Beyond the Cusp

August 6, 2018

A Revolution Under Media Silence

 

Can a revolution happen if the media refuses to cover it? This may be answered in the not too distant future. The media has been doing its best to ignore the uprisings in Iran. The people of Iran are completely fed up with their leadership and are demanding change. There have been recent protests of varying size in the Iranian cities of Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad and Tehran driven by concerns over the economy as well as wider anger at the political system. In a rare CBS News reported, they disclosed that in Isafan, marchers shouted “death to the dictator,” before appearing to set fire to police cars. These protests have been gaining strength sparking across Iran as a nationwide anti-government movement starting last December continuing sporadically in varying points since. The driving causes include the 12.5% unemployment rate, the plunging worth of their money where the Rial has dropped to 122,000 to the dollar as well as their desire for an end to the theocracy replacing it with open democratic governance. The Rial has lost half its value against the dollar in just four months. Even some hardliners have called for new elections or for Rouhani’s civilian government to be replaced by a military-led one though they have no desire to replace the Supreme Leader the Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

 

The leaders of Iran have a completely different view of the effects and who is to blame. The problem, according to a statement from Radio Farda last Sunday claimed, the central bank alleged the Rial’s drop was the result of foreign conspiracies and said the currency’s weakness against the dollar was not a reflection of “economic realities.” “Recent developments in the gold and forex markets are part of the conspiracies hatched by the country’s enemies in order to agitate the economy and rob the people of their psychological security.” The Tasnim News Agency reported spokesman Bahram Qassemi as saying referring to talks, “The US or parts of the US may express wishes, but after the illegal withdrawal from the JCPOA and their hostile policies and push for economic pressure on the Iranian nation, I think there is no such issue.” Meanwhile, the US is set to restore its full range of sanctions in two stages on August 6, 2018, and November 4, 2018, forcing many foreign firms to cut off business with Iran. The real Iranian leadership appears willing to allow the “elected” government to fall taking the blame but the structure of the ruling Ayatollahs will remain unshaken and remain in control facing the unrest within the population.

 

Iranian Protests Against Supreme Leader

Iranian Protests Against Supreme Leader

 

These protests resemble those from 2009 in that they are calling for replacing the entirety of their governance starting with the Supreme Leader and the rest of the Ayatollahs replacing them with a secular democracy and complete separation between religion and government. They desire a return to secular rulership and desire a Western style democracy free of the Islamic totalitarianism. The government has claimed that these protests are the result of external agitators who are spreading discontent and lies and that those who take part in demonstrations are breaking the rule of law. There have been scattered reports on social media that the police have used live fire to break up some of the protests with a number of protesters being murdered with many others being arrested. If these protests result in similar results to the 2009 protests, then there will be a point when violence will become the standard reaction from the government where numbers of demonstrators will be mowed down in the streets and thousands, even tens of thousands, will be arrested with the majority not ever being heard from again and any attempt to attain information about these individuals will be met with silence. This time around, it has been reported that a good percentage of the protesters have been women with some in the leadership and the protesters cross all levels of the population from students to merchants and tradesmen.

 

What is also new to these demonstrations have been the direct threats to the Ayatollahs as there have been chants of, “Death to the Ayatollah!” The Daily Mail online has a rather extensive set of videos covering the Iranian protests, and from these videos the word protest could easily be used to mean riots, and show some of the injured individuals with some graphic content. These protests are spreading and are in their fourth consecutive day despite the attempts to break up their unity using tear gas, water cannons and as reported in some instances live fire. The Iranians are pretty much ready to take whatever risks and losses it may require regaining their freedom, the very freedom, which the Ayatollahs had promised in 1979, a promise which was quickly eclipsed by their totalitarian rule and iron fist enforcement. Iran is facing the same story we have seen time and again, the people revolt against what they saw as an imperialist leader, the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and accepted the perceived savior, the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini whose return to Iran and rise to power was supported by the United States as President Jimmy Carter extolled the greatness of this wonderful man of religion and deep faith. Almost immediately after raking power, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini allowed “students” to storm the United States Embassy taking fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981, and the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan.

 

The Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini also took complete dictatorial power under the thin veneer of an elected Parliament where only approved candidates were permitted to be entertained on the ballot and a President who would act as his official receptacle of blame allowing the Supreme Leader to remain perceived as perfect with the elected Parliament and President being the reason for all misfortune. Soon after the new government settled in the Ayatollahs instituted a second military just as powerful and as well armed, if not superior in numbers and arms, called the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which would “keep the peace” in times of unrest as in 2009, as well as be responsible for spreading the revolution across the Middle East and the world. The IRGC assisted and armed Hezballah in Lebanon making it the equal or better than the Lebanese army. Hezballah now commands the Lebanese Army and has complete use of its United States provided arms which were upgraded by President Barack Obama knowing these arms were actually going to Hezballah, have trained Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza, assisted and armed the Houthis in Yemen, carried out the March 17, 1992, bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires which resulted in twenty-nine civilians being killed and two-hundred-forty-two additional civilians were injured as well as the July 18, 1994, Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) bombing which resulted in killing 85 people and injuring more than three-hundred others (see image below). There probably are other terrorist acts and attempts at undermining nations traceable to the IRGC and even if not, just give them enough time.

