels but could use them against forces from outside the country.

"Any chemical or bacterial weapons will never be used ... during the crisis in Syria regardless of the developments," Makdissi said. "These weapons are stored and secured by Syrian military forces and under its direct supervision and will never be used unless Syria faces external aggression."

Israel of course has not threatened to attack Syria. Rather Israel has made clear that it reserves the right to use force to prevent the embattled terror sponsor Bashar Assad from transferring his chemical and biological weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

And now Syria is responding by threatening to attack Israel with chemical weapons.

I don't want to trivialize this threat by bringing it down to the level of politics. And so at the outset, it is crucial that we recognize just how serious things have become.

First, there is Iran. Iran through Hezbollah just massacred Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.

Iran is probably past the point of no return with its nuclear weapons program. And so today, when we speak of a military option for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, probably the only viable option is to kill the vast majority of Iran's nuclear scientists. One or two top guys will not be enough. Today anyone and everyone in possession of nuclear know how in Iran should have a target mark on his head and should be killed. Nothing short of this will do if we are determined to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

I don't know if it is possible to carry this out. And I don't know if it is possible to find and destroy Syria's chemical and biological weapons. But just as Iran has done with its nuclear weapons program, Syria has pointed its gun at Israel's head. We know where they want to take this. And if Israel is to survive this Islamist tsunami, things are likely to get very ugly, and very violent very quickly.

To confront these massive threats, Israel could really use American support, even if it is only rhetorical.

Now that we have this cleared up, we need to recognize how it is that we have reached this incredibly dangerous time. Let us start with Syria.

Over the weekend, the main headline about the US response to the war in Syria was that the US is concerned about Israel acting unilaterally.

The Syrian government is daily engaging in massacre. Its opponents, for their part are increasingly open about their jihadist ideology, spurring the Christians of Syria to flee from their homes, and the Alawite minority to fear for their lives.

But what makes the Americans most fearful is that these competing groups of terror sponsors and mass murderers will find their arsenals of genocide destroyed by Israel, acting in self-defense.

If this sounds familiar, it is. This is, after all, Obama's primary concern about Iran and its nuclear weapons program.

Speaking to reporters in a conference call on Monday Obama's foreign policy surrogates claimed there is still "time and space" (whatever that means), to reach some sort of a deal with Iran. It bears noting that in the best of cases, that deal would not end Iran's nuclear weapons program. It could temporarily slow down some of Iran's uranium enrichment but probably wouldn't even do that. At this point, the most probable deal would have no impact whatsoever on Iran's progress towards a nuclear arsenal but would serve to slow down the imposition of sanctions on Iranian oil exports. That is, at this point, if a deal is reached with all the "time and space" available to Obama, such a deal will only redound to Iran's benefit, including to the benefit of Iran's nuclear weapons program, which, I repeat, will not be cancelled, stopped or diminished.

Many have criticized Obama by arguing that he has no policy on Syria. But actually, he does. He sees Syria in the same light that he sees Iran. In both cases, his main concern is to prevent Israel from defending itself.