Jun 19, 2012

Caution on Syria

David DolanBy David Dolan

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With internal bloodshed escalating in Syria, one of Israel's best known commentators has warned of what he termed "half baked American initiatives" that could help spark a major war in the roiling Middle East.

Writing in the Ha'aretz newspaper, Chemi Shalev said both Democratic Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Republican Senator John McCain are pouring incendiary fuel on the fires raging in Syria. He wrote that while it is extremely difficult to watch passively as the brutal Assad regime slaughters its own people, Syria is not Bosnia or Libya where foreign intervention had a good chance of quickly halting the bloodshed.

Chemi Shalev

The Syrian Standoff

Shalev noted the "centuries-old blood feud between the Alawite minority and the Sunni Muslim majority" in the strife-torn Arab country. Most Assad regime officials and top military commanders come from the Alawite sect, closely related to Shiite Islam.

He also pointed out that Syria has one of the largest standing armies on earth, a huge Russian-supplied missile force, and among the world’s largest chemical weapons arsenal, meaning President Bashar Assad is not going to heed Hillary Clinton’s repeated demand that he immediately leave office.