Operation - Syrian Freedom

Category: Middle East, World Affairs Topics: Adolf Hitler, Holocaust, Syria Views: 3608

Victory justifies nothing. No victory justifies an evil war. Quite the opposite. It just adds to the evil.

With the entry of American forces into Baghdad, opposition to the war in the US and Britain is dwindling. In other countries, too, doubts are starting to nibble away at the anti-war camp.

I find this difficult to understand.

Let's pose the question in the most provocative manner: what would have happened if Adolf Hitler had triumphed in World War II? Would this have turned his war into a just one?

Let's assume that Hitler would have indicted his enemies at the Nuremberg war crimes court: Churchill for the terrible air raid on Dresden, Truman for dropping the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Stalin for murdering millions in the Gulag camps. Would the historians have regarded this as a just war?

A war that ends with the victory of the aggressor is worse than a war that ends with their defeat. It is more destructive, both physically and morally.

On the eve of the Iraq war, world public opinion found its voice as never before. This world reaction was an immensely valuable moral victory. On it the future must be built. The flame must not be allowed to die down. It must flare up into a blaze again.

It can't be stopped. Let me repeat the Israeli joke: "It is difficult to prophesy, especially about the future."

But this time, the prophesies have come true so quickly, that even the "prophets" themselves are stunned.

After the American onslaught on Afghanistan, we said in these columns: You can't stop a military machine that has achieved such a quick and complete victory with so few losses. It will push for action again and again.

We said: the band of zealots which is in control of Washington cannot stop now, just as Napoleon and Hitler could not stop. Their inner logic will push them to attack again and again.

On the eve of the attack on Iraq we said: after this, the next targets will be Syria and Iran.

And here it comes. The shooting in Baghdad had not yet ended, while the first steps towards the attack on Syria were already being taken.

Again the same outcry: "They have chemical weapons!" (And so have the Unites States, Russia, Egypt, Israel, Britain, France and many others. Every military machine develops these weapons, even for defensive purposes.) "There is a brutal dictator out there!" "He supports terrorism!"

In a few days, we shall hear: "He butchered his own people as Saddam did with his Kurds!" (His father sure did. Assad Sr. shelled the town of Hama while bloodily putting down an Islamist rebellion.) "We must liberate the poor Syrian people from the tyrant!" And from there: "Regime change!"

It will begin with slogans, "warnings", speeches in the UN and sanctions. The most expert professionals will prepare public opinion. The American and world media (with the Israelis to the fore) will eagerly cooperate. And then the war will become "inevitable".

It already has a name: "Operation Syrian Freedom.

Americans for the Golan. There is one important difference between "Iraqi Freedom" and "Syrian Freedom".

The American attack on Iraq had many objectives: control of the oil, creation of a permanent American base in the heart of the Arab world, revenge for the failure of the father. Furthering Sharon's interests was only one objective, and as long as Sharon kept quiet, it wasn't too obvious.

The coming American attack on Syria is quite different. It does not serve any major American interest, but it does serve (and how!) the interests of Sharon.

For those who have forgotten the developments, here is a brief reminder:

In 1967, after Syrian-Egyptian threats, the Israeli army attacked Syria (after Egypt and Jordan) and conquered the Golan Heights, which until that time were known in Israel as "the Syrian Heights". Their 160 thousand inhabitants fled (they vegetate to this day as refugees in Syria.) Their land was taken over by Israeli settlers. The Likud government has officially annexed the Heights (but not the West Bank and Gaza Strip) to Israel.

From that time, the liberation of the Golan has become a central aim for Syria. According to international law, this is occupied Syrian territory. Two Israeli Prime Ministers, Yitzhaq Rabin and Ehud Barak, as much as admitted this when they agreed to return all the Golan to Syria. The negotiations broke down in each case because of an argument about a few hundred meters. Neither Rabin nor Barak was ready to allow the Assads to "wet their feet in the sea of Tiberias".

The two lions (In Arabic, Assad means lion) acted very cautiously. After the father's failed to dislodge the Israeli army in the October 1973 war, they did not use their own military again. They found a way to fight by proxy: the Lebanese Hizbullah militia has harassed the Israeli army with pinpricks. Both Assads hoped that this would help them to get the Golan back in the end. Also, some of the Palestinian pro-Syrian (i.e. anti-Arafat) organizations are based in Damascus.

