Israel / Middle East

The Syrian Strategy: How the USA, Russia and Israel collaborated to keep Assad in power


More than a year ago, Israeli diplomats engaged the Americans in a discussion about the situation in Syria. Obama had already issued his “red line” warning about the use of chemical warfare by the Assad regime. Then Assad when ahead and gassed his own people in the tradition of his neighbor, Iraq. Obama was not only concerned about this act but also concerned that these weapons could end up in the hands of Islamic Terrorist and be used against American targets and allies. Russia, on the other hand, wanted to keep Assad in power as he was one of the few world leaders over which Russia still had influence. Israel, who knew more about what was going on in Syria than any other country including Syria, did not want to see Assad go. He was the devil they knew.

Israel was very concerned that if Assad were overthrown, Syria would be ruled by one or more groups of Islamic Terrorists including ISIS and Hezbollah. Israel shares a border with Syria. Furthermore, the whole mess could extend into Lebanon, which would result in chaos along the entire northern border of Israel. This mess would then extend into Jordan. At this time, Egypt was still being ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood, which as very close to Hamas in Gaza. Not only does Israel have a border with Gaza, but it shares a long border with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula which was already home to small groups of Muslim Terrorists. And then, of course, there was the West Bank to consider.

So Israel said to America “You are nuts to push out Assad. It would be even stupider than when you forced us to let the Palestinians have elections, and they elected Hamas. How do you think that worked out? Why not make a deal with Assad and the Russian? Get rid of the chemical weapons for a guarantee that you will take no military action against him. Get the Russian to help you with this. If ISIS and the other’s get control of Syria, you will wish that you had not killed Bin Laden.”

Then another potential benefit of this strategy became apparent. Since the USA would not overtly help Assad stay in power, the terrorists would still control some significant territory. And what would they do? They would expand into Iraq. The Americans had lost influence in Iraq after wasting so much money and blood. Iraq was controlled by the Shiites that was to say that it was becoming a satellite state of Iran. The Americans had no ability to effect this. But ISIS could. The only people ISIS hated more than the long list of people they hated, including Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and Atheists, was the Shiites. They would form an alliance with the disenfranchised Sunni minority in Iraq. The only way for the Shiites to survive would form a more inclusive government which included the Sunnis, which meant moving away from the orbit of Iran.

The ISIS strategy proved to be inspired. These people could not have played their designated role better even if they had come from Central Casting. Eventually, the Americans and maybe some European Allies will take care of ISIS through a combination of military action and payoffs. They will be able to attack ISIS in Syria, which will further strengthen Assad, bring stability back to Syria. Assad can keep his army engaged by killing Sunni’s. Israeli tourist can relax and visit the Golan Heights where they could watch the fighting below while having a picnic. The USA will end up having influence again in Iraq which they can use in their war of words with Iran. Russia can keep one of the few leaders that like Putin. And while this strategy plays out over the next few years, Russia can slowly take over the Ukraine.

8 thoughts on “The Syrian Strategy: How the USA, Russia and Israel collaborated to keep Assad in power

  1. This all strikes me as quite a sarcastic blog post. Unfortunately I think you are right about Assad being the devil we know and keeping ISIS engaged, if not in check. Of course you don’t mention the recent US bombing of ISIS to protect the Kurds. We have no love for ISIS or even Iraq which we abandoned despite all the blood and treasure spent there — a mistake in my view.

    Certainly I’m glad we didn’t arm the Syrian “rebels” who would have either joined or given their US-provided weapons to ISIS.

    This is a good time for both Americans and Israelis to pop popcorn and watch the Arabs kill themselves. It’s unfortunate that Israel has to subdue Gaza again, but I believe they have to stop those rockets and blow up those tunnels and that they do have to do that (at a minimum).

    Alas I don’t see an end to the chaos in the Middle East soon, but perhaps the chaos will stay there. We can hope. I for one will not take any flights that go near the Ukraine.

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    • Maybe not as sarcastic as you think. I left out the Kurds because they are just tactical. And we did end up arming ISIS via the Iraqi army deserters.

      As Begin said, if your enemies are fighting each other, you should wish them success. But frankly, my heart goes out to all the innocent civilians (and there are some including children). Religion combined with political movements result in evil. I flew over Iran and Ukraine in May by the way. That is how Emirates Airways flies from Dubai to SF (or they did).

      Maybe we should act like the British did. Lets give the Palestinians Cuba. What could go wrong with that?

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  2. Sadly, as sarcastic and cynical as your post sounds, it is not far from reality. One thing we learned (or should have learned) after the fall of Yugoslavia is that the absence of a strong dictator results in chaos. We didn’t learn the lesson and we overthrew Saddam Hussein with the ensuing debacle. Everyone applauded the Arab Spring and of course that went nowhere. There is chaos in North Africa, and Egypt restored stability by restoring military rule.

    The best thing for Israel and the US is a bunch of strong dictators in the Middle East that hate each other. The worst thing is these pseudo-liberation movements. They only seek to replace dictatorships with their own dictatorships. (Like the Puritans who came here for freedom of religion, but only their own religion).

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  3. As usual, you have a way of hitting the proverbial nail on the head. This whole affair reminds me of the Thirty Years War from 1618 to 1648. And that involved a bunch of Christians who chose hubris and hegemony over brotherly love. Now we have Christians, Jews and Muslims with all their respective factions slugging it out. Methinks this might drag on for more than 30 years. Gird your loins, as the say

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