Published in the Times of Israel (Hit Hezbollah too)
The idea is not to bring the Assad regime down, but to deter Maher al-Assad from ever using chemical weapons again. Mr. Obama needs to hit their 4th army and the Republican Guard hard enough for Assad to view his arsenal of WMD, going forward, as a liability and not an asset to be exploited against children and women.
It would be wise for the Obama Administration to consider certain aspects of Assad’s personality and some other factors on the ground as the US embarks on its mission.
First, Assad will threaten the US, Israel, their cats, and dogs in a fiery speech after all the licking he gets. Do not mind him, Assad cannot even stop his wife from shopping. The bravado is part of a propaganda to elicit fear and the past incessant Israeli spanking by its Air Force have already exposed the mouse that he is. Assad is only strong when faced with the very weak.
Second, Assad will view any soft air strikes that cannot seriously damage his armies as a weak response. Besides the speech, if the air strikes are not damaging enough, he will embark on a ruthless air campaign to destroy as many civilian neighborhoods as possible. It is imperative that military airports in Syria become the targets of the air campaign to curb his appetite to attack the helpless. Short of this, Assad will take his anger on the innocent children and women again through conventional weapons like the SCUD missiles and the Cluster bombs.
Third, Hezbollah has waged a relentless campaign of violence against the Syrian, the Lebanese, and the Israeli people. Hitting Hezbollah in Syria will have a moral impact on Hezbollah in Lebanon. It has been six years since Nasrallah has tasted defeat and it is time to pull him by his beard into the corner of the classroom. The man is a hairy ball of arrogance and violence with a bad habit of bouncing at the wrong time in the wrong direction and against almost anyone.
Fourth, the Jihadists may view this air campaign as support of their own. It is important for the US State Department to issue a warning against the Salafists, the Islamists, and al-Qaeda that the US is here only to protect the innocent children and women of Syria. It is also important for the US State Department to utilize al-Hurra TV to express the reasons behind the air campaign to the people of Syria by expressing its outrage over the chemical attack of Assad.
Fifth, please do not make any appearance on al-Jazeera. Any exclusive appearance will be viewed as the US supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and the MB will spin the matter in the Arab world to make people believe the US has come at its invitation.
Sixth, some will defect from the Assad army to join the FSA because this would be the first time ever the US has attacked Syria directly (Except for one time in Bou Kamal on the Syrian-Iraqi borders during the liberation of Iraq from Saddam, but not from the Mullahs). This is a historic event for Syrians who believed up until now that Assad is untouchable and invincible. The US and Saudi Arabia must prepare the FSA to receive them with open arms. They are non-Islamists, therefore priceless.
Seventh, the US Destroyers must remain off the coast of Syria after the beating. Mr. Obama will have a far easier time with regard to Syria if he let Assad know he is watching him. It is the nature of the Assad beast to refuse the carrots, but to fear the stick in the form of US might and power. If those Destroyers remain anchored off Syria’s coast, Assad may be as silent as Qaddafi was after President Reagan demonstrated his intolerance towards his terror in 1983.
Alternatively, this unprecedented attack may turn him into a worst monster, which requires the US to watch him like a hawk because he still has a pulse, a finger, and tons of missiles of mass destruction.
Let us all hope Maher al-Assad catches a missile because that is the best deterrent to any chemical attacks in the future. It would also temper his brother and may force a political solution to save Syria’s children and women.