Now along comes the Bush administration, under the influence of Wolfowitz, Perle & Co., and issues an ultimatum to the Syrians: give up your chemical weapons, eliminate Hizbullah, get rid of the "terrorists".

For the Syrians this means, in effect, to give up any hope of ever getting the Golan Heights back. It also means American recognition of their annexation by Israel, in contravention of all the UN resolutions and the position of every US president up to now.

Without Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, the threat of "the Eastern front" that has been haunting the Israeli military for decades will disappear. Egypt and Jordan have already signed peace treaties. Sharon will be able to concentrate all his might against the Palestinians, who will remain alone.

Moral insanity. Sometimes, the entire character of a person is encapsulated in one single word of theirs. This happened last week to Donald Rumsfeld.

The world saw the terrible pictures of what's happening in Baghdad under the eyes of the occupation forces. Baghdad was ransacked as in the days of the Mongols. The mob did not plunder only the government buildings, without which no modern society can function, but also hospitals and museums. The wounded and the sick were left without life-saving equipment and medicines. Priceless cultural treasures from the cradle of human civilization were destroyed or plundered - one of the worst cultural disasters in the history of mankind.

The absolute responsibility for this outrage, which has been going on for more than a week, day after day, falls on the occupier. That is what international law says, in agreement with common sense. It shows the total indifference of the planners of the war for the population they were about to "liberate". No provisions had been made to protect them from the anarchy that is to be expected when any regime collapses, no preparations for safeguarding vital public buildings and cultural treasures. A city of many millions was turned over to the mob.

When Rumsfeld was asked about it, the man who is responsible for this catastrophe dismissively: "When a regime falls, there is always some untidiness." Untidiness! One word that speaks volumes. About the man himself.

Pity the settlers. Years ago, my wife and I were traveling in the west of Czechoslovakia. It was a dark, bitterly cold winter night. Suddenly, Rachel's eyes were caught by a small house, at some distance from the road, where a red light picked out a small area of snow, surrounded by utter darkness. She asked me to stop the car and struggled through the deep snow to take some pictures.

While she was busy taking photos, the door of the house burst open and a disheveled woman in dressing gown and slippers came running out. "What do you want? What are you doing here?" she demanded in a panic.

Rachel explained that she was a tourist and that the beautiful sight had captured her imagination. Gradually, the woman relaxed.

"I was afraid you were Germans who wanted to reclaim the house," she apologized.

She was a Czech from another part of the country, who as a child had moved with her family in this house after the German population had been thrown out at the end of World War II. Fifty years later, she was still living in constant fear.

I was reminded of this when I read about the Iraqi-Arab settlers, who had been brought by Saddam to Kirkuk and settled there in order to Arabize the Kurdish town. Many of the Kurdish inhabitants had been driven out. A foreign journalist happened to come across some of these Arabs in the middle of nowhere. They had fled their homes in sheer panic, in fear of Kurdish revenge. They asked the foreigner to bring the American soldiers to protect them.

Food for thought for our settlers.


Uri Avnery is an Israeli journalist, peace activist and a former member of the Knesset

  Category: Middle East, World Affairs
  Topics: Adolf Hitler, Holocaust, Syria
Views: 3608

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Older Comments:
FROM USA said:
Everybody must realise that these wars are unjust and those who do should stop supporting them.
They are not only bad for the rest of the world but in the long term also for the US itself. The US has turned more and more people around the world against itself and has also spread a lot of anger. All this can turn very dangerous if the US continues to fuel this anger by waging more wars.

KARL said:

Joe, do u have proof Saddam funding any terrorist activities ? And are u sure AMerica not funding any? How about Israel ? What should we call them ? "defending their state" ??
Well, this arquement going no where. But i suggest people of America should read more regarding other people history, religion,politic and culture in order to have better understanding towards others. I believe, Joe only know what he wanted to know. And he doesnt read like most of moslem do, iqra ..

