Eretz Yisrael Time

Powered by WebAds
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Years ago when touring an IDF naval base someone in the group asked, “Why doesn’t Israel have an aircraft carrier? The senior officer giving the tour basically laughed at the guy’s question and said that Israel is one big aircraft carrier, so why would it need another one. (I bet they get that question a lot).

We all laughed at the time, but over the years, I’ve come to realize that this was a very serious and important question, and the answer given was simply wrong.

(As an aside, I just heard a related joke. An Israeli helicopter pilot flying over the sea had to crash land. He spotted a US aircraft carrier and quickly landed his crippled chopper on the deck. The Captain ran down to the deck screaming at him for landing without permission. The Israeli pilot responded, “Sorry, I thought it was one of ours.”)

Politically, the State of Israel is not into empire building. It’s not into the expansion or extension of power or influence, and let’s not even talk about power projection. Israel’s political worldview has traditionally been inward, about looking not much beyond its immediate borders (with a few notable exceptions), and looking outwards only to the extent of maintaining a defensive posture and relationship (FM Lieberman is actually trying to change that a bit).

In the military arena, Israel has excused itself from the international playing field. There are arguments both ways why this is good or bad. But outside of joint training exercises (mostly) in the Mediterranean basin, Israel is simply absent.

This is obviously not true in terms of global assistance (think Haiti, agriculture, water resources, etc.), where Israel is the undisputed world leader (and has shown surprisingly incredible logistical capabilities) but as a military or political power Israel has purposefully kept to its shell.

I am not suggesting that Israel start becoming an aggressive global player, sending forces to UN trouble spots, or getting ourselves involved in other people’s civil wars.

(At this point you could comment on Israeli military sales and training – in which we are among the world leaders, but that is a different type of involvement).

But I am suggesting that this kind of thinking has detrimentally affected our deterrent and military capabilities, by having us look at our situation from only one direction.

While Israel has subs (who knows where and capable of doing who knows what), what Israel does not have are reliable, always available forward airbases from which to carry out major (non-second strike) remote operations – such as what’s needed against Iran.

Aircraft carriers (even little ones) are not cheap things. They require a lot of defense and support vessels as well as supporting infrastructure and friendly foreign ports. They’re juicy targets, and a major expense that perhaps the State of Israel could not (or can not) afford. But they are one way a military can extend its arm.

And it’s unlikely that we’ll find many friends in the region willing to let us set up forward IAF bases on their territory (but that could eventually change if we were to start supporting Kurd rights in the region).

On the other hand, we see our situation right now.

America is essentially blocking any action we might want to take against Iran by air. Turkey is now blocking all IAF air traffic. Our targets in Iran are very far off and we'd have to go over a lot of enemy territory to get there, significantly increasing the risk of any long-range operation.

Israel is simply finding its access routes to its desired targets blocked, which means we have minimal effective force projection against Iran.

Now it might simply be politically or fiscally impossible for Israel to maintain an aircraft carrier or a remote airfield. And if that’s the case, then that should have been the answer the officer gave. And those are at least acceptable answers (that need to be worked on).

But to dismiss the question as a joke, indicates to me that (at least back then) our military and political thinkers unquestionably relied on the US to provide us the support we would need (something we repeatedly see has not been the best of ideas), but more importantly, their primary thinking was limited to immediate border issues and not how to deal with larger regional or global threats.

Having said all that, I do think that a typical (even small) aircraft carrier couldn’t work for Israel for the reasons I said above.

But that doesn't leave us stuck. Not at all.

That’s what is so interesting about Israel. Our navy vessels employ some of the most unique defensive and offensive home grown weaponry and systems on board. Ships that should be nothing more than Coast Guard vessels are capable of real naval warfare. That’s the result of out-of-the-box thinking.

I can see an Israeli aircraft carrier following that same train of thought.

Imagine small, fast vessels with multiple (armed) UAV/RPV launching capabilities. Instead of an on-deck runway for landings, it could carry a very long inflatable runway which it would deploy only on demand. Perhaps even a UAV designed to be launched from a (modified) submarine, which would provide even more safety to the remote pilot’s vessel.

With a solution like that, Israel would be able to project a reasonable level of remote air power, without the expense and risk of an aircraft carrier. It would be able to carry out remote air missions from multiple directions. It wouldn’t find itself locked out of the battlefield. It could quickly launch multiple sorties against remote enemy targets.

