Tag Archives: Nukes

"We dare not let ourselves be blindsided again."

So writes author Joel C. Rosenberg toward the end of his new book Israel at War : Inside the Nuclear Showdown with Iran. Rosenberg gives this warning as an American, to his countrymen. We were blindsided on Dec. 7, 1941, by an enemy we did not perceive as a threat. And we were blindsided on Sept. 11, 2001 by a very different enemy, one who still exists and still threatens, and concerning whom the leader of a similarly threatened ally has been warning us, and pleading with us not to be so blind to the danger as we so willingly appear by our actions (or lack thereof) to be.

Rosenberg, a former advisor to Benyamin Netanyahu, uses his experience to offer insights into the decision making processes of the one man in the world who appears to most clearly perceive the threat posed by the Iran regime, and who is most heavily burdened with the need to discern a course of action to take.

ADJ_lvg_Warwick_NYCIt is often said that the U.S. President is the de facto leader of the free world. It is very unfortunate for all of us that our current head of state has cravenly abrogated that duty. It is even more distressing that his own behavior suggests he agrees with the diminutive Madman of Tehran that America is “the Great Satan” and ought indeed to be crushed underfoot.

And so it is amazing that the duty to stand up to Iran falls on the shoulders of the leader of one of the world’s smallest nations and the only free nation in the Middle East. Rosenberg explains how Netanyahu was born into the awareness that Israel must defend itself, with or without the help of other nations, and without regard to how loudly those nations proclaim their own righteousness. He goes on to give us a rundown of the events surrounding Iran’s reach for nuclear weapons, and brings us up to date on the current status, and on what may be going on in Israel’s secret councils.

He ends with a suggestion that we pray for Israel’s leaders out of 1 Chronicles 12:32, that they might be “men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do.” I couldn’t agree more.

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Filed under General MidEast Matters

They say that life is what happens while you’re making other plans; I say that stuff is what happens while you’re just trying to live your life.

I might suppose that I owe my readers an apology for not having posted for over six months, but one thing about anonymous blogging is that you don’t really have a relationship with your readers, and apologies are for relationships.

But in case I’m wrong about that, I do apologize, and I’ll just say that a lot of stuff has come between me and blogging since last March. Nothing to write home about—just stuff.

But by the same token, it hasn’t seemed to me that there has been much new stuff going on with regard to Israel and its relations with the world, which is what I write about here. Not that there hasn’t been anything going on—just nothing strikingly new.

But maybe it’s all right to just keep reminding the world of what is going on.

The official IDF blog says that September was a busy month, with the usual rocket attacks and cross-border raids. But what nation should be expected to regard these kinds of things as normal?!

World media continue to do stupid little things like trying to deny Israel the right to designate its own Capital. And even the Democratic Party of the United States got in on the act last month, though I now read that they’ve reconsidered their inanity.

The big news this past week has been of course Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s UN speech, replete with a cartoon drawing of a bomb, as if to drive home the point that the world (or at least the UN) needs to be addressed at a level of less than adult intelligence in order to get the point across that Iran must be stopped. By way of contrast, the UN tirade by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas served mostly to call attention to his increasing irrelevance.

Also increasingly irrelevant are the Gaza “flotillas.” The latest one is reportedly somewhere in Italy and appears to be generating not much more than a collective yawn. Maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on myself for thinking there hasn’t been much to write about.

On the positive side, my co-laborers in promulgating the truth have continued to publish articles here and there laying out the facts of Mideast life, like this one from Front Page Magazine explaining in great detail why it is a lie to claim that Jewish settlers  are living on land stolen from Palestinian Arabs.

Or check out this video series from Zola Levitt Ministries on eight reasons why you need to support Israel. Yes — you.

 

TTYL.

lineman

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Will they or won’t they? Or when will they? Or will they say?

A friend asked me in passing a few weeks ago, “Well what do you think? A couple of months?” I told him, no, I didn’t think so, not in that short of time, anyway. Neither one of us had to ask the other what the subject was. It was about whether—or more exactly when—Israel would launch a military attack against Iran’s nuclear weapons infrastructure.

There has been a popular impression for quite a while that it has to happen, it will happen, and it could be any time now. I do not have an inside track, and I also tend to be wary of going with the flow. So lately I’ve been on the lookout for information that can fill in some of the missing pieces.

The first clearly presented article I saw as I began to watch for such things laid out several reasons why it was not about to happen just yet, written by Professor Barry Rubin at the beginning of last month. You can (and should) read it for yourself, but the effect it had on my understanding of the situation was that things are not as cut-and-dried as the media would like to think they are. Professor Rubin added some further comments on this just last week.

I’ve seen a few other places where similar observations were presented – that a simplistic view that’s it’s going to happen, and it’s going to happen soon – is just that, simplistic. I’ve been putting off this post, trying to get a more precise handle on this, with more names, dates, & figures, but it’s just too much of a moving target right now. So if my friend were to ask me the same question tomorrow, I’d have the same answer, but that’s just my two cents.

