April 4, 2009
Steve Collins
You may likely noticed various media reports recently that President Obama is apparently trying to “warm up” to Syria. A previous blog also noted that the Obama administration deliberately snubbed the Israeli Chief of Staff when he was in Washington, DC. Doors that were always open to top Israeli generals in the American governments were slammed shut in the face of this Israeli military leader by the Obama administration. Obama’s actions have apparently emboldened the Syrian leaders to think war with Israel is now a more viable option.
The link below reports that Syrian President Assad “has vowed to recapture the Golan Heights one way or another.” This is a blunt way of saying that if Syria can’t get the Golan Heights back via diplomacy, they will go to war to seize the Golan. The link also reports that Assad “reaffirmed [Syria’s] relationship with the Hizbullah terrorist organization.” Then West has tried to get Assad to repudiate his ties to Hizbullah, but Assad’s statement brushed off these western hopes. Hizbullah has many thousands of missile ready to fire at Israeli cities (as does Syria), and those missiles were supplied via an Iranian-Syrian axis. Syria’s Assad not so subtly implied that Syrian forces and Hizbullah will work together as allies in a future war with Israel. Iran has also supplied Hamas in Gaza with Iranian weaponry, so Iran is trying to encircle the Israelis for a pincer movement in a future war.
The North Korean missile test and the Iranian nuclear program are getting all the press attention, but Assad’s proclamation is pretty much a de facto declaration of a future war against Israel. Was Assad just engaging in bravado before a home crowd, or is he serious? I think he’s serious.
In August, 2000, I stood at the base of the Golan Heights and looked up at those massive heights which dominate the northern Israeli cities. Israel would have to be crazy to give those heights back to a hostile Syrian government.  I can’t imagine the new Netanyahu government giving them back to Syria. The Israelis gave back Lebanon “for peace” years ago, and Hizbollah took over South Lebanon and launched missiles against Israeli territory in a war not long ago. The Israelis gave back Gaza “for peace” several years ago, and Hamas took it over and used it as a base for launching rockets and mortars against Israeli cities and territory. I think the majority of Israelis realize that if the Golan Heights were given back to Syria, it would only be a matter of time till Syrian and Hizbollah missiles were raining down on northern Israeli cities again.
It seems that the Obama administration is pressuring the Israelis to surrender territory again in the interests of “peace.” A few more such “‘surrenders” of Israeli territory to its enemies and Israel will not be a defensible nation. It is a chance that the Israelis can’t take. Syria’s expectations that they will get the Golan back have been raised, however, so the chances of a new Mideast war have moved up a notch. If the Israelis launch an attack upon the Iranian nuclear facilities, there is a high likelihood that Iran will give the order to its proxies in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza to all attack the Israelis at once.
We are entering dangerous times.