By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth
But Israel also suspects that Damascus is likely to procrastinate on disarmament. In any case, efforts to locate and destroy its chemical weapons in the midst of a civil war will be lengthy and difficult.
And that may provide Israel with a way back in. Soon, as Israeli analysts are already pointing out, Syria will be hosting international inspectors searching for WMD, not unlike the situation in Iraq shortly before the US-led invasion of 2003. Israel, it can safely be assumed, will quietly meddle, trying to persuade the West that Assad is not cooperating and that Hizbullah and Iran are implicated.
In a vein Israel may mine later, a Syrian opposition leader, Selim Idris, claimed at the weekend that Damascus was seeking to conceal the extent of its stockpiles by passing them to Lebanon and Iraq.
Obama is not the only one to have set a red line. Last year, Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, drew one on a cartoon bomb at the United Nations as he warned that the world faced an imminent existential threat from an Iranian nuclear weapon.
Israel still desperately wants its chief foe, Iran, crushed. And if it can find a way to lever the US into doing its dirty work, it will exploit the opening – regardless of whether such action ramps up the suffering in Syria."