Freeman: Israel is useless to US power projection

Freeman: “Israel is useless to US power projection”
by Chas Freeman,  April 30, 2010

The other day Stephen Maher published a piece on Electronic Intifada saying that American thirst for hegemony in the region, and not the Israel lobby, is the prime motivator of US policy in Israel and Palestine. What follows is an excerpt of a private email exchange responding to Maher’s post, reprinted by permission of the author, Chas Freeman, a former assistant secretary of defense.This is also published on Mondoweiss, written by Philip Weiss, who participated in the exchange.

Maher’s account is far from novel on any score but he is describing Japan’s, the UK’s, or Qatar’s role in US strategy, not Israel’s. A few facts to ponder when considering his assertion that Israel is a huge and essential asset for US global and regional strategy:

— the US has no bases or troop presence in Israel and stores only minimal military supplies in the country (and these under terms that allow these supplies to be used essentially at will by the IDF).

— Israeli bases are not available for US use.

— none of Israel’s neighbors will facilitate overflight for military aircraft transiting Israeli territory, let alone taking off from there. Israel is useless for purposes of strategic logistics or power projection.

— Israel is worse than irrelevant to the defense of Middle Eastern energy supplies; the US relationship with Israel has jeopardized these supplies (as in 1973), not contributed to securing them.

— US relations with Israel do not bolster US prestige in Middle Eastern oil-producing countries or assist the US to “dominate” them, they complicate and weaken US influence; they have at times resulted in the suspension of US relations with such countries.

— Israel does not have the diplomatic prestige or capacity to marshal support for US interests or policies globally or in its own region and does not do so; on the contrary, it requires constant American defense against political condemnation and sanctions by the international community.

— Israel does not fund aid programs in third countries to complement and support US foreign or military policy as other allies and strategic partners do.

Japan provides multiple bases and pays “host nation support” for the US presence (though that presence as well as the fact that Japan is paying for a good deal of it are growing political issues in Japan). The air base in Qatar from which the US directs air operations throughout the region (including in both Iraq and Afghanistan) was built and is maintained at host nation expense. So too the ground force and naval facilities we use elsewhere in the Gulf. The US is paid for the weapons and military services it provides to its European and Asian allies as well as its Arab strategic partners. Washington has never had to exercise a veto or pay a similar political price to protect any of them from condemnation or sanctions by the international community. Japan and various Arab countries, as well as European nations, have often paid for US foreign assistance and military programs in third countries or designed their own programs specifically to supplement US activities.

Washington has made Israel our largest recipient of foreign aid, encouraged private transfers to it through unique tax breaks, transferred huge quantities of weapons and munitions to it gratis, directly and indirectly subsidized the Israeli defense industry, allocated military R&D to Israeli rather than US institutions, offered Israeli armaments manufacturers the same status as US manufacturers for purposes of US defense procurement, etc.. Almost all US vetoes at the United Nations and decisions to boycott international conferences and meetings have been on behalf of Israel. Israel treats its ability to command support from Washington as a major tool of diplomatic influence in third countries; it does not exercise its very limited influence abroad in support of US as opposed to its own objectives.

As others have said with greater indirection than I have here, one must look elsewhere than Israel’s strategic utility to the United States for the explanation of its privileged status in US foreign policy, iniquitous as Maher considers that policy to be.

Comments (31)

AKbar Palace said:

Another Low Point for the Syria Comment ‘Peace Process”

Right on time. Another anti-Israel article posted by Professor Josh.

This time from the ex-Ambassador to that freedom-loving nation, Saudi Arabia. We bring you Chas Freeman, who once commented about “America’s lack of introspection about September 11″…,_Jr.

May 1st, 2010, 1:01 pm


Ghat Albird said:

After a cursory review of AP comments many of which include blatant personal slander its quite evident that he mimics statements made by the one time bar bouncer and according to several media outlets also accused of being a bordello manager and presently foreign minister of the Netanyahu government.

One fact thats very evident is that SC sticks in his craw.

Kudos to SC.

May 1st, 2010, 1:23 pm


norman said:

Printable view

Sat, May 01, 2010, 14:22 GMT
Syria’s FM slams US missile claims as ‘slander campaign’

DAMASCUS, May 01, 2010 (AFP) – Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Saturday accused Washington of a “slander campaign” after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Damascus over supplying Hezbollah with Scud missiles.

“The entire world recognises the constructive role played by Syria in preserving the security and stability of the region, and the public remembers the American slander campaign launched before the war in Iraq,” Muallem said, according to state news agency SANA.

“It seems the US administration is now trying to play the same game.”

His comments come amid accusations by Washington that Iran and Syria are arming Lebanon’s militant Shiite group Hezbollah with increasingly sophisticated rockets and missiles.

On Thursday, Clinton warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against the risk of sparking a regional war if he supplies long-range Scud missiles to the Shiite militia group.

“President Assad is making decisions that could mean war or peace for the region,” she told a pro-Israel group.

Her remarks followed claims by Israeli President Shimon Peres in April that Syria was supplying Hezbollah with Scud missiles.

But Muallem dismissed the accusations and warned Washington against taking Israel’s claims seriously.

“What destabilises the region is the United Sates supplying significant quantities of sophisticated weaponry to Israel and the fact that Washington adheres to the unjust allegations made by the Israeli government against Syria.”

The Scud allegations come as the United States steps up dialogue with Syria after years of tense relations, and US lawmakers have seized upon the accusations to argue against any rapprochement between Washington and Damascus.

In February, US President Barack Obama nominated career diplomat Robert Ford as the country’s first ambassador to Syria in five years, but his appointment has yet to be confirmed by the US Senate.


© Copyright AFP 2010.

Copyright © 2010 ABQ Zawya Ltd. All rights reserved. Please read our User Agreement

May 1st, 2010, 2:25 pm


Ghat Albird said:

If I were advising the Syrian FM I would have suggested that he ask Ms. Clinton if she ever flew into San Diego [whose airport is practically in the center of the city] and actually saw the Swastika that American taxpayers are being forced to spend to chamge its shape to show their undying commitment to Israel’s security.

From the San Diego News

Video: Cost To Mask Swastika-Shaped Complex Scrutinized

Cost To Mask Swastika-Shaped Complex Scrutinized

SAN DIEGO — The cost to fix a group of buildings in San Diego that many have found terribly offensive has skyrocketed, 10News learned.

From the ground, a cluster of buildings on Naval Amphibious Base Coronado look ordinary. However, from above the buildings are constructed to form a swastika shape.

The buildings were supposed to have been modified nearly three years ago, but the complex has not been touched.

“It’s hard to understand why this is taking so long. Am I angry? No. Am I disappointed? Yes,” said Morris Casuto of the Anti-Defamation League.
Casuto was one of several community members who pressed the U.S. Navy to do something about the design in 2007.

“It dishonors our service people to have them living in a building in the shape of a swastika,” said Casuto.

As a result, the Navy’s plan was to spend $625,000 on a single-rooftop canopy to mask the design. However, that plan was quickly scrapped because many saw it as insufficient.

Navy officials told 10News it has a new, larger-scale plan to transform the current buildings into a new design that would include a series of connections to mask the swastika and at the same time create more square footage and infrastructure to support rooms and additional sailors.

The price tag for the Navy’s latest proposal is between $17 million and $40 million, and it is to be submitted for the 2011 fiscal year.

“The price tag of $17 million to $40 million just doesn’t make any sense to me, and as a taxpayer it’s just irresponsible,” said Rhonda Deniston of Oceanside-based watchdog group Stop Taxing Us.

A former member of the military, Deniston said she is sympathetic toward those who are offended by the design, but also finds the proposed cost of the Navy’s plan “offensive.”

“It’s a perfect example of what taxpayers are talking about right now within not only the federal level, but also the state and local level, that money is being spent in incredibly irresponsible ways,” added Deniston. “Adding the $40 million could be better spent on veterans needs, especially the crippled ones.”

But what many find most surprising is that Navy officials did not become aware of the design until after the ground in 1967 breaking and decided not to do anything then.

“It seems to me that it is virtually impossible to believe that no one noticed that shape,” said Casuto.

May 1st, 2010, 3:11 pm


Innocent Criminal said:

Chas Freeman’s comments are refreshing but didn’t go far enough and i believe he’s self censoring. The last paragraph was of special interest to me. where does he think one should look to find Israel’s utility to the US?

May 1st, 2010, 5:48 pm


norman said:

I C ,
Do you think that he is hinting at Israel controlling the US via donations from AIPAC to members of congress to put Israel’s interest before the US,

May 1st, 2010, 6:05 pm


Ghat Albird said:

Ehud Barak has been having trouble with his Generals. See link below for
Interesting commentaries especially after reading Mr. Freeman’s.

May 1st, 2010, 6:14 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Israel doesn’t need American weapons to win it’s wars.
The most unambiguous Israel’s ’67 victory, was achieved with almost no American weapons. except for just few American made Patton tanks.
The Israeli-American alliance became solid only AFTER Israel proved it can win wars. Alone, with no-one’s help.

Dividing Israeli-American relationship into shallow and superficial list of inventory, of what Israel gets in exchange for what America gives or gets in return… is to miss the wider picture. This alliance is not about a pettiness of who gets what, and for what price. It’s so much more than that.

American Israeli relationship is about sharing the same fate, it’s about sharing the same values, way of life, same concepts of what is freedom, liberty, democracy, of faith, leadership, inventiveness and creativeness, entrepreneurial spirit, and so on.

Every thing that Americans shares with Israelis/Jews, and do not share with Arabs.

[[ BTW Alex, the Trojan is still here ]]

May 1st, 2010, 10:35 pm


Off the Wall said:

You sound panicking, are you afraid big daddy will stop defending the bully child, well it seems that it will take much more abuse from you before our bought and sold representatives develop spines.

However, Yes you are right, the US and Israel share many things, especially

1. Both were born by ethnic cleansing of the natives
2. Both are built on land that did not belong to them in first place
3. Both are built on a myth of exceptionalism,
4. Both have a false sense of moral superiority due to their participatory government, which started in both as exclusive, However, we moved beyond that white only democracy, and you are digging deeper into apartheid,

No wonder Israel also had “very special relationship” with south Africa. It seems to be your role model and you seem to want to be congratulated on that, let Akbar and his AIPAC do the honor, and don’t count on the rest of us.

And last but not least, both are the only countries that attacked others more than once in the past 10 years, and continue to threaten others. But as we go bankrupt doing your bidding, what have you done for us and for our shared values lately, oops, lied to us about yellow cakes and scuds, and kept your murderous policies that inflame those who attacked us and brought them many new recruits. It seems to me that you are the best friend bin Laden has had since he went off the CIA payroll.

Keep it up, it makes our job and the job of our dear friends in the righteous Jews camp a little easier.

May 1st, 2010, 11:14 pm


Off the Wall said:

As typical Amir boast that Israel does not need American Weapons.

Here is a link of Israeli Airforce, less than 10 of a very full list are Israeli

May 1st, 2010, 11:37 pm


Off the Wall said:

Here is how Capable Israel survived in 1973

Based on intelligence estimates at the commencement of hostilities, American leaders expected the tide of the war to quickly shift in Israel’s favor, and that Arab armies would be completely defeated within 72 to 96 hours.[143] On October 6, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger convened the National Security Council’s official crisis management group, the Washington Special Actions Group, which debated whether the US should supply additional arms to Israel. High-ranking representatives of the Defense and State Departments opposed such a supply. Kissinger was the sole dissenter who favored sending arms to Israel; he said that if the US refused aid, Israel would have little incentive to conform to US views in the postwar diplomacy. Kissinger argued the realization of US aid might cause Israel to moderate its territorial claims, but this thesis raised a protracted debate whether US aid, by making Israel stronger, was likely to make it more accommodating or more intransigent toward the Arab world.[144] By October 8 Israel was beginning to encounter military difficulties on both fronts; despite advances in the Golan, Syrian air defense systems were taking a high toll of Israeli planes, and in the Sinai, the Israeli effort to break through Egyptian lines with armor had been thwarted.[145] It became clear by October 9 that no quick reversal in Israel’s favor would occur, and that IDF losses were unexpectedly high.[146]
On the afternoon of October 7, an alarmed Dayan told Meir that “this is the end of the third temple”. He was warning of Israel’s impending total defeat, but “Temple” was also the code word for nuclear weapons.[147] Dayan again raised the nuclear topic in a cabinet meeting, warning that the country was approaching a point of “last resort.”[148] On 8 October, Meir authorized the assembly of thirteen 20-kiloton-of-TNT (84 TJ) tactical atomic weapons for Jericho missiles at Hirbat Zachariah, and F-4 aircraft at Tel Nof, both nuclear-capable. These were prepared for use against Syrian and Egyptian targets,[147] if needed, but the preparation was done in an easily detectable way, likely as a signal to the United States.[148] Kissinger learned of the nuclear alert on the morning of October 9. That day, President Nixon ordered the commencement of Operation Nickel Grass, an American airlift to replace all of Israel’s material losses.[149] Anecdotal evidence suggests that Kissinger told Sadat that the reason for the U.S. airlift was that the Israelis were close to “going nuclear.”[147]

An M60 delivered during Operation Nickel Grass
Israel began receiving supplies via US cargo airplanes on October 14,[150] although, some equipment had arrived before this date. According to Abraham Rabinovich, “while the American airlift of supplies did not immediately replace Israel’s losses in equipment, it did allow Israel to expend what it did have more freely”.[151] By the end of Nickel Grass, the United States had shipped 22,395 tons of matériel to Israel. 8,755 tons of it arrived before the end of the war.[152] American C-141 Starlifter and C-5 Galaxy aircraft flew 567 missions throughout the airlift.[153] The Israeli National Airline El Al made its own airlift and flew in an additional 5,500 tons of materiel through 170 flights.[154][155] The United States also conducted a seaborne supply operation, delivering approximately 90,000 tons of matériel to Israel until the beginning of December, using 16 ships.[152] 33,210 tons of it arrived until October 30.[156]
Until the beginning of December, Israel had received between 34 to 40 F-4 fighter-bombers, 46 A-4 attack airplanes, 12 C-130 cargo airplanes, 8 CH-53 helicopters, 40 unmanned aerial vehicles, 200 M-60/M-48A3 tanks, 250 armored personnel carriers, 226 utility vehicles, 12 MIM-72 Chaparral surface-to-air missile systems, 3 MIM-23 Hawk surface-to-air missile systems, 36 155 mm artillery pieces, 7 175 mm artillery pieces, large quantities of 105 mm, 155 mm and 175 mm ammunition, state of the art equipment, such as the AGM-65 Maverick missile and the BGM-71 TOW, weapons that had only entered production one or more years prior, as well as highly advanced electronic jamming equipment. Most of the delivered combat airplanes arrived during the war, and many were taken directly from United States Air Force units. Most of the large equipment arrived after the cease fire. The total cost of the equipment was approximately US$800 million (US$3.92 billion today).[154][155][157][158]
On October 13 and 15, Egyptian air defense radars detected an aircraft at an altitude of 25,000 metres (82,000 ft) and a speed of Mach 3, making it impossible to intercept either by fighter or SAM missiles. The aircraft proceeded to cross the whole of the canal zone, the naval ports of the Red Sea (Hurghada and Safaga), flew over the airbases and air defenses in the Nile delta, and finally disappeared from the radar screens over the Mediterranean Sea. The speed and altitude were those of the US SR-71 Blackbird, a long-range strategic-reconnaissance aircraft. According to Egyptian commanders, the intelligence provided by both reconnaissance flights helped the Israelis prepare for the Egyptian attack on October 14, and assisted it in conducting Operation Stouthearted Men.[159][160]

At least the US gave Israel worthy intelligence, not lies about yellow cakes and scuds.

May 1st, 2010, 11:53 pm


Ghat Albird said:

Israel doesn’t need American weapons to win it’s wars.
The most unambiguous Israel’s ‘67 victory, was achieved with almost no American weapons. except for just few American made Patton tanks.
The Israeli-American alliance became solid only AFTER Israel proved it can win wars. Alone, with no-one’s help.

How Much Military Aid to Israel…

…Does the US Provide?

Between 2009-2018, the United States is scheduled to give Israel–the largest recipient of U.S. aid–$30 BILLION US DOLLARS.

Through its illegal 42-year military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, Israel misuses U.S. weapons in violation of U.S. law to kill and injure Palestinian civilians, destroy Palestinian civilian infrastructure, blockade the Gaza Strip, and build illegal settlements in West Bank and East Jerusalem.

