These are a few notes combined that I have been wanting to write the last few days as events unfolded and was not able to find the time. Therefore, it is far too long, but divided into sections for those interested…
In spite of the 911 anniversary, (and awesomeness of seeing George W speak again), and the sharp reminder that should be of the enemy the west faces, quite the opposite seems to be happening, and the Obama era of appeasement of the USA’s enemies and betrayal of its friends is yielding direct results, the International noose is closing in around Israel who as always stands on the very front line of this War of West vs East.
Some days ago, before the dramatic declarations and events in Egypt, the IDF Commander of the Home Front, Maj.-Gen. Eyal Eisenberg, warned about a possible Multi Front Middle-East-Wide War with WMDs being used. He cited the spiraling tensions with Turkey and (as apparently as a reader of my posts) and the revolutions across the Arab world. He also got into a lot of trouble for voicing this opinion. Months ago, when the media did no more than hail the “freedom protestors” across the Arab world, before the fall of any of the leaders, I warned of the possible consequences of these movements and their Islamic anti-western and anti-Semitic bent.
While Obama bewildered and naively stated that he did not understand why Iran would back these revolutions across the Arab world but crush its own, my post explained the reasons all too clear to anyone who knows the Arab world. (See my posts Tagged “arab spring”)
As General Eyal spoke, the Sinai had become lawless and Jihadist, Turkey had “self-couped” against its secular Military leadership (over 100 top Generals arrested or “retired”) in preparation of escalations against Israel, increasing terror attacks were being launched daily from the destabilized Egypt and the Sinai, Islamic street revolutions were sweeping the Arab world, and Iran continued its grand strategy of funding proxy enemies against the West while continuing to develop WMDs. Al-Qeada controlled large swaths of Yemen (weakened due to the protests against Saleh, a US ally who was a key player against the terror group and was abandoned by the Obama administration) and a known Al-Qeada terrorist stood as commander of Tripoli. The looming PA bid to declare independence and obtain UN approval amid all this was the cherry on the cake.
Arab regimes who will not illogically battle (at least rhetorically) Israel lose support of the street (and apparently the West for some odd reason) and fall. Assad (and Iran) has been able to hold one largely due to his “hard line” approach against Israel. Mubarak’s attempt to maintain peace with Israel cost him much of his support, while the people’s true and democratic feelings were seen hours ago as they burned Israel’s embassy and attempted to murder its six-man strong security detail. Thus, no regime can easily go against the PA bid, and Israel cannot afford to accept it on the ground. There lies the bait and hook…
Assault on the Israeli Embassy
Days after the General’s warning (and months after mine), two major events occurred. The “peace loving freedom protestor” mob of Egypt that ousted Mubarak still drunk on its power continued to riot. Feeling, the military too reasonable, stable and similar to Mubarak’s administration (they were all Mubarak appointees), they demanded the Generals testify against Mubarak in his trial. The truth did not concern them, they threatened Gen. Tantawi with “either rat on Mubarak or you are Mubarak”. The judge in the trial took the unprecedented step of calling the high officers to testify. As the mob grew tired of that protest, they rushed to the focus of much of their hatred, the Israeli Embassy.
Being Friday night, the only staff present was security staff. At first, the Egyptian forces did nothing to stop the “peaceful protestors” (that NATO flies ground support for in order to “protect”) from assaulting the embassy. The Israelis fired warning shots, and eventually locked themselves back behind a steel door. The mob breaking through and ready to tear them to bits. Bibi, Liberman and other officials maintained direct phone contact throughout the night. Apparently, someone in the US or the Israeli administration finally exerted enough pressure (or that Tantawi finally gained control of his forces, who knows) and a commando operation was launched.
Credit where credit is due, plainclothes Egyptian commandos snuck in amid the mob, dressed up the Israelis as Arabs and snuck them out. The commandos and Tantawi deserve credit for what would have otherwise been a slaughter. I hope, but don’t know if Israel had a stand-by alternative for its own evacuation, and if all secret material was adequately protected during and after the assault. We did hear the security detail was cool, professional and brave in the face of near certain death. (In fact, it is possible that the rescue team itself was Israeli, and Tantawi simply allowed them to rescue their own staff, as the methods (mista arabim – dress up as plainclothes Arabs) are very common in Israeli special forces. Either way, not to take credit away from Tantawi, either it was a cool Egyptian operation as it appears, or they allowed an Israeli one).