 

Results of the July 18, 1994 AMIA Bombing in Buenos Aries

Results of the July 18, 1994 AMIA Bombing in Buenos Aries

 

The Ayatollahs also instituted the Basij militias who were used extensively in the decade long war between Iran and Iraq under Saddam Hussein. These Basij militias were utilized as the Ayatollahs’ shock troops and during the 2009 uprising were sent into the dorms of the universities to hunt down the leadership of the protests and persuade them to cease their activities sometimes resulting in their terminating the instigating students. The 2009 abortive revolution, also called the Persian Awakening, Persian Spring or Green Revolution, was over the perceived, if not actual, overthrow of the people’s choice at the poles where the majority was believed to have elected the opposition candidate, either Mir-Hossein Mousavi or Mehdi Karroubi, and the Ayatollahs candidate of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was announced the winner. Whether or not he actually won is inconsequential, as the protesters believed he lost by a sufficient margin that they perceived this as nothing short of a repudiation of their votes. The protests were violently put down using the Basij Militias and IRGC forces where hundreds, if not thousands, were mowed down in the streets with many thousands arrested with a good proportion ending up in Evin Prison from which most never returned and all record of their eventual end left hanging as a mystery. Evin Prison is infamous for being where political prisoners are sent, tortured and eventually killed or die as a result of their treatment and also as a black hole where people go in and nothing comes out and even information appears to disappear along with the people who entered. During the entirety of the Green Revolution and its violent suppression, President Barack Obama continued in his negotiations with the Iranian government saying nothing about their actions and simply politely pursuing what would eventually become the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which is the nuclear agreement which President Trump recently pulled the United States support. The one important point is this was ended up being called a Presidential Agreement and was never a treaty, thus as President, Trump decided that the Presidency of the United States no longer agreed.

 

This brings us to the least favorite part where we predict what is likely to occur. Despite the fact that the Ayatollahs represent at most thirty percent and likely more like fewer than twenty percent of the population of Iran, they possess the vast majority of the firearms and definitely the most powerful weaponry, such as tanks and aircraft. The end result of these protests, especially if they should grow as we suspect they will, will come down to which side the Iranian Army, which is supposedly secular and somewhat independent of the Ayatollah unlike the IRGC troops who answer directly to the Supreme Leader the Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, decide to support and upon their choosing the people, assuming that is their decision, also the decisions of individual policemen who might also side with the people and who would be capable of arming people more directly than even the military as they are on the front lines and know who to trust should they side against the Ayatollah. Should the Army, as in 2009, decide to sit on the sidelines and do nothing, then the people face an impossible mountain to climb. The Ayatollahs have stated that they would attack Israel or the United States even if doing so guaranteed the return strike would decimate Iran, as they believe that after such events that their revolution to make Shia Islam the ruling power in this world would become true to honor their national martyrdom. With such an attitude, do you really believe that the lives of the people they rule actually matter to them. The only lives that matter to the Ayatollahs are those who support the revolution where Shia Islam eventually comes to rule the world, all else is inconsequential and may as well be dead to them. People who are in the streets demanding new governance are exactly the people who are superfluous bodies to the cause of the Ayatollahs and as such are unnecessary. The Ayatollahs very possibly would look at the protesters as people who are unnecessary baggage and a drain on resources which could be better spent on nuclear weapons and more missiles and other things which could be used to fight the war in Syria, arm Hezballah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the Houthis and any others who are spreading the Iranian revolution to the remainder of the world. The Ayatollahs do not place much worth on their own lives as they do not expect to see this glorious revolution through to its end, but they do believe that they can save Iran from its people even if such requires a purging of the population. This is the threat the protesters are facing and it is a serious threat. Unless the Iranian military comes to the defense of the people, their attempts at change will die in the streets right beside them. The only other hope for these protests would be outside intervention such as the United States did in Iraq. That is going to be next to impossible because the last thing President Trump wants is to use the United States military in another Middle East conflict. Of course, there is always the possibility of a miracle, and that is about what it will take for an uprising by the people of Iran to succeed.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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May 11, 2018

The Secret of Israel

 

