Notice how fast, in the middle of peace negotiations with Israel, Assad has jumped to Moscow to attempt to conclude an arms deal that would make his regime exponentially more dangerous regardless of whether peace with Israel is a certainty or a game of showmanship. Notice as well how impulsively Assad ignited further the precarious Georgian-Russian situation by reminding the world that Cold War era may not be over. I ask Israel: Is there any doubt in your mind as to Assad's danger and reckless behavior?
Any doubt in your mind, to those who have supported his father and are following in the son's footsteps, that Assad Jr. is not Assad Sr.? His desire to acquire more offensive lethal weapons shows clearly his truest of intent towards Israel, and more importantly a political judgment not worthy of Israel's peace overtures for his impetuous disposition.
One needs only to re-visit the short history of the region to discover that Assad's alliance with Ahmadinejad has produced chaos from a duo of monstrosity with a clear and present danger to the Levant. In the absence of serious international intent to help the opposition change the Assad regime and in the presence of WMD proliferation by Syria, the repetitiveness of his actions must be confronted sooner than later because it has become clear that diplomats have failed to cure his infallible inclinations for destructive behavior. Be it Iraq or Lebanon or Israel, Assad's thirst for blood is misunderstood as political maneuvering by believers in diplomacy.
As I was growing up, the magnificent images of the Entebbe raid cemented, in my mind, the power and determination of the Israeli people. How remarkable those days were when success was expected and results were assured by a nation determined to save its Jewish heritage. It was as if Israel can do no wrong. But today, I am witnessing a different Israel more inclined towards trepid decisions and gripping fear that is delivering the Gaza fiasco or the 2006 war with a permanent state of detrimental Oslo mentality. What many Israelis do not realize is the positive impact a strong Israel has on the region for its stability, without which we are witnessing the alternative, a cocktail of terror led by a symphony of chaos.
By not delivering a resounding blow to Assad, who has facilitated thousands of rockets to rain on your country, Israel has yielded its power to his regime of terror. Is it a wonder that Israelis feel either confused or angry?
After Israel's September 6 raid on the Syrian nuclear reactor, I recall the Israeli government claiming that Israel's deterrence capabilities can protect the country. One can witness Israeli politicians and military personnel shaking hands and congratulating each other soon after the raid. With all due respect to Israeli politicians and the military brass, Assad could have wiped away your deterrence with one shopping trip to Moscow because Israel thought, erroneously, it can contain Assad with carrots called peace negotiations and warm relations with the West. If Israel is fearful today of confronting the root cause of terror supporting Hizbullah and Hamas, how do you expect to survive in the midst of despotism, demagoguery, a culture of hate, and continued threats against your people?
Why does Israel continue to support him?
When an opportunity presented itself in 2004 as a result of the Kurdish uprising in Northern Syria, and again in 2005 when the Syrian opposition was able to run him over, Israel chose to protect his regime against change leaving the dictator intact to strike a threatening relationship with Iran; thinking it can persuade him to fold back into the community, Israel started peace negotiations with his regime and as a favor to the Israeli gesture of goodwill, Assad struck again with his newer role as the darling of an angry bear, which has existential ramifications for the whole Levant region.
Many say that it is not Israel's role to decide the fate of its neighbors and I agree with that notion. It is not Israel's job to remove a dictator from power and the Syrian opposition will never ask for it. But given his short history, why does Israel continue to support him by allowing him the luxury of negotiating with you?
Why do Western diplomats claim they can peel him from Iran when it is a farfetched goal given the man's irrational behavior? How can someone who has rockets, missiles, and trained terrorists all aimed at you, with a clear determination to use them, be any less dangerous than the alternative in Syria, which incidentally mirror Lebanon in its diversity as well as its liberalism? Yet, Israel, lately, has gratuitously demolished our work of the last five years by bringing him from the cold even before one gesture of goodwill can be substantiated on his behalf.
What has Assad given back to Israel in return for his soft re-taking of Lebanon? Hamas and Hizbullah are quiet while they arm themselves for the next round and the danger to Israel, because of Assad, is infinitely more real. Remember how Assad Sr. changed his mind after he entered Lebanon and instead of demolishing the Arafat killing machine, his interests lay in the Greater Syria ambition? Why Israel thinks
it can count on Assad Jr. to demolish Hizbullah when history has proven quite conclusive when it comes to trusting this family?
All is not lost because Israel is a strong democracy capable of adjusting to danger. The mixture of confusion and fear cannot but have a positive impact unto the society but what I fear the most is that by the time Israel recovers, Assad will be so much stronger that the price exacted may be too high, not only for our own country already suffering from his oppression and precipitous anger but also for the Levant region basking in total Arab darkness during a period of enlightenment in sciences and commerce for mankind in general.
Farid Ghadry, Reform Party of Syria