Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Big Sister, Loose Morals

Ha’aretz dropped another Israeli bomb on us; it seems that “big sister” is apparently frolicking “with the devil she wants us to die fighting”.

This is essentially a hydrostrategic matter, and not the first article along those lines in Ha'aretz.

They had previous work published on this, by Ze'ev Schiff no less. The main idea is to prepare an eventual deal with Syria, and there are two rationales for this;

1- It is all based on confidential Israeli studies on the need to keep the regions of the Golan that feed the Kinneret aquifer, which represents up to 20% of Israel’s water supply. No doubt the Israelis would fight over this.

2- It is also based on the need to maintain, if not a radar outlook on Syria, at least a radar shield against it. The Golan Heights act like a stationary AWACS. A similar "no-no" covers Mount Barouk and Sannine in Lebanon, which were major military assets during the 1982 war; their vantage is far higher, and could potentially reach into Iraq and beyond Cyprus and Eilat.

With this in mind, I see the revelation in Ha'aretz as an attempt at deal making, informing the Syrians as to the maximum that they can get. But neither are the Syrians able to make a deal, nor are the Israelis willing to give them so much.

The problem is that when you call Syria, the Alawites answer. And the current clan in charge care more about Lattaquieh or Kardaha than Beirut, or even Damascus.

Either HassAoun does not understand this, or they’re learning from Capitaine Renault.

Looks like this will take us a while

Follow-Up (Jan. 18th, 2007)

Ever so perceptive, Mary at ExitZero (Thanks for the update!) pointed out an “interesting” piece on AsiaTimes; it is an article by Kaveh L Afrasiabi, who simply proposes that “the Lebanese crisis be resolved amicably with the reapportionment of cabinet posts more proportional to the balance of political forces in the country, as favoured by not just Hezbollah but also by certain Christian leaders”.

This is beyond Chamberlain’s 1938 “peace for our time”. The good professor’s statement that “Tehran will have shown that it can influence events there in the direction of non-violent resolution of political differences” is just like a rapist blaming his victim. Much like former Texas gubernatorial candidate Clayton William’s comments about rape, comparing to bad weather, and stating that “as long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it”. Yes, yes… He lost the election, and Ann Richards went on the first woman elected governor of Texas.

Whatever the reasoning behind his piece, its inspiration must be an increasingly paranoid Iranian leadership, looking for Leverage and a potential deal, even if that means “selling their own”… But such Bazaari deals will likely be soundly ignored, at best; as they “Piled Higher & Deeper” by suggesting that only then can “the Saudis will be forgiven for their one-sided, blistering criticisms of Iran”…

Persians forgiving Arabs? For what, assassinating Hariri, creating more trouble, or messing with the economy… no wait, I got it backwards…

Indeed, the lady doth protest too much


ghassan Karam said...

Lebanon encourages such double standards and duplicitous behaviour by not having the will to take a stand on our own. Such weak positions , one can argue, are dictated by a n economy that is dependent on its neighbours and a fractious populace.
There is no logical explanation for the way that all pols in Lebanon, from all political persuasions, are always rushing to proclaim that Lebanon will never be but the last to sign a peace treaty with Israel. If a peace agreement, trade, tourism and exchange of ambassadors is good for Egypt and Jordan then why is it bad for Lebanon? Even Qatar and a few of the other Gulf emirates have periodic exchanges and contacts with Israel and no Arab country dares object. Can you imagine what would happen had it been Lebanon that had these periodic exchanges? And now we find out that Syria was indirectly in contact with the Israelis when at the same time they were fanning the flames of war on the Lebanese Israeli border. The Syrian Baath will fight Israel down to the last Lebanese.

No one can explain why should a country turn down an agreement that will enhance its national interests just to strengthen the hand of its neighbour? Is Lebanon supposed to be the only political entity in the world to have its policies guided by altruism?

Jeha said...


unfortunately, yes...

A "house divided" never stands; I fear that we are supposed to be the suckers here, fighting for the Syrians and Iranians to the last Lebanese.

Betty said...

Bravo. j'adore ce blog et Jeha c'est génial !

ghassan karam said...

Do you have an RSS feed or a Yahoo one? Just wondering.

Jeha said...

Merci Beaucoup!

No. And I have not idea of how to set this up; I just googled the term "RSS" right now. I will have to read more into it, and see how I can set this up. It seems the closer I came was technorati...

Amir in Tel Aviv said...

Peace with Syria? I'm not sure Israel really needs it.
Since no longer Arab-nationalism, Islam ism is the newest trend in the ME; why cut a deal with a bankrupt state, that is doubtfully to stay with us, as we know it.
I wish the best for the Syrians, but I see them follow Iraq's foot steps, and erupt in a bloody sectarian civil war.
In that case, the Golan has a strategic role indeed. We don't want to see Islamists roaring the highs, overlooking Holyland, like the bad guys in "Mad Max 2". So the agreement with Syria would mean null.

Free Cedar said...


RE the RSS feed, check this site out: http://www.feedblitz.com
you can register to it, add a link/email service to your blog, so your readers can enter their e.mails and get updates of your postings.
As for the rest, haven't been commenting but been enjoying your articles. Keep up the great work!

Free Cedar said...

My turn to thank you. Thanks to your link I added a recent comments section :)

Amos said...

Just saw this now. Great post, Jeha. Someone was asking about RSS or feeds - there's a link at the bottom of the page that says "Subscribe to POSTS" - click on that.

Leafless Eve said...

Israel already has peace with Syria, but they have it with the 3alawi Syrian regime, which is a minority, and not with the majority of Syria. The U.S. wants the Syrian regime to change, but Israel doesn't. They don't want another enemy. That's the main problem. It's one of the few instances that the U.S. and Israel don't agree. We will see alot of those instances in the years to come. Ofcourse they won't bluntly be declared. After 9/11, Americans started to re-think there mideast policies. They are still rethinking them, cause this is such a complicated region. The Lebanese war was also an incident where the U.S. and Israel didn't agree. Ahhh... what a mess... So far, the new middleast is the same middleast but with a new set of problems.

Jeha said...


True. The fact remains that some groups can only keep a bigger slice of the pie by only thanks to their nuisance capacity. This is not sustainable on the long run, if a new Middle is ever going to emerge; Israel may have peace of sorts in the Golan, but it is coming at the cost of war everywhere else.