April 11, 2006

Israeli Gears

Hatched by Dafydd

Everytime I hear Fred and Mort, or Michael Medved, or any of (it seems) an endless parade of "pundents" opine that we don't need to go after Iran ourselves, because we can just leave it to Israel to take out those pesky nukes... all right, I cringe. I admit it.

This is what I call the Magical Israel Syndrome: the quasi-spiritualist belief in the godlike, supernatural power of the tiny nation of Israel. All they need do is wave a magic yarmulke or toot a mystical shofar, and send the Persian walls a-tumblin' down!

The reality is that the United States is probably the only country in the world that has a chance of hitting nearly all Iran's nuclear research and development sites -- admittedly with intelligence help from the Jewish state. Only we can damage them enough to set them back a few years.

Such a strike requires a coordinated air attack of hundreds of planes and missiles over several days: some to knock out the air defenses, some to jam enemy communications, others to look down upon the battlefield and coordinate the attacks, to engage and destroy enemy fighters, to assess damage after it's over... wait, I'm forgetting something; oh yes -- and actual bombers to drop bombs, since no way would a missile barrage be sufficient. (Necessary but not sufficient.)

It would be much larger than Clinton's 1998 bombing of Iraq (Operation Desert Fox), which used Navy and Marine Corps planes flying off the USS Enterprise, Air Force fighters and B-52 heavy bombers, and a British contingent. The Iran strike will probably be similar in size to the air attacks that preceded the Gulf War or Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Israel has absolutely no experience doing any of this. When was the last time they were at war with a nation that had relatively sophisticated air defenses -- the Yom Kippur War of 1973? They certainly don't have to think about any such coordinated attacks when they shoot a Hellfire missile at the operational leader du jour of Hamas or PIJ. Nor did they use any significant air power when they swept through the West Bank a few years ago, or when they move into Gaza these days.

Israel's 1981 bombing of Saddam Hussein's Osirak nuclear reactor consisted of eight F-16 Fighting Falcons (a total of sixteen one-tonne bombs) and six F-15 Strike Eagles; it just wasn't in the same universe as what we're talking about against Iran, where there are a score of sites that have publicly been revealed -- plus (I've heard) potentially hundreds of other facilities that should be hit at the same time, else they would simply move the nuclear development to one of them.

We are the only country on the planet with recent experience in such massive attacks; I don't think Great Britain's experience in Dresden (or the Falklands) would be much help.

Israel got its "magical" reputation because of the War of Independence, the Six Day War, and the Yom Kippur War; but the most recent of those was 33 years ago. Besides, those were primarily ground-force battles with troops and tanks. The Israeli Air Force did destroy the Egyptian airfields at the start of the Six Day War, to prevent the handful of Egyptian [Soviet] Badgers from obliterating entire Israeli tank divisions with their huge 20,000-pounders; but Egypt had few sophisticated air defenses... and I believe what they had, they had turned off for some reason.

Folks, Israel is not some gigantic war machine that can just grind through Iranian air defenses and do our dirty work for us. Israel will be invaluable in such an assult; their large number of human spies on the ground in Iran can give us targeting information that we couldn't get any other way, along with alerting us to facilities we might never have known existed. But we will have to do all the heavy lifting ourselves.

Forget Magical Israel Syndrome. If anyone is to attack the Iranian nuclear sites -- it will have to be the United States of America, possibly with British backup, fighter escort, and other ancillary aid. We cannot shuffle our battles off onto the Israelis.

It's like in To Kill a Mockingbird: when the time comes, Atticus Finch has to shoot down the mad dog himself. He can't call the cops or ask Scout to do it for him.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 11, 2006, at the time of 11:56 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/655

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Israeli Gears:

» Links and Minifeatures 04 12 Wednesday from Searchlight Crusade
Carnival of Debt Reduction Recommended: Mighty Bargain Hunter Carnival of the Capitalists Recommended: Business of America is Business Carnival of Investing Recommended: It's Just Money RINO Sightings Recommended: Decision '08 Carnival of Liberty Recom... [Read More]

Tracked on September 15, 2007 2:47 PM


The following hissed in response by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad

Thanks for this reminder -- I had a touch of Magical Israeli Syndrome myself, in thinking that Israel would have to attack Iran if Kerry won, in 2004.

But the US needs to understand that virtually no "elite" population of any other country, including much of the elite of the UK, wants to be supporting the US as a non-UN "world cop".

The US needs to form a Democracy based international Human Rights Enforcement Group, different than the UN, possibly an expanded revised NATO. This HReg, especially including the USA and India, will need to do the dirty work.

Regime change in Sudan, to stop the genocide, should be a good start.