Israel has recently sent a few warships through the Suez these past few months. Imagine if they actually had these capabilities.

I think it’s an interesting concept.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Obama seems to have a thing for Islamic dictators and terrorists.

How else could you explain why Obama has been pushing platforms that strengthen and legitimize Hamas, while one of his senior advisors recommends talking to Hezbollah’s political wing, and his notably understated and belated reaction to the fraudulent Iranian elections and subsequent crackdown on innocent civilians (not to mention his later statements recognizing the legitimacy of the Iranian government).

Meanwhile, Turkey saw that Obama was not only mistreating and insulting America’s closest allies (Britain, Israel, etc.), but was simply becoming an unreliable and weak ally for Turkey, which hence left Turkey no choice but to run full speed into Iran’s open arms.

And here we are, once again, Obama has blown it in the international arena.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, not the strongest of political figures, has been seriously wavering ever since Obama took office. Karzai first took over after the Taliban lost control in 2001. His loyalty to the US has always been wavered and depended on the perceived support he’s gotten from US and any particular time (which hasn’t been exactly steady over the years either).

But the US believes there is no one else to replace him with, so they helped keep him in power.

His recent reelection was questionable (to say the least). His ethics are questionable (but no more so than many other US Middle Eastern allies). His loyalty is weak. But he maintained Afghanistan as a US ally for as long as his hands were being gently held, and he felt that the strength of the US was behind him.

But what seems to have pushed Karzai over the edge was Obama’s public rebuke of him in March regarding the elections (something Obama couldn’t be bothered to do with the Iranian elections – after all, Karzai was an ally, Ahmadinjad isn’t).

So Karzai responded to the rebuke by inviting Iranian President Ahmadinjad over to Afghanistan, to give an anti-American speech.

Obama reacted by flying over for a surprise visit and dinner.

Now as readers of JoeSettler already know, the only thing that kept Karzai from going completely over to the other side has been General McChrystal,

With the firing of McChrystal, and perhaps more importantly, with the public reiteration that US troops will be out of Afghanistan by July 2011 by his replacement General Patraeus (and by Obama), Karzai has determined that the US is no longer a reliable ally and certainly won’t be around for the long haul to protect his regime.

So as a result he has made serious overtures to the Taliban. The same Taliban that he replaced in 2001. The same Taliban that the US is fighting and trying to defeat (with one hand tied behind its back - sound familiar?). The same Taliban that had Al Qaeda links.

Karzai has officially offered the Taliban to essentially join his government via a power-sharing arrangement.

And why shouldn’t he?

The Taliban don’t think much of General Patraeus. Obama (see the JoeSettler post mentioned above) doesn’t think much of Patraeus. Biden doesn’t think much of Patraeus. (Despite Patraeus successfully architecting the Iraqi Surge). Under Bush they didn't like him at all.

So apparently Karzai doesn’t think too much of US reliability, nor the message the US is sending him by replacing McChrystal with Patraeus (despite his actually being a very good general)

He sees the one person in the US military who he feels he can trust (and who kept him in line) unceremoniously kicked out. 

And the US has made it clear they are abandoning (exiting) Afghanistan by July 2011.

Perhaps this is just another strong message to Obama by Karzai (as the CIA is wishfully saying), but more likely this is an actual attempt at realignment. After all, without the US, does Karzai actually have any other options?

What this means is that the US is losing another front in the war on terror.

The head of “Im Tirtzu” made an interesting observation. His organization kept fighting against the political/media attacks by an ever increasing number of organizations: Machsom Watch, Yesh Gvul, Gisha, etc. There seemed to be no end to the number of organizations that kept popping up.

After some investigation he discovered that they all received funding and assistance from the New Israel Fund. It appeared that all these little groups were just tentacles of the NIF octopus head. He uncovered some other interesting doodads which I’ll save for another post.

Out in the wider world, Iran is like the NIF octopus head, financing terror around the world.

Obama has a chance to redeem himself and his presidency - if he acts against the octopus head in Iran. But alas, even with moving more ships into the Gulf, it seems his heart isn’t into it, and the only way he may act, is if he is forced to react – just like he was forced to go to dinner with Karzai.

Some have tried to explain the recent waning of American power and influence, not as a result of a weakening America, but resulting from a strengthening of other countries around the world.

