Saturday, December 09, 2006

Glick's remedy...

The ink on the ISG report's pages isn't dry yet and veiled (and not-so-veiled) allegations of anti-Semitism are already starting to fly. Caroline Glick, in a lengthy, verbose piece called Jews, Wake Up! considers the ISG as nothing more than offering Israel to Iran. Her remedy? Flattening a good dollop of the Middle East, culminating of course in bombing Iran...

I quote from Glick's latest musings: When the history of our times is written, this week will be remembered as the week that Washington decided to let the Islamic Republic of Iran go nuclear. Hopefully it will also be remembered as the moment the Jews arose and refused to allow Iran to go nuclear.

With the publication of the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group chaired by former US secretary of state James Baker III and former congressman Lee Hamilton, the debate about the war in Iraq changed. From a war for victory against Islamofascism and for democracy and freedom, the war was reduced to a conflict to be managed by appeasing the US's sworn enemies in the interests of stability and at the expense of America's allies.

The main incentive Baker advocates offering is Israel.

Baker believes that Iran will agree to temporarily hold its fire in Iraq in exchange for US acceptance of Iran as a nuclear power and an American pledge not to topple the regime. Syria will assist the US in exchange for US pressure on Israel to handover the Golan Heights to Syria and Judea and Samaria to Hamas.

'Judea and Samaria': it just sounds a liiiitttle less... well, occupied, than 'West Bank', doesn't it? And the Golan Heights? Let's not go there...

Even if the US were to somehow get them to agree to certain understandings about Iraq, there is no reason to believe that the Iranians and Syrians would keep their word. Not only would the US be approaching them as a supplicant and so emboldening them, but to date the US has never credibly threatened anything either Syria or Iran value. Indeed, through supporting negotiations between the EU and Iran; empowering the UN to deal with Iran's nuclear program; and forcing Israel to accept a ceasefire with Hizbullah last summer that effectively gave victory to Syria and Iran's proxy, the US has consistently rewarded the two countries' aggression.

Well, the US could have chosen somehow to deal with Iran directly but instead chose a 'talk to the hand' approach. Glick is essentially advocating more of the same.

Worse than that, from a US perspective, although Gates admitted Tuesday that he cannot guarantee that Iran will not attack Israel with nuclear weapons, he ignored the fact that Iran - whose President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad daily calls for the destruction of the US - may also attack the US with nuclear weapons.

Gates admitted in his Senate hearing that Iran is producing many bombs - not just one.

Since it is possible to destroy Israel with just one bomb, the Americans should be asking themselves what Iran needs all those other bombs for. There are senior military sources in the US who have been warning the administration to take into consideration that the day that Iran attacks Israel with a nuclear bomb, ten cities in the US and Europe are liable to also be attacked with nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, no one is listening to these voices today.

This is Glick at her most confused and histrionic: they [Iran] have them [nukes], they don't but they will, soon, in four months, in four to five years... Sweet Caroline: admit it; you don't know either (see more below).

It is particularly upsetting that Washington has chosen now of all times to turn its back on the war. Ahmadinejad hinted Monday that Iran has completed the nuclear fuel cycle and so has passed the point of no return on its nuclear program. He also made a statement indicating that Iran will have its nuclear arsenal up and running by March - just four months away.

Serious disagreement exists in Washington over the status of the Iranian program. Some claim that Iran is four or five years away from nuclear weapons capabilities. Other maintain that Iran has recently experienced serious technical setbacks in their uranium enrichment activities and that the North Korean nuclear bomb test in October in which Iranian officials participated, was a failure.

What Ahmedinejad is referring to of course is the completion of a civilian fuel cycle, not a nuclear arsenal, a distinction Glick deliberately fails to make I feel. And Iranian officials participating in North Korea's nuclear test? Where's the evidence for that?

But there are also engaged officials who agree with Ahmadinejad's assessment of Iran's nuclear progress. Those officials maintain first that the North Korean-Iranian test in October was successful and should be taken as a sign that Iran already has a nuclear arsenal. Second, they warn that the US and Israel have six months to act against Iran's nuclear installations and to overthrow the regime or face the prospect of the annihilation of Israel and the destruction of several US cities as a result of an Iranian nuclear offensive.

To Caroline and many others of her bellicose ilk, it never seems to occur that an attack by Iran, conventional or nuclear, would simply mean a well-deserved nuclear suicide. That in itself is the strongest deterrent against such an attack: nuclear deterrence actually works.

As regards the "North Korean-Iranian" (once again that highly contentious connection) nuclear test, it was in all likelihood a fizzle, rather than a succes, possibly due to premature detonation of reactor-grade plutonium. A sub-kiloton yield (estimated around 0.2 kT) indicates probable failure, not success, as a succesful test detonation yields typically 20 - 50 kT. Which isn't to say that 200 T of TNT don't make a mighty BANG!

