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December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Gulf War’

Peres Hoping for a Possible ‘Iranian Spring’ Rebellion

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

President Shimon Peres said on Thursday that he sees the possibility of an “Iranian Spring” rebellion that would upset the Iranian regime’s nuclear cart.

“Don’t underestimate the power and ability of the people,” the president said in an on-stage interview at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference.

Is it possible? Yes. Is it probable? Who knows?

But is it desirable?

The United States praised the new promised democracies in the Middle East as the Arab Spring rebellions swept from Tunisia throughout the region.

In every single case – Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Egypt and Syria – a brutal dictatorship has been replaced by brutal anarchy, which only has made the entire region more unstable, unreliable and unpredictable.

But the Peres mentality is identical with his Nobel Peace Prize promoters in the U.S. State Dept., where its experts have doctorate degrees on the Middle East and Islam but don’t know hummus from techina.

The United States was hopeful for an “Iranian Spring” under the Ahmadinejad regime in 2009 and 2010. His goon squads put out the fires.

The Obama administration welcomed the Arab Spring rebellion in Egypt, ushered out Mubarak and now is without a reliable voice in Cairo, which is trying to climb the slippery slope of bankruptcy under a military regime that knows an election now would result in more chaos and violence.

Libya, where the United States thought it was saving the country from Qaddafi, is facing civil war.

Both Al Jazeera and The Huffington Post on Thursday ran an analysis that, in brief, stated that the country is flooded with weapons and rival tribes that are not far away from turning into chaos – again.

For Peres’ short memory, two years ago plus one day, the Libyan National Transitional Council declared “the liberation of Libya” after the civil war in which Qaddafi was killed a few days later.

Ostensibly, the United States did not intervene in Egypt or Syria as it did in Libya. Instead, the Obama administration has encouraged upheaval in the name of democracy and has received anarchy in the name of upheaval.

Israel was much better off with Mubarak and still is better off with Assad. “Better the enemy you know than the one you don’t know.”

Assad, for all his threats and demands of Israel, never has been a direct threat. Unlike Jordan and Egypt, there is no “peace treaty” to fret over.

Peres’ concern on Iran, of course, is focused on the threat of nuclear weapons.

If there were to be an Iranian Spring, not even President Peres – Mr. Optimism – knows if it would be for the better or the worse, and it would not necessarily spell the end of a nuclear Iran.

Forcing change is risky in the Middle East.

Does Peres remember what happened in Iraq?

Remember Gen. “Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf? He commanded a typically American “victory” in the 2001 Gulf War, carrying out a textbook offensive to crush Saddam Hussein’s war machine, declare victory and return as a war hero.

If President Peres reads the right newspapers, he knows that Iraq is plagued by suicide bombings and terrorist attacks almost every day.

The United States may have won the war, but it lost Iraq. For more on that, read what The Jewish Press’ Yori Yanover wrote here.

The aftershocks of the war were the same as those after the Arab Spring rebellions.

Mr. President, are you sure you want another one?

Disconnect Israel’s Interests from America’s

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

I do not understand the Israelis who are eager for a U.S. attack on Syria. They are confused, willing to be at the receiving end of missiles and, down the road, the object of tremendous diplomatic pressure – to “prove” America’s balanced approach to the Middle East – just to preserve the U.S. hegemony in our region.

These people suffer from a blurred sense of identity. It diffuses their ability to identify an Israeli interest that is independent from, and not contingent upon, an American interest. I have the utmost respect for the U.S., but Israel must be able to look in the mirror without seeing stars and stripes.

Yitzhak Shamir, of blessed memory, was perhaps the best Israeli leader since David Ben-Gurion. Nonetheless, Shamir made a serious strategic mistake under circumstances similar to those we are currently facing. Five years ago, I wrote a column explaining why his actions were so detrimental to Israel. That 2008 column (see below) provides fresh insight into Israel’s current position. (The column was translated from the Hebrew version, which appeared in Makor Rishon.)

* * *

Shamir’s Blunder Nobody really expected Israel to react to the rockets fired on the town of Shlomi last week. And they were right. Israel is not going to retaliate.