But I disagree. We are witnessing the weakening of America as a direct result of the statements, actions and inactions of Obama and his administration.

One question is, how irreparable and irreversible is the damage he is causing to the US?

But before that can be answered, a more worrisome questions is, what country will Obama lose next?
Friday, June 25, 2010
Hamas has now been holding Gilad Shalit for 4 years.

4 years without visitors.

4 years without communications

4 years without human rights.

The power to release him is in the hands of Hamas (and not Bibi's as some claim).

But it is in the power of the world to maintain and increase pressure on Hamas to release him.

Unfortunately, the world has not chosen that path. Instead the world has chosen the path of Antisemitism, appeasement, and false values.

I do not want to be writing this post next year.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
The whole McChrystal-Obama thing is very interesting on so many levels, I can't even begin to touch on most of them there are so many.

I read the Rolling Stone article. I read an interview with the author of the article.

The impression I got out of it is that many if not most of the “best” quotes came from when McChrystal and his friends were out plastered in a bar.

Regardless of when/how it was gotten, it’s clear that many in top military leadership positions don’t think much of Obama.

It’s also clear that Obama doesn’t think much of his military men.

He and Biden certainly didn’t think much of General Petraeus before they came into White House power when Obama publicly lambasted him in typical Obama fashion - telling him he did a great job while simultaneously telling him he (and everyone else) failed.  Biden also didn't think to highly of Petraeus either.

But now Obama has appointed General Patraeus to replace McChrystal, also leaving a hole in the job Patraeus was previously doing, but more importantly, giving Patraeus the same mission that Obama had called a failure just a few years before (when Bush was president).

Everyone seems to be intent on building intentions onto the article. The leftwing Rolling Stone wanted to attack the war in Afghanistan. McChrystal didn’t have confidence in the White House to properly support them, or in the new Rules of Engagement his soldiers had to follow and political suicide was the only way he saw to get the problems the attention they needed.

What’s interesting is that it was the Petraeus-McChrystal partnership that came up with and implemented the successful surge in Iraq. And with McChrystal’s resignation/dismissal it isn’t clear that half a team will be successful this time in Afghanistan.

McChrystal is the kind of general that soldiers like. The kind that goes out into the field and fights alongside his men. A true leader. He also is not a political animal, which worked to his detriment, but you don’t find the two mixing that often.

Conclusions? How is this related to Israel?

Perhaps another time.
Rather amusing article I saw the other day. Iran offered to help the US plug the overflowing oil well. They said they would do it out of humanitarian interest. (The link isn't to the article I saw, but it's what I found now in a quick search)

As I was reading this I recalled a NYTimes article earlier this month that was discussing options on the table for plugging the hole. One option discussed was something Russia allegedly did up to 5 times when they had oil leak problems.

The USSR sealed the holes by blowing them up with Nuclear bombs.

So I figured, Iran was probably offering to use their Nuclear bombs on America for humanitarian purposes.

Sounds right to me.
Monday, June 21, 2010
In case you haven't noticed, Israel is in the middle of an active war, and unconventional war, but a war none-the-less.

In the latest attack, Leftists tried to block the unloading of a ZIM ship in Oakland California.

But due to a mistake on the part of the US-based anti-Semites, they ended up attacking the wrong boat, and prevented the unloading of a Chinese ship instead. May our enemies continue to make such mistakes.
Friday, June 18, 2010
The latest Latma video: "The Three Terrors"
Watch it now, before YouTube takes it down.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Arabs in Judea are all going to be in a lot of legal trouble very soon. Some already are. I'm concerned the penalty is death.

Palestinian Authority law prohibits Arabs from buying Settler goods, buying from Settlers, and working for Settlers.

Well, the new Rami Levy opened up in Gush Etzion this week, and it was packed with Settlers and Arabs shopping together and working together.

But coexistence aside, the Arabs there were clearly breaking at least three PA laws, perhaps more.

I would post a picture of all this, but I'm afraid the Palestinian Authority would use it to identify and then execute its exposed citizens for this blatant disregard for their laws.

I do expect however that the radical left will be there sometime in the near future to protest this latest example of the "Occupation".
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
As everyone has already heard, Hamas has refused the entry of the Flotilla aid into Gaza.

So where is the global outcry about Hamas creating suffering for their population by refusing the aid? Instead - Silence.

