1/30/13 USrael Bombs Syria: "Damascus the Road to Iran

US strategy: Damascus is the road to Tehran

"Israelis notified the Americans about the attack": translation, US approved its proxy's moves
U.S. Says Arms Shipment Was Target as Israel Bombed Syria
1/31/13 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/world/middleeast/syria-says-it-was-hit...
JERUSALEM — Israeli warplanes carried out a strike deep inside Syrian territory on Wednesday, American officials reported, saying they believed the target was a convoy carrying sophisticated antiaircraft weaponry on the outskirts of Damascus that was intended for the Hezbollah Shiite militia in Lebanon.The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Israelis had notified the Americans about the attack...Jerusalem has long maintained a policy of silence on pre-emptive military strikes....The Syrian statement, carried by state television, said an unidentified number of Israeli jets flying below radar had hit the scientific research facility in the Damascus suburbs, killing two people and causing “huge material damage.”...
Israel’s air force chief, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, speaking at an international space conference in Israel, said Tuesday that Syria was a prime example of “the weakening governance in neighboring countries that heralds greater exposure to hostile activity. We work every day in order to lessen the immediate threats, to create better conditions so that we will be victorious in future wars. This is a struggle in which the Air Force is a central player, from here to thousands of kilometers away.”[...]

Israeli Warplanes Make Strike on Weapons Convoy in Syria
NPR NewsHour ANALYSIS   Jan. 30, 2013 EmbedVideo('5603', '514', '320')
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/jan-june13/israel_01-30.html
Summary
Though Israel has not confirmed the news, Syrian media and U.S. officials say that Israeli war planes struck a convoy carrying missiles or missile parts inside Syria.
Gwen Ifill talks to Margaret Warner reporting from Jersualem
WARNER: I went in actually to see the [Israeli] minister of intelligence and atomic energy last week, Dan Meridor. And he said if the Assad regime falls, it will be bad for the Iranian regime. And he said, Iran needs to lose this game in Syria...Iran will be less emboldened if they lose Assad, their key Arab ally in the region.
IFILL: So, is it fair to say, Margaret... all of this circles back to Iran?
WARNER: You know, it does, Gwen. It really does....

The Power of War Propaganda on Iran, and How It Works
80% of Americans think Iran’s nuclear program threatens the US
8/1/12, John Glaser, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32048.htm

Pentagon: America will be ready if needed in Syria
4/19/12 http://www.omaha.com/article/20120419/AP13/304199905
Dempsey said if called upon, the military would be ready to act and the services are working on ways to try to halt the violence.

Barak: US 'surgical operation' plan against Iran
1/25/13 http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/25/ehud-barak-at-davos-u-s...
1/26/13 http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?ID=301003
In a televised interview Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Newsweek and The Daily Beast noted the U.S. administration’s reluctance to involve itself in another Muslim world war and asked if there were any way Israel could go to war with Iran that did not drag in the U.S...
“I don’t see it as a binary kind of situation: either they [the Iranians] turn nuclear or we have a fully fledged war the size of the Iraqi war or even the war in Afghanistan. What we basically say is that if worse comes to worst, there should be a readiness and an ability to launch a surgical operation that will delay them by a significant time frame and probably convince them that it won’t work because the world is determined to block them. We of course prefer diplomacy will do. We of course prefer some morning we wake up and see the Arab Spring translated into Farsi jumped over the Gulf to the streets of Tehran, but you cannot build a plan on it. And we should be able to do it" Barak said. That is, stage a surgical series of strikes.

Israel Deploys Missiles as Netanyahu Sees Syria Collapse
1/27/13 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-27/israel-deploys-missiles-as-neta...
Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom told Army Radio “We must look around us, at what is happening in Iran and its proxies and at what is happening in other areas, with the deadly weapons in Syria, which is increasingly coming apart,” Netanyahu told his Cabinet, according to an e-mailed statement.

1/28/13 NYT Israel Girds for Attacks as Syria Falls Apart
At least one Iron Dome missile defense battery was deployed in northern Israel amid reports that Syria's chemical weapons could possibly fall into Hezbollah's hands.