JOE FROM U.S.A. said:
What kind of stuff is this?? If the U.S. wanted to occupy the whole world we would have already done it by now.. Id rather The Iraqi oil go towards the Iraqi economy and make better business relations with the west rather than the Iraqi oil money going in Saddams pockets and funding terrorists.

When G'd has decided a matter to be, it will be. It is for us as men/women (minds) in His creation to then try to understand the wisdom to be read from the conclusions. It is hard to leave dialogue behind when we have attached it to ourselves with the glue of our emotions. It is equally hard to see the great force of this nation as an instrument in G'd's hand to evolve His creation toward a more honorable relationship with Him. Once the matter has been decided by Allah, it then becomes an obligation of my faith to seek a higher understanding of the matter. Historical events maybe a tool of reflection but not the instrument of my vision. Here we must take the discipline of our moral intellect and allow G'd (Allah) to guide it. The outcome of this conflict should cause us to probe our place in America at a depth and breath unheard of and unspoken by our forefathers.

KARL said:

some people they just dont wanna know about history and they cant except the fact and thruth. Sack saddam out of iraq, out of his presidential seat by war a very uncivilized. Yes, may be saddam is rude, cruel, monster but remember saddam is IRAQI MONSTER.. so let it be. If America really promoting peace and democracy why dont u people help moslem in palestine ? Why let them suffer for many years ? Because Palestine doesnt have oil ? And because Israel is American "bed friend". And now, if American launch war against Syria, its obviously tell the world, Israel controlling America foreign policy. S, why dont W step down and giving the presidential seat to Sharon ?

In waging war, in God's name, I would hope that my country's leaders would briefly consider who might, logically, be the winner of wars that have been waged in God's name. Hopefully, my country's leaders will favor positioning America behind the rising crest of a tidal wave - of a potential series of victories, willed by God (who is without partner) - rather than placing America before such a wave - attempting to redirect it to where my country's leaders might prefer such a wave to go - Insha'Allah.

As Salaamu Alaikum.

Very gd article highlighting the dangers of current US foreign policy currently.

Personally I have come to the opinion that the ARAB leaders are Dumb, Stupid and Puppets. Syria maybe the next country on a list of many, Iran, Saudia Arabia, and Pakistan are also on the list.

There are various reasons for all three but the underlying result will eventually be the same. If there is a anti-US government in place, there will come a pretext of either WMD or terriorism to gain so called regime change to gain a Pro-US government in place.

Interesting to see that there was at least a million shia muslims participating on the 40th day of Ma-huram at Karbala, yesturday. At the same time protesting against US Occupation, none of which was in the news channels. It is early days but I strongely believe that the Sunni's and Shia majority will unite in thier strugle to eject US pressence from thier country.


Uri Avnery writes well, with knowledge and experience. To know more about his views one can visit his pro-peace website gush-shalom.org .

Some of the comments do not do justice to this man's views. I fear that many people write from ignorance and prejudice. You really have to read a lot, experience a lot and put yourselves in the shoes of those who have grieved and experienced the trauma for so may years.

Sitting in the comfort of your homes and commenting so harshly on such matters that you know very little about makes mockery of justice. Reading your own US media news and believing what you read is a very dangerous issue in today's world views.

Still. you are entiltled to your opinions but, please read, read and read, including alternative news. With knowledge perhaps one day we may begin to understand each other.

God bless all and may HE open our hearts to receive HIS truth. And thank you Uri. You are a good man who has experienced hardship and understands it well so as not to wish it upon your adversary, and through that you are a better person.
Ahmed Asgher

Do the Moslems see the same world I see?

Well Larry, since you are here, here's my answer. As an individual, not much. I do however see smiling faces of young Americans bursting with potential while the future awaits them. These are the TRUE leaders of not just the USA but also the world.

And still no one seems to want to do anything but argue right and wrong. I think there is wrong on both sides of the situation. Both sides have taken lives and taking just one live is wrong. Obviously war and killing are wrong. Unfortunately it seems that there will always be a boiling point where one side will find it nescesary to take lethal action for the security of their way of life. Debating right or wrong with no fundamental understanding of the other sides point of view will not ever help anything. As an American, I believe that Sadam did pose a threat to my family and countrymens safety either directly or through his ability to provide terrorists with devastating capability. Along with the fact that he treated so many of his people so brutally, depriving them and destroying them while looking after himself with lavish extravagance and waste - why was it wrong to remove him? I understand and regret the loss of innocent life but it is far less than that inflicted by Sadam and far less than what would have continued to be inflicted by him. Isn't it evident that US forces did their best to minimize the casualties inflicted?

