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Report: Obama to Offer Israel ‘Nuclear Umbrella’ Against Iran

Posted by thebosun on December 11, 2008

Courtesy of Fox News , as reported from Haaetz:

U.S. president-elect will offer Israel a strategic pact designed to fend off any nuclear attack on the Jewish state by Iran, an Israeli newspaper reports.

President-elect Barack Obama will offer Israel a strategic pact designed to fend off any nuclear attack on the Jewish state by Iran, an Israeli newspaper reported on Thursday.

Haaretz, quoting an unnamed source, said the Obama administration would pledge under the proposed “nuclear umbrella” to respond to any Iranian strike on Israel with a “devastating U.S. nuclear response.”

Granting Israel a nuclear guarantee would essentially suggest the U.S. is willing to come to terms with a nuclear Iran, the paper reported.

According to the paper’s source, Obama’s nuclear guarantee would be backed by a new and improved Israeli anti-ballistic missile system. The Bush administration took the first step by deploying an early-warning radar system, which enhances the ability to detect Iranian ballistic missiles.

Secretary of state-designate Hillary Clinton had raised the idea of a nuclear guarantee to Israel during her campaign for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidency. During a debate with Obama in April, Clinton said that Israel and Arab countries must be given “deterrent backing.” She added, “Iran must know that an attack on Israel will draw a massive response.”

Clinton also proposed that the American nuclear umbrella be extended to other countries in the region, like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, if they agree to relinquish their own nuclear ambitions.

Obama said this week that he would negotiate with Iran and would offer economic incentives for Tehran to relinquish its nuclear program. He warned that if Iran refused the deal, he would act to intensify sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Granting Israel a nuclear guarantee essentially suggests the U.S. is willing to come to terms with a nuclear Iran. For its part, Israel opposes any such development and similar opposition was voiced by officials in the outgoing Bush administration.

“What is the significance of such guarantee when it comes from those who hesitated to deal with a non-nuclear Iran?” asked a senior Israeli security source.

“What kind of credibility would this [guarantee have] when Iran is nuclear-capable?”
The same source noted that the fact that there is talk about the possibility of a nuclear Iran undermines efforts to prevent Tehran from acquiring such arms.

A senior Bush administration source said that the proposal for an American nuclear umbrella for Israel was ridiculous and lacked credibility. “Who will convince the citizen in Kansas that the U.S. needs to get mixed up in a nuclear war because Haifa was bombed? And what is the point of an American response, after Israel’s cities are destroyed in an Iranian nuclear strike?”

The current debate is taking place in light of the Military Intelligence assessment that Iran has passed beyond the point of no return, and has mastered the technology of uranium enrichment. The decision to proceed toward the development of nuclear arms is now purely a matter for Iran’s leaders to decide. Intelligence assessments, however, suggest that the Iranians are trying to first accumulate larger quantities of fissile material, and this offers a window of opportunity for a last-ditch diplomatic effort to prevent an Iranian bomb.

Source: Obama’s atomic umbrella: U.S. nuclear strike if Iran nukes Israel

By Aluf Benn, Haaretz Correspondent

Related articles:

  • Israel worried by report Iran has tripled its missile arsenal
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski: Israel’s push for Iran strike may hurt U.S. ties
  • Iran rejects Barack Obama’s ‘failed’ carrot and stick policy
  •  

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    Osprey V-22: No mishaps yet, in Iraq

    Posted by thebosun on February 14, 2008

    Courtesy of Multi-National Force Iraq 

     The Pentagon hasn’t been saying much about what’s up with the Osprey in Iraq. That could be because it doesn’t want to jinx what seems to be, after the first three months of deployment, a success story for the long-controversial tilt-rotor aircraft. (By contrast, try getting it to stop crowing about the performance of a different breed of new aerial technology, unmanned aerial vehicles such as the Reaper.) Since arriving at Al Asad Airbase last fall, the 10 MV-22 Ospreys of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 have accumulated more than 1,600 hours of flight time, carrying hundreds of passengers–from ground troops to VIPs–and thousands of pounds of cargo “without a mishap or even a close call,” according to a story last week in The Dallas Morning News.

    That’s no small feat for an aircraft that critics cited time and time again for its checkered history of fatal crashes; among other things, they said, the aircraft could well fall prey to the dust it would stir up in the desert environment. Time magazine in October tarred the Osprey–which flies like both a helicopter and a fixed-wing airplane–in a cover story titled “A Flying Shame.” The Marines Corps did seem to be handling the 16-ton Osprey gingerly at first in Iraq, using it in less risky support missions, according to the Morning News story. (For the Dallas paper, this is something of a local story: Bell Helicopter Textron assembles the aircraft in Forth Worth and Amarillo.) But in December, the aircraft began to take part in combat missions. From day to day, anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent of the Ospreys are ready to fly, the paper reported.

    That could be a sign of genuine and worrisome mechanical problems, or maybe just overly protective policies that keep airworthy Ospreys grounded. If all continues to go well, scores more Ospreys will be hitting the production line for eventual use by the Marines, the Navy, and the Air Force.

    Posted in 'War on Terror', CENTCOM, DoD, Marines, Military, U.S. Military, US Armed Forces, USMC, War, War and Peace, War BLOGGING | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Portents of A Nuclear Al-Qaeda

    Posted by thebosun on October 21, 2007

    Courtesy of Washington Post and by permission from the author, David Ignatius, Link to the article: Here

    Rolf Mowatt-Larssen is paid to think about the unthinkable. As the Energy Department‘s director of intelligence, he’s responsible for gathering information about the threat that a terrorist group will attack America with a nuclear weapon.

