So now unrest in the Arab world has spread to Syria, where its dictator Bashir Assad is behaving just like Libya’s dictator (funny how dictators all seem to behave the same way): killing his own citizens in large numbers. Not a new thing for Syria, of course.
What to do? It seems unlikely that the Arab League and the UN Security Council will call for action, so Obama will be paralyzed from the neck up.
So if we want to see a no-fly zone over Syria, there’s one obvious option: Have Israel do it! They’ve shown before they’re quite good at imposing no-fly zones over Syria. I wrote a bit about the 1982 Israel-Syria engagement in my Reagan book:
Armed with the latest Soviet tanks, warplanes and anti-aircraft missile systems, Syrian forces engaged Israel on the ground and in the skies over Lebanon. The outcome was one-sided. Israel destroyed Syria’s entire air defense system and shot down 92 Syrian warplanes, including dozens of MIG-23s, the Soviets’ best, without the loss of a single Israeli plane. On the ground Israel enjoyed considerable success destroying Syrian T-72 tanks. This represented a startling turnabout from the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, where Israel experienced considerable losses in a more even battle of attrition both in the air and on the ground. Syria grumbled openly about the poor performance of their Soviet-supplied weaponry, and the Soviet press blamed Syrian incompetence for the result.
One anecdote I left out of this account was the Syrian who complained to the Soviets about their Soviet-made ground-to-air missiles: “Next time, can you please send us some ground-to-plane missiles.”