web analytics
September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Ralph Peters’

Team Obama: ‘Too Politically Sensitive’ to Evacuate US Personnel in Iraq

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Astounding words are being reported out of the Obama administration.  It is possible to frame them in a larger context of geopolitical and philosophical analysis about the current situation.  But it isn’t actually necessary.  What makes them astounding comes as much from their “first-order” meaning as from anything deeper or more deductive.

All we need to know is the basic facts.  The consortium of jihadists fighting under the ISIS banner in northern and western Iraq has taken over the city of Mosul and started a drive to the south toward Baghdad.  As of this writing, the advancing force is reportedly some 50-60 miles north of Baghdad.

Although Iraqi government forces fled precipitately from the ISIS attackers in Mosul, government troops are said to be mustering in Samarra – along the avenue of approach from Mosul to Baghdad on the Tigris River – and in Baghdad itself.

In case it’s not clear, this doesn’t mean the Iraqi army will probably protect Baghdad.  It means there will probably be a big, bloody fight of some kind in Baghdad – and that its outcome will be uncertain.

Baghdad is really too much for ISIS to bite off all at once, if the government troops perform even just a little better than they did in Mosul.  ISIS won’t fling itself uselessly into whatever counts as the Iraqi forces’ position of strength.  What ISIS may well have in mind is positioning forces on the outskirts of Baghdad, ready to pounce, and softening the city up with days of disruptive asymmetric attacks, on civilians, police and security leaders, and infrastructure, such as water and power.  Taking over microwave towers and power stations is a likely tactic.  Vicious, brutal intimidation of the populace will be the mode of advance.  (See here – strong warning; graphic – to view recent images posted by ISIS jihadis of “population intimidation” in the Mosul area.)

It doesn’t take brilliant insight or analysis to see this coming.  It may not, strictly speaking, be inevitable.  But there is literally nothing being prepared or put in place that would reliably prevent it.

Even the introduction of Iranian troops into Iraq, confirmed in the last 24 hours, is not necessarily a measure to decisively protect Baghdad or the Maliki government.  The force level described so far, perhaps between 2,000-3,000, would be inadequate to that task.  The Iranians themselves have emphasized the goal of protecting the Shia holy sites at Karbala and An Najaf, which lie south of Baghdad.

ISIS closing in on Baghdad.

ISIS closing in on Baghdad.

That may or may not be a downpayment on a bigger commitment.  It’s very possible the Iranians are hedging their bets, determined ultimately to preserve their political connection with the Iraqi Shias, even if the Maliki government itself doesn’t survive.  I wouldn’t predict with certainty right now how much the mullahs will risk on Maliki.  Reports suggest their forces have crossed into Iraq in at least two places, including central Iraq; their machinations behind the scenes are assuredly more robust and extensive than what they’re advertising in public.

Iraqi Kurds in the north, meanwhile have already taken over the city of Kirkuk.  The Iraqi central government’s authority in northern Iraq has basically collapsed.

In this situation, there is no possible explanation for not evacuating at least the non-essential personnel from the U.S. embassy and consulates in Iraq.  It is understandable and appropriate for the ambassador and a skeleton staff to remain, at least as conditions have unfolded up until now.  And it would have been conventional for the embassy and consulate staffs to keep enough personnel on the job over the last week to deal with American civilians in Iraq who are suddenly concerned about getting out of the country.

But a normal diplomatic profile in the face of the upheavals in Iraq would look very different from what we seem to be seeing, which is a complete absence of special preparations – in particular, preparations involving the U.S. military – to get our people safely out.

Given this background, two videos posted in the last 24 hours are informative, and alarming.  The first is from Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show on Friday, 13 June.  In it, she talks with retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, a Fox military analyst.

Six Days, Revised

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

Trolling the Internet these past couple of weeks has served to quash any lingering, hopeful doubts that the post-Zionists have indeed won the battle over how Israel is perceived – by Jews as well as non-Jews, Israelis as well as non-Israelis.

The historical revisionists, whose initial attempts at recasting Israel’s image from David to Goliath were focused on the events surrounding Israel’s creation, have in recent years focused increasingly on the 1967 Six-Day War, which for the first decade or so after its occurrence was widely seen as a case of Israel’s justified response to Arab threats and aggression.

But as Israel in the 1970’s and 1980’s came to lose favor among liberal and leftist academics and journalists, there was a significant shift in the way the Six-Day War was being portrayed – in terms of both cause and effect. The change was already evident well before the term “post-Zionism” was coined, and became even more pronounced as post-Zionism came into its own in the 1990’s.

So it was refreshing to see military historian and New York Post columnist Ralph Peters take on the post-Zionists this week with a free-swinging celebration of Israel’s 1967 victory.

Peters, a retired intelligence officer, castigated “revisionist historians [for] re-inventing the Six-Day War as the source of Israel’s problems.”

Reading the revisionists, he wrote, one would think that “prior to June 1967, Israelis had lived in an Age of Aquarius, eating lotus blossoms amid friendly Bedouin neighbors who tucked them in at night. The critics also imply that, by some unexplained magic, Israel might have avoided war and its consequences.”

Contrary to the doomsayers, “June 1967 announced Israel as a regional great power – less than 20 years after the state’s desperate founding. And the Six-Day War remains more important today for what it achieved than for the Arab failures it left behind….

“The Six-Day War didn’t create the Middle East’s problems, it only changed the math. For Israel, it marked a coming of age. Taken together with the Yom Kippur War six years later – two rounds in a single fight, really – the war of June 1967 meant the end of Israel’s basic struggle for existence and the beginning of its ‘quality of life’ wars.”

“In the real world,” Peters concluded, “outcomes aren’t perfect. There are no wars to end all wars. The proper question is, ‘Are you better off than before the shooting started?’ Judged by that common-sense standard, Israel is vastly better off than it was on the eve of the Six-Day War. Thanks to the heroes of June 1967, Israel survived. Miracle enough.”

Peters’s column brought to mind a piece written two decades ago by the redoubtable George F. Will. A slew of American and Israeli intellectuals were marking the 20th anniversary of the Six-Day War by lamenting Israel’s lopsided victory, which, they sobbed, had transformed Jews into occupiers and oppressors and hardened them to the plight of the Palestinians. (The more things change…)

It remained for Will to cut through the muck of leftists wallowing in misplaced guilt, which he did in a Newsweek column titled “A Just War Remembered.”

“It has been 20 years since those six days that shook the world,” he wrote. “Because of what happened then, a united Jerusalem is capital of Israel, and Israel never again will be 12 miles wide at the waist. Because of the war the West Bank, which Jordan seized militarily and held for 19 years, is rightfully Israel’s to dispose of as it deems prudent.

“And, because of the echoing thunderclap from Israel 20 Junes ago, the security of Israel and hence the spiritual well-being of world Jewry have been enhanced. The Holocaust ended in 1945, but the Holocaust as aspiration was not destroyed until June 1967, when Israel smashed encircling armies that had the inescapably genocidal mission of obliterating the national gathering of Jews.”

Noting the inclination in certain circles to denigrate the idea of history being determined by the actions of individuals, Will wrote that it was “invigorating to revisit in memory the Six-Day War, a clear case of enormous consequences assignable to the decisions of particular people – Nasser, Hussein and some young Israeli pilots and tankers who reminded the world of the good that can come from a just war.”

George Will and Ralph Peters – two non-Jews with more intellectual honesty and moral clarity than all of Israel’s post-Zionists and their American Jewish fellow travelers put together.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/six-days-revised/2007/06/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: