Tag Archives: Israel

Making a Deal With Iran

It is hard to say what the real goal here is – it is clear that no matter what Iran does, while Obama is President we won’t go to war to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.  Come what may, no amount of non-military pressure on Iran will succeed in convincing the Iranian government to give up their nuclear ambitions.  Given this, why make a deal, at all?  What is it that impels Obama and Kerry to seek a deal?

By making any sort of deal, all we do is increase Iranian legitimacy in the eyes of the world, alienate Israel and lower our prestige among both friends and enemies – the world will see that, in the event, we daren’t attack Iran…that we are, in some sense, afraid of them.  The Gulf States will either make the best deal they can with Iran, while Saudi Arabia and Turkey obtain nuclear weapons of their own to counter the Iranian force.  Can it be that Obama and Kerry, ignorant academics that they are, simply believe that a deal is better than a non-deal?  That the results don’t matter so much as the process, itself?

And here’s the bad news – an Iranian nuclear force is an existential threat to the life of Israel…just how long will the Israeli government hold off from saving themselves from extermination?

Why I Support Israel and the Jews

With the nomination of Chuck Hagel to Defense Secretary, the issue of Israel and America’s relationship with her is squarely on the table and so I think it an appropriate time to re-state my views.

As for Hagel, himself, I don’t have much of a concern, one way or the other.  He’s clearly not qualified to be Secretary of Defense but, then again, we can say that about pretty much all of Obama’s nominees (the only two who had a shred of credibility in their posts were former CIA Director Petraeus and outgoing SecDef Panetta).  Hagel also has clearly stupid views about Iran and what our policy towards the Muslim powers should be but, once again, that is common for Obama Administration officials.  In Hagel we’ll get a man who doesn’t know how to do his assigned job and who will bring to his job a set of beliefs which are divorced from reality:  the Obama Administration in a nutshell.  But there is something disturbing in Hagel’s apparent views about the Jews and Israel.

There seems to be a gigantic shift in views about Israel and the Jews going on.  I won’t call it so much a throwback to the old anti-Semitism but, rather, just a resurfacing of anti-Semitism which never died out.  Think about it – Hagel, himself, has complained about the “Jewish lobby” and its influence on American policy, and that is nothing more than a re-phrasing of a thousand statements by Hitler and his minions about the baleful influence of the Jews and how Germany must be protected against the machinations of the Jews.  For some reason, hating Jews and being worried about their alleged influence is a hardy perennial among people – and for those who try to ascribe it to some particularly Christian ideal, I point that ancient pagans felt the same sort of hostility and, of course, modern pagans called communists, fascists and Nazis have been hostile to Jews to one degree or another.  The bottom line is that anti-Semitism is back, in force, and is steadily gaining in social respectability.

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Culture Does Matter

From NRO’s The Corner:

During my recent trip to Israel, I had suggested that the choices a society makes about its culture play a role in creating prosperity, and that the significant disparity between Israeli and Palestinian living standards was powerfully influenced by it. In some quarters, that comment became the subject of controversy.

But what exactly accounts for prosperity if not culture? In the case of the United States, it is a particular kind of culture that has made us the greatest economic power in the history of the earth. Many significant features come to mind: our work ethic, our appreciation for education, our willingness to take risks, our commitment to honor and oath, our family orientation, our devotion to a purpose greater than ourselves, our patriotism. But one feature of our culture that propels the American economy stands out above all others: freedom. The American economy is fueled by freedom. Free people and their free enterprises are what drive our economic vitality…

Read the rest of it here.  Romney is completely correct – is the the culture of barbarism which prevents the Palestinians from enjoying a better life.  Give up the terrorism, give up the “death to Israel” nonsense and get rid of the kleptocrats who run the place and the Palestinians will swiftly be as prosperous as the Israelis.  It is up to the Palestinians – they have to decide what kind of life they want to live.  The world waits – you can be sure of it that the United States, alone, would pour untold billions in to the West Bank and Gaza.  Make the West Bank and Gaza a free market enclave like Hong Kong used to be and in 20 years you wouldn’t recognize the place…and you’d have Israelis asking real nice if they can join in (Israel does have a lot of success, but they still over-tax and over-regulate a bit; a leftover from the socialist days of the past).

Things can change.  People can change.  But they have to want to – and as an aside, all you liberals out there who are supporting the current Palestinian regime:  you’re part of the problem.  You’re propping up the very people who ensure endless war, endless oppression and endless poverty for the Palestinian people.

UPDATE:  Yet another reason to vote for Romney – our recovery weakest in all the world since 1970.

