Israel’s massive air strikes against Syria are, beyond argument, illegal. There is no provision in international law that enables you to bomb another country because that country is in internal chaos. Yet the reporting on the BBC, and indeed throughout the mainstream media, makes no mention of their illegality, and makes no mention of the people killed. Contrast this to the condemnatory tone of BBC reporting of North Korean ballistic missile tests, or of Iran’s civil uranium enrichment programme, both of which I view as neither wise nor desirable, but both of which are undoubtedly quite legal.
I have previously noted that Israel does not want the Syrian regime to fall. Tel Aviv has looked long and hard at the likely result, and decided that the risks are too great; an Israel-friendly Sunni strongman could yet be engineered, but a jihadist influenced government is a very real danger for them. This Israeli coolness is the major reason that the Obama government have stepped back from stoking directly the flames of war, although they continue to do so through their Saudi, Qatar and other allies.
But a Syria tearing itself to pieces is, so long as it lasts, pretty acceptable to Netanyahu. He can step in when he wants and destroy Syria’s military infrastructure, such as the defensive installations just wiped out in massive strikes around Damascus. This is very helpful to Israel’s long term military domination. Normally the scale of this devastating Israeli attack on Syria’s ability to defend itself against Israel air strikes would have brought the most profound world condemnation, but suddenly it is “humanitarian intervention” – and nobody in the western media has even felt the need to justify the narrative that Damascus’ air defences were a humanitarian threat to rebel populations.
In the meantime, a clear statement from the United Nations that the evidence points to rebels, not the government, using the chemical weapon Sarin in Syria, does appear on the BBC website but I have not heard it broadcast, and it does not figure in western media with a hundredth of the prominence given to the unsubstantiated claims of Assad forces using Sarin.
I am in no sense a supporter of Assad. I should dearly love to see his regime overthrown and a democratic government representing the Syrian people installed instead. But the attempt to subvert Syria and influence the country towards the installation of a US and House of Saud backed puppet regime, backed by an extraordinary barrage of distorted propaganda to fool western populations over the course and meaning of events, is sickening.