The left are trying to turn this issue into the blockade - what is allowed in, and what's not. They're trying to claim a humanitarian crisis, which there isn't.

But as the first fact shows, the Left doesn't actually care to really solve the problem, except in a way that would hurt Israel.

The Left would have far more credibility if they called for the complete dismantling of the genocidally-oriented Hamas regimes. Full stop. No qualifications, no comparisons, no "and...". Full stop.

The Left would have far more credibility if they called for the complete dismantling of the Hamas regimes that regularly tortures and executes its own citizens. Full stop. No qualifications, no comparisons, no "and...". Full stop.

The Left would have far more credibility if it openly demanded that Hamas (until it is dismantled) allow in the Flotilla aid. Full stop. No qualifications, no comparisons, no "and...". Full stop.

But the left doesn't want that kind of credibility. It's not their goal.

Instead from the far left pundits up to Obama's closest advisers we are seeing the new direction the left is heading. They are beginning to call for legitimizing Hizbollah. They are beginning to call for recognition of Hamas as the legitimate ruling government in Gaza and they're arguing that Hamas should be dealt with directly - instead of being isolated, contained, and eventually destroyed.

This is the next battlefront for Israel.


By the way, the divers killed yesterday on their way to a terror attack weren't from Hamas. They were from Fatah. You know, the Palestinian Authority.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
There's no question that Erdogan is bad. In every sense of the word.
There's no question that he is doing his best to drive Turkey directly into the Axis of Evil. There's no question that he is taking steps that will eventually remove Turkey from NATO, and delink it from the West (well perhaps not Obama personally, but from the US and the rest of the Western world).

The Middle East has traditionally been divided into 3 sectors. The Arabs (the Arab Islamic countries), the Islamists (non-Arab Islamic countries such as Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, etc.), and Israel (the West).

For decades Turkey maintained itself in an unusual, and profitable position. An Islamic country with strong ties to the West.

But with Islamic expansionism on the rise, due to activities by the more hardcore/radical Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, and because of the plummeting influence of the US worldwide, first by not ultimately nor properly responding to the roles of Iran and Saudi Arabia as the source of the problems, and more seriously followed by Obama's obeisance to Islam, his general incompetence, his destruction of US international influence, and his removal of radical Islamic terror (Jihadism) from the US lexicon, the balance of power in the Middle East has changed.

So where once there were 3 sectors playing off both internally, and against one another, we now have Iran who is about to become an Islamic (non-Arab) nuclear power, an aggressive nuclear power mind you, the regional hegemon, placing all the other regional countries (besides Israel) without anyone to balance off against.

So this leaves all the other Islamic-based players in a quandary.

Obama's US is an unreliable ally leaving a political vacuum that Iran is filling. So as a result the rest of the region and even the more independent countries must begin to realign themselves with the strongest and most aggressive regional player.

The Arab countries, in fact, are still hoping that Israel acts aggressively against Iran to rebalance the former Mexican stand-off, but without clear US backing they don't expect that to happen.

Which brings us back to Turkey. Erdogan is a bad man, with a bad political party looking to join with the perceived strongest regional player, some very bad people.

The question is, is the rise of Islamic-based politics in Turkey what the Turkish people really want, or simply where Erdogan is taking them?

Countries have permanent interests, not permanent allies. And it's now in Turkey's interest to align with the Axis of Evil.

But that doesn't mean that all the Turkish people are bad.

The question is, can Turkey be saved from its leadership? Can Turkey be saved from bad US governance?

Six decades of positive ties with Israel are about to end as Turkey goes over the deep end. Will the US (Obama) lose Turkey, just like it (Carter) lost Iran?

It would appear so.

Yet despite that, we see that the Iranian people now want out,they want their freedom back from the Khomeiniests running their country.

Obama didn't step up to bat and help the Iranian people when they cried out for assistance. Turkey saw that. The entire Islamic world saw that.

The Turkish people can be saved from their situation only if the US government steps up to the plate.

Unfortunately there is no indication that Obama will do that, so in a few decades from now there will be a popular Turkish uprising, and hopefully whatever country is the world power then will step up and bring the good Turkish people back to civilization.
Friday, June 04, 2010
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Powered by WebAds
    Follow the Muqata on Twitter
      Follow JoeSettler on Twitter
      Add to favorites Set as Homepage

      Blog Archive

      Powered by WebAds