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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘BOMB’

Shooting the Syrian Elephant

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Originally published at Sultan Knish.
The majority of Americans do not want to invade or bomb Syria. The majority of American leaders do. Such a disparity between the leaders and the people is not wholly unique, but it arises in this case not from the usual disparities of power or corruption.

Americans don’t want to fight Syria because it is no threat to them. American leaders admit that Syria is no threat to America. They want to bomb Syria because they feel that they ought to do it. And they feel that way because behind the power of the West stands the will of the East.Long before Animal Farm of 1984, George Orwell wrote a short essay about his time in the east. It’s titled “Shooting the Elephant.”

Orwell’s narrator is told of an elephant that has run riot and he dutifully follows up the report. “We began questioning the people as to where the elephant had gone and, as usual, failed to get any definite information. That is invariably the case in the East; a story always sounds clear enough at a distance, but the nearer you get to the scene of events the vaguer it becomes.

“Some of the people said that the elephant had gone in one direction, some said that he had gone in another, some professed not even to have heard of any elephant.”

Substitute chemical weapons for elephant and the story becomes a familiar one.

Eventually, Orwell encounters a dead body and sends back for an elephant gun while a crowd gathers behind him eagerly waiting for him to shoot the elephant. “I had halted on the road,” he writes. “As soon as I saw the elephant I knew with perfect certainty that I ought not to shoot him. It is a serious matter to shoot a working elephant – it is comparable to destroying a huge and costly piece of machinery – and obviously one ought not to do it if it can possibly be avoided.”

It is likewise a serious matter to start a war. But the issue, whether with Obama’s red line or Orwell’s elephant is credibility.

“But at that moment I glanced round at the crowd that had followed me. It was an immense crowd, two thousand at the least and growing every minute. It blocked the road for a long distance on either side. I looked at the sea of yellow faces above the garish clothes-faces all happy and excited over this bit of fun, all certain that the elephant was going to be shot. They were watching me as they would watch a conjurer about to perform a trick. They did not like me, but with the magical rifle in my hands I was momentarily worth watching. And suddenly I realized that I should have to shoot the elephant after all. The people expected it of me and I had got to do it.”

We now have to go into Syria because the crowd expects it of us. They have been clamoring for us to do it forever, listening impatiently to our excuses and dismissing them. And our function in the region has come down to shooting the elephant. It’s what the crowd wants us to do. And our leaders find themselves with no other role in international affairs except the hollow role of puppets.

“And it was at this moment, as I stood there with the rifle in my hands, that I first grasped the hollowness, the futility of the white man’s dominion in the East.

“Here was I, the white man with his gun, standing in front of the unarmed native crowd – seemingly the leading actor of the piece; but in reality I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind.

“I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys. He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib. For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the “natives,” and so in every crisis he has got to do what the “natives” expect of him. He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.”

The United States, which had never intended to become an empire, now finds itself wearing a mask. Its leaders assert that it has to shoot the Syrian elephant to protect its credibility because the crowd of the Saudis, Qataris, Emiratis and the Turks want us to do it.

They expect us to do it. They have gathered to see us do it. They will see us do it.

Even Obama, for all his complicity with the power plays of the Muslim Brotherhood, seems unenthusiastic about shooting the Syrian elephant. But he knows that it has to be done because what else is there to do? Either we bomb Syria or admit our impotency. Either we play imperialists or get laughed at.That was the dilemma of Orwell’s narrator. It is also our dilemma. Orwell’s narrator was playing his part in a decaying empire that had lost its sense of purpose. It could do little else except order around the natives only to find that it was the one being ordered around.

America has no sense of purpose. Its leaders want to bomb Syria, but can articulate no sensible reason for doing so. They resort to humanitarian gibberish, but they would never move to stop genocide in Africa. Their motives are not humanitarian, they are conformist. They are conforming to the expectations of the foreign pressures of a region that they hope to order and govern.

“When the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys,” Orwell warned. In attempting to civilize the Muslim world, we have instead been forced to live by its rulers. We have not brought our order to them. They have brought their order to us.

Our interactions with them take place along the predetermined paths of their choosing. They decide what they want from us and we decide how quickly to give it to them. They decide that we should shoot the elephant and we stand around playing with the elephant gun, hoping that we can avoid this whole mess.

“And afterwards I was very glad that the coolie had been killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant. I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool,” Orwell writes.

That is the admission of the moment. We must bomb Syria to avoid looking like fools.

Obama drew his red line and now he must shoot the elephant. Even he doesn’t seem particularly enthusiastic about it, but he will shoot it.

To buy time, he has turned to Congress, hoping its proceedings will immunize him from the fallout or somehow convince Assad to step down. But he knows better. Despite his anti-colonialist roots and despite his membership in a radically anti-imperialist movement, he has been drafted once again in the cause of shooting elephants, carrying the white man’s burden and the liberal man’s burden to the east.

The question is not whether Syria ought to be shot, but why are we shooting it. And the answer is that it isn’t our choice. That answer reveals a great deal about our dysfunctional international policies and where they have gotten us.

