The Iranian-Syrian flotillas charade
By: Elias Bejjani

June 27/2010

In the aftermath of the Turkish flotilla fiasco and the extensive world media coverage that followed the confrontational bloody incident portraying the alleged theatrical Turkish heroism in standing up to the Israelis, the two notorious rogue and terrorist countries, Syria and Iran, who falsely and deceptively claim to be the actual custodians of the Palestinian cause, pulled the rug from under the feet of the Turkish Government. Their initial overt reactions were to publicly hail the Turkish heroism in a bid to maintain their so called "resistance image", while in reality and covertly they were so threatened, angry, envious and somewhat confused.

The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), out of arrogance, bravado, while camouflaging deceitfulness, and out of a mere show off, bragging and camouflaging plotting mind, offered to militarily guard all ships heading to the Gaza Strip, while Tehran's mullahs started immediately announcing plans to send humanitarian aid ships to Gaza and challenge the Israeli marine blockade.

At the same time, they instructed their terrorist proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah, to flood the media with fabricated threats against Israel and to sponsor flotillas from Lebanon as soon as possible in a bid to gradually discredit all the praise that the Turks had garnered.

Hezbollah's scheme in this flotillas charade is to hide behind a ship that carries only women. Hezbollah's security apparatus assigned the task to Mrs. Samar Al Hajj, wife of  Ahmad Al Hajj, one of four retired pro-Syrian Lebanese high ranking security officers accused of planning and executing the assassination of late Lebanese Prime Minister Raffic Hariri and committing horrible atrocities during Syria's occupation of Lebanon. Meanwhile, the close relation of Mrs. Hajj and her husband with both Syria and Hezbollah is well known all over Lebanon.

Mrs. Hajj with other females tagged falsely as volunteers all loyal to Hezbollah started a Hezbollah master minded campaign with the aim to sail on the "Mariam" ship to Gaza Strip with diapers, milk, medical supplies as they declared. Mrs. Hajj and her female group told "The Times" earlier this week that they all represent themselves, are without political affiliations and include adherents to all the world’s main religions, including Judaism. 

Hezbollah, using its Taqiyya doctrine, publicly denied any role in any Gaza-bound aid missions, and said in a statement: “We do not want Israel to use the party’s participation as an excuse to attack the boats, but we praise all initiatives aiming to lift Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip”.

The Lebanese government that is fully manipulated by Hezbollah stated that it could not give permission to any ship to head to Israel, because she is an enemy, but will allow the ship to sail to any other friendly country, including Cyprus.

Cyprus responded by refusing to take any part in this Iranian-Syrian ship fashion charade and reiterated its previous decision, not to allow any ship to head to the Gaza Strip via its ports. Reliable sources in Beirut said that Hezbollah was fully behind the mission and carried all its expenses.

The Syrian Baathist leadership in fear of any potential Israeli military reprisal sent one of its civil ships that is owned by a close relative of President Bachar Al Assad to the Lebanese Tripoli Port and gave it the camouflaging name "Naji Al Ali".

The Syrian intelligence service instructed its Lebanese and Palestinian mercenaries in Lebanon to carry out the mission and deny any ties with Syria. The ownership of this Syrian ship was confirmed by numerous Lebanese and Arab dailies.

Through many top notch officials, including civil and military, Israel warned the Lebanese government, Syria and Iran and all those who explicitly or deviously encouraged adopted, covered, protected, financed, or participated in any of these so called aid ship missions that she would use all appropriate measures to preserve her sovereignty and the safety of  her people. In a statement after a meeting of the Israeli mini-cabinet, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, “The Lebanese government is responsible for preventing these ships from carrying arms, military materials, weapons, ammunition and explosives". Israel said she would intercept Lebanese and Iranian ships that tried to break the Israeli siege of the Palestinian territory.

This solid and clear-cut Israeli stance delivered the needed message and all those hypocrites in Syria, Iran and Lebanon re-calculated and re-evaluated their theatrical follies. They felt the Israeli heat and backed off. One might wonder why they changed their challenging and bellicose positions, lowered the tone of their empty threats and muffled their funny and childish bragging? The answer is simple: power and seriousness.

The first response of submission came from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Iran. The mullahs decided to scrap plans to send an aid ship to the Gaza Strip following the Israeli warnings, the Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported on Friday. This change of tone came after the Iranian Red Crescent earlier in June decided to plan an aid shipment to Gaza. IRNA quoted the International Conference for Supporting the Palestinian Intifada’s Secretary General Hussein Sheikh al-Islam as saying that the sailing of the aid ship was canceled to prevent giving Israel a pretext to attack it. The aid would now be sent to Gaza via another route, he said, without elaborating.

This sudden change of all Iranian plans shows with no doubt that Iran, Syria and Hezbollah are not genuine at all in their support to the Palestinians in Gaza or in any other country. They are using the Palestinian cause as a pretense for their actual schemes of expansionism, terrorism and destabilization of peace and stability in the whole Middle East.  In reality, the Palestinian cause is mere merchandise for them, no more no less. They are greedy and opportunistic merchants who are always ready to sell and buy when it is convenient and the price is right. When they have no morals, mercy, affection or any human motives towards their own people how could they be different with the Palestinians or other people.

Above all and most importantly the Iranian mood change came as a result of the forceful and deterrent language that the Israelis used.  In fact, this is the core and essence that led to the sudden "stance change" in Syria, Iran and Lebanon. In reality, this is the only language that they comprehend and the only language that must be used when communicating with them.

Hopefully the free world countries, especially the USA, and the European countries, will learn from this Israeli-Iranian scenario and stop appeasing and cajoling Syria, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and all other terrorist and radical groups.

In conclusion, the only language that rogue countries and organizations know and understand is the language of strength and force. All other means are futile and a complete - and an existentially dangerous- waste of time. 
Elias Bejjani
Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
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