May 27 2009

Obama to Israel: pound sand

Category: Iran,Islam,Israel,national security,Obamaharmonicminer @ 9:50 am

President Obama has made it clear that he has no intent of taking any serious action to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, and that if Israel does take such action, he will blame Israel, not Iran. Caroline Glick reports. (much more at the link, all worth reading)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit with US President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday was a baptism of fire for the new premier. What emerged from the meeting is that Obama’s priorities regarding Iran, Israel and the Arab world are diametrically opposed to Israel’s priorities.

During his ad hoc press conference with Netanyahu, Obama made clear that he will not lift a finger to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And acting as Obama’s surrogate, for the past two weeks CIA Director Leon Panetta has made clear that Obama expects Israel to also sit on its thumbs as Iran develops the means to destroy it.

It’s becoming apparent that Obama is bluffing on a busted flush. He has no hole cards (at least that he’s willing to use), and he has no plans to do anything serious to deter or prevent either North Korea or Iran from becoming full-fledged nuclear threats complete with delivery systems. At the same time, he is reducing our commitment to missile defense, and weakening our military commitment to proven technologies that could defend us and our allies.

Iran will not bomb Jerusalem, which it considers to be a “holy city,” but Tel Aviv, Haifa, etc., are obvious targets.  And with its surrogates Hamas and Hizbullah, Iran has ways of getting the bombs into Israel without being the obvious launch site….  just enough to maintain “implausible deniability,” which would not prevent an Israeli response, futile though that response would be to save Israel.  About three or four bombs, and in essence there is no nation of Israel, at least none that could resist the following onslaught of conventional forces rolling in from its neighbors.

The other nations in the Middle East, mostly Sunni, are not in favor of a nuclear armed Iran, but they have even fewer options to do anything about it than Israel.  If Israel does attack Iran to delay its acquisition of nuclear arms, the muslim nations around it will cry publicly, and cheer privately.  They know that Israel presents no danger to them, while Iran clearly does, especially a nuclear Iran.

We are on the cusp of a moral decision, nationally, not very different from the run-up to the Holocaust.   Obama will have to do more than talk and threaten.  He must act, decisively, and soon.  If he does not, Israel cannot be blamed for doing what it must simply to survive.

I hope and pray that, even if he does not care about Israel directly, Obama will recognize the enormous support Israel has in the USA, and realize what a political disaster it will be for him if Israel is destroyed on his watch.

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Mar 21 2009

Russian missiles in Iran

Category: Iran,Israel,national security,Obama,Russiaharmonicminer @ 9:05 am

While Russia complains that the USA is being provocative in moving to install anti-missile defenses in Europe, defenses designed to intercept Iranian nuclear-tipped missiles, but certainly unable to counter a full-scale Russian attack, Russia is selling missiles to iran, supposedly for “air-defense.”

Russia confirms Iran missile contract

Russian news agencies cited a top defense official Wednesday as confirming that a contract to sell powerful air-defense missiles to Iran was signed two years ago, but saying no such weapons have yet been delivered.

We’re certainly happy to hear that.

Russian officials have consistently denied claims the country already has provided some of the S-300 missiles to Iran. They have not said whether a contract existed.

Except now they have apparently confirmed that it does.

The state-run ITAR-Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies and the independent Interfax quoted an unnamed top official in the Federal Military-Technical Cooperation Service as saying the contract was signed two years ago. Service spokesman Andrei Tarabrin told The Associated Press he could not immediately comment.

What would he say?  Nyah Nyah Nyah?

Supplying S-300s to Iran would change the military balance in the Middle East and the issue has been the subject of intense speculation and diplomatic wrangling for months.

That’s an understatement.  If Iran is able to easily defend itself from any Israeli attack to defang its nuclear weapons production program, there will be no remaining barrier to full development and deployment of nuclear weapons.  No one wants this in the Middle East, except Iran and Russia, apparently.

Israel and the United States fear that, were Iran to possess S-300 missiles, it would use them to protect its nuclear facilities — including the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz or the country’s first atomic power plant, which is now being built by Russian contractors at Bushehr.

Of course, Obama can just talk to the Russians and make them see reason.  They’re really all just good, internationally spirited statesmen who want world peace.  And Iran is just misunderstood and aggrieved over the vicious US incursions in the Middle East, and just needs to feel safe from the Great Satan.

And Joe Biden is the tooth fairy.

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Mar 06 2009

Israel down to the wire on Iranian nukes?