Obama congratulates Netanyahu on elections win
1/28/13 http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4338219,00.htm
President Obama called Prime Minister Netanyahu and congratulated him on his elections victory after the Likud-Beiteinu list won 31 Knesset seats..."The president indicated the United States looks forward to working with the next government. He reiterated his commitment to the deep and enduring bonds between the U.S. and Israel, and pledged to work closely on our shared agenda for peace and security in the Middle East"

Israel's Iron Dome is hero of the hour, but bigger challenges lie ahead
11/23/12...January 26, 2013 www.haaretz.com/ weekend/ week-s-end/ israel-s-iron-dome-is-the-hero-of-the-hour-but-bigger-challenges-lie- ahead.premium-1.480085 -

Netanyahu thanks Obama for 'Dome' missile funding
8/18/11 AFP: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/
Since 2007 the United States has allocated close to $3 trillion per year to Israel devoted entirely to purchase of US weapons, under a bilateral memorandum valid until 2017.

US to announce additional massive Iron Dome package
5/13/12 http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=269763
Defense Minister Ehud Barak is scheduled to meet with US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Pentagon on Thursday... talks with Panetta will also focus on Iran’s continued pursuit of nuclear capability.The new aid package comes after the Obama administration gave Israel $205 million in 2011 and on top of the $3 billion Israel receives in annual U.S. foreign aid

Technology enabling US to build improved missile defense systems
12/14/12 http://www.stripes.com/news/technology-enabling-us-to-build-improved-mis...
“Iron Dome performed — I think it’s fair to say — remarkably well during the recent escalation,” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta during a joint news conference late last month with his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak... since the conflict was quelled by a Nov. 21 cease-fire, Iron Dome has been credited with averting a ground conflict in Gaza by preventing the kind of civilian casualties in Israel that could have pressured the government into escalating its offensive efforts. More than 150 Palestinians were killed during the eight-day conflict. By contrast, six deaths were reported in Israel... the success of Israel’s Iron Dome system was touted by experts as a potential game-changer... Riki Ellison, chairman of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance lobbying group said “Israel didn’t go to war. They didn’t go into combat formation and go into Gaza. It was a peaceful solution.”...Ellison said a revamped Iron Dome system could prove significant against mortar attacks in Afghanistan or in Syria, where airstrikes have led to numerous civilian casualties....

Peres: Israel Needs US for Existence
“We cannot exist alone. For our existence we need the friendship of the United States of America. It doesn’t sound easy, but this is the truth”
President Shimon Peres, Nov. 2011 speech to Jewish leaders urging them to meet US demands, broadcast by Israel Army Radio cited in Leon T. Hadar's Israel's Post-American Future, http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/israels-postamerican-future