Syria: How Global Power Works

Like this; from the New York Times:

With evidence that powerful new weapons are flowing to both the Syrian government and opposition fighters, the bloody uprising in Syria has thrust the Obama administration into an increasingly difficult position as the conflict shows signs of mutating into a full-fledged civil war.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Tuesday that the United States believed that Russia was shipping attack helicopters to Syria that President Bashar al-Assad could use to escalate his government’s deadly crackdown on civilians and the militias battling his rule. Her comments reflected rising frustration with Russia, which has continued to supply weapons to its major Middle Eastern ally despite an international outcry over the government’s brutal crackdown…

Meanwhile, the report goes on to note that the rebels are being armed by the Turks with assistance from other Muslim powers.  Here’s what is actually going on:

No one outside of the precincts of the West gives a hoot about the sufferings of the Syrian people.  We here in the United States are disgusted with the mayhem and slaughter but people who are not like us don’t care – they only look at the mayhem and slaughter and think, “can I gain any advantage out of it?”.  No amount of moralizing by Obama and Clinton or anyone in the West will make the least impression upon the Turks, Russians, Iranian,  Saudis or anyone else who is so far involved in the war in Syria.  In fact, they’ll probably view such statements as a sign of weakness – figuring that if we really had a pair we’d intervene so we can grab what advantage we want out of the situation.  Holding back and lecturing all concerned is, in the view of such people, the act of cowards.

Russia and Iran want to maintain their Syrian ally.  Iran because it allows Iran to keep up pressure in Israel while also allowing Iran to project power in to the center of the middle east.  Russia because Syria is on Turkey’s southern flank and puts the Turks between two fires if any Russo-Turkish conflict arises…plus it sticks a finger in our eye and Putin (utter fool that he is) thinks that Russia’s proper role is to oppose the United States (the truth is that Russia can only survive in alliance with the United States, but Putin is just too blinded by his Great Russian nationalism to see this).  In service of this goal the Iranians have shipped thugs to Syria for the purpose of massacring Syrians who oppose the Assad regime (probably the very same thugs the Iranians use to massacre Iranians who oppose the Mullah’s regime in Teheran…so, they’re likely experienced killers who no how to choke off a rebellion).  Russia won’t send troops but is clearly sending arms – and in spite of bland words to the contrary, is sending arms which are useful in fighting the increasingly competent Syrian rebels.

Turkey would love to turn Syria in to a satellite State – the Turks, after all, were the imperial overlords of Syria for more than four centuries and while we here in the United States might not know it, the Turks understand that controlling Damascus is just as important as controlling Baghdad if you want to dominate the middle east (this is why Iran continues to press their power in Iraq along with trying to sustain their ally in Syria).  The Turks also have a very long history of enmity with the Russians (there have been, I think, 9 Russo-Turkish wars over the centuries) and so would love to reduce Russian influence in the area.  Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and other States in the area have a vested interest in curbing Iranian influence – and taking out Iran’s key ally in Damascus is worth a lot in Saudi eyes.

Our problem is that we have as President and Secretary of State two people who appear to have zero knowledge of how the world works.  Obama and Clinton seem to think that there is, somewhere, a genuine desire in Syria and in the other players to end the bloodshed.  There isn’t.  There is a desire to win.  Assad wants to win.  The rebels want to win.  Iran wants to win.  Russia wants to win.  Turkey wants to win.  Saudi Arabia wants to win.  All of them won’t win, of course – but they are all fighting for victory as they see it.  We, under Obama and Clinton, don’t want to win – we don’t even know what we want other than an end to the violence; an admirable desire, but violence can be ended in good or bad ways.  Obama and Clinton are ensuring that when the violence ends there is sure to be one nation which won’t have won:  the United States.

Proper American policy in this matter is not to get involved in Syria – we have no dog in that hunt, unless we could grab Damascus and keep it.  That would involve a major military offensive too fraught with risks right now to be envisioned.  So, nothing to do in Syria – but we do have a strong interest in completely ending Syria’s (and, thus, Iran’s) role in Lebanon.  Syria’s armed forces are, naturally, being concentrated on the rebels.  I’ll bet their forces in Lebanon are thin on the ground:  the opportunity is for us eject them completely – ending Syrian domination and at the same time vastly undercutting the ability of the Iran-backed terrorist groups to operate there.  It is a certainty that Lebanon’s Christian population wouldn’t be adverse to a change in Lebanon’s status – certainly in the southern regions of the country, which we are most concerned about as it borders Israel.  A bit of thought and effort and some coordination with Israel and the thing could be done…by the time Syria is able to respond, it would be too late.