Israel seems to be a secret to the remainder of the world. That becomes obvious when you listen to the idiotic ideas coming from so many when referring what they believe is Israel. We have read of and heard some claiming that Israel wants to establish a “Greater Israel” by expanding her borders. We have covered this claim before explaining that the term “Greater Israel” simply refers to the times of Kings David and Solomon. They will infer that Israel is supremacist, started the conflict and numerous other ways of saying that Israel is the bully. Actually, the Ottomans started it when they joined with the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and Germany against the Allied Powers during World War I. Just for the record, they lost and the world decided to end these empires which were considered the aggressors, thus the Austrian-Hungarian Empire was divided up and the Balkan nations were born along with the rest of Eastern Europe, Germany found their borders slimmed at the edges and the Ottoman Empire was carved up with the separate parts placed into Mandates with the presumed intention of making them into little democracies with some effort. Another large idea of the age was the reestablishing of originalist nations returning areas to their original rulers such as Finland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania which dotted the new Eastern Europe. The Ottoman Empire was carved up making the nations making up the MENA nations of the Middle East and North Africa (see map below). One of those Mandates established the ancient homeland of the Jewish People, Israel, and an Arab state of Transjordan (later simply Jordan) which was designated the homeland for the Arab Palestinians. Another pair established was Lebanon and Syria where Lebanon was supposed to have been Christian while Syria was supposed to be Arab Syrians in their historic lands.

 

(MENA) Middle East and North Africa Including Turkey and Iran With North Central Africa

(MENA)
Middle East and North Africa
Including Turkey and Iran
With North Central Africa

 

Initially, the Arabs residing in all four nations claimed they were Syrians. The French Mandate, which included Syria and Lebanon, claimed to be simply all part of Syria while the British Mandate, which included Israel and Jordan, claimed to be in southern region of Greater Syria. The idea was that they would take all of the area and make their Arab state of Greater Syria. The Arabs believed that all the lands which had been the Ottoman Empire were to remain under Arab and Muslim control. They refused to recognize the Mandates established by the various treaties including the San Remo Conference, the Treaty of Sèvres amongst others. That has been the main problem which has led to the difficulties between Israel and her Arab neighbors which continue into our daily news. Lebanon is no longer a Christian nation, simply a Muslim nation where the Christians are permitted to remain as long as they behave. The Islamic name for such is called a Dhimmi, a form of second-class citizenry. For intents and purposes, and in reality, Hezballah is the current ruling power in Lebanon. That means that Iran has direct control over Lebanon, the Hezballah terrorist military and the Lebanese Army which includes quite an amount of United States military weaponry including Abrams main battle tanks.

 

Back to what it is Israel honestly wants from the rest of the world. This includes the Muslim nations, the United States, the Europeans, the British, the Russians, the Chinese and everybody else. It is actually the thing that the Jewish People have prayed to have for the past two-thousand-plus years. We would like our little plot of land promised to Abraham which extends from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, from the Egyptian Border north to, originally the Litani River (see map below), but we will be just fine with the Blue Line as already inspected and approved by the United Nations after the Israeli withdrawal from Southern Lebanon in 2000. Any people within this region who desire relocating voluntarily, we will give them generous assistance. Those who prefer to remain will need to understand that they will be residing under the laws of the State of Israel. Any terrorist act will result in their being deported and not permitted to return. After this has been settled and we are securely within our border, then please just allow us to tend to our needs and as long as we are left in peace, we will leave the remainder of the world in peace. There will be advantages for the world should this be accomplished. Any medical, technical, agricultural or other discoveries or inventions performed in Israel will be shared with the rest of the world. Israel will be able to make greater strides when we no longer are required to prepare for a war to start at any moment.

 

Twelve Tribes of Israel and the Original Borders for Israel

Twelve Tribes of Israel and the Original Borders for Israel

 

As far as what will be occurring within our borders, that is a simple matter. We will have a large segment of the Jews praying to Hashem while also working to build a better future. We will likely rebuild the Temple making the Third Temple, and hopefully final Temple, a reality and do so with the minimal upset to other religions to the greatest of our ability. Those fearing that this means we will reengage in animal sacrifice, allow us to give a modicum of relief and peace of mind. The first Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, who some claim believed that animal offerings will not be reinstituted when the Third Temple is rebuilt, thought that only grain and vegetable sacrifices would be reinstituted. His commentary on the Siddur on the sentence at the end of Shemoneh Esrei, “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant to Hashem as in the days of old and as in the ancient years,” Rav Kook wrote, “In the future, the abundance of knowledge will spread to and penetrate even animals…and the “sacrifices” which will then be from Grain, will be as pleasing to G-d as in days of old (when there were animal offerings).”* This would limit the Third Temple to only vegetarian offerings.

 

Israel will not make demands on other nations and instead will do as we are bid by our Torah, to lead lives worthy and honoring Hashem and then our lives will not want for anything. Judaism has a unique feature not found in the other two Abrahamic faiths in that we do not proselytize nor do we insist that others must follow out religion or even believe in Hashem. We simply request that we be permitted to follow our religion and be left to our own ways within our borders and, in return, we will share any great bounty or discoveries we find with the world. In Judaism we are instructed only to tell those who come and inquire about Judaism and not to press any to convert and even to ask those who request to convert why they would want to do so. There are numerous rules and rituals which are required of those following strict Judaism which is why we question why one would desire to take on these potential burdens in their lives when there is no pressing requirement for them to do so. In Judaism, Hashem loves the Jewish People and also loves all people for we are all His children and thus all receive his love. The Jews, it is often stated, believe they are special as the Chosen People. Well, yes, in a warped way. One need understand that being the Chosen People is defined in two ways, the first is the well-known that Hashem chose the Jews, or at least Abraham, Isaack, and Jacob plus likely Moses. Remember, Hashem also chose Noah and gave him the Noahic Code, the Seven Laws for a civilized society. The other side of being the Chosen People is the Jewish People have chosen to follow the Laws given us at Mount Sinai through Moses and written in the Torah which demand of us performing six-hundred-thirteen Mitzvot. (Here is a list drawn up by Chabad for comparison and a second opinion.) So the Chosen People works in both directions and does not mean the Jews are special other than they have agreed upon the laws and customs they are to observe, for which we get to live an orderly life and no special compensation beyond what every other individual receives from Hashem for living a good and honest life.

 

Definitive Map of Israel

 

Israel, much like Judaism, desires only to be permitted to live within our borders as described above or as shown in the map above. Nothing would make us happier than to be allowed to tend to our own business within the ancient lands of our forefathers. Yet there are those who insist that the Jews never resided in this region despite the historical evidence to the contrary. Of course, some of those making these statements claim that the history of mankind, or at least the only history that matters, started approximately fourteen-hundred years ago with the revelation of the Quran to Mohammad in Mecca and finishing in Medina. The history of the Jewish People dates back slightly more distant with Kings David and Solomon residing over three-thousand years ago and Abraham almost a thousand years before that. That is a very long time ago, but that was the beginning and was where much of what is the beginnings of the basis of the democratic institutions and the Judeo-Christian ethics upon which much of European and American history is based and on which many other cultures base their beliefs. Israel, under Kings David and Solomon attempted to gain empire, as that was the way of the world three-thousand years past. That ended poorly soon after King Solomon when the kingdoms split into a northern and a southern kingdom and the added lands of empire revolted successfully gaining their independence only to be swallowed by the Assyrians and then the Babylonians. The Northern Kingdom fell to Assyria and then the Southern Kingdom, Judah, fell to the Babylonians. The existence of the Northern Kingdom is somewhat a mystery as they are referred to as the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel though some are claiming to be returning in these modern times of the reestablishing of Israel. The Jews, based on the Kingdom of Judah, once conquered by Babylon were prophesized to have to spend four-hundred-thirty years in exile but when Cyrus the Great and Persia conquered Babylon, he freed the Jews to return and build their Temple anew and were only required to pay a tax to Persia in return. The Jews built their Second Temple and were doing quite nicely and then Alexander the Great and his Greeks arrived. The Jews had only been in Babylon for seventy years and had they lived according to the Torah and the laws of Hashem, then they would have lived happily ever after. The Jews failed at living the good and decent life and that is why they were returned into exile and the Diaspora, but more on that later.

 

The Greeks conquered Judea in 322 BCE and except for a few short spans where foreign rule was thrown off, remained conquered through the Roman Empire, the Caliphate, Crusades, Ottomans and finally the British until May 14, 1948. This is where things get interesting. Prophesy has lost some of its wonder in the modern era, but the reestablishing of Israel should put a little polish and a new shine on ancient prophesy. These prophesies provided the core of the Jewish People’s hopes for over two-thousand years along with the knowledge that Hashem promised that we would be returned to our homelands miraculously and our dispersal and exile would end. The promise gave a date according to Ezekiel who said the Jews were to be punished for 430 years because they had turned away from Hashem. This was to become the Babylonian exile. The Persians under Cyrus the Great defeated the Babylonians, as mentioned above, and freed their Jewish captives about 70 years after Judah lost independence to Babylon. This left 360 years which the Jews would require a second exile to fulfill as one must pay Hashem when one strays. In Leviticus 26:18, Leviticus 26:21, Leviticus 26:24 and Leviticus 26:28 the Torah spells things out quite clearly, should the Jews not fully repent their sins they would be punished increased by a factor of seven. Since most of the Jews freed from Babylon decided to live in the Persian society and adopted pagan ways, which is not exactly repenting, their remaining 360 years were multiplied by seven meaning their time in the Diaspora or under foreign occupation became 2,520 years on the original lunar Jewish calendar which translates to 2,484 years. Count from 536 BCE forward 2,484 years and you arrive at 1948. Further, Isaiah’s prophecy Chapter 66:8 states: “Who has heard of a thing like this? Who has seen things like these? Will a land be brought forth with labor pains in one day? Or will a nation be born at one time? For Zion has come into labor pains as well as given birth to her sons.” Israel was established exactly as Isaiah prophesized in a single day. Who said prophesy was dead, certainly not us.