Ensuring Israel's Qualitative Military Edge, QME
Andrew J. Shapiro, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
Remarks to The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Washington, DC,
11/4/11 http://www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/rm/176684.htm
As President Obama said: “the United States sees the historic changes sweeping the Middle East and North Africa as a moment of great challenge, but also a moment of opportunity for greater peace and security for the entire region, including the State of Israel.”..our security relationship with Israel is broader, deeper and more intense than ever before. Prime Minister Netanyahu said the security cooperation between our two countries is “unprecedented.”... Yet, with such significant change in the region, we must continue to forge an ever closer relationship. As Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs, one of my primary responsibilities is to preserve Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge, or QME....I want to talk about why...a Strong Partnership Supports U.S. National Security. So let me first turn to why this relationship is so important to the United States ...The most direct tool the United States uses to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge is security assistance. For some three decades, Israel has been the leading beneficiary of U.S. security assistance distributed through the Foreign Military Financing program, FMF...each year Israel accounts for 60 percent of U.S. security assistance funding distributed through FMF....Our total FMF funding amounts to $5.5 billion per year, of which more than 80 percent goes to the supporting our partners and allies in the Middle East.
Ensuring Israel’s military strength and its superiority in the region, is critical to regional stability and as a result is fundamentally a core interest of the United States. 
The United States and Israel also see eye to eye on host of strategic questions. Indeed, a new Washington Institute report by Robert Blackwill and Walter Slocombe articulates the strategic benefits of the relationship for the United States...” Israel is a vital ally and serves as a cornerstone of our regional security commitments. From confronting Iranian aggression to working together to combat transnational terrorist networks, to stopping nuclear proliferation and supporting democratic change and economic development in the region both our strategic outlook, as well as our national interests are strongly in sync...
The Iranian regime continues to be committed to upsetting peace and stability in the region and beyond. Iran’s nuclear program is a serious concern, particularly in light of Iran’s expansion of the program over the past several years in defiance of its international obligations. As Secretary Clinton said, “for Israel, there is no greater strategic threat than the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran.” In response the Obama administration has rallied the international community and built an unprecedented coalition to impose the most far-reaching sanctions Iran has ever faced. Today, Iran finds itself increasingly isolated from the international community, making it ever harder for it to acquire materials for its nuclear and missile programs.
However, the dangers emanating from Iran go well beyond its nuclear program. This was clearly demonstrated last month with the uncovering of the Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador on U.S. soil...Iran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas, enables these groups to fire rockets indiscriminately at Israeli population centers. Iran’s extensive arms smuggling operations, many of which originate in Tehran and Damascus, weaken regional security and disrupt efforts to establish lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors. As change sweeps the region, Iran has and should be expected to continue its attempts to exploit much positive change for its own cynical ambitions.
Iran’s support also extends to Syria, which has long threatened Israel’s security. In the last few months, the true nature of the Syrian regime has been vividly displayed with its brutal oppression of the Syrian people. Violence is escalating in the country rooted above all in the regime’s refusal to allow a real political transition to go forward...
But despite the instability in Syria, its support for Lebanese Hezbollah continues virtually unhindered. Syria remains the vital link between Hezbollah and Iran. The Syrian regime continues to provide critical military and logistical support to Hezbollah, including safe passage for Iranian assistance to the group via overland transit routes. Hezbollah also maintains a permanent presence in Syria via its offices in Damascus. And there is growing concern in the region that Syria may be providing sophisticated missile technology to Hezbollah.
We must recognize that the ever-evolving technology of war is making it harder to guarantee Israel’s security. For six decades, Israelis have guarded their borders vigilantly. But advances in rocket technology require new levels of U.S.-Israel cooperation...
Maintaining Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge is therefore a multi-faceted endeavor that includes more than security assistance or ensuring Israel has access to technologically advanced defense systems. It also involves building operational capability through exercises, training, and personnel exchanges. It involves a close bilateral relationship with constant consultations. It includes taking Israel’s QME into consideration when conducting defense cooperation with other countries in the region. And lastly it involves maintaining and strengthening our very close ties with countries throughout the region...above and beyond the $3 billion in Foreign Military Financing we provide...[....]

NB: 'justifying' what's already widely known, US old m.o. training & supporting 'islamists'/'al qaeda'/MB while prepping public opinion for increasing US state terrorism