    With his shock of white hair and piercing eyes, Mowatt-Larssen looks like a man who has seen a ghost. And when you listen to a version of the briefing he has been giving recently to President Bush and other top officials, you begin to understand why. He is convinced that al-Qaeda is trying to acquire a nuclear bomb that will leave the ultimate terrorist signature — a mushroom cloud.

    We’ve all had enough fear-mongering to last a lifetime. Indeed, we have become so frightened of terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001, that we have begun doing the terrorists’ job for them by undermining the legal framework of our democracy. And truly, I wish I could dismiss Mowatt-Larssen’s analysis as the work of an overwrought former CIA officer with too many years in the trenches.

    But it’s worth listening to his warnings — not because they induce more numbing paralysis but because they might stir sensible people to take actions that could detect and stop an attack. That’s why his boss, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, is encouraging him to speak out. Mowatt-Larssen doesn’t want to anguish later that he didn’t sound the alarm in time.

    Mowatt-Larssen has been gathering this evidence since a few weeks after Sept. 11, when then-CIA Director George Tenet asked him to create a new branch on weapons of mass destruction in the agency’s counterterrorism center. He helped Tenet prepare the chapter on al-Qaeda’s nuclear efforts that appears in Tenet’s memoir, ” At the Center of the Storm.” Now that the uproar over Tenet’s mistaken “slam dunk” assessment of the Iraqi threat has died down, it’s worth rereading this account. It provides a chilling, public record of al-Qaeda’s nuclear ambitions.

    Mowatt-Larssen argues that for nearly a decade before Sept. 11, al-Qaeda was seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction. As early as 1993, Osama bin Laden offered $1.5 million to buy uranium for a nuclear device, according to testimony presented in federal court in February 2001. When the al-Qaeda leader was asked in 1998 if he had nuclear or chemical weapons, he responded: “Acquiring weapons for the defense of Muslims is a religious duty. If I have indeed acquired these weapons, then I thank God for enabling me to do so.”

    Even as al-Qaeda was preparing to fly its airplane bombs into buildings, the group was also trying to acquire nuclear and biological capabilities. In August 2001, bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, met around a campfire with Pakistani scientists from a group called Umma Tameer-E-Nau to discuss how al-Qaeda could build a nuclear device. Al-Qaeda also had an aggressive anthrax program that was discovered in December 2001 after bin Laden was driven from his haven in Afghanistan.

    Al-Qaeda proclaimed a religious rationale to justify the WMD attacks it was planning. In June 2002, a Kuwaiti-born cleric named Suleiman Abu Ghaith posted a statement on the Internet saying that “al-Qaeda has the right to kill 4 million Americans” in retaliation for U.S. attacks against Muslims. And in May 2003, at the same time Saudi operatives of al-Qaeda were trying to buy three Russian nuclear bombs, a cleric named Nasir al-Fahd issued a fatwa titled “A Treatise on the Legal Status of Using Weapons of Mass Destruction Against Infidels.” Interrogations of al-Qaeda operatives confirmed that the planning was serious. Al-Qaeda didn’t yet have the materials for a WMD attack, but it wanted them.

    Most chilling of all was Zawahiri’s decision in March 2003 to cancel a cyanide attack in the New York subway system. He told the plotters to stand down because “we have something better in mind.” What did that mean? More than four years later, we still don’t know.

    After 2004, the WMD trail went cold, according to Mowatt-Larssen. Many intelligence analysts have concluded that al-Qaeda doesn’t have nuclear capability today. Mowatt-Larssen argues that a more honest answer is: We don’t know.

    So what to do about this spectral danger? The first requirement, says Mowatt-Larssen, is to try to visualize it. What would it take for al-Qaeda to build a bomb? How would it assemble the pieces? How would the United States and its allies deploy their intelligence assets so that they could detect a plot before it was carried out? How would we reinvent intelligence itself to avert this ultimate catastrophe?

    A terrorist nuclear attack, as Tenet wrote in his book, would change history. If we can see how this story might end, perhaps we can deflect the arrow before it hits its target.

    The writer is co-host of PostGlobal, an online discussion of international issues. His e-mail address is davidignatius@washpost.com.

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    More on Pelosi’s rebuke of Pete Stark at Stop the ACLU

    Posted by thebosun on October 21, 2007

    Courtesy of Spree at Stop the ACLU

    Pelosi, the latest politician to rebuke Pete Stark.

    Of course being a Democratic politician, Nancy Pelosi’s rebuke was mild, but even she understood some sort of rebuke was necessary from her, as Speaker of the House, regarding Pete Stark’s remarks on the floor of the House. (Hat Tip to Lew for the email)

    One of Pete Stark’s remarks:

    “You don’t have money to fund the war or children,” Stark accused Republicans. “But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement.”

    Nancy Pelosi’s mild rebuke: (From the San Francisco Chronicle)

    “While members of Congress are passionate about their views, what Congressman Stark said during the debate was inappropriate and distracted from the seriousness of the subject at hand – providing health care for America’s children,” Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said.

    This is not the first time Nancy Pelosi has had her own underlings in the Democratic party undermine her as she was trying to focus everyones attention on SCHIP.

    Right before the SCHIP veto by the president, you might remember that Nancy was upset that House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) decided to unveil his Iraq “war tax” idea, which raged through the blogosphere for about 4 hours before Nancy nixed it publicly, upset that Obey had shifted focus from SCHIP to the war tax, at a critical time.

