This is gonna turn out about as well for Israel as its sponsorship of Hamas as a foil to the PLO.
Assad is falling regardless of what Obama does. He's lost so many tanks that it's amazing. He's still not retaken the neighborhood his brother gassed. He will fall, I suspect, relatively soon. What would be best is that someone in his government remove him. That they seek peace with the non-al Qaeda insurgents. And that they keep the promise to secure the chemical weapons Assad said he didn't have until he promised to give them up. The choice isn't going to be between al Qaeda and Assad. The choice is between al Qaeda and all the elements that wanted to get of Assad before al Qaeda turned on their former sponsor.
Israeli troops raided mosques and found a cache of weapons. Yassin was arrested, but told his interrogators the weapons were meant to be used against secular Palestinians, not Israel. The cleric was released a year later and allowed to continue to develop his movement in Gaza.Le Canard is not The Onion, but I presume you know what a canard is...
Around the time of Yassin's arrest, Avner Cohen, an Israeli religious affairs official, sent a report to senior military officers and civilian leadership in Gaza advising them of the dangers of the Islamic movement, but this report and similar ones were ignored. Former military intelligence officer Shalom Harari said the warnings were ignored out of neglect, not a desire to fortify the Islamists: "Israel never financed Hamas. Israel never armed Hamas." In contrast, French investigative newspaper Le Canard enchaîné writes that Shin Bet also supported Hamas as an attempt to give "a religious slant" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to make the West believe that it was essentially between Jews and Muslims.
Cohen is also one of only a few Israelis who are (repeatedly) used to source that stupid sponsorship lie, and he also makes his living decrying Israel's nuclear weapons, and whining about "the holocaust industry", taking the unfortunate and occasional overplaying of the 6 million dead and then feeding the nazi-loving holocaust revisionists with their "and look, we even have a jew who agrees with us".
As others including you have pointed out
"I think Netanyahu's statement is either unwise or a back-door attempt to prop Assad up."
IF Bibi is sincere in this decision, he has made a calculus that even though Obama is completely untrustworthy, and even though everyone knows this is not just a sunni-vs shia religious issue but is a fight over a proposed sunni oil pipeline thru Syria to europe vs Russia's near current monopoly on exports to Europe, at the end of the day Bibi has to do what is best for ISRAEL.
Allowing Assad to hand over some of his WMD to hezbollah and maintain his links to a nuclear Iran may be less preferable for Israel than an al queda presence in Syria. A presence Israel hopes they can keep from being armed with WMD, or who they can eventually destroy (if Israel goes to war on AQ in Syria down the road, at least they won't be opposing a nation that is backed by the Russia Navy...).
As a student of a Catholic high school, the Sisters of Loretta taught me, I am pleased to be at an institution of higher education with such strong and celebrated Catholic and Jesuit traditions . . . You see, I got my Master's Degree at Notre Dame. (Boos.) I acquired a passion for the fighting Irish . . . and my family has been college educated and Presbyterian ever since. (Laughter and applause.) . . . I wandered into a course on international politics taught by a Czech refugee who specialized in Soviet studies, a man who had a daughter by the name of Madeleine Albright. With that one class, I was hooked. I discovered that my passion was Russia and all things Russian.
On the Syrian-Lebanese-Iranian alliance.
Lebanon Is NOT Innocent (David Horowitz Slams The Lebanon “Innocent Bystander” Myth Alert)
Maronites are the predominant Christian population in Lebanon.
Harb pledges to be forceful president [Maronite "ready to fight" Israel, "protect Hezbollah"]
Lebanese Lobby (Lebanon) ^ | 11SEP07 | Francis Matthew
Posted on Wed Sep 12 03:12:26 2007 by familyop
"Beirut: Boutros Harb, long-serving Maronite Lebanese Member of Parliament, is standing for president and reaching out to the Shiite Hezbollah, across the political divide in the country.
"I have proposed that the Lebanese army and government must be in control of declaring war, and that we should find a way to incorporate Hezbollah's forces into the army. But this has to be on the condition that the Lebanese government and army accept the full duty of being ready to fight and protect Hezbollah if Israel attacks," he said, adding that it was also important that Lebanon had to liberate the occupied territory of the Sheba'a Farms from Israel."
Lebanese leaders call for unity [All of them support the terrorists. ...always have.]
CNN International ^ | 20JUL06 | CNN
"The ship is sinking and all of us, the Lebanese, should stick together and work together to stop the Israeli aggression," Amin Gemayel, a Maronite Christian who served as president from 1982 to 1988, told the Arabic-language TV station Al-Jazeera . . . Michel Aoun, a one-time commander in Lebanon's 15-year civil war who now serves in parliament, said . . . "I don't think that Israel has the capability to destroy Hezbollah militarily because Hezbollah is not a group of armed men," Aoun said. "Hezbollah is a major part of the Lebanese social fabric."
Lebanon Turns to the Vatican to Halt Israeli Offensive
Vatican Condemns Israel for Attacks on Lebanon