tv [untitled] March 27, 2013 1:30pm-2:00pm EDT
hello and welcome to cross copper all things considered i'm peter lavelle a dangerous neighborhood and it's only getting more dangerous serious grinding civil war now involves a wide array of regional and global powers all with their own agenda including israel what are tell of us goals in this conflict what are the risks of failure and will anarchy be the only winner in the syrian civil war. to cross talk the war in syria i'm joined by dan arbella in washington he is again scholar at the sob in center for middle east policy at the brookings institution and of former israeli diplomat also in washington we have now he is a political analyst and in london we cross to. he is the president of the arab
lawyers association in the u.k. right gentlemen crossed cycles in effect it means you can jump in anytime you want daniel if i can go to you first in washington what is their sales agenda in this war right now because we hear maybe a buffer zone could be created into syria. is not intervening in the conflict taking place in syria but it's watching the situation unfolding very very closely israel has many concerns regarding what's happening in syria today first and foremost the chemical weapons. held by the assad regime and there's really concern that may fall into the wrong hands or may be used. as a last resort second this is been the quietest border along israel's borders for forty almost forty years and the concern is from a possible spillover the situation in syria to the area of the girl on her it through to the syrian israeli border like we saw this week when some rebels were firing at israeli troops so. are patrolling on the go and how it's so first and
foremost is rose interested in peace quiet tranquility and the situation not affecting its own security and well being of its citizens ok sagal in london would you like to jump in here it sounds kind of benign what we just heard. well i think the israeli problem is with the people not with the good regimes israel has never had a problem with the regimes in any of the countries their problem is always with the people in the in that region that the most of the toward the toward israel is so deep rooted that it doesn't matter what. and if you have a situation where there is no dictatorship like the one which exists at the moment then it's going to be free for all to vent their anger to take whatever measures that have and this is the point that israel is what it about certainly as far as been so far it's been very quiet they don't know how it's going to be when it's when the regime collapses and i think this is the point that they are about but at
the same time they are. happy that the syrians are destroying themselves are committing suicide are destroying that army and killing their people they hope that this will also end up by getting hizbullah and iran influence how i got there i want to go to those topics a little bit later now bill in washington you jump in but israel subjectives here let me first define the syrian conflict because without a proper definition of things would be confusing they see their conflict is the end of world war one and this means many important developments are i think there is an old goal shared by egypt to stop syria from becoming a wide that regional crisis with c.d.'s geopolitical implications that are basically favorable to any disruptive force in that part of the middle east ok dan so it looks like israel as you know is getting what it wants because syria is
destroying itself. well i don't think that the comment made by his correct or the israelis are enjoying this one bit i think it's a great tragedy and that is how it is viewed by many many israelis i do agree with the comments regarding the egypt concern and the same the same the concern that this thing will spill over or become a regional crisis and israel has taken the steps even this week as we've seen patching up a longer. tense relationship with turkey just for the sake of having the opportunity the possibility to strange views in intelligence and other resources with turkey as these two countries look at the syrian crisis so. i reject the notion that this is enjoyable i think on the contrary israel wants at
the end of the day for the syrian situation to stabilize for the syrian people to have a moderate leadership smooth transition the smoothest as possible and hopefully one day also in a situation that can make peace with israel sad but what about you because we hear about this buffer zone go ahead. this idea the israeli policy is always misguided because it relies on the use of force heavy heavy use of force but i've learned of the day they talk about chemical weapons and they know this is rubbish it's not true they talk about this gyptian influence they talk about syria being the regional power all these things are self. propagated by the israelis but their problem is they know that this is a state that has enemies all around it and it is there and i'm also he is with the people not the regimes you can change their regimes you can have any regime you
want but at the end of the day that is exactly what they are going to end up with they are living in the wrong neighborhood their place is somewhere else probably maybe in europe or some some in the states or somewhere or another because they are unable to cope with this situation having done what has been done you have expelled the palestinians that who are scattered all over the lot of countries and now those people have empathy and sympathy with the palestinians and therefore you have this animosity and this is not going to change with the change of regime or the government or the type of government and indeed the middle east is all geared against u.s. policy because the u.s. policy has been so partial toward israel even when we had obama the other day he did not say any of the things that he should be saying he tried to play his domestic politics but as far as the region is concerned he has not done anything his. visit was not welcome by the israelis it was not welcomed by the arabs and everybody feels that they don't know why he came for what reason even on the city
in front the u.s. has so much trouble both economically politically and militarily that it is unwilling and unable to intervene in the syrian situation it's happy that the europeans are making the right noises making the qataris pay money and send weapons and turkey receiving refugees so the policy. israel supported by the americans is the one which is creating this trouble for israel as well as obviously the people in the region this is this is not going to change with changing whether you have a regime of assad or islamist or whatever other terminology is used the idea that somehow israel is actually concerned about having a democratic stable regime of course this is a term used for having a government that is going to be the same as the us government when it comes to the israeli situation do nothing about the israeli situation stop the people from
