"US has plan to protect Israel"

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey made the comment in a conference call with members of Congress.

The US has a plan to protect Israel in the event of a reprisal attack by Syria, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said in a conference call with scores of legislators on Monday. The discussion was part of the Obama administration's intensive effort to persuade Congress to approve an attack on targets of President Bashar Assad's regime in Syria.

Dempsey briefed the members of Congress on the list of potential targets in Syria, and explained how the Pentagon plans to minimize possible civilian losses. Despite reports that Syrian commanders are moving forces and equipment to civilian neighborhoods, Dempsey said that the postponement of the planned US attack would not reduce its effectiveness. He said that US commanders could adjust to changes on the ground and amend missile launch commands accordingly. He said that he had told President Obama the same thing.

Dempsey said that the US could not prevent Assad from again using chemical weapons, but emphasized that the US Army had "other options", if the first US missile strike on Syria failed to deter Assad from responding with attacks against US friends in the Middle East. He said that the other options included plans to protect critical allies, apparently referring to Israel, Jordan, and Turkey.

The Obama administration has decided to play on every string with Senators and Representatives, from patriotism to love of Israel, to ensure that President Obama will not suffer a humiliating defeat in the vote to authorize a strike on Syria, in ten days, like the one that UK Prime Minister David Cameron suffered in Parliament, which voted against intervening in Syria. One of the key phrases in Obama's campaign is that a vote against an attack on Syria would be "catastrophic".

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who participated in the conference call with the legislators, said that Congress was facing a "Munich moment", a reference to the 1938 Munich Conference, where to appease Adolf Hitler, France, the UK, and Italy, agreed to hand over most of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany. That decision has gone down in history as cowardice in the face of political thuggery. The fact that the Obama administration has used the Munich analogy indicates that President Obama sees the confrontation with Syria as a historic necessity, even though he has decided to share with Congress the responsibility for military action against the Assad regime.

Kerry, who has become the administration's chief advocate of an attack on Syria, reiterated the atrocities of the chemical attack against Syrian civilians on August 21. He emphasized the potential threat of chemicals weapons to Israel, Jordan, and Turkey. The mention of Israel is part of the administration's decision in principle to play the Israel card to persuade pro-Israel legislators to vote in favor of an attack against the Assad regime.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 3, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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