I quite agree with some of your points, Larry.But to say America liberated those countries as to "liberate them" perse, is of course untrue.America always comes with agendas.Wether economic, geopolitic or strategic base or proxy or whatever.They also afraid if B5-2s come with nuclear bombs....,They could extinct like the dodo.

Arab comes with tribes and to see them agreeing in one thing is quite difficult but hey,that is democracy.And if they stick together, you called the terrorist.

the war on iraq was pointless!
to go to war with syria is even more pointless!!
and to go to war with Iran is even more pointless and dangerous at that!!! so if I were president of this country I would seriously not get too far over my head before alot of lives end up being over because of a so called american dream. this isnt even a free country. i cant even walk down the street without having something be said to me about my nationality or my religion. i am a muslim and i am lebanese as well. i am also proud and i will stand for what i believe in no matter what!!!!!

While I won't dispute your comments, it frustrates me that the whole of the American perspective is so perverted in the mind of the Moslems. The American public feels as bad as you do about the Iraqi war. But we trust that our government had credible information that led it to believe Iraq represented a threat to our security. That trust, coupled with a fundamental belief that American security cannot be threatened led us to war. The U.S. is largely credited with liberating Europe, S. Korea, Kuwait and other countries --- and then we partnered to re-build them. Even defeated enemies, like Japan, have become incredibly prosperous with American support. Make no misake, the U.S. has never conquered or ruled anyone. Every time we've invaded, liberated, captured or defeated anyone, we have set them free --- remaining on their soil only to provide support until their autonomous goverments are capable of maintaining public security.

American hearts ache for the tragedies suffered by the Iraqi people --- before and after our arrival. Moreover, we pray for their healing and seek to be instruments of that healing.

Perhaps the greater misunderstanding is why Arab countries cannot live together in any sort of compromise --- there always seem to be winners or losers. In the U.S., I drive by the newly Islamic mosque every day, employ Moslems in my business and do what I can to learn about the culture and religion that has become my neighbor and my friend. And I ask myself every day, "Do the Moslems see the same world I see?"

As i read this article everything starated fitting in. all the pieces of the puzzle seemed to fit in. What i reead in this article is probably an prediction of the furure. it was an easy prediction seeing as you heard the phrase "history repeats itself". The American goevernment is already going to war "operation Syrian freedom". What I dont understand is HOW THE ARAB LEADERS DONT SEE IT COMING!! Maybe it is because it is too simple, its like anticipating the move of a child, it just too easy. If only the Muslims could open their eyes.

Thank you Uri Avnery for speaking what seems to have been tugging on the back of my mind.

an excellence history update, thank you very much.

So long as the oil keeps flowing, what conceivable reason would the United States have for caring about who dominates the Middle East (so long as they are not butchers)? If their neighbors have no basis for complaining about either their religion or their form of government, so much the better.

So long as the oil keeps flowing, they could expect to receive all of the "close air support" they could ever conceivably require. I also wonder how much (if any) of that hardware is coming home with the troops. There's certainly not much of the competitors' merchandise remaining on hand.

Afterwards, once a thousand weapons inspectors have finished destroying all the WMD they were unable to find, the United States certainly wouldn't have a reason to return, I would think - so long as the oil keeps flowing, so to speak.

As Salaamu Alaikum.

I am very sure if America freed the People of the Middle East from their (So Called - Leaders), then all those peaples will appreciate this to all Americans, and the American will be Loved by all Arabs, but to Kill innocent people as what happened in Iraq War, then it will be vise versa period. My Comment is: If all these Wars for the interest of the Jewish State, then it will be a big mistake against all the People of Great US.

3000 people died in 9/11, but ten of thousands women and children died in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.Thats maybe good for you esther!

I am sick of ignorance and injustice.

