[Editor’s note: This is the latest update from Tel Aviv via Maoz Israel. We will continue offering this Israeli perspective as the conflict in Syria progresses.]
I can’t understand why no one is talking about what’s really going on with this Syrian conflict. From our perspective in Israel, this is truly a sword fight between the U.S. and Russia.
And it is anything but clear to say that the U.S. is winning.
Syria’s Bashar Assad has three powerful ACTIVE allies: Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Russia is sending in loads of weapons and advisers which has turned the tide for Assad. Iran is also supplying weapons and boots on the ground. Hezbollah is actively fighting with Assad and now is reported to have 10,000 experienced fighters in Syria who have been responsible for recovering serious amounts of land that the rebels had previously taken.
What’s more, Russia has successfully neutralized the United Nations. With its veto in the Security Council, the U.N. will do nothing to save Syrian lives. On the contrary, the U.N. Secretary General Moon does nothing but denounce Obama for contemplating the possibility of standing up against Assad without U.N. approval!
And who does the U.S. have on its side? Perhaps France, and a few mealy-mouthed Arab dictators — like Saudi Arabia. France was ready to join the U.S. but the delays in doing anything have confused the people of France. The Arab nations will do nothing, even though some would like to see Assad go.
The duel between the U.S. and Russia went into full swing Thursday, as the G20 met.
Wednesday Putin repeated that there is absolutely no proof that Assad used Sarin gas on his own people. He demands the proof. (OF COURSE, Putin wants the intelligence that Israel and the U.S. and France gathered — both from technology and agents in Syria. He would then deliver the intel to Assad within five minutes.)
Also Wednesday, Putin called Secretary of State John Kerry a liar, saying that Kerry claimed there were no al-Qaeda fighters among the Syrian rebels. “He’s lying, and he knows that he is lying. This is sad,” Putin declared.
What Kerry actually said was that extremist groups make up between 15 percent and 25 percent of the rebels fighting Syrian leader Assad, but moderate forces are growing stronger as a result of support from regional allies. “I just don’t agree that a majority are al-Qaeda and the bad guys,” Kerry said.
What the truth is about the percentage of al-Qaeda in Syria — I have not heard any credible accounting.
Obviously, journalists awaited Obama’s response to Putin’s defiant claims. But you know what Obama’s comeback was? He criticized the Russian leader for coming against homosexuals and lesbians!!!
As one media outlet remarked, “In a display of utter political incoherence, President Obama plans to meet with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocates in Russia while visiting the Kremlin, even as he attempts to lobby Russian President Vladimir Putin for support on an international military action against Syria.”
Meanwhile, the majority of Americans don’t want the U.S. to attack Syria. (Actually, the majority of Israelis, believe it or not, don’t want an attack either.) Many Americans and Europeans are very war-weary. And many simply believe that Obama has no strategy, and could make things worse. As one columnist said, if all he wants to do is send a message to Assad, he should send a text message. It’s cheaper.
But, believe me, the situation is very very serious and there is NO good answer. If Assad wins and stays in power, whether or not he uses chemical warfare on his citizens, then Russia’s influence will greatly increase in the Middle East. Hezbollah and Iran, as Assad’s allies, will continue to stockpile every kind of weapon imaginable, including nuclear weapons.
Other nations like Pakistan and North Korea will breathe more easily, believing they can do whatever their hearts desire, and everybody in the Middle East will know that America is not a dependable ally and they had better find someone else (like Russia) who will defend their interests.
Yet, if the U.S. does attack Syria, no one can know for sure how Syria and her allies will respond. No one. A regional conflict could break out.
And so we turn to the only One who can help us.
We pray to the God of Heaven and Earth, the God Who chose Israel as His Land and His People, the God Who knew that in the last days, Israel would be surrounded by enemies…we pray that our God will hear our prayers and protect this nation.
We pray that more and more Muslims will see the true attributes of Islam and will search for Truth and find Him. Let us pray: YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH, EVEN AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.