fighting them and this is this is not going to change i think this is going to change whereby whatever happens the regime that is going to come is going to make israeli life more difficult and israel is going to have to take how sharon measures syria and the neighborhood indeed in lebanon. then i let him. know bill do you want to jump in there react to what we just heard thank you let me again focus on the regional perspective because this is not just one nation a state a trying to articulate. a thought you have to realize there are also america is involved so want is the national interest of america and that sad situation i think it would be to think the submitter craddick and in this case you would have the cia getting involved arming the rebels and the united states media is a clogging this this is no secret
a second presidential leadership and this is the biggest test for obama is he going to act statesman like or is he going to shiver and procrastinate as usual and what kind of decisions where obama do what kind of arrangement told him the leaders of the kremlin in moscow how he's going to deal with the opposition in syria. ah so these are very important questions so far i think obama is happy to the to see the cia aid getting into the conflict because he could not have all of them he objects to arming the rebels but the bureaucratic interest of the pentagon the cia prevailed over him so the question now is how obama how is he going to die you'd act the cia effort in syria again is the backdrop of the war in afghanistan with the war against terror and others so it's a very very tough test for obama and he should get more involved and more engaged
in syria otherwise it could be to climb into his presidency if things do take your eight ok dan should there be more western intervention in syria before answer that i also want to relate to what the earlier totally. false claims are the are not even worth. mentioning but still israel has peace with egypt as well as peace with jordan israel on the verge of reestablishing negotiations with the palestinians of course of the syrian responsible regime comes into power i'm sure that israel will be. interested in in gauging in a dialogue to see if the pieces is is possible i do is really. to deal with your concern circulation well what are you talking about bills comments regarding. the bill or about the u.s.
role in this i think it's absolutely critical an essential that you are steps up its efforts aiding the opposition. supplying the opposition with even greater supply and funding the already been giving coordinating activity before we go to the break or even to the break you can twenty seconds before we go to the break. usa once said design out of a position they want a particular opposition that is going to be that opposition that cannot be for instance from i'm not so that they cannot be from al qaida they cannot be islamist they cannot be shiite they cannot be with hezbollah they cannot be with iran so they want to change the regime but they want to design not a major regime all right gentlemen i'm going to jump in here we're going to go to one short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on syria stay with our team.
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ok dan if i go back to you in washington a lot of people say israel is more interested in hezbollah for example or iran not really the syrian people not at all you know the. well first of all again israel is shares and sympathizes with the agony the syrian people are going through that's first and foremost second of all of course when you look at the situation on the northern front there is a strength of iran syria and hezbollah are not all sides of the triangle are equal in size and in power but of course when you look at the overall situation. his bowl is weakened by this recent crisis and israel is interested as always said that it's interested in seeing the syrian iranian alliance somehow being either diminished or even sort of a dissociation between syria and iran and as we look at the prospects of this syrian crisis unfolding then one of the options of courses there are different
scenarios there but one sure scenario is that iran syria relations will diminish in their warmth in their in their in their intimacy and so that's a course as you look at the situation this is something that israel stands to benefit from and israel hopes that this will be the case but i wouldn't equal or to the to the agony of the syrian people ok now bill bennett what do you think about in the angle of hezbollah iran and the in the the civil war. this is very important and you have to ask this question to the leaders in israel can israel fight two wars at two different fronts i think either israel has to confront one of two either syria or iran either cannot be confronting israel saudi israel cannot be confronting syria and iran at the same time so i think israel will try to
establish a sense of priority is delaying the action on iran because it's more then substance and focus on c.d.'s how would the israelis focus on syria again this if there is to what i said earlier they would not take an action divorce it from the u.s. . over obama's visit is over so they will become again nervous as obama has it taitz but there will be the israeli military talking to the defense of the park meant in the u.s. and the parchman toiled prague obama for an action so israel will not do any action prior to you as a consent as far as hezbollah is concerned i think israel inevitably it accomplishes that his will that will get involved but when hezbollah fight these are eight is or five the rebels that was a long story about it in the new yorker magazine detailing that many aspects of each side the strategy but just let me make
a final statement and i feel passionate about it that is a big mistake committed here chemical weapons would not be used in syria conflict because it would mean the suicide of the perpetrator each side in the sea their conflict wants to survive including the falling assad regime so this is a wrong strategic thinking in washington chemical weapons are the last a factor to consider conversion conventional warfare are the dictates of the conflict please pay attention to it what are you on. in the mascot's war that you are in moscow that you are in washington or any place else chemical weapons are the last resort. in london go ahead. can i go back to the point of iran i think there is a phobia which the israelis and the americans have regarding iran totally opposed to iran because i come from iraq which is occupied by iran i'm not defending iran