Category: economy,energy,Iran,Israelharmonicminer @ 10:08 am

At the link, an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post detailing the reasons why Israel’s “window of opportunity” to take out or slow down Iran’s nuclear program is closing fast, making imminent action likely, especially given the results of the recent Israeli election. It’s a very persuasive case,  and includes this assertion:

American policymakers are now convinced that Iran, despite all protests and charades, is in a mad dash to create a deliverable nuclear weapon. The Obama administration has almost openly abandoned the assertions of the CIA’s much-questioned 2008 National Intelligence Estimate that concluded Iran was not pursuing nuclear weaponry for the simple reason that its atomic program and military programs were housed in separate buildings.

But what if Israel DOES strike Iran? Necessary as that may be, it spells very bad news for the USA.

Iran, of course, has repeatedly threatened to counter any such attack by closing the Strait of Hormuz, as well as launching missiles against the Ras Tanura Gulf oil terminal and bombarding the indispensable Saudi oil facility at Abqaiq which is responsible for some 65 percent of Saudi production. Any one of these military options, let alone all three, would immediately shut off 40% of all seaborne oil, 18% of global oil, and some 20% of America’s daily consumption.

America’s oil vulnerability has been back-burnered due to the economic crisis and the plunge in gasoline prices. However, the price of gasoline will not mitigate an interruption of oil flow. The price of oil does not impact its ability to flow through blocked or destroyed facilities. Indeed, an interruption would not restore prices to those of last summer – which Russian and Saudi oil officials say is needed – but probably zoom the pump cost to $20 per gallon.

American oil vulnerability in recent months has escalated precisely because of oil’s precipitous drop to $35 to $40 a barrel. At that price, America’s number one supplier, Canada, which supplies some 2 million out of 20 million barrels of oil a day, cannot afford to produce. Canadian oil sand petroleum is not viable below $70 a barrel. Much of Canada’s supply has already been cancelled or indefinitely postponed. America’s strategic petroleum reserve can only keep that country moving for approximately 57 days.

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, like the Bush administration before it, has developed no plan or contingency legislation for an oil interruption, such as a surge in retrofitting America’s 250 million gas guzzling cars and trucks – each with a 10-year life – or a stimulus of the alternate fuel production needed to rapidly get off oil. Ironically, Iran has undertaken such a crash program converting some 20% of its gasoline fleet yearly to compressed natural gas (CNG) as a countermeasure to Western nuclear sanctions against the Teheran regime that could completely block the flow of gasoline to Iran. Iran has no refining capability.

The question of when and how this endgame will play out is not known by anyone. Israeli leaders wish to avoid military preemption at all costs if possible. But many feel the military moment must come; and when that moment does come, it will be swift, highly technologic and in the twinkling of an eye. But as one informed official quipped, “Those who know, don’t talk. Those who talk, don’t know.”

Because our leaders have dithered and stonewalled in developing our own oil resources, in the name of “environmentalism” and “global warming” fears, and general eco-pagan-panic, we’re about to be in world of hurt, energy-wise.

I’m keeping my Prius.  And I just put in a wood stove. 

Try to imagine what a true oil-shock will do to our already reeling economy.  Can you imagine a DOW average of 4,000?   Better stuff your nest egg (shrunken though it probably is already) in some VERY SECURE place…  which the stock market sure isn’t.

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Feb 20 2009

Can it happen again?

Category: Europe,Islam,Israelharmonicminer @ 10:51 am

Vichy government found responsible for deporting Jews in WWII

France’s top judicial body on Monday recognized the French government’s responsibility for the deportation of Jews during World War II, the clearest such recognition to date of the state’s role in the Holocaust.

The Council of State found that the government of Nazi-occupied France at the time held the responsibility for deportations that led to anti-Semitic persecution

The decision released on Monday also found that the deportation had been compensated for since 1945, apparently ruling out any reparations for deportees or their families.
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Thousands of Jews were deported from France to Nazi death camps during the occupation. After the war, subsequent French governments took decades to acknowledge any role played by the collaborationist Vichy regime in the Holocaust.

Europe is busy bending over backwards to accommodate the Islamic immigrants (and second and third generations of same) that have been used to support European socialism, in the absence of a sufficient birthrate of traditional Europeans to keep the trains running and fund entitlements.

Can any objective observer believe that Europe is less likely to target Jews, or simply allow them to be targeted by Islamic anti-Semites, than it would have been if the slow Islamic invasion hadn’t occurred?  The facts belie any optimisim in the matter:  Jews are being targeted now, and the various states do little except public hand-wringing.

The virulent disdain in which the state of Israel is held by Europe is a mask for something uglier, and not so political as personal, I fear.

If I was a European Jew, I’d get outta Dodge now.  It’s 1933, and the clock is ticking.  A war is coming, not one that really involves Jews directly (being but a continuance of the siege of Vienna in 1683) , but one in which too many of them will be casualties of convenience, and contempt.