    The Democratic party cannot seem to stay on the same page. Almost like the left hand having no clue what the right hand is doing.

    This type of rhetoric from Stark is not new though, his past is strife with him making inappropriate comments, one time, in 2003, the police even had to be called to the hearing.

    In 1990, Stark told Health and Human Services Director Louis Sullivan, an African American, that he was a disgrace to his race.

    In 2001, Stark made a reference to the children of Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla., all being “born out of wedlock. Patently untrue, but that rarely matters to Stark who is known as a back bencher that cannot control his tongue.

    He also accused Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Conn., of being a “whore for the insurance industry.

    In 2003, Stark, called Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Colo., “a little wimp” and a “little fruitcake” — and suggested the two should step outside. Capitol police were called to the hearing. (Source)

    It is pretty bad when the San Francisco Chronicle says:

    Surely there must be someone along the shoreline between Alameda and Fremont who could represent the good citizens of the district with class and dignity. It’s not the case now.

    Republican politicians had some critical words for Pete Stark following his latest outburst.

    John Boehner issued a press release:

    “Our troops in Iraq are fighting against al-Qaeda and other radical jihadists hellbent on killing the people we are sent here to represent. Congressman Stark’s statement dishonors not only the Commander-in-Chief, but the thousands of courageous men and women of America’s armed forces who believe in their mission and are putting their lives on the line for our freedom and security. Congressman Stark should retract his statement and apologize to the House, our Commander-in-Chief, and the families of our soldiers and commanders fighting terror overseas. ”

    Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas:

    “It is despicable to have a member of this Congress accuse this president, any president, of willfully blowing the heads, quote, blowing the heads off our young men and women over in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said the remarks:

    “were hateful and wrong, and should be labeled as such by the House Democrat leadership.”

    Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri:

    Pete Stark’s statements on the House floor this afternoon crossed all lines of decency and decorum. As a member of Congress, he should be ashamed. But as a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee –- and the current chairman of its Health subcommittee –- the Democratic leadership ought to be ashamed as well.”

    Steny Hoyer (D) said Stark’s remarks were “unfortunate” and “totally inappropriate”, he then went on to say that he’s hopeful that Stark will express his regrets because he says that these comments have been a distraction and CNN is told that several Democratic lawmakers have called Stark today and made it clear that what Stark said on the House floor yesterday was hurting their cause.

    That comment from Hoyer is not going to make the lunatic fringe of their party very happy at all, because the far left, liberal, unhinged portion of the party do not want Stark to apologize and those are the people that lead Stark by the nose. Some even claim it is only the Republicans that are upset at Stark, completely ignoring Pelosi’s words, Hoyer’s words and the fact that other Democratic politicians are calling Stark to make him apologize.

    The National Republican Campaign Committee issued a press release:

    DEMOCRAT DISGRACE:
    Pete Stark Drags SCHIP Political Circus to All-Time Low

    Washington – Just moments ago, in an outrageous and delusional tantrum on the House floor, California Congressman Pete Stark trampled on the sacrifice of our troops fighting on the frontlines while simultaneously questioning the motivations of the Commander-in-Chief in wartime.

    Pete Stark and the Democrat leadership owe the American people an apology, the troops and their families an apology, and they should apologize to the millions of children being held political hostage by their party’s desperate attempt to score a political victory instead of providing healthcare for those who need it most.

    While Pelosi and Hoyer are upset about Stark “distracting” from the SCHIP issue, Stark’s insane cheer leading squad from the far left are encouraging him.

    More proof that they party is not only divided but the fringes have the uncanny ability to work against the leadership of their own party, which is one reason they cannot seem to get anything done and are running at a 11% approval rating.

    Can any one say…. self destruct mode?

    [Update] Gateway Pundit shows that when the nutroots cannot win an argument, they simply lie about it.

    Nutrooters Crooks and Liars discovers that if you can’t possibly win an argument over the latest disgusting anti-military, anti-Bush remarks by a Democratic politician…
    Then just lie about it.

    Cross posted @ Wake up America

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    Rhymes With Right linked with Pete Stark Is A Piece Of Excrement</< a>
    Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Democrat’s Iraq Outburst Draws GOP Ire</< a>

    Posted in Constitutional issues, Democrats and Republicans, Domestic Politics, Give war a chance, Iraq War, Political Pundit, Politics, President Bush, real war, War, War and Peace, War BLOGGING, World at War, World War III | Leave a Comment »

    Army leaders urge congressional support

    Posted by thebosun on October 3, 2007

    Courtesy of Multi-National Forces Iraq

    Army leaders urge congressional support to meet current, future demands 
     

    Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III (right), commander, XVIII Airborne Corps, Col. Jeffrey L. Bannister (center), commander, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and Iraqi Brig. Gen. Abdulah plan operations near Baghdad Sept. 11. The Army is strained by six years of war and needs support, Gen. George W. Casey Jr. told Congress Sept. 26. Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Nicholas A. Hernandez.

    Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III (right), commander, XVIII Airborne Corps, Col. Jeffrey L. Bannister (center), commander, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and Iraqi Brig. Gen. Abdulah plan operations near Baghdad Sept. 11. The Army is strained by six years of war and needs support, Gen. George W. Casey Jr. told Congress Sept. 26. Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Nicholas A. Hernandez.

    BAGHDAD

    — The Army, stressed and stretched by six years of conflict, needs continued and uninterrupted support and resourcing to maintain its current operational levels while preparing for the future, its top civilian and military leaders told Congress Sept. 26.

    Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. outlined four imperatives for the House Armed Services Committee that he called critical to the Army’s ability to restore balance and maintain the all-volunteer force:

    • Improving the way the Army sustains Soldiers, Families and Civilians;

    • Preparing troops for success in the current conflict;

    • Resetting troops and equipment for future deployments; and

    • Transforming the force for the 21st century.

    Gen. Casey urged committee members to support these efforts into the next fiscal year, and to ensure there’s no funding gap after Oct. 1 that could slow efforts under way.

    “The Army is the best in the world at what it does, because of our values, our ethos, our people and your support,” he said.

    Keeping that standard, he said, will require more hard sacrifices by Soldiers and their Families and clear recognition by national leaders of the threat the country faces and the need to maintain an Army able to face it.

    Calling Soldiers “our ultimate asymmetric advantage” in the war on terror, he said the Army needs to continue improving the way it recruits, trains and retains them.

    While increasing the readiness of the force, the Army also must increase the quality of life it provides its members as well as their Families, he said.

    Army Secretary Pete Geren noted that the Army’s focus has moved from pay issues that dominated the 1970s and housing issues that dominated the 1990s. Today, in an era of persistent conflict that’s expected to continue into the foreseeable future, the big emphasis must be on taking care of Families, he said.

    “Twelve months (deployed overseas) was asking a lot of those Families, and 15 months is asking more,” he said.

    Gen. Casey said the Army needs to ensure that the quality of life it provides Soldiers and their Families “is commensurate with the quality of service” they are providing.

    Meanwhile, the Army must continue preparing troops to succeed in the current conflict, he said. The Army has made “great strides,” continually adapting as the operational environment changes, he said.

    It’s also committed to providing the best equipment possible to give Soldiers the technological advantage on the battlefield, he said, as well as tough, demanding training at their home stations that ensures they have the skills and confidence to win.

    “Military success is tied to the capabilities of our leaders and Soldiers,” Gen. Casey said, promising that the Army won’t fail them.

    To keep that promise, the Army must focus on resetting the force, he said. Resetting means more than simply fixing or replacing equipment that’s being used at five times its programmed rate, he told the committee. It also means giving Soldiers and their Families time to regroup between deployments.

    Secretary Geren noted that the current Army force is carrying the lion’s share of the third-longest conflict in U.S. history. Not since the Revolutionary War has the country asked this much of an all-volunteer force for this long, he told the committee.

    And as the country faces what is expected to continue to be an era of persistent conflict, it must take care of its troops and their Families to ensure the all-volunteer force remains strong, he said.

    Today’s Army is the best-led, best-equipped and best-trained force that’s ever been to the field, Secretary Geren said. He expressed hope that with congressional support and funding, the Army will be able to continue making that claim five, 10, even 20 years into the future.

    So as the Army focuses on the current conflict, it must keep looking ahead as well to ensure it’s ready to face future threats, Gen. Casey said. This involves fielding the best new equipment to fighting forces, incorporating new techniques and fielding the Army’s future combat systems to brigade combat teams to ensure the Army has a decisive advantage on the battlefield.

    The Army’s transformation is “a holistic effort” that affects the way it fights, trains and modernizes, he said. “It’s a journey for us, not a destination,” Gen. Casey told the lawmakers.

    (Story by Donna Miles, special to American Forces Press Service)

    In other Developments around Iraq:

    BAGHDAD – Coalition forces killed two terrorists and detained 21 suspected terrorists Saturday and Sunday during operations to disrupt al-Qaeda in Iraq networks in the Tigris River Valley.

    BAGHDAD – Iraqi Special Operations Forces, with U.S. Special Operations Forces as advisers, detained 16 suspected terrorists during three separate intelligence-driven operations Sept. 29 throughout Iraq.

     

    Posted in 'War on Terror', Arabian Gulf Region, Arabs, Asia, counter terrorism, counterterrorism, Department of Defense, Give war a chance, Iraq, Iraq War, Iraqi, Middle East, Military, real war, South Asia, South Asia - Middle East, Terrorism, Uncategorized, US Armed Forces, War, War and Peace, War BLOGGING, World at War | Leave a Comment »

    SILENCE IN SYRIA, PANIC IN IRAN

    Posted by thebosun on September 30, 2007

    Posted by permission of the author, Dr. Jack Wheeler, To the Point News

    SILENCE IN SYRIA, PANIC IN IRAN

    One of India’s top ranking generals assigned to liaise with the Iranian military recently returned to New Delhi from several days in Tehran – in a state of complete amazement.

    “Everyone in the government and military can only talk of one thing,” he reports.  “No matter who I talked to, all they could do was ask me, over and over again, ‘Do you think the Americans will attack us?’ ‘When will the Americans attack us?’ ‘Will the Americans attack us in a joint operation with the Israelis?’ How massive will the attack be?’ on and on, endlessly.  The Iranians are in a state of total panic.”

    And that was before September 6.  Since then, it’s panic-squared in Tehran.  The mullahs are freaking out in fear.  Why?  Because of the silence in Syria.

    On September 6, Israeli Air Force F-15 and F-16s conducted a devastating attack on targets deep inside Syria near the city of Dayr az-Zawr.  Israel’s military censors have muzzled the Israeli media, enforcing an extraordinary silence about the identity of the targets.  Massive speculation in the world press has followed, such as Brett Stephens’ Osirak II? in yesterday’s (9/18) Wall St. Journal.