We have been penned up, not by Haliburton or secret oil deals, so much as by our own need to live up to our own image abroad. Americans, who for the most part live insular lives, are unmoved by the elephant-shooting currents that tug at the likes of Obama or McCain. They feel no need to go shoot an elephant in some other country because the natives expect it of them. But our leaders increasingly live foreign lives with little consideration for the natives of the country that they govern. They give in to impulses like amnesty and gay marriage because of a steady pressure from a narrow crowd that insists that they are inevitable. Now they will give in on Syria because of that same crowd.

That sense of pressure reveals the hollowness of the men within. Men of strong moral courage do not commit crimes because the crowd expects them to. It does not kill to avoid being mocked. It is the hollow empire of hollow men that is compelled to such final extremities, acting out a farce to avoid the inevitable revelation that the emperor is naked and his empire has run out of pants.

The Republican Party is what it is because it lacks that sense of moral conviction. It takes positions for convenience. Its leaders respond to the pressure of the crowd, whether it is to oppose Obamacare or to support amnesty, they take on positions which they do not believe because they are expected of them.The Syrian elephant is only one more such position. One more hollow act of political conformity by men with political instincts but no sense of greater direction.

It is not so much that bombing Syria is wrong as that the armed forces of a nation cannot and should not be in the hands of men who take serious steps without any conviction that they are doing the best thing for their country, who act only because they are told that it is expected of them. Nothing rots the morale of an army faster than such commanders and nothing destroys a nation faster than the knowledge that, in the words of Hillary Clinton, nothing truly matters but the politics of it.

If we are going to shoot elephants then we should do so for our own reasons. Once we begin shooting elephants because it is expected of us, we become little better than the masters of a hollow empire waiting to be told by the world what to do.

Gaza Terrorists Bomb IDF Patrol Vehicle; No Injuries

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Terrorists from Hamas-controlled Gaza set off the second bomb in four days Morning in an attempt to blow up an Israeli army vehicle.

The powerful bomb exploded near the army vehicle without causing any damage or injuries. An IDF bulldozer plowed the area and uncovered another explosive device that was to be set off by remote control.

Last Friday, terrorists detonated a bomb at the security fence where soldiers were carrying out a patrol. No one was injured.

Two Arabs Plotted to Blow up Jerusalem Mall Where They Work

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Two Arabs from areas of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority were preparing to kill Jews during the High Holiday season by blowing up Jerusalem’s luxurious Mamilla Mall where they worked, authorities revealed Sunday after a gag order was lifted.

The two terrorists, in their 20s, were affiliated with a Hamas cell in Ramallah, headquarters of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The head of the terrorist cell was Ramallah resident Hamdi Romana, who maintained an explosives lab  in his home. The cell also planned to manufacture and fire missiles from Ramallah and kidnap Israeli soldiers.

If you listen to the Obama administration, Abbas his fulfilling his commitment to eliminate the terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian Authority, and if you read this, you know that it is Israel that arrests most heavy duty terrorists.

The two Arabs expressed their anger for the humiliation of having to work for Jews by plotting to plant explosives at the shopping complex, located across the street from the Old City.

The two Arabs are from the neighborhood of Shuafat, located next to the Haredi Ramat Shlomo area, and Ras al-Amud, where the Jews live in the neighborhood of Maaleh Zeitim. Both Jewish areas are considered “settlements” by the Obama administration.

According to the “Peace Process” theory, Israel is blocking economic growth in the Palestinian Authority because of checkpoints and searches.

That theory goes down the drain in the mall bomb plot because there are no checkpoints in Ras al-Amud or Shuafat. Both areas are under the administration of the Municipality of Jerusalem.

All residents are able to take out Israeli citizenship and carry Israeli identity cards.

One of dozens of factors that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Council of Sages do not take into account is that if the Palestinian Authority were to include area of Jerusalem former occupied by Jordan, it is doubtful that the Arabs would want to give up their benefits they enjoy from Israel.

Starting the School Year with a (Real) Blast (+Video)

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Students at the Orot Etzion Girls School in Efrat began their second day of school with a lot of excitement and a bang. A bang and a boom actually.

After someone noticed a very suspicious looking object in the in the school’s lower courtyard, police and army services were called in the deal with the “Hefetz Hashud”.

Hundreds of students were evacuated to the park across the street, and the main entrance to the Zayit neighborhood was shut down as the police bomb disposal experts did their job.

Everyone chipped in to help. Efrat’s mayor, Oded Ravivi, was helping direct traffic, Efrat’s General Manager, Yehuda Shreiger, was coordinating with the security forces, while Uzi, an Orot Etzion school employee, played the violin to entertain the girls while they waited.

It took a half hour, and 2 controlled explosions to do it, but the demolitions experts managed to blow up the suspicious object, without anything more than a loud explosion and some even louder screaming from the girls (see the video below).

Oh. And what was the suspicious object that got blown up?

It turns out that a yoga teacher forgot to take one of her pillows after a class yesterday.