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BHOHeadCrop05March2012So I suppose you could say it was a safe for US President Obama to talk tough in his address to AIPAC on Sunday. Since nothing was going to happen any time soon, he had plenty of room (comparing himself to Teddy Roosevelt) to “carry a big stick.”

But—ah, well!—talk is all it was. Cheap talk, at that. And so transparently dishonest that I take comfort in being certain that the AIPAC delegates saw through it well enough. And that, by the same token, the gracious reception given the speech by Israel President Peres and Prime Minister Netanyahu will be seen in the proper light. (As someone put it, “just doing their job.”)

I don’t mean to overwork Professor Rubin, but I’ll cite him again here as having written the clearest analysis of the speech that I’ve seen today. He titled his post, “Promise her anything but give her Arpege.” I think you get the idea.

As for all the support President Obama claims he has given Israel, take a look at this video from The Emergency Committee for Israel that puts things in a more accurate perspective:

Barack Obama ran for president as a pro-Israel candidate — but his record tells a different story

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In my last two posts I brought up the possibility that some of the more violent setbacks to Iran’s nuclear program may not be accidents or the work of Israeli agents (exclusively, anyway) either one, but clandestine efforts by loyal Iranians opposed to the Ahmadinejad regime.

I’ve seen some further comments along those lines, but one of the more interesting items was a piece in Haaretz saying WikiLeaks had released “intelligence” that Israeli special forces had indeed cooperated with Kurdish fighters inside Iran to destroy one or more nuke sites some time ago.

Lest we get our hopes up too high, we need to remember that just because we see it on the internet doesn’t make it so. Blogger Elder of Ziyon pointed out a few things in a post titled Tempest in a Wikipot that may help us to keep things in perspective.

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homs_CropBack in December I was also looking at the way the Syrian revolt against the Assad regime has become a dividing point between the various Muslim states and factions in the Middle East. So far Assad is still in, and things are not looking good for the rebels. It’s odd that the entire Arab world plus Turkey is lined up against the regime (including now even Al-Qaeda and Hamas) but nothing is moving. Russia and Iran are the only two entities that I’m aware are still behind Assad. It would appear especially that Hamas’ opposition is a radical move, given their position as merely a proxy for Iran. How can they get away with that? They’re cutting their own umbilical cord—or are they? The more I look at the Middle East, and Arab behavior in particular, the more I see that we make a mistake when we try to view things from our Western perspective of democratic principles and national republics.

I read an analysis by Daniel Greenfield this weekend which pointed out that Arab loyalties really are not to nation states nor even yet ideologies, but to the clan. At which point Syria becomes an excellent example of this: right now it’s the Alawite “splinter sect” in the persons of the Assad clan that’s desperately, brutally holding on to power. And if they fall, will we see a free, democratic Syria emerge? Not likely. We really should stop making such an asserted effort to fool ourselves.

LiebermanheadcropcloseAt least one person is taking away an important lesson from all this. Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman points out that the failure of the international community (and of the UN in particular) to protect the victims of state violence in Syria clearly shows Israel’s wisdom in not trusting international promises of such protection as a basis for allowing a(nother) terrorist state hard on its borders.

Nuff said?

TTYL. Lineman.

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Bombs, Bugs, and Brigadiers

Israel is keeping the world on pins & needles wondering if (or more to the point, when) it will take military action against Iran’s nuclear weapons operations. Good! The world deserves it!

Reports have been swirling in the media for a while now that Israel may soon go after Iran’s nuke sites. Israel isn’t saying much, but what they are saying is tantalizing, quite possibly on purpose.

A couple of months ago Mideast authority Professor Barry Rubin posted several reasons why he thinks it’s not likely to happen, but nobody I know really knows, or will say they know.

Since Professor Rubin’s column, the International Atomic Energy Commission released a report saying that—surprise, surprise—Iran may be closer than we think to getting its bomb. But that report doesn’t seem to have changed the strategic situation much, if any–maybe because it isn’t really new information.

Meanwhile the US is a little miffed that Israel might not let us in on it beforehand if they do go. It’s not like we’d actually be a help—especially considering the current US administration’s Islamist associations.

Then again, America is a truly complex entity, so I’m not altogether surprised that we may, in spite of opposite indications, be making our own preparations. This report of the USAF taking delivery of new, more potent “bunker buster” bombs may be taken as one indication of that.

Speaking of which, why would the United Arab Emirates be getting these huge bombs from us also, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, if not for a similar purpose?

Meanwhile one of Iran’s top military officers—said to be behind Iran’s missile program–was killed in a massive explosion over the weekend. Iran officially says it was an accident, but there are some who say Israel did it. You think?