The above hissed in response by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 12, 2006 2:01 AM

The following hissed in response by: TS Alfabet

And let's not fall prey to the other ailment common to this subject: Slick Willy Air Strike Dementia. As Mark Steyn pointed out in his column yesterday ( http://www.city-journal.org/html/16_2_iran.html) there is no way that we can take care of Iran with just bombing and missile strikes like Clinton loved to do. Iran is crazy but not stupid. (To read Steyn's article, they seem to be FRICKIN brilliant!). They have and will put into place as many nasty surprises for us to make us pay and cause maximum disruption to our interest. We will likely need to seize and defend the Straits of Hormuz, shift a significant number of troops in Iraq (and Afghanistan?) to the Iranian border as well as bolster the British in the Shiite south of Iraq for predictable mayhem there. Crazy Ahmed has been threatening these things routinely and Iran, unlike the U.S. under prior admins, has a track record of carrying out their threats.

The above hissed in response by: TS Alfabet [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 12, 2006 9:13 AM

The following hissed in response by: Athos

While I agree with your basic analysis, there are some small factual errors in presenting your case regarding the IDF reputation.

In the October War, Egypt and Syria had the very best of Soviet anti-air (SA-6 mobile) and anti-tank (Sagger ATGM). Egypt in particular inflicted quite a toll on the IDF in the first week of the war as IDF tactics did not adjust to these new threats. But adjust they did - far better than the Soviet doctrine led Egyptians / Syrians did in the latter phases of the war.

The IAF cemented it's reputation right around the same time as the Osirik raid against Iraq. During the Israeli involvement in the Lebanese Civil War, and their invasion of Lebanon, the IAF was directly confronted by the Syrian Air Force. The score 82 - 0. 82 Syrian front line fighters were shot down without a loss to the IAF F16 and F15's.

Today, the IAF does have a better strike capability and improved air to air refueling capability than they did in the 80's - but ultimately - I believe that they lack the strength for the prolonged campaign that would be needed to single handedly assault Iran's nuclear program and supress their defenses.

Furthermore, as others state, if this becomes hot, it will not be a 'shock and awe' or one series of strikes. It will need to be a major sustained air (and special forces) offensive that will take time to conduct and result in casualties / lost aircraft.

I wonder if the nation has the will to do what is needed? All of the 'hopes' that Israel will do it for us seems to be a cover for the lack of internal fortitude to do what needs to be done.

The above hissed in response by: Athos [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 12, 2006 9:45 AM

The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist

It's like in To Kill a Mockingbird: when the time comes, Atticus Finch has to shoot down the mad dog himself. He can't call the cops or ask Scout to do it for him.

Grin again...!!!

Stratfor's George Friedman has a very interesting take on this Iran 'stuff' today:

Idealism, Realism and U.S. Foreign Policy

Iran says it has enriched uranium. Hosni Mubarak is claiming that Shia in Sunni states are traitors to their countries. The French are in political and economic gridlock. With all these urgent things going on, it seems to us that it is time to talk of something important, something that has driven and divided American politics for centuries and will continue to do so: the argument between those who have been called idealists and those who have been labeled realists in U.S. foreign policy.

George can nail'em at times, and i like his take today:

When the United States was in its infancy, France experienced a revolution that was in many ways similar to the American Revolution. Some Americans wanted to support the French revolutionaries, arguing that the United States had to pursue its moral ideals and stand by its moral partner. Others pointed out that the American economy was heavily dependent on Britain, the major market for American goods. Moreover, the young country relied on its ability to send exports to Europe, and the waters were controlled by Britain. Whatever moral inclinations the Americans might have had toward France, prudence required that they not take on Britain. The idealists tried to frame their arguments strategically and the realists tried to create a moral cast for their argument, but the problem, in the end, was simple: America's survival depended on not alienating a country that was everything the colonists had fought against.

OK George, you got my attention...please continue:

This argument has constantly torn apart American thinking about foreign policy. Consider this example from the more recent past: In World War II, the United States was allied with the Soviet Union, which was ruled by a genocidal maniac, Josef Stalin. At the time that the United States allied with Stalin, Adolf Hitler was only beginning to climb into Stalin's class of killer. There were those who argued that the alliance with Stalin was a betrayal of every principle Americans stood for. Others, like Franklin Roosevelt, recognized that unless the United States allied with Stalin, Hitler likely would win the war. Those who opposed an alliance with Stalin based on moral ideals certainly had an excellent point -- but those who argued that, apart from an alliance with the devil, the Republic might not survive, also had an excellent point.