Will we do this?  Not a chance – Obama doesn’t even see it.  I doubt that anyone in his Administration does.  So, we’ll get more liberal hand-wringing while the Russian and Iranians battle it out with the Turks and Saudis and the winner of that not only gets Syria, but Lebanon thrown in to the bargain.  Just monumental stupidity brought about by rank ignorance on the part of our leadership.

 

Corrupt, Thuggish “Palestinian” Regime Applies for Statehood

From CBS:

Defying U.S. and Israeli opposition, (the ruffians who rule over the West Bank) asked the United Nations on Friday to accept them as a member state, sidestepping nearly two decades of failed negotiations in the hope this dramatic move on the world stage would reenergize their quest for (unfettered rule over a kleptocracy which likes murdered Jews).

Shortly after submitting the application to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, “Palestinian” (capo) Mahmoud Abbas was greeted by sustained applause and appreciative whistles as he approached the dais to deliver a speech outlining his (fellow thugs and kleptocrats) hopes and dreams of becoming a full member of the United Nations…(MSM report edited to make it accurate)

Thing is, such a State would fit right in with the UN…seriously, what would be the difference between such a regime and UN stalwarts like Zimbabwe, Syria, Sudan, Iran and Cuba?  Probably get them right on the Human Rights Commission in time to issue some more anti-Semitic statements while ignoring massacre and robbery in other lands.

The bottom line here is not the absurd demand for Statehood, but the fact that we are even part of this corrupt organization.  The United States cannot with honor remain in the United Nations…we have to cut the ties and seek to build a global organization of decent, free nations.  Sticking with the UN is akin to the police making common cause with drug gangs.

In practical terms, all this will do is allow the thugs and thieves of the world – especially those of the Islamo-fascist variety – to be yet more thuggish and criminal.  They’ll be encouraged to steal and kill even more, because stealing and killing is clearly the path to glory in the UN.  Time we were well done with it…and we should start pressing the GOP contenders on how they view our relationship to the UN and how they will propose to reform it, how long they’ll wait, and when they’ll withdraw us from it once the UN proves itself incorrigible.

 

Here Are the Palestinians

Do you really want to know what the Palestinians are like?  Do you want to understand what sort of leadership there is?  What sort of public attitudes are encouraged?  Well, here ya go – from Palestinian Media Watch:

The Palestinian Authority chose the mother of 4 terrorist murderers, one of whom killed seven Israeli civilians and attempted to killed twelve others, as the person to launch their statehood campaign with the UN. In a widely publicized event, the PA had Latifa Abu Hmeid lead the procession to the UN offices in Ramallah and to hand over a letter for the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

The official PA daily reported that she launched the UN campaign last week, and noted that she is the “mother of seven prisoners and of the Shahid (Martyr) Abd Al-Mun’im Abu Hmeid.” However, the paper did not mention that 4 of her imprisoned sons are murderers…

These are the people the Israelis are supposed to make peace with?  This is an indication of a sincere desire to live in peace with Israel?

The reality is that the Palestinian leadership believes they will win it all, eventually.  From being an exiled terrorist group chased around the world by Mossad they have been allowed to become permanently domiciled in parts of the West Bank and in Gaza…who, 30 years ago, would ever have imagined this?  And, so, in their mind’s eye, where will they be 30 years from now?  So, naturally, they choose the mother of murderers to present their petition for UN recognition…using murder and mayhem has got them this far and there is every indication that more murder and mayhem will get them farther.

It is time to force these people to be reasonable…give them a week to declare, in Arabic in letters delivered to every single Palestinian, that they recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State, that they renounce the “right of return” and that Jerusalem is the undivided capitol of Israel…and if they don’t do it, announce that for each week they don’t, 1% of currently occupied West Bank land will forever be denied them.  And if they do go 100 weeks refusing, then start taking 1% of the land they current own, week by week, until they agree.  And if 200 weeks go by and they still don’t agree, then start kicking them out of the West Bank and Gaza and transferring them to Sinai and Jordan.

I know, harsh – but how are we to reach those who choose the mother of murderers as their symbol?  Someone name for me anything the Palestinians have said or done which indicates a sincere desire for peace.   We have to force it out of them by letting them know they are beaten and that their future, as a people in the West Bank and Gaza, can only come about via cooperation with the Israelis.  Or we can just drift along and let them, murder by murder, slowly take over the whole of Israel.

Egyptian PM: Peace With Israel “Not Sacred”

From the Jerusalem Post:

Egypt’s Prime Minister Essam Sharaf said a peace deal with Israel was not “sacred” and could be changed for the benefit of peace or the region.