 

We took a long time and the ingathering prophesized in the story of the Dry Bones. That was the prophesy from Ezekiel 37:1-14 telling of the restoration of the Jewish People using the parable of the Valley of Dry Bones. The prophesy tells of the ingathering of the Jewish People being brought from the four corners and renewed. The prophesy also speaks of taking tribes of Israel (Joseph) and the tribe of Judah and make them one foretelling that the House of Israel will be a united house once more as it is. The verse goes on to say that being observant and true to the Mitzvahs, the Commandments, will be made easy for the people in Israel, something we can attest to as this has been our case as religion has come upon our souls and persons and following the Commandments of Torah have been placed within reach. Of course, not all are finding returning to their former religious ways as easy as one might hope. The rate at which this would come about once the nation was reestablished was made to appear slow as the bones took time to gather, gain sinew, muscle, skin, and eventually the return of their soul, their religious zeal. This means that Israel is still a work in progress but the love of her people will eventually overcome all obstacles.

 

That brings up to this past week. Very early Thursday morning, Iran fired approximately twenty rockets towards Israel aimed at the Golan Heights. The Israelis residing in the region were awakened and told to take shelter which they were kept secured within for a few hours. These rockets largely fell short of their mark and most of the remainder was intercepted by the Iron Dome systems guarding the region. Despite the entire evening and night previous to the launch having been completely peaceful and quiet, the IDF was tipped to the coming attack when hearing Syrian broadcasts claiming the Israeli forces had attacked a series of positions held by Hezballah within Syria. Despite not having left their positions in the Golan, the IDF knew from experience that this was the signal for “retribution” by the Arab forces, actually in this case, the forces were Iranian. There would be an Israeli attack, but it came subsequent to the launching of multiple, at least twenty, rockets at Israel by Iranian Quds Force (videos below) and Israel retaliated and struck a large area and numerous Iranian and Hezballah bases and munition stockpiles (see map below). There will be claims that the Israeli response, wait for it, was “disproportional” to the Iranian attack launched at Israel. Since when has combat become a proportional enterprise? The entire reason for striking back after the Iranian Quds Force attack is to dissuade any future attacks by making the cost too steep. You do not prevent an aggressor from attacking you by trading them blow for blow, you strike them as hard as you feel is necessary, and if they try such again, this was the third Iranian attack in several weeks, then you make the cost spiral even higher. When a bully picks a fight and the targeted youth gains the upper hand, they do not just allow the bully to walk away without further harm, they bloody the nose of the bully and perhaps a few extra punches for good measure making any future attack out of the question. Iran is the bully in the Middle East along with their terror proxies Hamas, Hezballah, Islamic Jihad and their foreign IRGC forces who practice terrorism throughout the globe as the Ayatollahs desire. Hamas is currently, along with Islamic Jihad, making a spectacle on the Gaza border which is supposed to climax over this weekend and on through Monday in celebration of Nakba Day, the day that six Arab armies attacked the newly declared state of Israel and proceeded to fail to destroy all of Israel and had to settle for winning Gaza and areas of Judea and Samaria which Jordan annexed illegally and called the West Bank. These were and are lands which the League of Nations and United Nations, under Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, promised and guaranteed to be an integral part of Israel. They are also hoping that their month plus rioting and general mayhem would prod the United States into postponing the opening of their Jerusalem Embassy. They obviously have not yet understood President Trump and the changes which came with his taking office.

 

 

Locations of Israeli Counter Strikes Against Iranian and Hezballah Targets

Locations of Israeli Counter Strikes Against Iranian and Hezballah Targets

 