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Jan 14 2009

Why “world opinion” is no defense at all

Category: Islam,Israelharmonicminer @ 9:50 am

Israel acts because the world won’t defend it

The origin of the state of Israel is not religion or nationalism, it is the experience of oppression and murder, the fear of total annihilation and the bitter conclusion that world opinion could not be relied upon to protect the Jews.

Israel was the idea of a journalist. Theodor Herzl was the Paris correspondent of the Neue Freie Presse when he witnessed anti-Semitic rioting against the Jewish army captain Alfred Dreyfus who had been falsely accused of espionage. Herzl was then among the small corps of journalists who in 1895 witnessed the famous ceremony of disgrace in which Dreyfus was stripped of his epaulettes.

The experience led Herzl to abandon his belief in assimilation. He became convinced that Jews would only be safe if they had their own national home. Herzl became the first leader of modern Zionism. For many years many Jews resisted Herzl’s conclusion. My grandfather was among them. But the experience of Jews all over the world in the first half of the 20th century – not just in Europe but in the Middle East too – rather bore out Herzl.

So when Israel is urged to respect world opinion and put its faith in the international community the point is rather being missed. The very idea of Israel is a rejection of this option. Israel only exists because Jews do not feel safe as the wards of world opinion. Zionism, that word that is so abused, so reviled, is founded on a determination that, at the end of the day, somehow the Jews will defend themselves and their fellow Jews from destruction. If world opinion was enough, there would be no Israel.

The poverty and the death and the despair among the Palestinians in Gaza moves me to tears. How can it not? Who can see pictures of children in a war zone or a slum street and not be angry and bewildered and driven to protest? And what is so appalling is that it is so unnecessary. For there can be peace and prosperity at the smallest of prices. The Palestinians need only say that they will allow Israel to exist in peace. They need only say this tiny thing, and mean it, and there is pretty much nothing they cannot have.

Yet they will not say it. And they will not mean it. For they do not want the Jews. Again and again – again and again – the Palestinians have been offered a nation state in a divided Palestine. And again and again they have turned the offer down, for it has always been more important to drive out the Jews than to have a Palestinian state. It is difficult sometimes to avoid the feeling that Hamas and Hezbollah don’t want to kill Jews because they hate Israel. They hate Israel because they want to kill Jews.

Read it all.

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Jan 13 2009

At least now the AP admits it

Category: Hamas,Israel,mediaharmonicminer @ 10:00 am

The AP’s earlier report on the Israeli attack near a U.N. school alleged that the UN school had not been a location from which attacks on Israel were launched.  Now it admits the truth, but without referring to the failure of it’s earlier reporting, though others certain knew the facts at the time.

Earlier this week, an Israeli attack outside a U.N. school killed nearly 40 people. Both Israel and Palestinian witnesses said militants carried out an attack from the area moments earlier.

Some may say that the AP is “correcting the record”. But you can’t correct the record unless you specifically mention your previous failures, and then make the correction in a prominent place sure to get some attention, as opposed to burying it in paragraph thirteen of another story.

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Jan 10 2009

Palestinian rocket scientists

Category: Hamas,Islam,Israelharmonicminer @ 10:29 am

Mark Steyn’s take on the rocket scientists of Gaza, and the double standard of expectations between Israel and Hamas:

After all, when French President Sarkozy and other European critics bemoan Israel’s “disproportionate” response, what really are they saying? That they expect better from the despised Jews than from Hamas. That they regard Israel as a Western society bound by civilized norms, whereas any old barbarism issuing forth from Gaza is to be excused on grounds of “desperation.”

Hence, this slightly surreal headline from The New York Times: “Israel Rejects Cease-Fire, But Offers Gaza Aid.” For whatever that’s worth. Wafa Samir Ibrahim al-Biss, a young Palestinian woman who received considerate and exemplary treatment at an Israeli hospital in Beersheba, returned to that same hospital packed with explosives in order to blow herself up and kill the doctors and nurses who restored her to health. Well, what do you expect? It’s “desperation” born of “poverty” and “occupation.”

If it was, it would be easy to fix. But what if it’s not? What if it’s about something more primal than land borders and economic aid?

A couple of days after Hamas voted to restore crucifixion to the Holy Land, their patron in Tehran (and their primary source of “aid”) put in an appearance on British TV. As multicultural “balance” to Her Majesty The Queen’s traditional Christmas message, the TV network Channel 4 invited President Ahmadinejad to give an alternative Yuletide address on the grounds that it was a valuable public service to let viewers hear him “speak for himself, which people in the West don’t often get the chance to see.”