May 2nd, 2010, 12:10 am


Husam said:

Alex, Joshua:

There is a serious threat (Trojan Horse) that has been detected by Avast and AVG anti-virus since I first reported 2-3 days ago, and it is still there…

Kindly advise.

May 2nd, 2010, 12:49 am


Husam said:

Ghat, Off The Wall:

Watch Amir disappear in the middle of night! Whenever he is cornerned, he goes into deep undercover, only to reappear in spring 🙂

May 2nd, 2010, 1:03 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


Yes. I’m fully aware that this issue drives you crazy. I assume you’re a far left American.
Luckily, there are not more than 10% of Americans who feel the same way as you do. You may be vocal, but still a minority, that allows us not to take you very seriously.

I could 55% agree with your 4 points: Both nations are exceptional, and have a better, more just system of governance. It is not an Apartheid, because unlike in S Africa, we don’t claim that the WB and Gaza Arabs are Israeli citizens. I care about Jews, and the Israeli minorities, who enjoy equal rights, just as myself.

The list of aircrafts you linked to, proves my point. There was insignificant use of American weaponry in ’67, mainly due to an actual American on weaponry to Israel – embargo. So we won with British Czech French and Israeli weaponry.

The American airlift, which in Israel we call ‘The Aerial Train’ was a symbolic act, to boost the spirit and to show support to Israel. This had little to do with the Israeli victory in 1973.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I welcome American support. But I reject the notion that ‘With no American weapons Israel is doomed’.

May 2nd, 2010, 2:00 am


jad said:

“It is not an Apartheid, because unlike in [S Africa], we [don’t] claim that the WB and Gaza [Arabs] are Israeli citizens.
I care about Jews, and the Israeli [minorities], who enjoy equal rights, just as myself.”
I’m the Prince, I’m so smart, rich and good looking, I hate discriminations and……Arabs!

Ya Amri,
Every time you write you prove that you are more ‘unintelligent’ than the time before;
First, Israel wouldn’t last without the American support; financially, military and politically, so all what you wrote above about Israel being the super-entity can be put in the garbage next to what you will write in the future.
Second, when you want to show your support to your [Israeli’s minorities] you need to understand that Ahmad inside Israel is the brother of Hanna in the WB and Yaseen in Gaza and the cousin of Sultan in the Jolan, they are all one race, they are the same [ugly faced Arabs] that you want to keep looking down at them and never ever make peace with them because according to you and the ‘majority’ of your radical Israelis are not even human.
Therefore and until the day when you remove those thick glasses of discrimination and hate you will never ever see peace or understand the word ‘humanity’ the way OTW, Shai, Yossi, Alex and Dr. Landis do, I honestly feel sorry for you.

May 2nd, 2010, 3:19 am


Off the Wall said:

How grateful of you?, you were saved in 1973, and you call that symbolic. There were two choices, get defeated by Arabs, or use nuclear weapons. The first, would have been hard, but you could have survived it for neither Syria or Egypt had the intention and/or the resources to go all the way, and nor would have the international community allowed for that. The second, which was seriously considered, would have been suicidal, and it would have, as many know, plunged the world into a world war, which would have ended very badly for you no matter who the victor was. The US “symbolic” airlift saved your …. first from yourselves and second from Arab forces. How grateful of a friend are you. Never in my life have I seen such an ego.

True, there were more British and French planes in the Israeli air force before 1967 than were American, but that does not prove your point, it proves mine, your ability to continue occupying other’s land is not self built, or “Israeli”, without western weapons, and protection, it would have been very very different. the only thing Israeli in your occupation is its brutality and inhumanity. So don’t go boasting of self reliance, you are the most reliant nation in the world on the protection of the West, especially the US in the past five decades. Without such protection, and veto power, you would have been the true pariah state in the region. How symbolic is that?

The double speech is amazing, your friends here in the US portray you as a country besieged by hords of barbarians, and a country in constant need of infusion of money, weapons, technology, and now even our own armed forces to fight your war in Iraq, and on the other hand you boast that you are victorious, heroic, and undefeatable on your own. Well stick to one or the other, if what the US has been giving you is symbolic, then let Bibi say that in front of the congress and shut-up the mouthpieces of your settlers and right wingers here in the US who justify all of the “symbolic” gifts on the ground of your need for protection.