There will probably also be great amounts of attempted disruption coming from the Palestinian Authority which they will launch from Eastern Jerusalem. This will be an unofficial protest, but there has not been a Nakba day which was not also made into a Day of Rage since the first intifada was launched back in the 1980’s. We are fairly sure that part of the reasoning behind the Iranian rocket attack was also to place pressure on the United States to not relocate their embassy. We can only hope that the response they suffered in response to their rocket launches will be sufficient to deter their future thoughts for such misadventures. We simply want to live within our borders in peace and security and in return will share our discoveries with any in the world finding them advantageous. We do not want a war but as has been proven in the past, we will fight if one is foist upon us. We surrendered land to Egypt for peace and made peace with Jordan. We withdrew from Lebanon and Gaza with hopes for peace and received terrorists waging wars in return. Now much of the world demands we give away land overlooking the heart of the nation to the Palestinian Arabs who are ruled by the PLO, a recognized terrorist organization, and the world is aghast that we do not wish to commit suicide. Next we will have the United Nations demanding from the General Assembly for Israel to answer for these attacks on Syria despite their knowing full well Israel was attacked first. But it does not matter that Israel was attacked first, what matters is the Jews are defending themselves for the first time as an independent nation in over two-thousand years. It will take the world a little getting used to but they had best get used to it faster, please. We will not suffer to be attacked and just sit back and plead that everyone stop being mean to us, we will act like what we are, a proud and independent nations fully capable of fighting to protect ourselves. Strike at us and we will respond, that is the reality. Israel is a nation and a member of the United Nations which means we have the same rights as every other nation and we will protect ourselves and our rights. If we are left in peace, then all will be peace, but if we are attacked, then we will return violence with violence of our own, that is just as much a promise as is our promise for peace.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

* Olat Reiyah, Volume 1 (Jerusalem 1983) 292

 

 

March 6, 2018

Foreboding Predictions Abound

 

Most of these predictions ring relatively hollow as they are still kicking that dead horse of Russian collusion electing President Trump. Some hold a fair amount of credibility such as the predictions of the coming President Trump’s Trade War. But for us living here in Israel, perhaps the most chilling are those which speak of a coming war out of the north such as here and here or the even worse prediction of a multi-front war mentioned here. Fortunately, we here at BTC have some comments on this ourselves. Our feelings are that these predictions underestimate Israeli preparedness and adaptability.

 

The one thing which was pointed out which is very real and true is that the main threat Israel holds initially is her air power. It was pointed out that Hezballah has an exorbitant number of guided missiles, estimates in excess of one-hundred-fifty-thousand, with rather more than adequate accuracy that they pose a threat to every runway in all of Israel. Further, they posit that this could negate Israeli air power by preventing its taking off and, later on, landing. The first half is easily negated as these modern jets can take off with a relatively short start which makes many of the taxiways adequate to get them into the air. From that point forward, it becomes a race to repair the runways sufficiently to allow their landing. What has been proven repeatedly is that runways can be patched and returned to service with great expediency and alacrity. This was proven in World War II by both the British and the Nazis as bombing the runways proved inadequate to prevent aircraft from taking off even later the same day. It was proven in Viet Nam as the same speed and adroitness allowed North Viet Nam to put planes in the air the same afternoon after the runways had been struck only hours earlier. The same would apply to Israel as the technique proven to work even for fast flying jets had been to fill the crater with sand and gravel and top it with asphalt or fast drying cement and you are good to go. Further, even if the runways are not prepared and aircraft need an emergency runway immediately, there are numerous stretches of multi-lane highways very capable of use and could be cleared in a matter of minutes if not faster.

 

Another matter is that Israel is not solely dependent upon aircraft to deliver stinging blows of return fire using missiles of her own fired from ground stations and naval platforms. Furthermore, the Israel missile defenses are extremely adequate for protecting vital airfields, aircraft and other defense facilities. Another point was that Israeli defenses could be swarmed but that misses the point that using missiles as the very first line response allows almost immediate return fire. Further, with the efficiency of Israeli intelligence, it might even be likely that sufficient aircraft would have already been launched to strike at targets before the first missiles even struck their targets and certainly before the second or third volley had been prepared and launched. Israel showed such abilities on previous occasions. Also, as the front lines plus depth of assets are relatively tight to the borders as most of Hezballah instillations are in either the Beqaa Valley or south of the Litani River (see map below), their launching positions within Lebanon are already mapped by the IDF so striking them immediately upon any attack would be easily implemented. As Hezballah was also engaged in the war in Syria along with Iran and Russia, Israel can expect Iranian IRGC troops alongside Hezballah just east of the Golan Heights where Israel holds the commanding strategic area at the summit. Everything, even if located in northern Syria, is within minutes distance for both Israeli missiles and fighter aircraft. Unfortunately, much can be also stated about Israeli facilities, especially those between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in the heart of the nation, and we mean the beating heart. Israeli High Command likely has numerous scenarios for most attack profiles for Hezballah even with contingencies for IRGC and Iranian regular Army troops as well as Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza and forces from the Sinai Peninsula across the Egyptian border. The one thing Israel may be counting on which would be somewhat a surprise would be Jordan also launching an attack. Even should the Palestinian Security Force also launch, Israel definitely would have that covered. Israel, if such an attack were to occur on all these multiple fronts, would have but one response which would be logical, wipe every vestige of offensive capability off the battlefield and beyond. The entirety of the Lebanese and whatever remnants of the Syrian electrical grids should be decimated along with all other utilities to as severe a degree as possible. All airfields should be destroyed including all hangars, the flight tower and airfield emergency facilities. Fire stations and police stations should be primary targets as well. No ability to sustain an offensive should remain and all command and control of military assets must be utterly destroyed no matter their location. This would include the Hamas main command bunker located beneath Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Any civilian facility which would normally be completely off limits and protected by the Geneva Conventions become targetable as a military asset if it is utilized to store weaponry, house active fighting troops, launching facilities placed in close proximity such as on roofs or between buildings, or if utilized as a command center. This is recognized in the Geneva Conventions as making even schools and hospitals targetable should they be used to protect military facilities. Of course, these rules apply in a normative battlefield but when it is Israel fighting for her survival, even military targets with no civilian aspect become debatable targets and when struck may become the area under investigation for war crimes. This was adequately made visible in the Israeli Hunt for Ambushed Soldier and the much overblown firefight in the Jenin Refugee Camp which even the United Nations sided with Israel validating everything reported by Israel about the battle and refuted the entire Palestinian Arab fantasy that Israel had slaughtered hundreds if not thousands of innocent civilians. It was found that the Palestinian Arabs had used civilians as bait to draw IDF soldiers into booby-trapped buildings thus placing civilians in jeopardy even to the point of placing explosives under the civilians such as when they were moved, they would have the bomb detonate murdering them and possibly killing the Israeli soldiers.

