“One could posit he is using war as a distraction to continue his bloody reign,” he added.
In what follows, the full transcript of the interview has been presented.
What’s your take on the latest developments in Syria, especially Israel’s aggressions inside the Syrian soil?
William Hawes: Where to begin? There are so many elements in the Syrian conflict it is dizzying. There have been chlorine attacks in January. Turkey has invaded around Afrin and threatens to move east along the northern border. Syria’s army is tacitly helping out the YPG in Afrin against Turkey now. Russian mercenaries are fighting with Syrian troops and Iranian militias in the east near Deir Ezzor. Iran supposedly flew a drone into the Golan Heights and Israel overreacted with airstrikes against Syrian anti-air facilities and Iranian and Hezbollah command posts. Israel is concerned as well about Hezbollah missile factories in Lebanon. The U.S. had a massive attack against Russian/Iranian/Syrian troops near the oilfields at Deir Ezzor as well, killing hundreds.
Some have compared this situation as akin to three-dimensional chess in all its complexity. Perhaps with regard to the complicated nature of the conflict this has a grain of truth, but ultimately war has no logic or rationality behind it. This is pure mayhem and murder, and in modern, total war, civilians bear the brunt of the tragedy. The blame goes all around, but this conflict was instigated by the [Persian]
Gulf States and NATO who backed terror proxies to establish a Sunni jihadi insurgency, which their own declassified documents have proven.
With regard to Israel, Netanyahu is under investigation for corruption and it is possible the noose is closing fast for him. One could posit he is using war as a distraction to continue his bloody reign, a “wag the dog” scenario similar to what Clinton did in Kosovo. Today (Feb 18) the deranged Netanyahu is waiving a piece of the Iranian drone around in an interview: he is a clear and present danger to peace in the Middle East, and this is a clear type of baiting and provocation to induce a response, via political theater.
The Syrian military said it had hit at least one intruding Israeli F-16 warplane that attacked positions inside Syrian territory, sending it down in flames and smoke. How would this affect the Syrian crisis?
William Hawes: This could have been a lucky hit, or it could mean Syria’s anti-aircraft capabilities are improving with possible help from Iran or Russia. Haaretz reported the jet lingered in the area longer than it normally would have, but who can actually believe an outlet like that in this day and age? The F-16i variant that Israel uses is a very advanced modern jet which the U.S. and NATO use and should have easily outmaneuvered Syrian anti-air missiles.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described his country's most significant air attacks on Syria in decades as a heavy blow to Syria and Iran. What’s your analysis?
William Hawes: A heavy blow to Syria, yes, as it is claimed half of all the Syrian anti-aircraft facilities were destroyed. A heavy blow to Iran, not at all. Iran’s influence across Mesopotamia into the Levant is increasing and this scares Israel. By making friendships with the governments Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, Iran has created a formidable alliance and will try to leverage this in the future towards becoming the “regional hegemon”.
The Israeli PM is a fool and a war criminal, head of an apartheid nation which has terrorized and ghettoized Palestinians for generations and invaded Lebanon multiple times causing mass bloodshed. People in Gaza and the West Bank are literally shot in the streets for no reason and children are thrown in cages for protesting or throwing rocks or much less.
Netanyahu’s deputy minister for public diplomacy, Michael Oren, has said the U.S. currently “has almost no leverage on the ground”. How do you view Washington’s role in Syria in recent months?
William Hawes: Washington’s role is to continue to provoke unrest, chaos, and death in the region, as it has done for generations. U.S. foreign policy has been clear for a while – it will not allow another hegemon to control the Middle East, not Iran, and certainly not Russia or China. America along with their EU vassals and the Sunni Takfiri/Salafist/Jihadi fundamentalists, the Turk, Saudi, UAE, and Kuwaiti financiers, will back al-Qaeda, Daesh, al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, you name it.
The U.S. role is fading around the globe and there is no clear way to recover the imperium, but the U.S. can sow chaos and destruction for every other potential rival by causing a conflagration and regional war. This was the “deep-state” strategy behind the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s: back both sides and watch them kill each other.
One could posit that Oren’s comments as a plea towards the Trump administration to escalate U.S. involvement, as the paranoid and fearful Israeli government understands that without some dramatic change America’s, and thus, Israel’s role in the Middle East is fading.
William Hawes is a writer specializing in politics and environmental issues. He is author of the ebook Planetary Vision: Essays on Freedom and Empire. His articles have appeared online at CounterPunch, Global Research, Countercurrents, Gods & Radicals, Dissident Voice, The Ecologist, and more. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his website williamhawes.wordpress.com.