A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
February 6, 2012- More Killing in Syria, Hysteria Over Potential Israeli Attack on Iran
The killings continued in Syria today, with vivid pictures of the Syrian army bombing Sunni areas of Homs. One theory on the escalation of violence is that Assad is going all out before the arrival of the Russian Foreign Minister. Whatever Assad's current reasons, his father may have successfully brought the Muslim Brotherhood to heal thirty years ago by massacring 25,000 people in Hama. However, that was before the days of smart phones and satellite communication. Today the world as well as the Syrian people see the pictures of the Syrian army's brutality and there is no turning back. Those picutres and the underlying brutality are creating the pictures of regular Syrian troops defecting with their tanks.
The US and Great Britain have recalled their ambassadors, as a further sign that they have given up on Assad's regime. Meanwhile, the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt announced their full support for the rebels in Syria today. As one very notable Israeli news anchor said tonight: "Now I am totally confused. Am I now supposed to like the Muslim Brotherhood, since they are supporting the same peope I hope will win in Syria?" It is getting very hard to figure out what one should wish for as these events unfold.
Back in Israel uncomfortable questions are being asked of the Israeli Arab parties- (especially some of the parties who have had strong ties to Syria) questioning why they have been totally quiet. How can there be massacres so close to Israel’s borders and they have not said a word.
The Israeli press is full of stories of how the American press is claiming that Israel has decided to attack Iran, including details as to when such an attack will take place. From this vantage point, there seems to be a near hysteria on the matter in the US press. Some of that hysteria has been picked up by some of the Israeli media. Veteran Israeli observers, on the other hand, believe that much of it is a planned effort by the US and Israel to turn up the pressure on Iran. The two sides hoping that between sanctions which are getting ever tougher, and the real chance that Israel might attack will be enough to stop the Iranians. It may work. Certainly anything less, other than a regime change will not make a difference. However, there is, of course, a danger. There is a danger that the Iranians might take some sort of preemptive action in attacking some Israeli or American targets. Of course one could say that would not be the rational act, and in many ways I am sure there are Israeli policy planners that would love Iran to make their decision for them. But most would not. In addition, history is replete with wars that were not planned, but rather happened because of misunderstandings, or simply events spinning out of control. That is what could happen here. It is said that the current IDF intelligence estimates a low expectation of a planned war. However they believe there is a high possibility of a war due to factors spinning out of control.