And if so, is it doing so with the permission and encouragement of allies both old and new, both familiar and very strange indeed? There seems to be a whole lot of smoke and mirrors at work in the Middle East right now. Consider:
- In August last year, President Obama said that 'any attempt by Syria to move or use its chemical weapons would change his administration’s “calculus” in the region, evoking the possibility of more direct U.S. intervention in the conflict'. However, his administration appears to have backed away from this position in recent days.
- There are reports that Iraq's chemical weapons program may have been 'exported' in its entirety to Syria prior to and during the Iraq War, giving the latter country a capability it had previously lacked, and which it has since expanded.
- An Al Qaeda-affiliated militia organization is reported to be on the verge of seizing one of Syria's main chemical weapons plants.
- Apparently at the urging of President Obama, Jordan has opened its airspace to allow the transit of Israeli UAV's monitoring the situation in Syria.
- Earlier this year, Israel bombed at least one convoy moving weapons from Syria to Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon. Some years ago, it even bombed a nuclear site in Syria. It's clearly prepared to do whatever it takes to prevent the proliferation and/or distribution of weapons of mass destruction to Syria, and/or from Syria to its allied terrorist movements (i.e. Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza).
- Earlier today, in a report that appears to have been conspicuously ignored by most mainstream media, UPI claimed: 'The Free Syrian Army says Israeli air force jets flew over President Bashar Assad's palace and bombed a chemical weapons site near Damascus'.
I can't help wondering whether, in the convoluted maze of Middle Eastern politics, alliances and skullduggery, Israel isn't effectively acting as Washington's 'point man' by intervening in Syria. It's very much to Israel's advantage to neutralize stocks of chemical weapons in that country, which might otherwise be used against it; and to do so is entirely in keeping with its previous actions in this conflict. Furthermore, it's even to President Assad's advantage to see his own stocks of chemical weapons destroyed, rather than allow them to fall into the hands of his internal enemies. It might just be that there's collusion at the moment between some very strange bedfellows indeed . . .
Makes you think, doesn't it?