Bruno Guigue: Israel Wants War, But Its Adversaries Don’t…

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Bruno Guigue

Israel once again bombed Syria, Israel simplifies its process of military engagement, Israel accuses Iran of possessing nuclear weapons… There is no doubt, behold: Israel is peace and love between peoples and the light of nations; a metaphysical entity vested with out of the ordinary prerogatives; it has the right to bomb what it wants when it wants! It is true that in order to obtain this impunity the State-colonist colonised everyone: Washington, Paris, London, and even the United Nations. In the meantime, this warmonger bombs Syria even if it provokes a devastating escalation. This is mind-blowing, but the missile strike on April 30th is the 100th Israeli operation against Syria since 2013. Yet, when they target military facilities in Syria, the Zionist leaders don’t doubt that Damascus and Tehran (which is also targeted) will end up retaliating. It’s not that they [Israel – ed] don’t know that an Israeli plane (two, if we are to believe some sources) was shot down in February, or that the Syrian Air Defences repelled the majority of the missiles launched on April 14th by the neo-colonial trio (USA, France, UK).

But it is a fact: no retaliatory action was taken against Israel for these attacks, nor against the western countries for April 14th. Iran and Syria – directly targeted by these acts of war – observe restraint, which feeds the puzzlement of many observers. However, the aggressor would be wrong to take this calculated patience for a confession of weakness. In the domain of strategy remaining cold-blooded is not a defect, but a quality. The provoker always seeks to impose its agenda. To retaliate without waiting is the same as accepting their conditions. The same thing applies to verbal provocations, and we have seen with what irony Tehran responded to recent accusations concerning its alleged clandestine programme. These “old allegations”, said the Iranian Foreign Minister, are just “rehashed” and are worthy of a “boy who cries wolf”. When a State that has 300 nuclear warheads eluding any international control gives lessons to a State not possessing nuclear weapons and subject to the strict control of the IAEA, we, in effect, say to ourselves that the reality is stranger than fiction.

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But if Iran and Syria do not treat the aggressor in a reciprocal way (at least not immediately) and are satisfied with a defensive attitude, then it is for the simple reason that they do not want a military confrontation with an opponent whose murderous madness is well-known to them. The Zionist entity – the result of a colonial war – thrives only on making this war perpetual, because it justifies the structural violence exerted on the Palestinians – who Israel despoiled – and on all those who resist it in the region. In contrast, Iran and Syria do not have any colonial domination and do not threaten any foreign State. Being far from wishing war, these two countries, on the contrary, are afraid of a general conflagration that would crush like a scourge against the peoples of the region. Being victims of war and an embargo, Iran and Syria only desire reconstruction and development. If they abstain from responding to foreign aggression it is because they have other priorities, and because the game at the moment isn’t worth their while.

The future will tell if they were right, but these two States actually prefer to present a defensive strategy that has proven to be successful during the aggression of the tripartite on April 14th. 70% of the enemies’ missiles were neutralised, and the Syrian air defences now discourage hostile aircraft from venturing into Syrian air space. Concerning the Israeli attack on April 30th, some sources suggest the use of last-generation medium-range missiles launched from Jordanian air space. These missiles would be capable, in the current conditions, of eluding the radars of the Syrian air defences. If this information is accurate, then it is a new challenge for the Syrian army and its allies, including the Russians, who said that they would soon deliver S-300 to Syria. Anyway, Moscow does not want the current confrontation to degenerate into open warfare any more than Damascus and Tehran do. Its military intervention in Syria has demonstrated its effectiveness since October 2015. But it is clear that Russia will not allow itself to be dragged into a major conflict in a theater of operations far from national soil.

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We sometimes read that Moscow made an agreement with Israel, allowing it to hit Hezbollah and Iran in exchange for its neutrality in the Syrian conflict. No evidence has ever been provided of such an agreement, and this is unlikely. The operational coordination between the Syrian forces and allies on the ground, de facto, would prohibit this double game. Russia is engaged in a conflict between the Syrian government and imported terrorism. In this domain, we can not say that it let down its allies: Daesh is almost eradicated, and its many avatars are in bad shape. But Moscow carefully avoids any escalation with the States of the region. Turkey approves the West’s bombing of Syria, but this does not prevent Russia from involving Turkey in the negotiations in Astana. The tangle of conflicts in the region blurs the tracks, it is true. But we are in the real world. The strength of the things leads this and that side towards a compromise, and only the result counts. What would Syria and Iran gain in a total war with Israel and the US? If they don’t respond to provocations it is because they indeed don’t want this war. They reserve the right to do so in their own way and at the right time, the one they have chosen. Victory is a long patience.

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