His comments, made in an interview with a Turkish television channel and broadcast on state television, were the strongest yet by the new government which took over after president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February.

“The Camp David agreement is not a sacred thing and is always open to discussion with what would benefit the region and the case of fair peace … and we could make a change if needed,” he said in the interview…

My suggestion to Israel is that they re-open the “discussion” of peace by pushing the Egyptians out of the Sinai.  When you’ve got them by the privates, it is said, hearts and minds will follow…the Suez Canal is one of Egypt’s few money-makers and Israeli control of it might remind Egypt’s government of just why the Sadat regime sought a peace treaty in 1979.

Israel is in her most difficult position since just prior to the 1967 war – rising Islamism; Turkish hostility (it looks as though the Turks are asserting themselves for the Palestinians in order to forestall Iranian efforts…but, no matter, it still works out bad for Israel); threat of Iranian nukes…and a US government which actually believes that Israeli/American actions are the cause of the conflict (instead of it really being nothing more than a manufactured issue by Islamic leaders who want a short cut to personal power and wealth…and scapegoating Jews is just easy).  Israel had to both tread carefully but at the same time be willing to act with lightening speed to disrupt the Islamists.

Right now, those Islamsits are looking forward to re-starting the war with Israel – confronting Israel with massive terrorist attacks from the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai and southern Lebanon.  Israel, caught between four fires, will be terribly vulnerable.  Better if one or more of the fires could be put out before it gets started.  As Israeli re-occupation of the West Bank is impractical (ties down too many Israeli units in occupation duty), the logical place to strike is in the Sinai…minimal Egyptian civil popualtion to control, it cuts off Gaza (thus putting that fire out) and would allow the IDF to concentrate on south Lebanon and the West bank with their southern and western fronts secure.

The worst thing Israel can do is just hunker down – MacArthur was once asked his formula for defensive war.  His answer?  “Defeat”.  Sitting there and waiting for the terrorists to strike won’t help…better a spoiling attack against them, throwing their plane in to confusion and allowing Israel a breathing space until a new American government comes to power…hopefully one with a more realistic understanding of the Islamists.

Saudis Give Us Excuse to Ditch Them

From Turki al-Faisal in the New York Times:

The United States must support the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations this month or risk losing the little credibility it has in the Arab world. If it does not, American influence will decline further, Israeli security will be undermined and Iran will be empowered, increasing the chances of another war in the region.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia would no longer be able to cooperate with America in the same way it historically has…

Ok, deal – all we have to do is the right thing, and the Saudis will have to cut their ties with us.  Wonderful!  Best thing I’ve heard in months on the foreign policy scene.  No longer shackled to a corrupt, oppressive, Islamist monarchy which provides bags of money for the Islamo-fascist enemies of the United States.

The linked Op-Ed goes on to claim that bid for statehood by the Palestinians is just basic justice.  I can’t see it as such.  The people of so-called Palestine have indicated no willingness to engage the Israelis in a decent manner.  Whether this is because of a malevolent spirit on the part of the people, or because the leaders of the people are deliberately orchestrating the evil is impossible to know…but until there is a fundamental change in Palestinian actions, not much can be done.  The United States cannot – morally or strategically – mid-wife the creation of an entity determined to massacre the Israelis.  It would be good to see Israel go one full year without a single terrorist attack by Islamists.  No rocket attacks from Gaza or Lebanon; no attempted cross-border incursions; no attempt to run the Gaza blockade.  If that happens, then we could consider backing statehood.  Until then, nothing doing.

As for Saudi Arabia:  good riddance to bad rubbish, I say…unfortunately, watch as our foreign policy “realists” react with horror to the mere thought that the Saudi monarchy might be displeased with us.

Islamist Mob Breaks in to Israeli Embassy

From the AP:

Protesters broke into the Israeli Embassy in Cairo Friday and dumped documents out of the windows as hundreds more demonstrated outside, prompting the ambassador and his family to leave the country. The unrest was a further worsening of already deteriorating ties between Israel and post-Hosni Mubarak Egypt.

Egyptian police made no attempt to intervene during the day as crowds of hundreds tore down an embassy security wall with sledgehammers and their bare hands or after nightfall when about 30 protesters stormed into the Nile-side high-rise building where the embassy is located…

This is the end of the peace treaty – the Egyptian government either will not or cannot enforce the terms, which would include the security of the Israeli embassy in Cairo.  What form of government will finally emerge in Egypt remains unknown…but until that government does emerge and indicates its policies, no reliance can be placed on agreements made under the Sadat/Mubarak regime.  A new peace treaty will have to made – and only if the new Egyptian government indicates a willingness to have true peace with Israel.