In fact, as Caroline Glick pointed out in The Jerusalem Post, the great man “speaks for himself” all the time – when he’s at the United Nations, calling on all countries to submit to Islam; when he’s presiding over his international conference of Holocaust deniers; when he’s calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map” – or (in his more “moderate” moments) relocated to a couple of provinces of Germany and Austria. Caroline Glick forbore to mention that, according to President Ahmadinejad’s chief adviser, Hassan Abbassi, his geopolitical strategy is based on the premise that “Britain is the mother of all evils” – the evils being America, Australia, Israel, the Gulf states, Canada and New Zealand, all the malign progeny of the British Empire. “We have established a department that will take care of England,” Mr. Abbassi said in 2005. “England’s demise is on our agenda.”

So when Britain’s Channel 4 says that we don’t get the chance to see these fellows speak for themselves, it would be more accurate to say that they speak for themselves incessantly but the louder they speak the more we put our hands over our ears and go “Nya nya, can’t hear you.” We do this in part because, if you’re as invested as most Western elites are in the idea that all anyone wants is to go to university, get a steady job and settle down in a nice house in the suburbs, a statement such as “England’s demise is on our agenda” becomes almost literally untranslatable. When President Ahmadinejad threatens to wipe Israel off the face of the map, we deplore him as a genocidal fantasist. But maybe he’s a genocidal realist, and we’re the fantasists.

The civilizational clashes of professor Huntington’s book are not inevitable. Culture is not immutable. But changing culture is tough and thankless and something the West no longer has the stomach for. Unfortunately, the Saudis do, and so do the Iranians. And not just in Gaza but elsewhere the trend is away from “moderation” and toward something fiercer and ever more implacable.

If you haven’t yet read America Alone, it’s not too late, and the paperback edition has a nice forward.

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Jan 07 2009

Don’t believe the AP

Category: Hamas,Israel,mediaharmonicminer @ 2:04 pm

Here is what faux reporting actually looks like: Israel, Hamas briefly hold fire to allow Gaza aid – Yahoo! News

The United Nations called for an inquiry into Israel’s deadly shelling of the U.N. school in Jabalya refugee camp on Tuesday. Israel said Hamas militants at the school had fired rockets. The U.N. said there were no gunmen on the premises.

Here is what actual reporting looks like.  Don’t you wonder why it is that Michelle Malkin is able to get information and background on Israel’s “attack on a UN school”, but the AP is not.  It’s pretty simple.  She just looked for it.

And does anyone believe anything the U.N. official spokesdweebs say?

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Dec 27 2008

AP reporting of Israel’s attack on Hamas

Category: Hamas,Islam,Israel,mediaharmonicminer @ 8:06 pm

AP has done worse in its reporting, though this report has some of the usual weasel wording, calling Hamas terrorists “security forces” and so on. And the AP report puts this very interesting bit in paragraph ELEVEN, after reporting on the carnage.

Militants often operate against Israel from civilian areas. Late Saturday, thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language cell-phone messages from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons.

I would have thought such an interesting paragraph might have been, say, paragraph two, because that would have made the story more sequential.  Instead, we hear a great deal about the attack and its consequences, and only then do we hear about Israel’s attempt to reduce civilian casualties with warnings before the attacks.  But at least the AP mentioned it.  It usually does not, though this is common Israeli practice.

Once again, the lie of any moral equivalence between Israel and terrorist Palestinians is made very clear.  I’m actually surprised that the AP admitted that Hamas terrorists (called “militants” by the AP) operate from civilian areas.  At least the AP saw fit to include Israel’s warning messages to civilians who were perhaps not directly involved in Hamas’ terrorist activities.

Can anyone recall ANY similar warning ever given to ANY population, Jewish, Islamic, European, American, whatever, when Islamist terrorists are preparing an attack?  Of course, the whole point of such attacks is usually to kill civilians.  And when they attack American military targets, they wouldn’t need to warn civilians anyway, because American forces do not use civilians as “human shields.”

Israel’s major aims are two-fold: to kill Hamas leaders and terrorist personnel, and also to destroy weapons, bomb, and missile caches.  Israel has no designs on Palestinian civilians who are not attacking it.

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Nov 13 2008

Sorry for the inconvenience, but….

Category: Fatah,Hamas,Islam,Israel,terrorismharmonicminer @ 12:19 am

Yoni is a former special forces officer for the IDF.  He reports on yet another humiliating search at a humiliating checkpoint, a favorite trope of apologists for Palestinian terrorism, but this one found a pipe bomb.

If people were coming into my community from an area where known thugs were constantly recruiting suicide/homicide bombers to kill people in my community, I’d institute checkpoints and searches, too.  So would you.

More at the link above.

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