    Stephens and most everyone else have missed the real story.  It is not Israel’s silence that “speaks volumes” as he claims, but Syria’s.  Why would the Syrian government be so tight-lipped about an act of war perpetrated on their soil?
    The first half of the answer lies in this story that appeared in the Israeli media last month (8/13):  Syria’s Antiaircraft System Most Advanced In World.  Syria has gone on a profligate buying spree, spending vast sums on Russian systems, “considered the cutting edge in aircraft interception technology.”

    Syria now “possesses the most crowded antiaircraft system in the world,” with “more than 200 antiaircraft batteries of different types,”  some of which are so new that they have been installed in Syria “before being introduced into Russian operation service.”

    While you’re digesting that, take a look at the map of Syria:
     
    Notice how far away Dayr az-Zawr is from Israel.  An F15/16 attack there is not a tiptoe across the border, but a deep, deep penetration of Syrian airspace.  And guess what happened with the Russian super-hyper-sophisticated cutting edge antiaircraft missile batteries when that penetration took place on September 6th.
    Nothing.

    El blanko.  Silence.  The systems didn’t even light up, gave no indication whatever of any detection of enemy aircraft invading Syrian airspace, zip, zero, nada.  The Israelis (with a little techie assistance from us) blinded the Russkie antiaircraft systems so completely the Syrians didn’t even know they were blinded.

    Now you see why the Syrians have been scared speechless.  They thought they were protected – at enormous expense – only to discover they are defenseless.  As in naked.

    Thus the Great Iranian Freak-Out – for this means Iran is just as nakedly defenseless as Syria.   I can tell you that there are a lot of folks in the Kirya (IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv) and the Pentagon right now who are really enjoying the mullahs’ predicament.  Let’s face it:  scaring the terror masters in Tehran out of their wits is fun.

    It’s so much fun, in fact, that an attack destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities and the Revolutionary Guard command/control centers has been delayed, so that France (under new management) can get in on the fun too. 

    On Sunday (9/16), Sarkozy’s foreign minister Bernard Kouchner announced that “France should prepare for the possibility of war over Iran’s nuclear program.”
    All of this has caused Tehran to respond with maniacal threats.  On Monday (9/17), a government website proclaimed that “600 Shihab-3 missiles” will be fired at targets in Israel in response to an attack upon Iran by the US/Israel.  This was followed by Iranian deputy air force chief Gen. Mohammad Alavi announcing today (9/19) that “we will attack their (Israeli) territory with our fighter bombers as a response to any attack.”

    A sure sign of panic is to make a threat that everyone knows is a bluff.  So our and Tel Aviv’s response to Iranian bluster is a thank-you-for-sharing yawn and a laugh.  Few things rattle the mullahs’ cages more than a yawn and a laugh.

    Yet no matter how much fun this sport with the mullahs is, it is also deadly serious.  The pressure build-up on Iran is getting enormous.  Something is going to blow and soon.  The hope is that the blow-up will be internal, that the regime will implode from within.

    But make no mistake:  an all-out full regime take-out air assault upon Iran is coming if that hope doesn’t materialize within the next 60 to 90 days.  The Sept. 6 attack on Syria was the shot across Iran’s bow.

    So – what was attacked near Dayr az-Zawr?  It’s possible it was North Korean “nuclear material” recently shipped to Syria, i.e., stuff to make radioactively “dirty” warheads, but nothing to make a real nuke with as the Norks don’t have real nukes (see Why North Korea’s Nuke Test Is Such Good News, October 2006).

    Another possibility is it was to take out a stockpile of long-range Zilzal surface-to-surface missiles recently shipped from Iran for an attack on Israel.

    A third is it was a hit on the stockpile of Saddam’s chemical/bio weapons snuck out of Iraq and into Syria for safekeeping before the US invasion of April 2003.

    But the identity of the target is not the story – for the primary point of the attack was not to destroy that target.  It was to shut down Syria’s Russian air defense system during the attack.  Doing so made the attack an incredible success.

    Syria is shamed and silent.  Iran is freaking out in panic.  Defenseless enemies are fun.

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    Posted in Arabian Gulf Region, Asia, Coffee and Conversation, Daily Briefing on Iran, Iran, Persians, real war, South Asia, Syria, War, War and Peace, War BLOGGING, World at War | 3 Comments »

    Ayman al-Zawahri releases new video tape days after Osama

    Posted by thebosun on September 20, 2007

    Zawahiri

    CAIRO, Egypt (AP) – Al-Qaeda’s deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri said the United States was being defeated in Afghanistan, Iraq and other fronts in a new video released Thursday, the latest in a series put out by the terror network.

    The video came days after Osama bin Laden released two messages to mark the Sept. 11 anniversary—including his first new appearance in a video in nearly three years.