The ultimate lesson here is to place no reliance on deals with  tyrants – Sadat was, indeed, a great and wise man…but he was a tyrant, and his successor was a tyrant, and only as long as the tyranny remained in power would any agreement be honored.  Tyrant gone, so is deal…better to have never made the deal, as if there hadn’t been a peace treaty Israel would be on the Suez, not worrying about attacks from the Sinai in to southern Israel.

Back to square one in the middle east…except now there is an even more virulent spirit abroad in the Muslim world.

IDF General: War Clouds Gathering

From Y Net:

Recent revolutions in the Arab world and the deteriorating ties with Turkey are raising the likelihood of a regional war in the Middle East, IDF Home Front Command Chief, Major General Eyal Eisenberg warned Monday.

“It looks like the Arab Spring, but it can also be a radical Islamic winter,” he said in a speech at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv…

The “Islamic Winter” is pretty much what I expect.  We are about to reap an ill harvest…sown since 9/11 by our political inability to carry on the fight with sufficient determination.  As it turns out, our campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq have proven strategic dead-ends – because we did not follow up with the next, logical steps.

Not being privy to strategy sessions of the Bush White House  – and none of us will be for at least 50 years – I don’t know if there was a plan for follow-up to Iraq…but I perceive that there was, at least, a desire to leverage the fall of Baghdad in to a general offensive against all the Islamists of  the middle east.  Syria likely the best post-Iraq target, but it could have been Iran, as well…but we didn’t do it.  There was that moment in the summer of 2003 when Islamism was tottering and ready to fall…but we allowed ourselves to get hamstrung in Iraq, giving the Islamists a breather where they could regain their confidence and bog us down in a  counter-insurgency campaign…a campaign which never would have been possible for the enemy to conduct in Baghdad if we were threatening Damascus and Tehran.

What hamstrung us immediately was not the Islamists, themselves, but the American left…fearful that a continuing series of American victories would cement American supremacy and worse (for the left) relegate the left to political irrelevancy, the left decided that procuring American defeat in the war was necessary…so they began to fire up the anti-war movement, nit-pick every military error and slander the men and women who were fighting the battle.  The rest, as they say, is history…President Bush, whatever his desires might have been, was capable in the end of only holding on…refusing to fold as Johnson did in Vietnam, but being unable to resume the offensive and bring the war to a victorious end.

And now the Islamists are on the march – certain that in President Obama we have a leader who will not strike at the heart of the problem, the Islamists have stepped up their terrorism and their subversion.  Countering our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Islamists are poised to gain control of Egypt; Turkey is slipping in to the Islamist camp, Libya’s Islamists are making a bid for power…and Iran continues to build towards a nuclear force.  As this virulent form of Islam strides from victory to victory, the number and confidence of the adherents grows…they are feeling their oats and thinking they only need keep fighting a bit longer and harder for total victory to be theirs.  This, I think, is where General Eisenberg’s fear comes from…these nuts might start to think they can beat Israel and/or the United States in a stand-up fight.

They misjudge – Israel is still immensely powerful and even President Obama, if forced by circumstances, will fight.  But it must be remembered that aggressive powers routinely miscalculate the balance of forces.  Time and time again they discount the reserves of strength in their opponents…especially if they are tyrants and their opponents are free people.  Always keep in mind that it was sheer impertinence for Imperial Japan to attack the United States…the total balance of forces between the two nations was such that for Japan it worked out to national suicide…as anyone thinking clearly in Japan would have figured out in an instant…but no one thought about it; they counted on our weakness and their supposed spiritual superiority to carry the day.  Our Islamist enemies are thinking like that…give them control of a couple more nations, and they might think that it is time for war…full scale, conventional war.

We might be heading or a bloody mess in the middle east – literal  millions of lives are at stake.  It is to be hoped that things will work out differently.  But their working out differently is mostly dependent upon people of the Moslem world deciding against Islamism…a cool, rational understanding that war cannot achieve Islamist ends, and so should not be tried.  I doubt there is that sort of sense building in the Moslem world.

Let this be yet another lesson for us – and one I pray we finally learn:  if we’re going to go to war, at all, go all the way to war.  Identify all the enemies and destroy all of them as swiftly as possible.  Leave no sanctuary…no place where the enemy can retreat to regain strength and strike us again.  American war can only be war to the knife…to the utter destruction and unconditional surrender of the enemy.  If we aren’t willing to do that, we’d better not fight, at all.  If another war comes, let it be the last war we have to fight against Islam…just as the war against Japan was fought to the point where it was clearly the last war we’d ever have to fight with that nation.