The Egyptian Generals have shown they remain sane, but can they retain control from the peasant mob? After this event Gen. Tantawi did fire back. He did not show up at the court as ordered by the Judge (as a reminder of who still runs the country), said that he could not attend as he was attending with the mess and “fallout” of the embassy attack, and proceeded to arrest over 100 men who took part in the assault.
Before this dramatic violation occurred, Turkey’s intentional spat with Israel continued.
First, demanding an apology for the assault on its ship trying to break the Gaza blockade last year, which thankfully Bibi refused. I commented back then that it was Israel who should have immediately demanded an apology. Israel always assumes an underdog, ghetto-like miserly mentality. Turkey, an ally with a military and trade pact, allowed one of its ships to intentionally and knowingly go violate the territorial sovereignty of Israeli waters. Israel took care to stop this ship without any violence… in fact so much “care” that it took it to an absurd level where Navy commandos (with Paintball Guns!! were stupidly lowered one by one onto the Turkish ship where once again the peace loving freedom protestors proceeded to try to beat and stab them to death (video is easily available on this on youtube).
After being stabbed, thrown from the upper decks, beat and shot, the commandos finally were given permission to open fire and quickly took control of the boat after inflicting casualties on the “peaceful protestors”. Turkey’s demand for an apology was absurd, and should be countered with a simple question…
Weather Turkey or any other country on earth, will allow an Israeli flagged ship full of hostile “activists” to break its territorial sovereignty, proceed to forbidden zones, ignore the coast guard, supply a terrorist group engaged against the country, and not be stopped or boarded. Or better yet, when the boat is boarded, if the hundreds of people onboard start stabbing, beating and finally shooting the Turkish troops, they will simply do whatever it is they think we should have done instead of defending ourselves. Israel should have simply asked Turkey if it can send such a ship… say to aid the PKK, violate Turkish waters, and learn from the experts how non-violence is conducted.
Quite on the contrary, it is Israel that should have demanded an apology from Turkey for allowing and supporting one of their ships violating Israeli waters, doing all this while stated previously, Turkey and Israel are supposed allies. In any event, these are absurdities… as Turkish PM Endrogan is following a planned course of action. Endrogan is an intelligent man, a successful leader in Turkey who has consolidated his power after three terms and I would think has some idea of what he is doing. Is it simply again to play up the anti-Israel line which the West has condoned, in order not to fall prey to the anti-west anti-Israel mobs rioting elsewhere? Maybe…
But perhaps a grand noose is being hung.. Erdogan feels regional powers weakening and his own standing growing. He took his statements so far as to say that he will dispatch Navy Warships to guard the next aid ship so the same will not happen again. Though he is likely to moderate or back off his statements later, it possibly is setting the ground work…
As the Islamic world descends to anarchy or is taken over by jihadists, and Israel finds itself increasingly isolated, surrounded by proxy terror groups (Hezbollah in the North, Hamas and the lawless Sinai in the South, Syria in the Northeast), and just maybe if things go down this road… one Islamic power (or at least a chaotic Islamic territory) from Tunisia to Egypt in the west, and the PA declares Independence… the trap is set.
Israel must retain the Gaza blockade at which point, Turkey (and everyone else) can declare it an illegal blockade and again say it will send “aid” ships to ease the suffering of people in Gaza. Its Navy will guard these ships… and the ball is on Israel’s court… will it sink Turkish Warships who were coming to help suffering people from what the world has declared an illegal blockade?…(if not, Israel’s deterrence is finally withered to 0 and a hundred more ships will immediately set sail) If so… Turkey is the new hero in the Arab world, and it could in its entirety, led by Iran and Turkey throw itself at Israel. Syria’s Assad in this game, weakly hanging on to power, will do what is asked of him, and allow Iranian, Iraqi Shiite (Iran backed), and Turkish forces on its territory to attack Israel, while it would of course not allow Israeli forces the opposite way. It gets worse… Turkey is a NATO member, and with enough isolation, Erdogan might think even NATO could be coerced to join the attack. Today, nothing is impossible as we see NATO warplanes bombing a former ally (Qadaffi) backing Al-Qaeda troops that are taking over Libya.