    The 80-minute video posted on Islamic militant Web sites Thursday was in a documentary style, touting al-Qaeda’s activities in various areas, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and North Africa.   For the rest of the article: New al-Qaeda Video Released

    Posted in 'War on Terror', 9/11, al-Qaeda, anti-US, apostasy, Arabian Gulf Region, Arabs, Asia, Bin Laden, Caliphate, counter terrorism, counterterrorism, Egypt, Global Jihad, International News, Islamic revolution, Islamic Theologian, Islamisation, Islamist, Islamofascism, Middle East, Middle East & Muslim World, Middle East Politics, Muslim, Muslim Brotherhood, Muslim Religion, News, News and Information, Osama Bin Laden, Religion, South Asia, South Asia - Middle East, Terrorism, Uncategorized, US News, War, War and Peace, World at War, World News and Politics, World War III | Leave a Comment »

    Travels with Abe, an Israeli’s Perspective: Between 1963 and 1967

    Posted by thebosun on September 20, 2007

    Welcome back with another article from an Israeli friend, Abe. Abe is a guest contributor with history to tell. Perhaps you will begin to see an Israeli’s perspective of this world that we live in and what we are up against. Respectfully, Bosun

    Between 1963 and 1967:

    Between 1963 and 1967 Israel’s security situation was stable. Stable meant that we were not in daily danger of annihilation. There were terrorist attacks. The army carried out retaliation raids. There was quiet for a few months, and then the cycle was renewed. I had lived in East Africa from 1956 to 1963. I had become fluent in English and Swahili. I had attended, in turn, Anglican, Catholic and Muslim schools. I had obtained a well-rounded education. I had formed a capacity to understand other cultures.

    I returned to Israel with my Hebrew grown very rusty. I brushed up on it and was fluent again within a matter of weeks. I had returned just in time for my Bar Mitzvah. It was celebrated at the Central Synagogue in Haifa and I sang my Haphtarah with pride.

    I returned to school to finish my elementary education. Life was good. We met solders on the street. We knew that they were the reason we could live a normal life, but we were 13 and there were more important things in life.

    High School. Ninth grade was exciting. We were going to start Gadna’ classes. Teenagers, the world over, like to play “war.” We were about to be taught the real thing. While in Eighth Grade, I had sometimes watched the high school kids in Gadna’ classes. They used military terminology which, in and of itself, was cool. They climbed ropes, jumped from roofs and went on marches. I soon found out that, as cool as it may have seemed to my watching eyes, it wasn’t all that cool when my chest was heaving and trying to inhale, while the instructor, recently discharged from active service as a paratroop sergeant, hollered back, “pick up your feet there, you’re holding us up.”

    It didn’t seem strange to us. To an Israeli, life has stages: you go to kindergarten. Then you go to elementary school followed by high school, military and college. Military could be delayed for those going to college to study professions that were needed by the military. The best example was Medicine. A student bound for the long process leading to MD did his basic and advanced training. He was trained as a tank crewman, artillery or infantryman, and then went to college. He would serve as a reservist during his college years. Upon graduating as an MD, he would serve full time for an extended term as an army doctor. Then there was the Hesder. Hesder means Arrangement. This was for Yeshiva students. Most Yeshiva students don’t serve. This was an agreement Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, made with the religious political parties when the state was born in 1948. The Hesdernicks are a different breed. They do a similar thing to what the “doctors” do. After basic and advanced training, they go to study Talmud, and serve as reserves. Upon completing their studies, they serve full time.

    These are realities of life in Israel. We were put face to face with these realities in Gadna’ training. Spoiled girls discovered that they were going to have to do that climb anyway. They were as breathless and aching as everyone else after that march. The class tough guy was embarrassed when the class dork outdid him at the shooting range. We learned teamwork and night work. We learned how to work as an individual and as a squad.

    I don’t want to make the impression that all we did in high school was military training, but I don’t want the Bo ‘sun to fire me. Seriously though, Gadna’ was only four hours per week. This was four hours for every week for every year of high school. It’s just that we enjoyed it, and felt that it was one of the differences between us and those “kids” at elementary school. Israel has one of the highest quality school systems in the world, and we got an excellent education.

    In the ninth grade, I met Hassan. Hassan was a Muslim Arab from Um-el-Fahem, an Arab town. This was a boarding school and we were to room together. We hit it off right from the start. His Hebrew was pretty good for someone whose first language was Arabic. I had already picked up some Arabic, and Hassan helped me some more. We were inseparable.

    On holidays, I would go to my grandfather, my parents still being out of the country. Hassan invited me to his village. I would come and stay for days at a time. I got to know the whole family. Hassan did not have to take Gadna’ at school. Like military service, Arabs have a choice of whether to do it or not. He decided to take it, and was very good. He still didn’t know whether or not he would serve, but he liked Gadna’, and he was good.

    Throughout the 60s, there was terrorism. Hassan and I would read the news, and hope for peace. We both knew that the time was drawing near, when we would go our separate ways and we were in denial. Hassan decided, in 1966 that he would not serve. There was pressure from his family, and he couldn’t fight it. We would experience life in different ways, and we knew that the closeness we shared was about to change. During the Six Day War, Hassan helped dig trenches. I volunteered to go to the Lebanese border. Hassan stayed behind. We remained friends…but it had changed forever.

     Be well,

    Abe

    Posted in 'War on Terror', Abe, Arabian Gulf Region, Arabs, Asia, hamas, Hizbollah, Hizbollah Vs Israel?, Israel, Jerusalem, Middle East, Middle East & Muslim World, Middle East Politics, Moderate Arabs, Palestinians, South Asia - Middle East, Terrorism, War, War and Peace, War BLOGGING | Leave a Comment »

    When is Murtha (and the lamestream media) going to apologize to Haditha Marines?

    Posted by thebosun on September 19, 2007

    I am so pissed off I cannot see straight.  When the hell is Congressman “Jack” Murtha and the lamestream media going to apologize for convicting the Haditha 8 Marines before they went to trial?  The Haditha story was cooked up by a anti war lamestream new media reporter.  Murtha and the lamestream media jumped on the incident before it was investigated and convicted the Marines prematurely.  It seems that these moveon.org sympathizers are so quick to pull the trigger on innocent military personnel and try to ruin careers for the moveon.org agenda. 