From the end of the War of Independence in 1949 and until the First Gulf War in 1991, Israel’s civilian population was out of bounds. Israel had created a balance of fear that dictated that shelling its civilian population was not an option and would lead to all-out war. When the Syrians shelled Israeli towns in 1967, Israel retaliated by conquering the Golan Heights.

But in the First Gulf War, under intense pressure from Israel’s Left, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir reversed two strategic principles that Israel had carefully preserved until then. The first principle was that only Israeli soldiers would be responsible for Israel’s security. The second principle was that the attack of Israel’s civilian population is completely unacceptable. When Iraqi Scud missiles rained down on Israel’s cities, Israel opted to hide behind the broad shoulders of the American and British soldiers, move U.S. Patriot missiles into strategic locations, and, of course, to instruct its citizens to cover all windows with sheets of plastic and masking tape.

Shamir enjoyed the support of the media, academia and Left for a time. No commission of inquiry was established to investigate the mistakes made in that strange war. By the grace of our Father in Heaven, there were very few Israeli fatalities and nobody criticized Shamir’s strategic turnabout. There were no bereaved families to point an accusing finger at the leader of the Right who had sacrificed their dear ones’ lives in vain. There were no reserve soldiers to stage hunger strikes outside Shamir’s home and not one Knesset member or public figure demanded that he resign.

I claimed then – and support that claim even more so now – that Shamir’s blunder was even greater than Golda Meir’s in the Yom Kippur War. In that war, Israel did not lose its power of deterrence. But by the end of the First Gulf War, Israel found itself facing new rules. Israel had entrusted its security to foreign armies and it soon had to pay for its mistake in hard currency. The Madrid Conference, to which the Left pushed the hapless Shamir to attend, was in effect Israel’s unofficial doorway to recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Shamir still attempted to stick to his principles by speaking only with Yasir Arafat’s representatives and not with Arafat himself. But the Israeli public – justifiably – did not bother with the nuances and elected Yitzhak Rabin to succeed Shamir. The Oslo process was on its way.

Approximately 1,500 civilians have already been murdered in the Oslo process – more than all the civilian terror fatalities that Israel had suffered from the establishment of the state and in the pre-state days. Oslo placed a question mark over Israel’s very right to exist. It was only a matter of time until missiles, mortars and rockets began to rain down on Israel’s towns and cities.

Since Shamir’s blunder his successors have followed suit, criminally ignoring the fact that Israel’s neighbors are arming themselves with strategic missiles. They have brought Israel to its knees, waiting for the merciful final blow of tens of thousands of conventional and non-conventional missiles that will lift off simultaneously from launchers in Syria, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon and Gaza.

Nobody Here But Us Patriots

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Here are U.S. soldiers during a joint exercise with the Patriot anti-missile system in Tel Aviv, yesterday, October 24. This is part of the large joint missile defense exercise of the IDF and the U.S. Army.

The Patriot missile system is designed to detect, target and then hit incoming missiles. Thise missiles are often not more than 10 long and flying faster than the speed of sound.

The Patriot is a guided missile, with an infrared seeker that’s sensitive to engine heat. A ground-based, high performance radar finds, identifies and track the targets, and can lock on it when it’s as far away as 50 miles. An incoming missile flying at 5 times the speed of sound is going at about one mile per second. Once the missile is detected, the system makes automatic detection and launching decisions. Humans are just too slow for that one.

Back in the first Gulf War, the Patriots’ performance left much to be desired. The House Government Operations Subcommittee on Legislation and National Security reported that the “Patriot missile system was not the spectacular success in the Persian Gulf War that the American public was led to believe. There is little evidence to prove that the Patriot hit more than a few Scud missiles launched by Iraq during the Gulf War, and there are some doubts about even these engagements. The public and the United States Congress were misled by definitive statements of success issued by administration and Raytheon representatives during and after the war.”

A Fifth Estate documentary quotes former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens as saying the Israeli government was so dissatisfied with the performance of the missile defense, it wanted to launch its own military retaliation on Iraq, despite American objectio (the U.S. was worried about reactions from Arab members of the Coalition of the Willing).