But its always better to be safe than sorry.

Update: 22 Killed, 150 Wounded in Bomb Blast at Hezbollah Complex

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

A powerful car bomb explosion rocked a Hezbollah complex in Beirut early Thursday evening, killing at least 22 people and wounding 150 others, Red Cross officials told the Beirut Daily Star.

The explosion burned dozens of cars and nearby homes.

The attack severely damages Hezbollah’s standing in the country, where nationalists are incensed at the terrorist organization’s fighting in Syria with forces loyal to Syrian President Bassar al-Assad.

Attack North of Cairo Kills Policeman, Wounds 29

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

One policeman was killed and at least 29 others were wounded Wednesday when an unknown attacker hurled a high-powered bomb, or possibly rocket-propelled grenades, at a  police station north of Cairo and near El Arish.

Shortly before, the Egyptian military called on people to rally on Friday against violence, in effect a call for a demonstration against the Muslim Brotherhood and its ousted president Mohammed Morsi.

Two pro-Morsi activists were killed earlier on Wednesday during a march.

Bulgaria Reaffirms: Hezbollah Did Bomb Israeli Bus

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

We quoted here yesterday a report that, with a recent change of government, the Bulgarians were now backtracking from their earlier assessment that Hezbollah stood behind the July 2012 terror attack on a busload of Israelis at Burgas airport. [See "10-Jun-13: Will appeasing Hezbollah work better now than it did with Nazi Germany?"]

Evidence of the retreat? See this Reuters report from last Wednesday for instance: “Bulgaria now says Hezbollah’s role in bus bombing unproven“. And the New York Times: “Bulgaria Pulls Back on Blame for Hezbollah“.

Now Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin has clarified, in the wake of those reports of a retreat, that they are untrue and Reuters, the NYTimes and others have it wrong. Bulgaria has not reassessed its conclusion, he said [Sofia Globe]. Bulgaria continues to believe Hezbollah was behind the attack and responsible for the killings.

This is important because, as noted yesterday, the government of Ireland – along with Sweden, Finland and Italy – are shamefully blocking efforts by the UK, France and others to blacklist Hezbollah. (Ireland currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU.) Bulgaria carried out an extensive investigation over the past year into the terror bombing at their airport, and their view obviously carries weight.

A new Bulgarian government, led by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the former Communists, took power a  week ago. The previous governing party, Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, was regarded (says the NYT) as more attuned to the west. The previous government’s interior minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, said in February that the Bulgarians had identified, but not captured, two conspirators, one Canadian and one Australian, both Hezbollah members of Lebanese descent. The elaborate operation leading to the cowardly attack on tourists involved a remote detonator for the bomb and travel by the conspirators from Lebanon to Warsaw, Berlin and finally Bulgaria.

Bulgaria’s sensitive relations with the Islamic world and geolocation in the eastern Mediterranean are clearly part of the squeeze in which its leaders now find themselves.

But how – other than in the obvious way – do you justify the excessive ‘understanding’ of Hezbollah’s undisguised terrorism-driven bloodlust on the part of the Irish, the Finns and the Swedes? 

Incidentally, the Bulgarian reaffirmation of Hezbollah culpability first came in a note sent to – who else – the Irish ambassador six days ago. That was reported in a Bulgarian source [FOCUS, June 6, 2013] but got zero international coverage until today.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Iran Nuclear Plant Progress More Worrisome than Ever Before

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Iran’s construction of a research reactor that can produce plutonium for a nuclear weapon continues full steam, according to a UN report issued this week. And the UN International Atomic Energy Agency is now convinced that Iran has increased to a dangerous level its capacity to refine uranium, a prerequisite for constructing a bomb. And, according to the IAEA, the part of Parchin, a military site the agency insisted on inspecting, has now been paved over by the Iranians.

Obviously, the Iranians have a lot to hide, and they’re hiding it. When they finally let UN inspectors in, it would be after all traces of nuclear bomb-related research have been covered by asphalt.

Judging by what the Administration has been saying—that Iran is “advancing its enrichment program in blatant violation of its international obligations”—somebody is going to start a war over these facilities.

U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters that the UN report “marks an unfortunate milestone with regard to Iran’s illicit nuclear activities.”

Ventrell added that “despite more than a decade of dedicated effort on the part of the IAEA, Iran still has not provided the requisite cooperation with the IAEA for them to complete their investigation,” and that “we’re going to continue to hold Iran accountable for its international nuclear obligations.”

According to Reuters, the West is mostly concerned about Iran’s uranium enrichment plants at Natanz and Fordow. But experts suggest the research reactor being built outside the town of Arak could be used to produce plutonium for nuclear arms.

The IAEA says Iran is planning to commission that plant in the first quarter of 2014 and expects it to become operational in the third quarter.

The UN report seems to confirm—at least indirectly—Israeli claims that Iran could produce at will a nuclear weapon as early as this summer, and could certainly accumulate a stockpile of bombs next year.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iran-nuclear-plant-progress-more-worrisome-than-ever-before/2013/05/24/

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