Obama is outraged at Assad’s alleged killing of civilians. Providing strategic support to Israel to maintain its total military dominance of the Mideast has nothing whatsoever to do with it.
Moscow, which has been supporting Syria roughly since the 1960s, recently sent it missiles capable of threatening Israel, but–as Moscow surely must be aware–Israel rejects the right of any regional state to arm itself with any weapons sophisticated enough to constrain Israel’s regional freedom of movement. Predictably, Israel, in one of its standard fits of aggression, attacked Syria in an attempt to destroy those missiles. That was July.
But among Western imperialists some concern appears to exist that all the Russian missiles may not have been destroyed. Now, one month later, the U.S. is on the verge of launching its own unprovoked attack on Syria. Do not connect these events. Any argument that Washington’s foreign policy, be it under Bush or Obama, serves the interests of the right-wing militarist clique in Tel Aviv first and the national security interests of the U.S. second would, if made, be utterly irrelevant. A failed, unprovoked Israeli attack on Syria followed up rapidly by an unprovoked U.S. attack can only constitute a pair of coincidences. Only a conspiracy theorist would dream of seeing a pattern here.
Meanwhile, Russia, which is getting sucked into the intensifying conflict between the U.S. and Syria, still says it will fulfill its contract to provide Syria with desperately needed anti-aircraft missiles capable of defending Syria against Israeli air strikes. Russia may not be the old USSR, but this does give it a low-keyed ace in the hole to burnish its superpower pretensions without putting Russian troops in harm’s way. If by absorbing a few U.S. Tomahawk strikes, Damascus succeeds in getting the Russian anti-aircraft missiles, then it may come out ahead in the power game, leaving Tel Aviv the loser.
However, Obama is simply reacting in moral outrage over reports that Syria used poison gas to massacre its own people; drones, depleted uranium, or the white phosphorus Tel Aviv favors would have been one thing, but gas?!? That is simply too much. And that’s the whole story. Obama’s impending lesson to Assad has nothing to do with Israel’s failed attack.