 

Map of Hezballah Military Emplacements

Map of Hezballah Military Emplacements

 

Israeli responses to an initial strike by Hezballah out of Lebanon need to be beyond anything Lebanon has ever faced. The entirety of Lebanon and its military must be targeted as it has been taken over by Hezballah. This was proven when Hezballah moved into Syria supported by the very Abrams main battle tanks which President Obama sold to the Lebanese Army after they gave verbal assurances that there was no connection between the Lebanese military and Hezballah. The CIA, Israeli Intelligence, MI6 and numerous other military intelligence groups around the globe all knew that Hezballah had taken over the Lebanese military and President Obama was informed of this. Despite the warnings, President Obama sold top of the line military equipment knowing and intending for it to be used by Hezballah. His intent was for them to use it against Israel and not to use it in the Syrian civil war. President Obama may still get his wish though the numbers of weapons and main battle tanks has been diminished in the Syrian conflict. We can only thank Hashem for this good fortune and their losses may not be finished as the war grinds on and on. There is still the chance that Iran will become disgruntled at Turkey apparently attempting to take some of Syrian Northern Provinces with his assaults on the Kurds. While Iran and Bashir al-Assad will lose little sleep and shed no tears for the Kurds, they will be disgruntled over losing land, any land, even to a presumed ally such as Turkey’s President Erdoğan. Should hostilities break out between Syria and Turkey, Hezballah may find themselves drawn into a very problematic confrontation as Turkey is as well if not better equipped than Hezballah and equal to the Iranians and we should not count out the Russians as it will depend on how Putin feels about Erdoğan when he gets out of bed that morning the decision will be made.

 

Still, Israel cannot allow any of the resources known about for Hezballah or the Lebanese Military to survive the initial strikes. Within the first twelve hours, at least seventy-five percent of all military resources available to Hezballah in Lebanon need be incapacitated and destroyed. Further, Lebanese infrastructure must be neutralized completely. This also must be applicable to all military instillations within a couple hundred miles of the Israeli border within Syria should forces stationed attack Israel with even an artillery shell or single rocket or even a stray bullet crossing the border into the Golan Heights. Israel should also already be prepared to coordinate with Jordan should Iran make moves to cross the border with Jordan either to try and flank Israeli forces in the Golan Heights or to actually take over Jordan and depose the Jordanian governance. Israel must also have plans ready if Iran should start to fly aircraft and fire missiles out of Iraq or even from Iran itself. These plans will be the most difficult to actually accomplish with minimal casualties and loss of aircraft. The distance makes most of Iran beyond Israeli reach without having a refueling stop somewhere along the way. Saudi Arabia has some very conveniently placed military airfields as well as those surrounding Riyadh and including the international airport in the Riyadh area (see map below). Even with an under the covers agreement for Israel to utilize these airbases or any of the others should such need become required, flights to strike Iran would still be fraught with perilous dangers.

