Assad still has no respect for President Trump, the new American President, who he expects to be no different than President Obama. He has basically done an ‘in your face’ chemical agent attack on the Syrian people once again testing the nerve and limits President Trump might impose. But what does all of this have to do with Israel? Well, if Bashir al-Assad has so little concern for his own people, fellow Muslims, even if they are Sunni and not Shia, how much concern would he have for the Jews in Israel? The answer is obvious; None! So with this knowledge the question the Israeli leadership should be considering is what, if anything, should they be considering. So, what would we be considering were we in their shoes?
The first thing we would do if we were in Prime Minister Netanyahu shoes is make a call of convenience to Russian President Putin. We would ask how’s the family, how’s the weather in Moscow, did you sleep well last night, and then ask, what do you say we talk a little Bashir al-Assad. When Putin says he does not desire to talk about anything to do with Syria the next thing that should be said, would you like to talk or should we simply act? That ought to get Putin’s attention. Then there would come a serious discussion about Putin shortening the leash on his pet dog in Syria or Israel will take care of the problem. Then we would remind Putin that the KGB is not the only Special Forces trash removal specialists in the world. Simply let Putin know that should Bashir al-Assad ever use chemical agents again that it would be one of the final acts of his already too long life. We would then thank Putin for his assistance in advance and tell him to feel free to call should any problems begin to appear that might need discussion and express Israeli willingness to always discuss any problems or difficulties which may present themselves in relations between our two nations. Then we would thank him for his time and express the hope that there would be no further need to discuss Assad in the future.
There would be no need to tell the world or to make any threats or rattle any sabers. Such posturing would only act as a challenge to Assad to go ahead and use these weapons again simply to prove that he is not afraid of the Israelis. By engaging the Russians, that path might prove to allow for them to apply soft pressure to prevent any further use of chemical weapons in Syria and also against Israel in any future military confrontation that may arise between Israel and Syria and might even prove to be a warning to Hezballah leader Nasrallah also that such weapons use would result in his being hunted down. Unfortunately, there is no warning which would have any effect on the Iranian leadership as their actions are guided by fanatical religious fever where no amount of threat to the leaders will turn them from their decisions for using any weapons, especially against either Israel or the United States as they feel that they are being commanded by Allah to wipe out both nations and take their place ruling the entire planet. What makes the Iranian leaders even more dangerous is their fanatical belief that should they fall in such efforts they would be rewarded in the afterlife and the next rulers would simply follow with their efforts and eventually their efforts must succeed as Allah has promised such.
Trying to deal with Iran is fruitless as they are on a religious quest which they believe was assigned them by Allah and thus their lives are meaningless in comparison to their charge by Allah. Their belief cannot be swayed by reason or threat as to them such would only serve to send them to Paradise in an afterlife filled with unending pleasures in lush environs with rivers and waterfalls and all the physical things they were denied on earth. They believe they are but tools and part of something far greater than themselves which has been predetermined and already set in motion and their part is but a brief role which will more likely to be completed by their successors which is perfectly wonderful as far as they are concerned. Nasrallah is also a religiously inspired individual but also has proven to be very fond of his own life. This has been proven by his spending much of his life hidden in a bunker presumably to prevent any Israeli strike killing him. He more often than not does not appear in person and makes his appearances by video feed or recorded video also presumably for his safety. These actions stand in stark contrast to the Mullahs who almost always appear in person often announced well ahead of time with little if any regard for their safety. They have no apparent fear of an Israeli strike almost as if they expect they have their lives protected by Allah. Bashir al-Assad also has shown actions which point to his valuing his life very much. He had a large security force assigned to one thing, protecting his life. These soldiers were considered elite, well-trained, expert security officers who would be willing to give their lives to protect Bashir al-Assad, similar to the Secret Service in the United States and other similar security forces throughout the world protecting numerous world leaders. Religiously driven leaders who are more concerned with religious fates than their lives do not usually surround themselves with large security forces or use remote video when making speeches or other appearances.
The facts pointing to the fact that both Assad and Nasrallah take great concern and care in protecting their own lives means that any warning which is taken seriously by these men could serve to prevent these men from acting in undesired manner. This would also imply that by sending such a serious warning through Russian President Putin to al-Assad with having him alter his actions in the future would imply that he and possibly Nasrallah might now be persuaded against using weapons of mass destruction against Israel. Such a reality could be very precious in future scenarios which may come to fruition where Israel and either the Syrian or Hezballah in a war against Israel. The use of such weapons as part of a war where Israel was engaged with Syria or Hezballah has been a serious concern, for both the people and especially the government. The use by Assad of weapons of mass destruction has sent chills through much of the world and especially many Israelis as anybody using such weapons on his own people would be little concerned with using such against others, especially Israel with whom he considers them mortal enemies. When President Obama backed away from his set ‘red line’ the world should have realized then that Assad was an unstable individual who has no regard for the lives of others. His use of chemical agents, barrel bombs, and other bombings and other attacks on civilian centers relentlessly should have set the world on edge as the fact that Assad was using such weapons without any opposition would allow any other megalomaniac with such weapons, say some leader in North Korea, to also turn to using such weapons expecting no reprisals. That is the reason that Assad needs stopping and as Israel has the most to lose from Assad’s use of such weapons, they should consider an intervention, and using the Russians is probably the most efficient means. Anyway one looks at this recent use of chemical weapons by Assad, the world need make sure that this was the final time and the only considerations should be what means should be utilized in assuring that Assad never again uses such weapons, even never again using any weapons would be preferable.
Beyond the Cusp