    For the latest story regarding the Haditha 8 Marines, seven freed one still in the hot seat:  More charges dropped over alleged massacre

         US Marine Corps officer accused of failing to properly investigate the alleged massacre of 24 Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha has been cleared of wrongdoing, the military said today…..
         The military said from its the Marines Camp Pendleton base in southern California that all charges against Captain Lucas McConnell stemming from the Haditha investigation had been dropped…..
         Captain McConnell was one of eight Marines facing charges in connection with the Haditha killings in November 2005, the most serious allegations of war crimes against US troops serving in Iraq…..
         Four Marines were initially charged with murder, while Captain McConnell and three other officers were charged with failing to properly investigate or report the circumstances surrounding the killings…..
         An initial press release from Marines concerning the incident said that 15 civilians had been killed in the bombing, a statement which was later acknowledged by the military to be false……
         The prosecutions of Marines involved in the case have slowly unraveled, however…..
         Only one soldier, Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, facing murder charges in connection with the deaths.

    Lets take a trip down memory lane with the Times (and CNN) and see how a bunch of damn moveon socialists besmirched the United States Marine Corps and tried to ruin eight Marines who were in combat action.  Here is what was written and said by the yellow journalists and moveon sympathizers:

     Did the Marines kill in cold blood?  Monday, May 22, 2006 By SALLY B. DONNELLY, Times:  When a Congressman makes the extraordinary claim that U.S. troops killed innocent civilians “in cold blood,” Washington takes notice. And when he’s a former Marine and decorated Vietnam vet, the assertion carries special weight. Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha, who backed going to war in 2002 but has become a vocal critic of the Bush Administration’s handling of Iraq, last week said U.S. Marines were guilty of murdering civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha last November–an event that was uncovered by TIME in March.

    Murtha made his claims after being briefed on an ongoing U.S. military investigation sparked by TIME’s story, which detailed allegations that 15 Iraqis at Haditha might have been shot by Marines–not killed by a bomb, as the Marines had said. “It’s much worse than was reported,” said Murtha, the top Democrat on the House Defense Subcommittee. “There was no firefight. There was no [improvised explosive device] that killed those innocent people.” Murtha claimed that “about twice as many” Iraqis were killed as had been reported.

    More BULL from the lamestream media Related Lame Stream Press Articles that blew this whole thing out of ) proportion and insinuated falsely that our Marines were guilty:

    • Cover: The Ghosts Of Haditha   Sunday, June 04, 2006 By MICHAEL DUFFY, TIM MCGIRK, BOBBY GHOSH  What happened one November morning in a dusty Iraqi town threatens to become one of the war’s major debacles, an alleged atrocity committed by a small group of Marines that promises to haunt the hearts and minds of liberator and liberated alike…

    To bad the reporting of Haditha and most of what comes out of the lamestream media in Iraq is BULL and figments of the left wing moveon agenda. Where the hell is truth in journalism?  You chuckleheads are ruining careers and lives with you irresponsible reporting.

    Well, lamestream media, Sally, Tim, Michael, “Jack” Murtha, left wing chuckleheads, and foul weather merchants when are you going to apologize and clean up the mess that YOU started?  You all have besmirched the United States Marine Corps and the America servicemen and servicewomen who wear the uniform and protect your sorry asses.   Get your asses out in the field and report the news rather than write press releases from new feeds and hearsay. 

    Murtha, you should resign.

    Posted in anti-US, apologists and appeasers, Asia, bias in the media, Courts Martial, Department of Defense, International News, Iraq War, Iraqi, Liberal Society, Liberal Tolerance, Liberalism, Libs, Marines, Media watch, Middle East, Military, Military Law, News, News and Information, real war, Social Engineering, South Asia, South Asia - Middle East, U.S. Military, UCMJ, US Armed Forces, US News, War, War and Peace, War BLOGGING, washington scandal, World at War, World News and Politics | 2 Comments »

    Travels with Abe: It was May 1967, Independence Day in Israel and the 1967 war with the Arabs

    Posted by thebosun on September 11, 2007

    Forwarded to me from a good friend in Israel, “Abe.” Abe discusses Isael in May 1967 and the 6 day war.  Much has changed in 40 years that has passed.  How soon the world forgets.   Enjoy.

    It was May.

    It was May of 1967. A State of Emergency was declared on Independence Day. Reserves were mobilized and every Israeli who was capable of breathing was doing something to help. Schoolchildren were digging trenches and filling sandbags. A call went out, “We need volunteers for the Lebanese Border.”

    In Israel, high schools have a program called, “Gadna’.” Gadna’ is actually run by a department of the IDF. It runs for about 4 hours a week for all four years of high school and consists of elements from IDF Basic Training. Kids climb ropes with full kit, learn the use and care of firearms (small arms) and go on forced marches. Night tactics and Squad Training are also learned. By the time Abe was 17, he was a basically trained soldier without having yet been drafted.

    Abe was seventeen and a half years old in May. Kibbutzim on the Lebanese border were aware that all the manpower and force of the IDF would be concentrated on the Syrian, Jordanian and Egyptian borders. Syria and Egypt were both rattling their sabers and moving troops up to the border. Jordan hadn’t declared yet, but it looked like it would join the fray, even as Israel declared that, if Jordan wouldn’t attack, Israel would leave it alone. Egypt ordered the UN contingent, that was stationed as a barrier between Israel and the Gaza Strip, (that was in Egypt), out of its territory.

