Tag Archives: Syria

Syria: A Watched Pot Boiling Over

Mid-East Turmoil

Juda Engelmayer

Disturbing video images from Syria show civilians being used as shields for Syrian troops. They are first seen standing, then lying in front, serving the purpose of the advancing Syrian guards. This, as documents leaked from President Bashar Al-Assad’s office reveal that Iran has been helping Syria circumvent sanctions by handing over $1 billion to continue slaughtering its civilians.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the ferocity of the Syrian assault, saying “I fear that the appalling brutality we are witnessing in Homs, with heavy weapons firing into civilian neighborhoods, is a grim harbinger of things to come.” He sees the inevitable end to this too.

The U.N. is frozen, unable to do anything about the slaughter of some 6000 people. Security Council mainstays like China and Russia have vetoed any attempts at intervention. Notwithstanding how easy it is for both to act fast when condemning the State of Israel for defending itself – even when it first drops leaflets warning civilians of its intent to strike, the Syrian government has little to worry about from the world body.

While the war against the Syrian people rages on, Iran’s fingerprints were found in some failed attempts to kill Israeli diplomats around the world; in India, Thailand and Georgia. Although they deny it, the Iranian plot was exposed when the terrorists were caught in Thailand with Iranian passports in hand. That one blew his leg off trying to lob a grenade at Thai police only proves incompetence, not detachment.

Now there are heightened threats of Iranian attacks on Jewish and Israeli interests in the U.S. It would seem that Iran is provoking Israeli or American action to create a worldwide calamity. Controlled by the promise of power, oil and financial interests and not the mandate of actually bridging the world of nations, the U.N. remains powerless.

Once again, Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz to block a passageway for a fifth of the world’s oil supply. If Iran does this, it would also make countries that are holding up action in the U.N. against Syria more dependent on Iran’s oil and more prone to do its bidding.

Oil plays a critical role in setting policy and policing human rights or abuses around the world, and it begs the question as to why the United States does not act faster to develop better alternative energy solutions, or why we allow politics to interfere with matters like the Keystone pipeline that could replace a significant quantity of Middle East oil with Canadian crude. We allow issues like electioneering and foreign threats to oppose one another and defeat rational thinking.

The Iranian threat has been brewing for a long time. As it is a very dangerous and difficult situation to manage, leaders of rational countries quietly hope that someone else will strike at the problem first and remove their burden. Some are actually being less quiet while trying to play down their encouragement of a preemptive strike.

Leon Panetta, the U.S. Defense Secretary made no secret in his declaration that he believed Israel would strike Iran. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius wrote on February 2, “Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June – before Iran enters what Israelis described as a ‘zone of immunity’ to commence building a nuclear bomb.” This week, however, Panetta backed off and refused to confirm that he said it at all.

Then on February 9th, after Iranian state television reported on evidence that the U.S. was behind the assassinations of its scientists, NBC News cited Obama administration insiders suggesting that Israel’s Mossad had trained the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) to assassinate Iran’s nuclear scientists.

If true, why would it benefit the U.S. to reveal this and possibly provoke Iranian action, which it may have done with the attempts on the lives of Israel’s diplomats this week?

For a nation like the U.S. to pawn off the responsibility of Iran to Israel, through implied acceptance of an inevitable action as Panetta did, or through actual provocation, as the unnamed White House sources did, is confrontational. Yet, it creates enough mayhem should an Israeli first strike occur, and enables U.S. actions under the guise of protecting an ally or an interest rather than the more frowned upon act of actually launching a first strike.

This is a public relations strategy for America to insulate itself from blame of a strike on Iran. Partly for the sake of ultimate anemic approval from the inept U.N., but more to quell the opposition stemming from the American left who does not support military activity.

Syria’s boiling over with Iran’s money, and Iran itself is reaching a standoff with Israel and the west – which is facing a global economic crisis that cannot withstand any oil flow interruptions – something’s got to give. The groundwork is being laid for action. Whether or not the U.S. is making Israel a scapegoat for preemptive action is more about domestic policy and electioneering than real objection to that action.

As President Obama has been buttressing Israel’s military arsenal lately, we would be naïve to assume that Israel and United States are not lockstep on the final course. The posturing is for constituency consumption and not critically indicative of true foreign policy.

Juda Engelmayer is President and Partner with the NY PR agency, HeraldPR

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Filed under Alternative Energy, anti-Semitism, News and Views, Obama, Politics, War against Israel

Syria Slaughters, Hamas Terrorizes: Public Relations Firms Advance their Cause

Asam Al-Assad in VogueIn recent days, we have seen an intensification of the Syrian regime’s attacks on its own people. If reports are correct, more than 5,000 Syrian civilians have been slaughtered on President Bashar al-Assad’s command since the effort to bring the so-called Arab spring to Syria began late last spring. The dead include hundreds of women and children, people who just wanted freedom from a tyrannical regime. Supply lines have been cut; medical supplies are running out, and the United Nations admits that it can neither provide a reliable accounting of the number of dead, nor stop the killing.

This regime is the extension of one begun in 1970, when Hafez al-Assad seized power and which was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Syrian, including one of the most gruesome massacres in Middle East history, the destruction of the Sunni rebel stronghold of Hama, in which between 10,000 and 20,000 people were killed by government forces. Bashir al-Assad has ruled since his father’s death on 2000 and has been able to maintain his stranglehold on Syria’s people largely because of world indifference, lack of commercial resources, and because of its proximity to Israel.

Read the rest in The Cutting Edge News

 

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Filed under anti-Semitism, BDS, Creative Writing, Crisis Management, Cutting Edge News, Israel, News and Views, War against Israel

Israel’s Challenges ahead as 2012 is already filling up its plate

2012 has thus far brought a lot of activity to Israel that could be indicative of the year it is expected to have.  The growing internal strife that has become very public between the religious right and most others to the left of them is threatening the foundation of Israel’s society.  In addition to the social difficulties it poses, the squeeze of the widening financial burden on those who produce income and those who rely on the State for services is taking its toll on the patience of the general society.

Adam Kaufman, of Adam B. Kaufman & Associates, PLLC and longtime Woodmere resident said, “What’s been happening between the religious and secular communities is disheartening.  Israel and Jews have enough people wishing harm without us wanting to harm one another.  Sadly, at times we can be our own worst enemies.” To Mr. Kaufman’s point, the internal conflict would be enough to keep such a small society busy.  Yet, that could be viewed as a minor bump in the road when looking at it in the context of the world it exists in.

Read the whole article at The Jewish Star

Juda Engelmayer is President and Partner with the NY PR agency, HeraldPR Jewish Star

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Filed under Islam, Israel, Judasim