but i think there is a phobia which is in iran. israel and in the u.s. over iran he runs a role in this syrian uprising is really negligible because at the present moment there is the western powers of the us france britain. and the same kind of. over fifty percent of the day. and everybody you know who's israel and in the usa cannot think of anything other than through the prism of iran iran has nothing to do with the with syria point. which is the nuclear being peddling it because if you if you attempt to put everything toward iran everybody in the west begins to feel threatened this is just like the use of and then you can accuse anybody of anything ok at the end of the
day i think certainly the effect of the syrian revolution will be to weaken hezbollah because at the present moment the contact between iran and hezbollah is through syria and that's the point that is going to be weakened however i think israel knows hezbollah can do and israel cannot afford to lose civilians and civilians will be lost if there is an intervention with if there is a conflict between hezbollah and iran that's. defending the iranians but i. i think there is a conception which is purposely done by putting iran into the picture but certainly i think at the present moment. the moral position of the west to the syrian conflict because everybody talks about one thing to protect the people well to do you give them freedom and democracy and in the same time they are pouring petrol on
a fire ok we're ok people can get it for me dan go ahead jump in yes first of all we have the iran nuclear issue which is considered a threat not only by the united states and israel but the entire international community by the i.a.e.a. and the united nations security council and many many many other countries around the world and we cannot we cannot ignore that just us when you talk about the syrian situation there are over fifty thousand iranian. revolutionary guard representatives in syria are growing in number syria is being supplied by you know he was relieved supplied with things going on side they have to. say that iran is playing with the ranters and want to settle and the situation it's farce or just it's not true that we cannot ignore the fact that iran is very much sees syria as
a battleground between the iran that wants to promote islamic revolution in other forces are trying to contain it and this is exactly what iran is doing it's using syria and its supply regime tending it looks like everybody is using syria everyone's using syria now they'll go ahead jump in. me again in for size one point if hezbollah gets what kind of missiles over referred would it apply and who the target is i believe the conflict in syria centers over roads and highways something similar to the nine hundred forty eight conflict and basically as sad moves his troops inside big grows in cities if they are including hezbollah that's a factor that's a strategic military factor but also the highways among the c.d.n. cities and the highways thinking syria with the surrounding countries these are the
domains the terrains who are hizbullah rebuilds possibly israel or the city and troops loyal to assad are moving so this is the landscape of the battle the art of going to be shooting at each other the helicopter will define the outcome of the battle so the question is does hezbollah. that can have maxi capabilities does and i'm quite sure that he would be receiving very important technicolor information and operational experience from his russian military advisors so you have to define how his role that would get and what i fear is that there will be hostages there would be people who are timid personnel taking hostages prisoners of war p.o.w.'s and that can increase the maximum bargaining power of each side if hezbollah captured is there even is that could be done
through mental. on the other hand if the is the eight is captured hezbollah fighters or even that also can become more complicated so the fight will center over the factors that are they taking it to the fire warfare cd i would experience and. this is why i'm saying that the obama administration has to be a more serious about the syrian conflict because it is there to do anything and we are witnessing different methods of warfare that could complicate the situation a great deal the u.s. administration cannot do anything anymore i the present moment the u.s. administration has lost heart for aware that they have a problem already in afghanistan trying to pull out the pulled out of iraq they have an economy a quagmire the idea that somehow they get involved in another war because we've seen even. the power that this will have to nato because they couldn't afford to do
that at the present moment no american and european is going to intervene militarily and the situation in syria especially that the syrians are committing suicide themselves so why should anybody interfere you just get them out of weapons and you get the qataris and the rest of the ducks and everybody else to do that and you let them kill each other out and then. you will achieve the objectives that is western objective u.s. objective and israeli objective and i think this is not going to be the end because if the regime which is being keeping quiet some five if it goes you're going to have you don't know what you're going to get in its place and what you've got in its place is probably nobody has bargained for that matter of choosing individuals to many here do and i want to give you the last word twenty seconds go ahead.
well first of all israel is not going to intervene as the bill's not in lebanon not in syria unless provoked we've seen as i said we can and we've seen it in kentucky activities outside the region in places like both garia and other places and i think that right now the best thing to do is that i do agree that chemical weapons will be the last resort but one cannot rule out the use of chemical weapons by any of the forces that are in play now in syria gentlemen to watch i have to jump in here for a fascinating discussion many thanks to me to my guests in washington and in london and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.t. see you next time and remember prostate problems.