Obviously, much has been improved in two-plus decades – let’s hope. And also let’s hope those young men are having a good stay in Tel Aviv. It’s an amazing city with cheap bike rentals…

A Helping Hand

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Soldiers from the Home Front Command Search and Rescue Unit practice saving civilians trapped under a collapsed building in Zikim, the Home Front Command’s training base.

The Israeli Home Front Command (Hebrew: Pikud Ha’Oref) is an IDF regional command, created in February 1992 following the Gulf War, in which civilian population centers faced significant enemy threat.

It is currently headed by General Eyal Eisenberg.

Shamir’s Blunder

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

         Nobody really expected Israel to react to the Katyusha rockets launched from southern Lebanon that hit the northern Israeli town of Shelomi (on the morning of Jan. 8, 2008). And they were right. Israel is not going to retaliate.

 

         From the end of the War of Independence in 1949 until the Gulf War in 1991, Israel’s civilian population was out of bounds. Israel had created a balance of fear, making it clear to the world that shelling Israel’s civilian population was not an option and would lead to all-out war. When the Syrians shelled Israeli towns in 1967, Israel retaliated by conquering the Golan Heights.

 

         But in the Gulf War, under intense pressure from Israel’s Left, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir overturned two strategic principles that Israel had carefully preserved until then. The first principle was that only Israeli soldiers would be responsible for Israel’s security. The second principle was that any attack on Israel’s civilian population would be completely unacceptable. When Iraqi Scud missiles rained down on Israel’s cities, Israel opted to hide behind the broad shoulders of the American and British soldiers, moved U.S. Patriot missiles into strategic locations – and instructed its citizens to cover all windows with sheets of plastic and masking tape.

 

         Shamir enjoyed the support of the media, academia and the Left for a time. By the grace of our Father in Heaven, there were very few Israeli fatalities and nobody criticized Shamir’s strategic turnabout. No bereaved families pointed an accusing finger at the leader of the Right who had sacrificed their dear ones’ lives in vain; no reserve soldiers staged hunger strikes outside Shamir’s home; and not one Knesset member or public figure demanded that he resign. As a result, no Commission of Inquiry was established to investigate the mistakes made in that strange war.

 

         I claimed then – and even more so now – that Shamir’s blunder was even greater than Golda Meir’s in the Yom Kippur War. In the Yom Kippur War, Israel did not lose its power of deterrence. But by the end of the Gulf War, Israel found itself facing new rules. (Just ask Sderot mayor Eli Moyal for an explanation.) Israel entrusted its security to foreign armies and it soon had to pay for its mistake in hard currency. The Madrid Conference to which the Left pushed the hapless Shamir was, in effect, Israel’s unofficial doorway to recognition of the Palestine (all of it) Liberation (from the Jews) Organization. Shamir still attempted to stick to his principles and speak only with Arafat’s representatives and not with Arafat himself. But the Israeli public – justifiably – did not bother with the nuances, and elected Yitzhak Rabin to succeed Shamir. The Oslo process was on its way.

 

         Approximately 1,500 civilians have already been murdered during the Oslo process – more than all the civilian terror fatalities that Israel had suffered from the establishment of the state until that time. Oslo placed a question mark over Israel’s very right to exist. It was only a matter of time until missiles, mortars and rockets began to rain down on Israel’s towns and cities.

 

         Since Shamir’s blunder, the rest of Israel’s prime ministers have followed suit, criminally ignoring the fact that Israel’s neighbors are arming themselves with strategic missiles. They have brought Israel down on its knees, waiting for the merciful final blow: tens of thousands of conventional and non-conventional missiles that will lift off simultaneously from launchers in Syria, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon and Gaza.

 

         Iran, Syria and Egypt have developed an even more elegant way to fight Israel without threatening their own civilian populations. They fight by proxy. In the north, Iran and Syria use Hizbullah to fight Israel. In the south, Egypt uses Hamas for the same purpose. Maritime weapons smuggling has become a thing of the past. The Philadelphi Route that Israel abandoned when it withdrew from Gaza is wide open and the entire region is flooded with high trajectory missiles. Israel knows that any serious military incursion into Gaza will trigger a steady barrage of missiles on Be’er Sheva and Ashdod – and possibly a simultaneous round of missiles on the north.