Ummmmmmmmm...i have always wondered how we ended up on Stalin's side in a war against Hitler, when it was the Japs who first attacked us. Anyway, good stuff George...please continue:

Consider a final example. In 1972, the United States appeared to be a declining power. It was losing the war in Vietnam, and its position globally appeared to be deteriorating. The Soviet Union had split from China years before, and their confrontation along their frontier had, on occasion, been bloody. War was possible. Richard Nixon created an entente with the Chinese that was designed to encircle the Soviet Union. In retrospect, the strategy worked. However, in establishing relations with Mao's China, the United States once again aligned itself with a murderous regime. The alternative was an unstoppable Soviet regime.

Stratfor ain't cheap, but they are flexible enough to know that i cannot afford their asking price, and they work with humble me...after dragging me across a bed of hot coals for a month! Anyway, George continued...i now skip some, and we end up here:

The current incarnation of this argument concerns the U.S.-jihadist war, and the ideological complexity shows itself quickly.
There are two flavors of idealists here. First, there are those who argue that in waging its war against the jihadists, the United States should never do anything that would violate basic principles of human rights -- and that it should avoid alliances with states that are themselves oppressive. So, for example, some argue that working closely with Saudi Arabia, a kingdom they regard as antithetical to American moral standards, is unacceptable.

i'm not sure how the quoting works here, between paragraphs, so the following is the rest of the quote from Stratfor's George Friedman:

[The rest of the column is very interesting; alas, it's clearly much too long to constitute "fair use;" in my opinion, we've quoted so much here that we've violated Friedman's copyright. Regretably, I have to cut this.

But it's worth reading; follow the link above. -- the Mgt.]




Good job...by both Georges!!! Anyway, here is one of my quotes:

Life on Earth is a *LOT* like Life in a Prison and/or ‘Da *SWING* of a Pendulum...

This country came close to electing Al Gore in 2000...after this same country had elected Jimmy "The Mullah" Carter once, and after electing Bill Clinton *TWICE*!!!

America had the middle-east in its hands, after Afghanistan, and then the Democrats and *THEIR* Mainstream Media made *THEIR* Dualistic move to stop America, and to make Bush "43" look bad...after just three days into Iraq, the Democrats and *THEIR* Mainstream Media's coverage changed from supporting America, to stopping America and Bush "43" in Iraq:

Day 3: American troops bogged down in Iraq

The negative coverage never stopped after "Day 3"...


The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 12, 2006 5:39 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


Sorry I had to snip the last part; just too much quoting from a source... copyright problems.

The biggest problem with George Friedman's discussion is that he seems to believe that we're establishing a democracy in Iraq for moral reasons -- ideological reasons.

In fact, the Bush doctrine all along has been that establishing democracies in the Middle East was necessary for our national security, because terrorist groups spawn in the poisoned seas of corruption, totalitarianism, and tyranny.

Friedman fails to address this issue.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 12, 2006 6:22 PM

The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist


i agree, to a point, and you made a great point; however, whom is actually right here? BTW, snip away, but Stratfor best not complain, and i understand your point there.

You claim that you understand the "Bush doctrine", and yet...and yet, you may be missing both the minor and major points here.

The Bush Doctrine

In my humble opinion, the "Bush doctrine" starts with "make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them", and then moves to a...a....a:

...a policy that permits pre-emptive war against potential aggressors before they are capable of mounting attacks against the United States.

i think that Stratfor made some major points here, and siding with Iran was just one. Note: Americans were very upset about that Dubai's DP World, and now we have two choices that look good:

1) Side with Saudi Arabia
2) Side with Iran

OK...let us say that we have four choices:

3) Side with China
4) Side with North Korea

Lets make it ten more choices, and it seems that you have still missed the point of the "Bush Doctrine" here, from start to ending.

Bush screwed up by not nuking North Korea and Iran, before the Iraq and Syria invasions. Libya's Col. Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI figured that he would be next, so he rolled over like some prison punk...Col. Muammar, wise choice, huh.

Friedman fails to address this issue.

You really need to re-read, since you have clearly missed sooooooooooooo many points...even your own points, and especially the Preemptive war parts.

PS. We ain't even got into how Bush "43" has used Pakistan, and it's General Pervez MUSHARRAF in all of this!!! You have missed much, huh.

The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 12, 2006 9:41 PM

The following hissed in response by: Don


"Ummmmmmmmm...i have always wondered how we ended up on Stalin's side in a war against Hitler, when it was the Japs who first attacked us."

The answer couldn't be simpler. Nazi Germany declared war against the US the day after Pearl Harbor. Otherwise there might have been a prolonged debate about whether to join the war against Nazi Germany.....

The above hissed in response by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 13, 2006 6:06 AM

Post a comment

Thanks for hissing in, . Now you can slither in with a comment, o wise. (sign out)

(If you haven't hissed a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Hang loose; don't shed your skin!)

Remember me unto the end of days?

© 2005-2009 by Dafydd ab Hugh - All Rights Reserved