U.S. effort to undercut Islamist rebels in Syria appears to have failed
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/01/28/v-print/181279/us-effort-to-underc...
By David Enders | McClatchy Newspapers January 28, 2013 05:43:09 PM
[ digest notes]
U.S.-supported military councils across Syria to unite the hundreds of groups fighting to topple President Bashar Assad and coordinate the provision of aid to secular rebel groups appears largely to have failed. Rebels said U.S. officials pressed for the creation of the councils in each of Syria’s 14 provinces in response to rebel demands for arms and other support. In December, representatives of various rebel groups met in Turkey and elected a 30-member Supreme Military Council, which then selected defected Syrian Gen. Salim Idriss as its head.
But Syrian activists say the councils have become the subject of derision and mockery inside Syria in the weeks since and that other groups, including the al Qaida-linked Nusra Front, have assumed the central coordinating position that U.S. officials had hoped the military councils would have.“I do not hear much about the military councils,” said Jeff White, a military analyst with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “I also do not see yet any indication the Supreme Military Council or regional commands are doing anything yet.”Members of the military councils have blamed the United States and other nations for failing to provide support, saying that without aid, the councils were unable to gain influence over the fighting inside Syria....The failure of the military councils to more quickly organize and win influence has undercut what U.S. hoped would be a system that would allow the US and its allies to direct aid toward rebel groups that favor a democratic post-Assad Syria...and away from groups such as Nusra that favor a government based on Islamic law.But Islamist groups remain at the forefront of recent fighting, while the military councils are barely functioning throughout the country...
Syria’s presumed [US declared] government in exile, the Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, (NCROF) similarly failed to take hold – another huge reversal for U.S. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the primary proponent [engineer] of the NCROF coalition cobbled together after Clinton publicly announced the US could no longer support a predecessor, the Syrian National Council.(SNC) [another failed U.S. backed 'syrian' govt. in exile group]
But after [US arm-twisting] dozens of countries recognized the new group as the successor to Assad’s regime, it, too, has failed to win influence. It missed its own deadline last week to name an interim prime minister, and U.S. engagement with the organization, which reached its height prior to the U.S. presidential election in November, dropped off after the group’s leader, Sheik Mouaz Khatib, criticized the U.S. designation of the Nusra Front as an international terrorist group that is indistinguishable from al Qaida in Iraq.
Syrian (US organized and funded) activists say U.S. plans to diminish the role of Islamist groups in anti-Assad fighting resulted in the Islamists gaining more power.
“The Islamist battalions are the only battalions that work on the ground,” said Omar Shakir, an anti-government activist from Homs, the country’s third largest city.
“The Islamist battalions have their own sources (US supported client states) for money and weapons and really fighting well against the regime. So after the U.S. cut support, the military council became powerless and most fighters are joining Islamist battalions.”...which include Nusra and another Islamist brigade, Ahrar al Sham, at the forefront of the fighting across Syria. More moderate Islamist groups, such as the Farouq Brigades and Liwa Tawhid, both of which are believed to be allied with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, also operate across the country. Nusra is believed to have as many as 5,000 men under arms, and Sham is thought to be larger, making the Islamist-led groups the largest fighting organizations of the multi-faceted Syrian opposition.

"Nuclear Iran" is "approaching": Kissinger
English.news.cn 2013-01-24 http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-01/24/c_132125506.htm
DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned Thursday that a "nuclear Iran" is "approaching" and urged relevant stakeholders to decide how to respond sooner rather than later."For 15 years, the permanent members of the Security Council have declared that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable, but it is approaching," the veteran former architect of U.S. foreign policy told a meeting at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF)."I believe this point will be reached in a very foreseeable future,"

NB: amazing, courageous, investigative journalism - thoroughly documented research connects all the dots - don't miss it!
The Syrian opposition: who's doing the talking?
7/12/12 by Charlie Skelton, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/12/syrian-opposition-do...
Director of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Rami Abdulrahman... 12/6/11 Photograph: Reuters

Syria Uprising: Mossad, Blackwater And CIA 'Led Operations In Homs'
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/03/07/syria-uprising-mossad-blackwa...
Salim Harba, a Syrian expert in strategic affairs, told Al-Manar the office established: “Under American-Gulf sponsorship includes American, French, and Gulf – specifically from Qatar and Saudi Arabia – intelligence agents, as well as CIA, Mossad, and Blackwater agents and members of the Syrian Transitional Council. Qatar also made deals with Israeli and American companies to arm the armed groups, and Gulf countries have been financing the agreements.”

"US intends to deploy MOP on B-2 bombers"
Massive US bunker-buster available, after delays
07/26/2012 By Yaakov Katz http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=279062
In the face of possible military intervention in Syria and a strike against Iran, the United States has announced that its largest bunker-buster missile capable of penetrating underground facilities is operational and ready for use if needed. Called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), also known as the GBU-57, said to be able to penetrate around 60 meters, the 30,000-pound bomb – which contains over 5,000 pounds of explosives – originally designed to take out hardened fortifications in Iran and North Korea....

NB: these are links cited in Ben Schreiner's article excerpted below: "Iran Nuclear Threat: A Phantom Menace"
Netanyahu draws "red line" on Iran's nuclear program
9/27/12 http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/27/us-un-assembly-israel-iran-idU...
(Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Holding up a cartoon-like drawing of a bomb with a fuse, literally drew a red line just below a label reading "final stage" to a bomb, in which Iran was 90 percent along the path of having sufficient weapons-grade material saying Tehran will be on the brink of a nuclear weapon in less than a year, by spring or summer of 2013