    The word went out…Youths over 16, who were Gadna’-trained, were needed on the Lebanese border.

    Israel has a plan called “Melah.” An acronym for “Mesheq Lish’at Herum”  (Emergency Industry). Since, at a time of war, all able-bodied men and many women, are mobilized, how does the economy function. The system makes sure that, although most of the economy is shut down, certain, vital goods are manufactured and distributed. That is the function of Melah.

    The kibbutzim on the border are a part of Melah. Their needs were twofold; 1) Was the need for manpower to supply food to the population through the coming war and, 2) Was the need for trained soldiers to patrol the Lebanese border, as the IDF was concentrated on the other borders.

    The IDF considered the Lebanese border to be of much lower priority than the other three. Syria, a long-time nemesis, sat atop the Golan Heights and would shell the Galilee every now and then. The Kibbutzim sitting at the foot of the Golan, in Eastern Galilee, suffered especially. There were children who had spent close to half their lives in bomb-shelters. A full-scale assault coming down the Golan Heights would be hard to stop, and would take both manpower and firepower.

    Jordan had the most disciplined and best-trained, if smallest, of the Arab militaries arrayed against us. Jordan also bordered both Saudi Arabia and Iraq, both of which were making war-noises. We were braced for an attack from these countries through Jordan. West Jerusalem, our capital, sat on the border with Jordan and was in danger. Egypt had the largest Military by far. They were moving troops up to the border and had military airfields deep in the Sinai, well within range of Israel. They had blockaded the Straits of Tiran, in southern Sinai, effectively strangling our Red-Sea port of Eilat. This, according to international law, was a de-facto act of war.

    The Lebanese border was left to fend for itself. There was a low-level possibility that Syria would attack through Lebanon as well as through the Golan. There was also a possibility of terrorists taking advantage of the fact that the border was less protected, and infiltrating.

    The call went out asking for volunteers over 16 who had had at least 2 years of Gadna’. My sister was, at the time, on Kibbutz Eilon. The Kibbutz sat (and still sits) north of Israel’s Northern Road, near the border. The area is full of pine forests. Abe volunteered and went north. He and his comrades were housed, two to a room, on the Kibbutz and ate in the communal Members’ dining room. During the day, they would do the agricultural work, alongside volunteers from Europe and the Americas. At night the Gadna’ boys became an army unit.

    The joke was that the Lebanese border was guarded by “the 70 year-olds and the 17 year-olds.” (That was a later joke. The original joke had been that the IDF Band was guarding the border).

    The 60 and 70 year-olds, veterans of WW2 and the 1948 War of Independence were the NCOs and the officers. Abe and his comrades, the 16 and 17 year-olds, were the grunts. We would report at sundown. Some of them would mount jeeps and patrol, along with a veteran per jeep. Others would patrol, with Mauser rifles, the whole village. Yet another detail, would guard the bomb shelters, in which the smaller kids slept at night.

    The security jobs were rotated so that every Gadna’ youth had a chance to do them all. Patrolling with a Jeep was both fun and scary. They were teenagers with guns, ready to fight a war and they were scared. They didn’t talk about it much between themselves but, every once in a while, they would have frank discussions. The open threats that were coming from the Arab countries surrounding the State of Israel were frightening. They had, however, an unshakable faith in the IDF,

    In Israel, there’s a well known and much used phrased, “Kol HaKavod LeTzahal.” Literally, it translates as, “All honour to the IDF.” It means that the population understands that the IDF is all that prevents its wholesale slaughter, and trusts it. This phrase is used when a civilian gives up his bus seat to a tired soldier, or when a total stranger pays for a soldier’s meal at a restaurant.

    The news spread…General Moshe Dayan, the hero of the 1956 Sinai Campaign, and Israel’s most famous soldier, was appointed Minister of Defense. A calm descended on Israel. People volunteered to dog trenches and organize shelters for civilians. Soldiers, on their way to the front, were invited to free meals by total strangers. We all felt a bond. The atmosphere was that of an impending holocaust, but they were calm and united.

    A new song was a big hit. Written by Naomi Shemer, one of Israel’s most popular songwriters and sung by Shuli Natan. Shuli Natan, a female soldier, had been serving as a Hebrew teacher for immigrants. Everyone sang the song. They couldn’t get enough of it.

    Around June 4th or so, Dayan said, in a press conference, that the time was not right to react. In his words it was, “both too early and too late, to react to the Arab aggression.” He had also authorized leave for some army units, and that relaxed the three countries threatening Israel. The next day, just before dawn, Israel struck the Egyptian and Syrian air forces destroying most of their aircraft on the ground.

    They didn’t know what was going on until the third day of the war. All they knew was that, “Egyptian armoured forces have attempted to invade Israel, and they are fighting back.” On June 8th, they discovered just how crushing their attack had been. We had captured the whole Sinai Peninsula. They were in the West Bank and encircling East Jerusalem. Syria was still pounding their villages in the Galilee, but troops were being sent there from the south. The euphoria was beginning. Abe remember hearing, on the radio, the sound of the Shofar, (ram’s horn), being blown at the Western Wall by General, Rabbi, Shlomo Goren, Chief Chaplain of the IDF, and he cried along with everyone else. It was unbelievable.

    On the sixth day, they finished taking the Golan Heights, and a Cease-fire was imposed by the UN. They had taken the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, the Old City of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount, and the Golan Heights…and they sang “Jerusalem of Gold.”

    Tzeth’a Leshalom VeShuvh’a Leshalom

    Abe

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