As for Iraq, Iran’s allies were installed not by Iran but by President George W. Cheering the Propaganda Netanyahu’s oration was just another example of his skillful (but dishonest) propaganda and the groveling behavior of the U. Congress when in the presence of an Israeli leader.
An Al-Qaeda or Islamic State conquest of Damascus would likely force any U. president to invade Syria at enormous costs in blood and treasure, albeit with little hope of achieving any long-term success. A full-scale transformation into a militaristic state would be required to sustain this open-ended conflict, channeling national wealth into endless warfare and requiring the repression of anti-war sentiments at home.
So, what is at stake for the American Republic is essentially existential, whether the constitutional structure that began in 1789 will continue or will disappear.
That group became “Al-Qaeda in Iraq,” later morphing into “the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” and finally into “the Islamic State,” with its own twisted branches reaching out across the Middle East and Africa to justify more provocative slaughter of Westerners and “non-believers.” While on the surface, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Persian Gulf states repudiate this violent extremism, some of their oil-rich princes and intelligence services have provided covert support to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State to advance the cause of breaking the “Shiite crescent” from Tehran through Baghdad and Damascus to Beirut.
In seeking to smash this “Shiite crescent,” these Sunni-ruled states have been joined by Israel, which has taken the position that Iran and its Shiite allies are more dangerous than the Sunni extremists, thus transforming Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State into the “lesser evils.” This was the subtext of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress on March 3 that the U. government should shift its focus from fighting Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State to fighting Iran.
Bush shielded the Saudis from blame and ordered the invasion of Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein, a secular Sunni dictator who was a fierce opponent of Al-Qaeda and other religious fanatics.
Ironically, that war put Shiites in power in Baghdad, turned Iraq’s Sunnis into a persecuted minority, and created fertile ground for a particularly virulent strain of Al-Qaeda to take root under the leadership of Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Then, speaking as a former ambassador, Oren Israel would even prefer a victory by the Islamic State, which was massacring captured Iraqi soldiers and beheading Westerners, than the continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria.
“From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.
Assad’s relatively secular government is seen as the protector of Shiites, Christians and other minorities who fear the vengeful brutality of the Sunni jihadists who now dominate the anti-Assad rebels.