The Hour of the Wolves

There are many who compare the calls to war to the baying of wolves, and, indeed, bays and cries accompany every war, without exception. Despite this, the cries which accompany the world’s attempt to initiate a punishment of the Assad regime, due to his horrid crime of using weapons of mass destruction against citizens, has masked the real tragedy taking place in Syria.

The report of 1,400 killed in Syria by chemical weapons is a terrible number which must shock the world. Over 140,000 killed is a number beyond comprehension, which must shock the world – as until now the world has not been shocked by this number. However, perhaps the most shocking development, is that the world is concentrating on unimportant questions, like the achieving the support of the U.S. Congress or various international institutions to support an act of punishment against Assad. However, the central problem is being ignored –the fact that various actors can do what they please, as long as they have a superpower patron that backs them.

In the global balance of power, the superpowers tend to decide amongst themselves which actors to support. The rebel camp in Syria is not without guilt as well. It is comprised of various militias and radical gangs, their crimes no less horrid than that of the Assad regime. A coalition that supports these groups has taken them under their patronage in the name of the “Arab Spring”.

This is not the first time a Syrian leader has massacred its citizens. It has little problem committing these acts due to the patronage of Shiite states and international superpowers, such as Russia, which provide their patronage for the regime and its crimes.

Over the last decades, under various patronages, North Korea has built nuclear capabilities that endanger numerous states around the world, while exporting weapons that threaten humanity. Aside from verbal threats, nothing has been done to stop this dangerous state from using its weapons.

Iran has become a thorn in the side of the West, however, many states engage in trade with Iran, enabling it to advance towards a nuclear bomb. Other superpowers provide Iran with physical and moral defense in its attempt to become a nuclear power.

In the past, the West exhibited its power in Serbia and Kosvo, preventing Russia, which was relatively weak during that period, from getting involved. An empowered Russia has more recently acted against Georgia, as Georgia’s Western allies did nothing to assist, in the face of the Russian fist that befell Georgia.

Indeed, the central question today is not just who is committing various crimes against helpless citizens, but under whose patronage are these crimes being committed. Just as the herd of wolves does, the superpowers define the territorial boundaries in which they operate and do as they please, establishing present and future ownership of territory.

The war today is spread across the world. In Africa, we are witness to battles between radical Islam and moderate Islam, between Christians and Muslims, and between various superpowers over natural resources. Furthermore, there are the beginnings of conflict over the natural resources of the sea between Canada and Russia near the north pole.

Today, the world is moving from a period of waiting to a period of readiness, each player trying to grasp what it can with respect to influence and natural resources in the land, sea, and air.

Therefore, now is the hour of the baying wolves, who attempt to establish their status upon the rest of the world, flexing their muscles to reach both deterrence and honor. These wolves illustrate how dangerous the world has become, where the previous leaders are no longer recognized, and each does according to his will. A world of anarchy is a clear and present danger to the world.


About the Author
Dr David Altman is senior vice-president at the Netanya Academic College and vice-chair of the college's Strategic Dialogue Center