 

         Ultimately, Israel will have no choice but to restore the power of deterrence that it lost in the Gulf War. But in the meantime, Israel has a two-pronged strategy for dealing with the threat to its existence. First, it rolled out the red carpet for the American president so that he will be kind enough to protect Israel after it surrenders Jerusalem. Second, it has provided its citizens with a glossy pamphlet explaining which room to hide in when the missiles strike.

 

         To learn more about Moshe Feiglin and Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership), and to order Feiglin’s newest book, The War of Dreams, visit http://www.jewishisrael.org/.

The Buchanan Files (II)

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2003

The support for Nazi war criminals repeatedly voiced by Patrick J. Buchanan (examples of which were offered in this space last week) is but one harsh note in the syndicated columnist’s ongoing primal scream against Jews and Israel.

Buchanan, who in his autobiography describes being brought up in a milieu of pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism by a father whose “sympathies had been with the isolationists, with Charles Lindbergh and the America First Committee,” seems always to be spoiling for a religious war, particularly when he feels that his church has been slighted or trumped by Jews or Jewish interests.

His deep-seated resentments are perhaps best summed-up in his complaint about what he calls “the caustic, cutting cracks about my church and my popes from both Israel and its amen corner in the United States.”

The controversy that erupted in the late 1980′s over the desire of some Carmelite nuns to erect a permanent convent at Auschwitz was made to order for Buchanan. Upset with conciliatory statements made by Cardinal John O’Connor and other church leaders, he sneered:

“If U.S. Jewry takes the clucking appeasement of the Catholic cardinalate as indicative of our submission, it is mistaken. When Cardinal O’Connor of New York … declares this “is not a fight between Catholics and Jews,” he speaks for himself. Be not afraid, Your Eminence; just step aside, there are bishops and priests ready to assume the role of defender of the faith.”

In 1988, angered that The New York Times had published only a tepid critique of The Last Temptation of Christ, a movie deemed blasphemous by many Christians, Buchanan lamented “a ‘newspaper of record’ that can sniff out anti-Semitism in some guy turning down a kosher hot dog at the ballpark.”

Although he likes to say that he was, at some point in the past, an “uncritical apologist for Israel,” Buchanan was already on record as early as the mid-1970′s imploring Congress not to listen “to the counsel of the Jewish lobby” and criticizing legislation designed to counter the Arab boycott of Israel.

In 1979 Buchanan insisted that Americans were asking themselves “how long taxpayers must subsidize Israel with annual billions….[and] why the United States is siding with three million Israelis - instead of 100 million Arabs who have oil.”

In 1982, Buchanan referred to the mass killing of Palestinians by Lebanese Christians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps as the “Rosh Hashanah massacre,” and opined that “the Israeli army is looking toward a blackening of its name to rival what happened to the French
army in the Dreyfus Affair.”

And so Buchanan already had something of a history when, shortly before the 1991 Gulf War, he declared that “There are only two groups that are beating the drums…for war in the Middle East: the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the United States.”

Also during that period, he described the U.S. Congress as “Israeli-occupied territory,” and conspicuously neglected to include a representative Jewish name on his list of Americans who would have to do the fighting and, by extension, the dying, in the Gulf – “Kids with names
like McAllister, Murphy, Gonzales, and Leroy Brown.”

As the international affairs scholar Joshua Muravchik, addressing the question of whether Buchanan can fairly be considered an anti-Semite, wrote some years ago: Buchanan “is hostile to Israel … embraces the PLO despite being at adamant odds with its political philosophy …
implies that Jews are trying to drag America into war for the sake of Israel … sprinkles his columns with taunting remarks about things Jewish … rallies to the defense of Nazi war criminals, not only those who protest their innocence but also those who confess their guilt … [and] implies that the generally accepted interpretation of the Holocaust might be a serious exaggeration.”

When confronted with a man who does all these things, suggested Muravchik, a fair conclusion would be that his actions are indeed consistent with the succinct definition of anti-Semitism – “an embedded hatred of Jewish people, manifest in writing and conduct” – offered, in a 1990 column, by Pat Buchanan himself.

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com  

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/the-buchanan-files-ii/2003/04/23/

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