And let’s not forget Duqu, Son of Stuxnet. Iran now admits the new computer virus is bedeviling their computer systems in a way similar to the one that temporarily shut them down last year. They say they have a handle on it, though. Yeah, right.

Given all this, I’m not at all sure Israel can’t keep Iran’s nuclear weapons program at bay without a massive strike. But it’s not up to us, is it? Sometimes all we can do is watch.

Watch with me, will you?

lineman

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Oh thank heaven for 2011!

2010 was a rough one, wasn’t it? Wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes in divers places… but still the end is not yet. Don’t worry, it’s not my intention here to do a year-in-review-and-preview-of-the-new post. If you think about it for a moment, changing one digit on the calendar really doesn’t change anything, does it? The wars and rumors of wars that were going on a few months ago are still going on now; there was another major earthquake in another part of the world yesterday. Things happen; things continue to happen.

One of the major things that happened last year which seems to be still with us is the way the Stuxnet computer super virus appears to have stymied Iran’s nuclear arms program. Every time I think the matter has been finally dealt with, it turns up again. And now Jerusalem Post and others say it was actually the Middle East Story of the Year for 2010. But I said I wasn’t going to do that sort of post. So I won’t. I just thought it was interesting to note.

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Well, OK, even though I don’t intend to indulge, it doesn’t hurt to pay attention to the comments of others who have better credentials than do I. Once again Caroline Glick comes to mind, and she has some cogent remarks to make about what she calls “The wars of 2011.”

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sweet_little_hamas_suicide_boy_via_ICEJ Speaking of credentials, IsraeliGirl sent me another in-depth expert interview, this time with counter terrorism authority Dr. Boaz Ganor of IDC Herzliyah. Dr. Ganor answers some questions I had, such as how Iran’s Shiite terror organization manages to work so well with Sunni Hamas in spite of what would otherwise be fatal differences. An intriguing, if upsetting, perspective also is how suicide bombers constitute what might be called the terrorists’ “’smart bomb’ technology.” Talk about culture shock — there’s nothing in the culture I come from that can easily handle the notion of suicide being smart, but that only shows how much we need to learn about the nasty world existing in some others’ minds. And it is apparently not all about the “70 virgins” either, but it’s even more bizarre (to our way of thinking) than that. Read Dr. Ganor’s explanations here.

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And this morning I received an article from the same source explaining Iran’s (or at least Ahmadinejad’s) vision of a new world order to replace the failed [sic] old orders of communism and capitalism. Apparently the tyrant of Tehran thinks

Iran and its ideological teachings are emerging as the next major alternative to these ideologies…

…and that the new world can get along just fine without either the US or Israel.

His plans for the Arab states also apparently involve their moving away from any semblance of moderation into his loving yet crushing grip. It’s no wonder (and a relief, in a way) that the recent Wikileaks revelations show the Arab regimes to be more wary of Iran than of the US or even of Israel.

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changing_weather You know, I’m a little tempted at this point to say, the more things seem to change, the more they stay the same. But I’m not completely certain how long things will be that way. I’m ninety-nine and forty-four one hundredths percent sure that we will all wake up tomorrow, but beyond that…?

Talk to y’all later, Good Lord willin’ and the crick don’t rise.

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Hezbollah, Iran and Turkey as they do the hokey-pokey…

hizrally_mn_web So what, exactly, is this all about? We just found out today that Iran is taking away from Hezbollah nearly half of its financial support. If Iran is cutting off Hezbollah, it’s fine with me, but it’s still puzzling when you consider the view that Hezbollah was itself created by Iran not all that long ago, and that Iran is still the terror organization’s main provider. And even though Hezbollah has gained some level of independence from Iran (or at least a degree of autonomy) since that time, it still is difficult to interpret this move as anything short of an amputation at the knees. (No pun intended this time.)

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I haven’t talked about Stuxnet much lately, but it doesn’t appear to have gone away. On the contrary, it’s looking very much like Iran’s nuclear program is still effectively hobbled by the clever little worm, with no early fix in sight.

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Speaking of Stuxnet (sort of), it’s interesting that its apparent effectiveness has become a metaphor for other things—such as Israel’s almost desperate need for an effective way to present its case to the world. UCI has published Prof. Phyllis Chesler’s report from the trenches here.

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Ah yes, Turkey. Last time around we were contemplating the through-the-looking-glass-world notion of an apology by Israel to Turkey for last summer’s attack by Turkish mercenaries on the Egyptian-Israeli naval blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza. Someone had suggested it would be a nice way of reopening an Israeli-Turkish dialogue after the latter’s greatly appreciated assistance in putting out this month’s fires on Mt. Carmel. It all sounded very odd, and by now it has become clear that Israel intends to do no such thing. The suggestion sure did ruffle some feathers, though. I even heard tell that one MK went so far as to offer to apologize for not shooting sooner, but I won’t go there.

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Time for me to go. See y’all down the road a piece.

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