Editor's Comment: Israel's bloody mouth, Debkafiles, complains that the Syrian "rebels" (foreign backed terrorists) are being defeated because the US, Turkey, Jordan and Gulf emirates are not bombing Syria and inserting their troops.
But we ask, where are Israel's troops and warplanes in Syria? True, their weapons have been captured by Syrian troops and Tel Aviv recklessly struck Syria with missiles from a safe distance a few weeks ago, pushing the entire region closer to open warfare. But they obviously don't have the juice to do what they are asking the US and others to do - i.e. to do their fighting for them.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Nabil Qaouk, Deputy Head of Hezbollah's Executive Board speaks of the Syrian government's defeat of the foreign-backed terrorists at al-Qusayr, the subject of Franklin Lamb's report below:
Qaouk's words are not hollow, considering that Hezbollah is now openly fighting with Syrian government troops; Russia arming the Syrian military with Yakhont missiles - declaring that Syria is "not a bargaining chip in relations with the West;" - and Syria has taken the offensive on the Golan Heights.
- Les Blough, Editor
Beirut -- Although al-Qusayr may not be the decisive battle for Syria, it is irrefutably an important turning point in the crisis which has given the regime much sought military momentum. Plenty of adjectives and some cliches are being bandied about from Washington to Beirut to describe the al-Qusayr battle results and significance. Among them are "game-changer," "mother of all battles," "altered balance of power," critical "turning point in the civil war," and so on.
It does appear that the victory of the Syrian government forces at al-Qusayr is a strategic achievement, if also a humanitarian disaster for the civilian population still waiting for the ICRC and SARCS, (Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society) emergency help. Al Qusayr is located in Homs province, an area central to the success of the Syrian government's military strategy. It is situated just west of the shortest route from Damascus to the coast, at a juncture where regime forces have struggled to maintain control. Rebel control of al-Qusayr had disrupted the regime's supply lines from the port of Tartus and was open for the cross-border movement of Gulf arms to rebels via Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.
Government control of al-Qusayr also provides a ground base for the Assad government to move to retake control of the north and east of Syria. This cross-roads city just 6 miles from the Lebanese border has many strategic ramifications: breaking the opposition's 18 month control of much of Homs province, facilitating government forces momentum generally across Syria, and psychological, by raising the morale of exhausted Syrian forces while energizing the Assad government and its allies to finish the conflict and focus on long-promised reforms and try to relieve Syria from the nearly 27 months of hell for its people.
Perhaps less appreciated here in Beirut are al-Qusayr's effects on the Zionist occupiers of Palestine and their currently traumatized US lobby.
From conversations and emails with former colleagues at the Democratic National Committee (on which this observer served during the Carter administration) as well as with Congressional insiders, a picture emerges of nearly debilitating angst among those committed to propping up the apartheid state in the face of truly historic changes in this region that have only just begun to re-shape the region.
The reactions from various elements of the pro-Israel lobby range from the Arabphobic Daniel Pipes' fantasy essay in the Washington Times this week entitled "Happy Israel" to Netanyahu's increased threats issued from Tel Aviv about what Israel might do if his three cartoon "red lines" are breached, to more pressure on the White House by Israel's agents in Congress who are demanding that Obama act immediately to undo "the major damage done at Qusayr".
Several aspects of "the Qusayr rules and results" are being discussed at the HQ of the racist anti-Defamation League (ADL) which has summoned an emergency gathering of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to craft a solution to the problem. The tentative agenda reportedly includes for discussion and action the following:
The twin defeats at al-Qusayr and at Burgas, Bulgaria -- the latter, in which Bulgaria is claiming there is no probative evidence to conclude that Hezbollah was involved in the attack on Israelis last year -- should not be underestimated, according to one AIPAC activist who works on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, given that it substantially knocks out the props from the lobby's project to get the European Union to list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, thus interfering with the Islamist party's fundraising. The lobby is reacting angrily to Austria's Chancellor Werner Faymann and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger's statement about that country's decision to withdraw its 380 peacekeeping troops, more than one-third of the 1000 United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, (UNDOF) contingent, from the Golan Heights.
The lobby is claiming that this Austrian move constituents an existential threat to Israel because it opens the Quneitra crossing, the door to the Golan, for the Syrian civil war to spill over the border into Israel. At the same time it is being argued that al Qusayr lifts pressure off Hezbollah, Iran and Syria as well as the Palestinian resistance and gain all more fighters who sense victory for the current regime and major gains for all in the political dynamics of the region.
The Israel embassy in Washington has chimed in with a statement that the Austrian withdrawal threatened the role of the UN Security Council in any future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, while at the same time encouraging Hezbollah to move into the Golan.
Israel stalwart, Eric Cantor (R-Va) told a "brown bag" lunch gathering in the House Rayburn Building cafeteria late this week that the "fall of al Qusayr, will facilitate the Assad regimes advance on areas north of Homs province and will likely return to Damascus control of important rebel-held areas in the north and the east. Cantor claims that the Assad regime victory effectively cuts off an important supply route to the rebels which will leave the armed opposition even more weakened and scattered. Israel is demanding an immediate US supported counter-offensive consistent with the demands made by US Senators John McClain and Lindsay Graham.
The apartheid state also is demanding that the White House scrap Geneva II, claiming that Assad is now too strong for the US/Israel to benefit from such a dialogue. "If the international community is serious about seeking to enforce a negotiated settlement, they will first have to do something to decisively change the balance of power on the ground ahead of any serious negotiations," he added.
When asked about giving US aid to Lebanon, Cantor reportedly sneered, as he expressed his shock that Hezbollah had so many troops and, without US boots on the ground, would be very difficult for Israel to defeat, he reportedly replied, "Forget about Lebanon, it never was a real country anyway, just call the whole place over there Hezbollah and let's send in the marines to finish the job."
One congressional staffer who attended the meeting winced at the thought of
The Lobby is also concerned about the fact that the Arab League and the Gulf
The ADL reportedly wants the White House to act fast “to do something”
Abe Foxman, ADL’s President for Life, and inveterate anti-Semite tracker,
As Ali Abunimah noted this week, “The persistent association of Israel with
With Wednesday's National Lebanese Resistance (Hezbollah) victory at
According to a growing number of US and European officials and Middle
(photos, captions, links and Hezbollah quote inserted by Axis of Logic)
Franklin Lamb is doing research in Syria and Lebanon and can be reached c/o firstname.lastname@example.org