Erdogan can of course stop short at any point (one of the pluses of the plan)… but if the conditions look right, and enough allies are found… it could be what he is planning. There are clear signs of his less than innocent intentions. His govt is largely based on Islamic factions. The Turkish army has long seen itself as the guardian of secularism and the democracy in Turkey. Tensions between the Generals and the conservative govt were high. In the last months, Erdrogan seized power from the army by arresting or dismissing over 100 top Generals including the Chief of staff. It very could be that these professional Soldiers who have trained in many maneuvers with Israel would not follow Erdogan in his adventure. He has replaced them with Islamic and loyal officers, who of course are far less worthy or experienced officers and has made the Turkish military far weaker, though more loyal (to him).
Long have I stressed the short sightedness of our alliance with Turkey, when a much more natural one would have been with Greece and the Kurds (two natural friends) against the Turks. But the lure of being ally with ANY Muslim country is too much to resist for Israeli politics. The Kurds continue to be very pro-Israel even though Israel constantly has backed their occupier and oppressor (Turkey). An intelligent counter-plan to what I have described is based on the fact that Christian Lebanese militias in Western Turkey, Kurds in Eastern Turkey and Greece can be used to seize swaths of territory from Turkey, reward friends, and tie up much of its army as the IDF operates. In such a result, Greece can be promised control of the disputed Cyprus which Turkey invaded in 74. However, details are for another note as this one is far too long as it is.
Rumsfeld today verbalized something that had always been in my (and many others’) mind but had never found expression.. He indicated that he was always very uneasy and against using the term “War on Terror”. Though one usually finds this from liberal’s lips, they want to replace it with nothing at all. Rumsfeld pointed out that Terror is a tactic, a method. One does not go to war against a tactic much as one does not go to war against “tanks” or “out-flankings”. Terror happens to be the tactic our enemy is using, but it is not who we are at war with. The problem is that this euphemism, like many others, allows us to lie to ourselves; it allows us not name our enemy (at our peril). We are not at war with terror; we are at war with the Muslim World. We use F16s, Unmanned Drones, Abrams and Merkava Tanks, and they use terror (suicide bombers, box cutters, hijacked planes, etc). Rumsfeld did not go as far as to say that, he simply said he has not been able to find a better phrase, but in his brilliance he pointed out something very basic and important… Victory over an enemy one does not even know as an enemy is unlikely indeed.
The West continues to think that it’s battling anti-democracy forces and that all democratic nations are automatically friends. It is projecting its western values on an enemy who does not share them. Mubarak did not order the Israeli embassy assaulted, the democratic mob forces did. The PA voters overwhelmingly voted for Hamas… the populist rebellion in Libya is being headed by Jihadists…
Where as communism was really the enemy of the free world (as opposed to Russians), it is large parts of the Muslim world that are the enemy of the free world. If one wants to escape ethnicity and race, you can still define Islam as an idea (instead of communism for example) which is the opposing idea to western values and define it an enemy, but since it is a religion (and a western value unlike the islamic one, is freedom of religion) the West refuses to do so as well. It cannot define Arabs as enemies, nor Muslims, nor even certain Arabs or Muslims, so it defines.. a tactic… “terror” as the enemy, and everyone is happy. Except that our enemies do not care what they are called, they care only to win.. and they continue to work at it.
Nothing is Certain
Though hugely popular in the media, the mobs have not been as successful as it seems. Saleh in Yemen is holding on still (even though he was personally blown up), and seized a major town back from Al-Qaeda yesterday. In Bahrain, Syria and Jordan the regimes continue to retain power for now. The only real success for them was the weak regime of Tunisia. In Lybia, the regime crushed them until the entire world descended on Qadaffi and even now, him and his sons fight on in the center and south of the country. In Egypt, the mob never really seized power, it was the Army that refused to fire upon them that at the end removed Mubarak, and is now battling with the same mob. So perhaps without further NATO help (which may next come to Syria), the Islamic revolutions can come to a halt for now. We shall see.
Geo-politics is not a children’s game, and the road to disaster is short indeed when it is in the hands of amateurs like it has been the last couple of years. The results of ignorance, naiveté, mediocrity, appeasement, and lack of courage are clear and fast. The situation is very volatile and fluid still and the outcomes unknown, I hope for peace but what the enemy is planning is not as important as what we plan. I hope Israel has its eye on the ball, and that Hashem give Bibi strength to not balk, not flinch (he hasn’t yet!)… and face our enemies with both an Intelligence and a Courage that is far greater than theirs. At the end, both Hashem and the IDF are on his side, and together would make short work of all our enemies combined.