The following is a comprehensive list of all that is required:
• One F-18 fighter jet.
• A 15-minute flight (from an aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the sky over Damascus).
• The ability to identify the Presidential Palace (very easy, just use Google Earth).
• One bomb.
That's all. The mass murder of about a thousand civilians, most of them children, would be stopped in an instant.
U.S. President Barack Obama knows it. His entire team knows it. All his advisers and officers understand it. It would be so easy to prevent the massacre of Syrian people. So simple.
What is worse is that Syrian President Bashar Assad knows it too. But he is under the clear impression that he has nothing to be worried about.
The rebels asked that Israel refrain from supporting them so that they would not be affiliated with the "enemy."
But they do not have a problem with U.S. support. The U.S. is being encouraged to use their bombs as support. The American president vowed that any use of chemical weapons would represent a "red line" that would prompt a military response. This week's chemical attack in Syrian was not the first such instance. But Obama is determined to hesitate, waffle and mainly shirk his responsibility.
Now is the time for Israel to start asking openly and seriously: If this is how the American administration behaves when faced with the broken-down Syrian regime, how can we rely on it to face Iran?
If Obama and his administration are incapable of dropping one bomb on one palace in Damascus, how can we count on them to bomb 100 sites across Iran? Obama is apparently indifferent to the horrific images coming out of Syria; will he care at all about what happens to us? Does anyone really believe the American president?
* * *
It was after the rebels in Libya had murdered the American ambassador and several additional diplomats there that then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood before the cameras and said that she could not understand why the rebels had done so -- after all, the Americans had helped them so much.
Clinton has since arrived at the conclusion that it is essential to understand other people's cultures. She could have avoided this embarrassing mishap had she only learned the lesson of an earlier event, which took place in Washington.
An American man went to visit his Japanese-born neighbor in hospital after a car accident. He saw the patient lying in a hospital bed with his eyes closed, tubes coming out of him and hooked up to all sorts of machines. Suddenly, the patient muttered some words in Japanese that the American did not understand: "Sakuro auta nakami anioba sotzi machuta." Immediately afterward, he passed away. His shocked neighbor committed the foreign words to memory.
On the day of the funeral, he went to the cemetery and met his deceased neighbor's family. "You know, I was with him when he died," he told the family.
They did know, and asked him if he remembered the deceased's last words.
"Of course I remember," the man replied. "I just don't have any idea what the words mean. He said, 'Sakuro auta nakami anioba sotzi machuta.' Could you, perhaps, translate what it means?"
The widow looked at her neighbor and said slowly, "It means, 'You're stepping on my oxygen tube, you idiot.'"
As long as we're on the topic
The Europeans are not looking to label all products manufactured in Syria. Still, whatever happens there, it is not nearly as terrible a crime as the settlements.
True to his heritage
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently declared that he possesses evidence proving that Israel is responsible for the riots in Cairo and for the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. What proof? All he has is protocols.
The lights are on
There is a city in Israel where anyone who drives at night quickly learns to do so with their high beams on. Everyone constantly blinds everyone else. If someone isn't blinding you, then they are either female or from out of town.
This is a microcosm of the entire country. Take, for example, the ongoing debate surrounding the live polio vaccine. Doctors are united in the opinion that immunizing the entire public is in all our best interests because it will stop the spread of the virus. But then there are those who don't much care about the greater good.
Let's go back to the high-beam city, which happens to be one of the crime capitals of the country. One day, the head of a crime family there was on his deathbed, and summoned his entire family to his bedside. Everyone came. The crime boss turned to his wife and asked hoarsely: "Tell me, are all the kids here?"
"Yes, everyone is here, by your side," replied the wife.
"And all the grandchildren?"
"Everyone is here, right around your bed," the wife said.
The dying man paused, coughed, rose up from his bed and yelled, "Then why in the hell is the kitchen light on?"
The story goes like this
Shortly after the Syrian uprising began, several experts were in a hurry to sign a peace deal with Assad. They said it was a golden opportunity, because Assad was weak. Such an agreement would have brought al-Qaida right to the banks of the Sea of Galilee and the gates of Kibbutz Ein Gev.
Today, those geniuses are keeping their mouths shut, as well they should. As we can learn from the following incident:
Two girlfriends were chatting about life at a cafe.
"What does your husband do when you get on his nerves?" one woman asked her friend.
"He keeps quiet for a few hours," the friend replied.
"And what does he do if you really get on his nerves?" the first woman asked.
"He keeps quiet for days," the friend answered.
The first woman then asked: "Well, isn't it worth it then?"
One last thing
German Chancellor Angela Merkel drew criticism this week for speaking at a beer tent immediately after visiting the former Nazi concentration camp in Dachau. Well, history teaches us that a beer tent is probably preferable to a beer hall.