It's Not About Syria, Stupid (Think Iran and Russia, and...)
As information about the apparent Israeli strikes on targets inside Syria continues to pour in, it's easy to lose sight of the central fact: the two reported Israeli attacks are part of an ongoing war, the big war against the West. While the attacks were in Syria, the mission was primarily a major strike against Iran and Russia, two key components of the global alliance arrayed against us. Both are desperately trying to shore up the Assad regime in Damascus.
The fall of Assad would be a devastating blow to Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei's tyranny in Tehran, would gravely weaken Russia's strategic position in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, and would threaten the strength (and even the survival) of Hezbollah, the world's most dangerous terrorist organization and the creation of Iran's founding tyrant, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
The attacks apparently did great damage to Iranian missiles, and the vaunted Russian antiaircraft system provided to both Syria and Iran was unable to do anything to prevent them. Both have been humiliated.
The primary Israeli targets seem to have been Iranian missiles shipped from Iran to Syria, reportedly pending transfer to Hezbollah. They are capable of carrying chemical warheads, which may explain President Obama's quick support for Israel.
The attacks came after more than a month of diplomatic activity:
--On Thursday, April 25th, the United States announced that we had evidence that the Syrians had used chemical weapons. That announcement was not merely the result of internal American deliberations; it came after several meetings with allies following claims of chemical attacks from the Syrian opposition in late March.
--There were meetings in Amman, Jordan, on April 1st and 2nd, chaired by the head of Jordanian intelligence, Faisal al Shobaki. The meetings included representatives from the United States, Qatar, and Israel, whose experts provided information from drones and satellites.
--The Saudi foreign minister met with Secretary of State John Kerry on the 16th (the day after the Marathon massacre in Boston). It was a scheduled meeting, but the session was closed (after journalists had been told it would be open). The next day, President Obama met with the foreign minister in an unscheduled session.
--On Monday the 22nd, CIA director John Brennan received the emir of Qatar and his foreign minister at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
--On Tuesday the 23rd, General Itay Bron of Israeli military intelligence announced that Israel had proof of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
--On Wednesday the 24th and Thursday the 25th, there were further meetings in Washington to discuss the question, involving officials from France, Qatar, Great Britain, Canada, and the Czech Republic. The Czechs are world leaders in the field of chemical weapons intelligence, and their ambassador in Damascus, Eva Filipi, represents both the United States and Europe in the Syrian capital.