 

Potential Saudi Arabian Refueling Airfields for Israeli Air Force

Potential Saudi Arabian Refueling Airfields for Israeli Air Force

 

The only real way for Israel to strike Iran would be with missiles. This becomes very apparent once one takes in the measure of the difference in size of the two nations and the distance involved. Additionally, the vast majority of the land between Israel and Iran must be considered hostile as Iran controls most of Iraq to include all of the air space above Iraq. Jordan is highly unlikely to allow Israel permission for overflight of military aircraft. Israel would be required out of necessity to fly the Syrian-Jordanian border hoping that neither side fires at them despite the heavy probability both would attempt to down Israeli aircraft. Then there is always the option which the Israelis have proven to be very adept at implementing, namely knocking the radar and anti-aircraft facilities offline and down while the Israelis fly low and fast across the airspace. This was exactly how they took out Saddam Hussein’s reactor and ending his nuclear dreams and how they bombed the Iranian and North Korean reactor being built in Syria right before they were to install the core making the site highly radioactive and thus unsuitable to bomb without contaminating the entire area. The impending core instillation was the deciding factor which forced Israel to act to avoid any nuclear contamination from their strike. Still, taking out the nuclear facilities within Iran would be a difficult task for even the United States and near impossible for Israel. Further, should Iran detect Israeli missiles coming from Israel, even if Israel assured the Iranian leaders that they carried merely conventional warheads, the Iranians would assume Israel was launching nuclear weapons and would respond with their nuclear tipped missiles. There will be those who will claim that Iran does not have warheads of a nuclear nature. Where that assessment may be valid for thermonuclear warheads, and we suspect even that is a false assumption, they most assuredly have simple atomic bombs which would be sufficient to destroy all of Israel, it is that size thing again. Iran would respond with weapons of mass destructions (WMD), both nuclear and chemical weapons, which would be the Israeli response to the Iranian firing missiles at Israel. Either nation would have a few minutes, say about fifteen to twenty, to decide on their means of desired response to any attack by the other. This is exactly what makes any confrontation between Iran and Israel; both nuclear powers as far as we are concerned, so vital that it be avoided as the resultant damage to both nations and the region would be incalculable. Israel would be decimated if even merely three such weapons hit home while Iran would also face extreme losses as Tehran and the nuclear facilities would all have become wastelands as well, not to mention likely Qom plus the known nuclear facilities located near Karadzic, Arak, Natanz, Isfahan and Bushehr.

 

Distance Between Israel and Iran Plus Nuclear Sites and Size Comparison

Distance Between Israel and Iran Plus Nuclear Sites and Size Comparison

 

Fortunately, Russia wants no part in any greater war than the one they already regret. This means that Iran would be tempting losing the Russian assistance in Syria by attacking Israel from within the Syrian battlefield. Granted, the Iranians are probably perfectly well capable of picking up any slack caused by a Russian departure and such might even work eventually to the Iranian’s favor. Still, Iran would likely be far more comfortable losing Russian aircraft and pilots rather than their own. The Syrian fighting has already taken a toll on Hezballah and the Iranians will need to remain in Syria and nation-build, something the Americans know all too well the cost for doing such. The rebuilding of Syria will be expensive and if the Europeans are smart, then they will not volunteer or take contracts to assist in rebuilding Syria and instead force Iran to foot the bill as well as accomplish such a task, but that may just be too much to ask of the Europeans. They have shown a propensity to aid Iran in almost every way possible especially with modernizing much of Iran with the monies Iran received from the Obama administration. With Russia stationed in Syria, this may be the sobering influence which will keep the lid on the bottle for the time being. Still, Israel need prepare for that day when the sky will fill with rockets and missiles and the Air Force and Ground forces will need to react quickly and neutralize all of the assets in Lebanon for starters. After that, there will be an even higher likelihood of the IRGC mounting an attack from Syria and even potentially Jordan as the Iranian forces could attempt almost anything for an advantage. Israel should think about ways to prevent such from ever coming to fruition. Assisting clandestinely, of course, regime change in Iran by first freeing the political prisoners in Evin Prison and thus supercharging the resistance to the Mullocracy, a resistance which is building despite or because of the efforts to suppress the people’s freedoms. Freedom, once tasted by the Persians, was something which remained in their spirit that Islam was unable to extinguish. That might be the secret weapon for ending the Ayatollah’s curse on Iran, once the mighty Persian Empire with a solid and forgiving religion of Zoroastrianism, often thought to be the birthing place for many other religions including Judaism. Zoroastrianism is one of a very few religions even older than Judaism as it dates back to the times of Abraham and through the times of Moses, Joshua, the Israelites and was there in the background during the Purim story times and still has its few but dedicated minority. Perhaps that is the answer in Iran, a return to sanity and their Zoroastrianistic roots. Then Iran and Israel can share the relations they had before President Carter poisoned Iran with the Ayatollahs and the Mullocracy. That would end the funding for Hezballah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas as well as decommission of the IRGC. That would permit freedom to come to Iraq though that might be a hard sell. Whatever it would result in being, such a return by the Persian People would be a grand win for the powers of freedom and liberty.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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