Imminent Iran nuclear threat? A timeline of warnings since 1979.
11/08/11 Scott Peterson, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/1108/Imminent-Iran-nucle...
Breathless warnings that the Islamic Republic will soon be at the brink of nuclear capability have been made for decades. Here is a chronicle of predictions.
Though Israel had secretly done business with the Islamic Republic after the 1979 revolution, seeking to cultivate a Persian wedge against its local Arab enemies, the early 1990s saw a concerted effort by Tel Aviv to portray Iran as a new and existential threat.
1992: Israeli parliamentarian Benjamin Netanyahu tells his colleagues that Iran is 3 to 5 years from being able to produce a nuclear weapon – and that the threat had to be "uprooted by an international front headed by the US."
1992: Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres tells French TV that Iran was set to have nuclear warheads by 1999. "Iran is the greatest threat and greatest problem in the Middle East," Peres warned, "because it seeks the nuclear option while holding a highly dangerous stance of extreme religious militanCY."
1992: Joseph Alpher, a former official of Israel's Mossad spy agency, says "Iran has to be identified as Enemy No. 1." Iran's nascent nuclear program, he told The New York Times, "really gives Israel the jitters."

The Iran Nuke Threat: Phantom Menace
1/30/13 by Ben Schreiner, http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/01/the-iran-nuke-threat-phantom-menace/#m...
They say you can’t kill that which has never lived. It’s useful advice when analyzing the persistence of the so-called “Iranian nuclear threat.” According to a report in McClatchy, “Israeli intelligence officials now estimate that Iran won’t be able to build a nuclear weapon before 2015 or 2016.” Recall that just this past September Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was theatrically warning Iran would achieve nuclear weapons capability by [2013] “next spring, at most by next summer.” < http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/27/us-un-assembly-israel-iran-idU... > Netanyahu has made a career of warning Iran is about to go nuclear – claiming as early as 1992 that Iran was 3 to 5 years away from being able to produce a bomb. < ">http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/1108/Imminent-Iran-nuclear-threat-A-timeline-of-warnings-since-1979/Israel-paints-Iran-as-Enemy-No.-1-1992>
The fact that Iran has made no run towards a bomb should come as no surprise.. both U.S. and Israeli intelligence estimates have repeatedly found that Iran is not pursuing a bomb.
Moreover..“The Islamic Republic,” Khamenei declared back in early 2012, “logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.”...
Israel has perhaps as many as 200 nuclear weapons. It is unknown precisely just how many bombs Israel possesses because it refuses to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (which Iran has done), or allow in international inspectors (which Iran continues to do)... the U.S. – the only nation to actually deploy nuclear weapons – is in the midst of upgrading its arsenal of 5,113 nuclear warheads. With conservative estimates approaching $400 billion, the Washington Post reports...
It is useful to compare Washington’s military posture in the Gulf to that of Tehran. As an April Pentagon report found, Iran’s defense doctrine remains one of self-defense. Iran’s military capacity, the report notes, is designed specifically to “slow an invasion” and “force a diplomatic solution to hostilities.”The stationing of the stealth fighters in the UAE, along with a naval armada in the waters of the Persian Gulf, makes it abundantly clear what the U.S. defense doctrine is designed for.
It’s clear the Iranian nuclear threat is but a phantom menace. And that, in part, explains its enduring presence. You can’t kill that which has never lived.

Rand Corp. 'sectarian war' strategy
U.S. Strategy in the Muslim World After 9/11... "15 Sep 2010 ... RAND Project AIR FORCE (PAF) ...suggests exploiting Sunni, Shiite and Arab, non-Arab divisions..."www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB151/index1.html

"... Now it's time to get on with Plan B - to plunge Syria into civil war...."
Pepe Escobar 2/10/12 http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NB07Ak02.html
...A Greek choir of the "disgusted" and the "outraged" predictably greeted BRICS members Russia and China double veto to the UN Security Council resolution imposing regime change in Syria... backed by that haven of democracy, the GCC (Gulf Counter-Revolution Council)...Hillary Clinton calling the double veto a "travesty"... duly incited "friends of democratic Syria" to keep working for regime change ... the object of the resolution...working to create a [US] NATOGCC "Friends of the Syrian People Group" in charge of implementing the regime change plan. Right on cue, Paris puppet Burhan Ghalyun, head of the Syrian National Council (SNC) opposition umbrella group summoned countries “friendly to the Syrian people”... US, Britain, France, Israel, GCC members Qatar and Saudi Arabia. With “friends” like these “the Syrian people” don’t need enemies. US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice – a top R2P aka humanitarian bombing cheerleader – called the Russia-China veto “disgusting”.Even the venerable stones of the Umayyad mosque in Damascus know that only Washington has the right to wield veto power at the UN... Now it's time to get on with Plan B - to plunge Syria into civil war... [...]

