My request to interview the Israeli Foreign Minister about Syria was granted, but I was surprised to find John Kerry at the appointment. “Israel and the U.S. have such a close relationship,” he explained, “that each can speak for the other. I rarely have to ask for guidance, so you will get the same answers from either of us, and the same honesty, too.”
RIGHT: John Kerry recites the Pledge of Allegiance. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Here is a transcript of our interview.
Barb Weir: Mr. Kerry, you have said that Russia’s sale and installation of S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Syria poses a danger to Israel. The S-300 is a defensive weapon that can only be used when Syrian territory is violated. How does that endanger Israel?
John Kerry: Exactly, Ms. Weir. Israel has to be able to send its fighter aircraft, drones and missiles into Syria and sometimes to bomb Syrian targets in order to maintain peace in the region. How can Israel do that if antiaircraft weapons endanger Israeli pilots and automated equipment? And suppose the U.S. and NATO want to create a no-fly zone over Syria. How can they do that if Syria is able to defend its airspace?
Barb Weir: So are you saying that Syria should not be able to defend itself?
John Kerry: Syria already possesses radar, which lets them know when any aircraft enters their airspace. They also have armour plating on their tanks and other military vehicles. They even possess steel helmets and body armour for their soldiers. All these defensive measures endanger Israel and its right to attack Syria at will. Do you know how frustrating it is to hit a target and have the bullet bounce off? To be fair, such defenses should also be removed, but right now our concern is the antiaircraft systems.
Barb Weir: If you feel that way about defensive systems, how do you feel about offensive weapons, such as ballistic missiles and attack aircraft?
John Kerry: Obviously, we think that all weapons should be in trusted Israeli hands, but we’re less worried about offensive weapons.
Barb Weir: How so?
John Kerry: The use of offensive weapons provides Israel with a pretext to unleash total destruction and acquire more territory at the same time, which is part of the plan anyway. So they really constitute a potential opportunity.
Barb Weir: But don’t they endanger Israel?
John Kerry: Israelis, yes. Israel, no. There’s a big difference. Sometimes it’s necessary to sacrifice Israelis for the sake of Israel and its growing territory. We prefer to sacrifice non-Israelis, but there’s something to be said for sacrificing Israeli lives and especially civilian lives. It unifies the nation and results in more donations and more aid from the U.S. There’s really not much of a down side.
Barb Weir: Then what are Israel’s objectives in Syria?
John Kerry: The same as U.S. objectives – to destroy the country and have Syrians and other Arabs and jihadist terrorists fighting amongst themselves for years or decades, just like Iraq.
Barb Weir: You mean the U.S. objective is not to bring democracy?
John Kerry: [after laughing uncontrollably for several minutes] I’m sorry, Barb. I didn’t expect that question. Unfortunately, uncontrolled democracy gives power to the people, and you never know what they might decide. Chile decided on Allende. Palestinians decided on Hamas. Democracies only work when the result is what we have already decided. Not all democracies are as well controlled as in the U.S. and Israel. We can’t really have democracy.
Barb Weir: So what are the territorial gains you have in mind?
John Kerry: Mainly south Lebanon. You know that Israel’s been working on that for quite awhile. And if Hezbollah gets its hands on the S-300 systems, Israel won’t be able to fly over Lebanon and attack at will. The natural Israel border is the Litani river, although Israel would eventually have to be able to hold both sides of it and all of its watershed basin as well. It’s all part of Israeli peacekeeping. It’s something of a burden, but someone has to do it.
Barb Weir: Have you asked the Syrians? I’m sure they would be happy to take over the job – especially if it means being able to send their planes at will over Israeli territory.
John Kerry: Thanks for coming, Barb. This interview is over. Let me know when you need an Israeli opinion again.
Barb Weir: Thank you, Mr. Kerry. Actually, I would be interested to have the U.S. view.
John Kerry: Sure thing, Barb. I’ll ask Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] or Avigdor [Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman] to get in touch with you.