There is much I do not understand about the East and about Islam. I am working to educate myself about the ways and beliefs of the Arab world and about other cultures that are foreign to me. I hope that people all over the world make an effort to learn about those from whom they may differ before exercising judgement upon an entire people.
It is also my hope that the best be made of a bad situation - Iraq. Before anyone damns the outcome of the recent events by predicting the intentions or future actions of anyone involved - give Iraq a chance! It has been stated that Iraq and it's resources will be returned to it's people, that the infrastructure will be re-built and aid is being delivered. This all seems to me to be a better alternative for the people of Iraq and the world than the cruel regime and harsh reality that existed only weeks ago. Why not see if the leadership of the US will hold true to their promises before undermining the effort in the heated arena of public opinion? Why not offer assistance and constructive criticism to make sure the job gets done to the advantage of the Iraqi peopl/e
I dream/meditate/pray/desire for a day where everyone everywhere can live out the life of their choice without fear that someone somewhere wishes to threaten their existence over a difference of opinion or belief. I don't believe we will ever see that day unless people make an effort to educate themselves and enlighten others. I may never understand every persons culture but I am willing to try and to accept and live peacefully. Can someone help to enlighten me about their culture and begin a positive effort to wage acceptance and hope?
Thank You and Peace,

There are "Good Cops" and "Bad Cops". For Uri Avnery, from his article that shows the truth and justice, it seem that he is a good cop. John Norman, what kind of cop you are?

Only the people of Iraq would appear to be qualified to condemn America for its invasion of Iraq. As I understand my religion (that of Islam), only Allah (who is unequaled) - and those who have suffered as a result of my actions - will have any say in what and how much I will be required to pay for losses that Allah (who is without partner) considers my responsibility.

On the other hand, the article also seems to be saying that America is not qualified to excuse itself for its invasions of other peoples' countries. That would happen to be something with which I completely agree.

I am grateful to Allah (Subhana Wa Ta'Ala) for IslamiCity.com, Iviews.com, this article and the article's author. As Salaamu Alaikum.

More pernicious nonsense from that collabonik of fascist regimes, Uri Avnery. If the United States offers Israel a cast-iron defense treaty, there could be no reason why Syria could not recover most of the Golan. On the other hand, there seems to be no reason to hand over this territory - which was in fact part of Palestine for a long period - to an antisemitic regime. The Syrians have a long way to go before they can be treated as reasonable partners for peace.

The writer did his best to produce this thoughfull article. I think no one should have doubt about these facts. We ask Allah to guide us all and make the right path easier to follow.

The basic question i would like to ask any sane human being is - is this war justified? One large and strong nation along with its followers attachs a weak country. and who suffers - the common people. What is the war trying to prove? Simple, it just proves that the biggest organisation for world peace, the United Nations is a puppet, which is made to dance to Mr. Bush's tune. And as far a justice goes, i am sure that the almighty is watching all this and justice will be done one day and only the injust will suffer.

I praise your article. The U.S is a terrorist state that must be stopped. It has killed millions of people in many countries in the past 50 years and continues to do so. One just hopes that someone, somehow, can stop them. There are people in the world who are trying. I hope they succeed.

thanks for posting some history because the
american public is starved for it

it`s the life Game .... and we are all waiting , as well we know the results , arab countries will be UNITED all muslims will cooperate over the world and sure every human `ll be sure where he `ll go.

Why is it Americans keep using Sept 11 as an excuse to take over the world. What would Americans think today if Hiroshima started attacking Americans for the bomb droped on them half a century ago. The people responsible for Sept 11 died on Sept 11.

This "good guy" "bad guy" policy has to stop. Lets not forget that America is the only nation that has ever used WMD. Is the true fear that Americans have is that if other countries were to get WMD that they will finally have to play fair. No longer could they take sides with Israel.

Hamas or Hezbullah are not terroist organizations. They are org that are fighting off invaders. Invaders who only have one thing in mind and that is to conquer their home land.

Finally I just would like to say is always remember that one day we ALL will stand before Allah (GOD) and have to answer for our sins.

I do not see how you can compare Hitler to this war. On September 11 3,000 people were killed. We cannot sit back and let them attack us again. I hate to burst your bubble, but the right person won this war.

Victory in Iraq is the victory of Adolf Hitlar.