Syria. Anyone Remember?
When last I heard (about 8 days ago – just before the Gaza/Israel conflict flared up), about 40,000 Syrians had been killed by their own government. About 35,000 are apparently still missing. (Shades of President Assad’s father when the senior Assad was also President, and massacred some 25,000 Syrians at Hama when he brutally put down a Muslim Brotherhood rebellion in 1982. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.) Thousands more Syrians have fled the country seeking refuge in Turkey, Jordan and even Lebanon.
Yet Syria has disappeared completely from the media map. I’ve not heard or seen any TV, newspaper or radio reports that mentioned Syria since the terrorists in Gaza starting firing rockets at Israel in earnest.
Speculation is rife now as to why the Gaza conflict suddenly flared up. “Bibi (Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu) wanted it for vote catching”. “Ditto Ehud Barak” (Israel’s Minister of Defense). “President (of the Palestinian Authority) Abbas needs the war to strengthen his position vis-à-vis Hamas”. “Both the Arabs and Israel see the war as a mechanism to jump-start their economies”. “Hamas needed to revive its image”. Etc. etc. etc.
They’re all wrong. My gut feeling is that President Assad, lackey to the Iranians, ordered his own flunky in Gaza, the terrorist leader Ismael Haniyeh, to turn up the heat in Gaza, so as to turn off the media heat on Syria.
And it worked.