Sunday, August 19, 2007

Barak Says Syria Does Not Want War--So Expect War

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, right, and IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.Photo: IDF [file]

The gentlemen pictured above are the new Israeli Defense brain trust. Ehud Barak, of course, is a former Prime Minister, who tried to give away the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to Yassir Arafat, but, thank God, was unsuccessful because in return Arafat would have had to agree to peace with Israel. Mind you, this was already 7 years after the Oslo Accords, in which the PLO had supposedly already agreed to peace with Israel. Nonetheless, unlike his predecessor, the bumbling Amir Peretz, and Ehud Olmert, the current Prime Minister, Barak at least had a very distinguished military career, including service as a commando in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit, and culminating as Chief of the General Staff.

Sitting beside him is the current IDF Chief of General Staff, Lt. General Gabi Askenazi, who by all accounts that I have heard is a superb soldier and commander.

So why am I worried? Well, despite mounting evidence of Hezbollah rearming and positioning newer long-range missile systems, smuggled in from Iran through Syria, north of the Litani River, where they could reach all major Israeli cities; despite the return of the Russian Navy to its Cold War Syrian bases, where they could by their presence thwart an Israeli amphibious attack or an attack by an Israeli submarine or missile cruiser; despite the installation in Syria of the most advanced Russian-made anti-aircraft missile system, before it is even deployed to Russian military forces; despite the massive smuggling of arms to Hamas in Gaza, over the Egyptian border, including rockets believed capable of striking at Israel's port cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon; despite reports of that Iran is arming and training Hamas gunmen and missile and artillery crews; despite intelligence reports that the Syrian chief of military intelligence has persuaded his brother-in-law, Syria's President Assad, to launch a military attack against Israel--Barak says not to worry. That's why I'm worried.

Today's Jerusalem Post reports that Barak has advised the Israeli cabinet that neither Syria, nor Hezbollah, has any interest in reigniting combat with Israel.

Last week Barak announced that he will not order the distribution of gas masks to the civilian population of Israel, despite intelligence reports that Syria has built up an arsenal of missiles that can carry biological and chemical warheads. Barak decided to avoid taking any concrete action out of fear that distribution of gas masks might be misinterpreted by Syria as preparation for war.

So Israel does not want war, does not expect war and is not preparing for war. That virtually guarantees that Israel will get war. Look for a coordinated three-pronged massive missile and artillery Arab attack on Israel, launched by Hamas from Gaza, by Hezbollah from southern Lebanon and by Syria, in September or October, perhaps on the 34th anniversary of the surprise attack on Israel by Syria and Egypt, which began the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

And let me say in advance that I hope to be proven a hysterical alarmist.

UPDATE 8/20/2007: Listeners to the Hugh Hewitt Show are familiar with Hugh's resident expert on Israeli affairs, especially defense matters, Yoni Tidi. Yoni's response to my post above was encouraging in one sense but profoundly sobering overall. He wrote: "Israel is getting ready for war. We are training the reserve soldiers like they haven't been trained in years, we are updating their equipment. The chance for war in October is very high."

For more of Yoni's views, go to his blog, Daf Yoni ("Yoni's page). The name is a pun on a program of daily Talmud Study, called Daf Yomi ("daily page"), in which Jews all over the world study the same page of the Babylonian Talmud (both sides of a folio size page, actually) each day and finish the entire Bablylonian Talmud in a seven-year cycle.


Blogger Fe2O3 said...

“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”

– Sun Tzu

The martial artists on Okinawa use a symbol of an open hand covering a fist. The open hand symbolizes peace while the fist sybolizes war. The loose interpretation, I desire peace first, but I am ready to fight if I must.

I hope that the citizens of Israel share your logic and prepare themselves in spite of the public announcements that there is no need. Regardless of whether an attack is imminent or not, preparation for such an attack is always advisable; You will never be caught off guard.

Monday, August 20, 2007 9:51:00 AM  

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