"The goal of the SCC is to become the bridge between the U.S. officials and the Syrian people"
Syrian Organizations in US form Syrian Coordination Committee (SCC)
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/syrian-organizations-in-the-unit...
www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/03/idUS256973+03-Aug-2011+PRN2011080

U.S. secretly backed Syrian opposition groups WikiLeaks cables
By Craig Whitlock, Published April 17, 2011
http://www.washingtonpost.c"The Tide of War Is Receding"
Obama speech June 22, 2011
om/world/us-secretly-backed-syrian-opposition-groups-cables-released-by-wikileaks-show/2011/04/14/AF1p9hwD_story.html

US "smart power" merged soft & hard power:

Syrian Opposition is a conglomeration of Western-backed NGO “human rights activists”
http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/syrian-opposition-is-a-conglo...
Syria was included in George Bush’s “Axis of Evil” slated for destabilization and regime change US General Wesley Clark said in a 2007 speech

Radan Ziadeh, The EU’s Policy on Promoting Democracy in the Arab World, National Endowment for Democracy, Washington, DC ; Executive Director The Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies (SCPSS}, Washington, D.C.

Syrian Uprising: Its Impact on Iran and Possibility of Civil War
Riad Kahwaji, SCPSS Board of Directors, CEO, INEGMA, 12/20/11//www.scpss.org/index.php?pid=228
...Syria has been the other strong side of the Iranian axis in the region engaged in a Cold War against a U.S.-led alliance that includes several Western and Arab states. Iran has worked on building this axis since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and includes two strong non-state actors: Hamas and Hizbullah. Syria has been the bridge for Iran in the Arab world and losing the Assad regime would break this bridge and disconnect Iran from its strongest regional player: Hizbullah in Lebanon. So the collapse of the Syrian regime will destroy Iran's current strategic position in the region...

Iran's economic stake in Syria
1/4/13 By Majid Rafizadeh  http://www.scpss.org/index.php?pid=481
...Iran has tremendous geopolitical and strategic interests in Syria, but the country has additionally become a crucial economic lifeline for Iran. As both countries become increasingly isolated from the international community their economic ties have become exceedingly more important...billions of dollars in Iranian investments have been suspended with the current crisis in Syria.

"The Tide of War Is Receding"
Obama, June 22, 2011

Speak Loudly And Carry A Smaller Stick
http://www.npr.org/2013/01/22/169980365/obama-overseas-speak-loudly-and-...
"We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war...America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe"
Obama, 2013 inaugural address

New 'Rule Book' to Set Parameters for Targeted Killings
December 5, 2012 http://www.rand.org/blog/2012/12/prospects-for-a-rule-book-on-targeted-k...
"One of the things we've got to do is put a legal architecture in place, and we need Congressional help to do that, to make sure not only that I am not reined in, but that no president is reined in terms of decisions we're making," Obama said in an appearance on "The Daily Show" last month, according to the New York Times...
But both the nature of the authorities to conduct direct action operations against terrorists, and the overarching strategy of what these operations should be expected to achieve, remain opaque. And as U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq dwindle, analysts suggest the use of direct-action counterterrorism techniques is likely to increase....
CIA drone strikes get pass in targeted-killing operations counterterrorism ‘playbook’
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-drone-strikes-...

for more background see: 12/6/12 US Sudden, Desperate Escalation of War on Syria
http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/412
digest intro: Latest US pretext, Syrian WMD, the same bogus pretext used against Iraq, signals preparations for military attacks on Iran. US engineered military war attacks would provoke response by US enemies and potentially all-out regional if not all-out world war Reports below support this analysis. Also in this issue, hard evidence of US-Soros NGO soft power
wars (also see below)