What must Israel do? First, it must plan an attack against Iran's nuclear facilities and regime command and control centers. To pave the way for such an attack, the IDF must move now to neutralize second order threats like the Palestinian rocket squads and the Syrian ballistic missile arsenals in order to limit the public's exposure to attack during the course of or in the aftermath of an Israeli attack on Iran.

Second, Israel must work to topple the Iranian regime. As the Defense Minister's Advisor Uri Lubrani told Ha'aretz last week, the regime in Iran is far from stable today and ripe for overthrow.

And so, it's 'chucks away and bombs galore!': bomb Hamas, Syria and Iran. Bizarrely, in Glick's Dr Strangelove scenario, Hezbollah is let off scot free (unless under 'Syria' we must understand 'Hezbollah').

The claim that the Iranian regime is somehow close to collapse is highly debatable: it appears to me that the fundamentalists remain firmly in control and that only democratic change from within could get the reformists back in the saddle. Imposing regime change from the outside will prove very difficult and very risky: the blow-back from failure could be a very high price to pay. The West has already effectuated a 'regime change' in Iran once, in 1953: in some respects we're still paying the price for it today...

Thirdly, in his testimony in the Senate on Tuesday, Gates casually mentioned that Israel has nuclear weapons. In so doing, he unceremoniously removed four decades of ambiguity over Israel's nuclear status. While his statement caused dismay in Jerusalem, perhaps Israel should see this as an opportunity.

Caroline, Caroline, Caroline... please show me one person on G-d's Earth that doesn't know Israel has an estimated 200 nuclear warheads. The Mordechai Vanunu affair may have been a little before your time but surely you've heard of it?

Israel's 'nuclear ambiguity' serves no purpose whatsoever, but its actual nuclear arsenal does. But Glick's unspecified "opportunity" sounds distinctly ominous: is she advocating a nuclear first strike on Iran? No, reading on it appears she's referring to a second strike capability: Israel effectively has this capability in the form of two recently acquired subs (from Germany).

For her part, reacting to the possibility of national extinction, Education Minister Yuli Tamir this week cocked her pedagogical pistol and shot at her rear. By ordering the public schools to demarcate the 1949 armistice lines on the official maps and so wipe Israel off maps of Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights, Tamir worked to divide the nation over second order issues at a time when unity of purpose is most essential. Olmert, who refused to overturn her scandalous decree, was doubtlessly pleased with her political stunt. For two days the media devoted itself entirely to stirring up internal divisions and so ignored the threat hanging over our heads and Olmert's refusal to deal with it.

Teaching the truth in Israeli schools is the result of a "scandalous decree". Clever also how she makes that little connection: "and so wipe Israel off maps", I'm surprised she hasn't come up with the term 'Olmerdinejad' or something similar. She probably prefers to leave that to the reader...

In a few months, Iran may well be in possession of nuclear weapons which it will use to destroy the Jewish state. With the US withdrawing from the war and Israel in the hands of incompetents, the time has come for the Jewish people to rise up.

Our struggle for survival begins with each of us deciding that we are willing to fight to survive. And today the challenge facing us is clear. Either the Iranian regime is toppled and its nuclear installations are destroyed or Israel will be annihilated. The Jews in the Diaspora must launch mass demonstrations and demand that their governments take real action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

In a few months... sigh.

America just abdicated its responsibility to defend itself against Iran and so left Israel high and dry. Nevertheless, the Jewish people is far from powerless. And the State of Israel also capable of defending itself [sic]. But we must act and act immediately.

Israel is indeed capable of defending itself, through its own nuclear umbrella. But Caroline's phantasmagorical ideas of 'pre-emptive self-defence' are a recipe for disaster that would imperil the Jewish State to a degree never experienced before.

And yep, it's official: due to the ISG, the US has thrown Israel to the wolves. It doesn't come to mind to Caroline that many Americans may find this kind hysterical thought rather annoying.

Update: the degree of cohesion that exists on the Radical Far Right still defies belief. Glick is now soon to be interviewed by Pamela from Atlas Shrugs, extremist whackjob and #1 Bolton dry-humper. A recent quote from Pammy's blog (a comment made by one of her readers and reproduced by her[my emphasis]):

"[...] as I am a former submarine sailor (circa 1984) and I am also an "orthodox" Jew.

[...] Why are we asking people like Boxer to listen to reason and vote against the adoption of the ISG report? Frankly, I want her to sign on to it. There needs to be no doubt as to which side these people have committed. Anyone who agrees to the resolution adopting the ISG report is clearly: a) a Jew hater and b) a protege of Chamberlain. I want Kerry and Boxer and all the rest to sign on to it."

All this begs the question whether Glick is plain stupid, misinformed or merely being disingenuous.

I generally don't believe that people who can string intelligible sentences together are stupid, so that kinda rules out possibility #1.

Misinformed? That's rather condescending.

That leaves disingenuous: Caroline, I truly believe you don't actually believe what you write. I believe that
you're deliberately misleading, distorting and chest-beating, mainly for effect or attention.


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