The fact is, one single declaration from the US, followed by similar “symbolic” action indicating that the security of Syria, Jordan, or Lebanon, is as important as the security of Israel, and your arrogance is history. Wake up and smell the hummus.

And the worst of your argument that you are not an Apartheid is that they are not Israeli citizen, so what the …. are you doing in their land. You control their destiny, their resources, their livelihood, you make their lives miserable for the sake of few fanatics who will not rest until your country becomes akin to a religious autocracy, and you accept support from those who sponsor this occupation in order to see you slaughtered en-mass as their revelation professes. This is the most pathetic excuse anyone can offer for murderous inhumane occupation that can and should have ended decades ago but for the duplicity and lack of courage on your leadership side.

To your leaders, peace talk are nothing but a charade to prolong the occupation and steal one more hectare of land and besiege yet another Palestinian neighborhood with access roads and walls.

Equal rights my …. When your so called moderate former foreign minister talks of sending Arab Israelis to any future Palestinian state. Even to your enlightened left, peace is not the goal, the goal is to prevent Jews from losing an absolute minority, and to that effect, removal of Arab Israelis in lieu of a peace deal is not only on the table, but also talked about without shame.

May 2nd, 2010, 8:13 am


Shai said:

“Wake up and smell the hummus.” I love it.

Amir, I do hope you’re not suggesting that Israel will be “just fine” without American support. It has always been Israel’s foreign and security policy, right from out establishment, to win the support of a super-power. Until 1967, it was France (who supplied us with far more than military equipment). Afterwards, and ever since, it is the U.S.

The 1973 war proved how dependent Israel was on the U.S. No one expected the amount of losses we incurred, and Israel was as close to a state of panic as it ever was since 1947-48. Incidentally, one of the reasons for our great losses was Israel’s incorrect reading of Egyptian intentions. Because we thought Egypt wanted to go “all the way”, we took great risks to stop them as early as possible, which meant our infantry and armored divisions had to fight close to the Canal, in the thin zone that was covered well by Egyptian anti-aircraft batteries.

That was Egypt’s goal – to capture and hold on to this thin and long strip a few kilometers deep. Egypt surprised Syria, when it DIDN’T proceed beyond this AA-protected zone. All of this is well-documented and known today. But we assumed they were headed for Tel-Aviv, as they did in 1948.

OTW is absolutely right – there is an innate contradiction between a claim of self-sufficiency (which I believe no Israeli in his right mind would ever make before Washington), and the huge ongoing assistance by the U.S. to Israel. Incidentally, OTW’s own tax-money is going to protect your country! The least you could do is thank him a little… 😉

May 2nd, 2010, 9:45 am


Oudemos said:

re Israel’s victory in 1967, everyone forgets that the Egyptian regular army was in Yemen, fighting (and losing) a conventional campaign against asymmetric forces (sound familiar?) The army that fought in the Sinai in 1967 was mostly Reserves, using old kit. The Egyptians’ vastly better performance in 1973 was in part due to the presence of the professional cadre (and some new equipment.)

re Chas Freeman’s points, one issue he omits which is often cited is shared Intelligence. Israel does have a competent intelligence organisation, but the information (and particularly any analysis) should be regarded as suspect, given Israel’s need to keep the US tight beside it.

May 2nd, 2010, 10:47 am


Ghat Albird said:



Yes. I’m fully aware that this issue drives you crazy. I assume you’re a far left American.
Luckily, there are not more than 10% of Americans who feel the same way as you do. You may be vocal, but still a minority, that allows us not to take you very seriously.

In a television sitcom a few years ago. One of the characters realized that the girl he was interested in was not particularly interested in men. In a somewhat memorable dialogue for tv at that time he asked her, “when you dance together who LEADS”.

To some a subtle hint but to others the sexual inuendo is not so subtle.

Which brings one to consider the not so subtle characteristics of the
Israeli/USA relationships as defined by עמיר [which according to my
english/hebrew dictionary] is hebrew for amir.

May 2nd, 2010, 11:48 am


norman said:

It looks more and more that Syria has given up on the peaceful return of the Golan heights , so probably Syria is spreading it’s assets , what is dangerous is that Syria and Israel are waiting for the right excuse to start fighting ,
The funny thing is that at one time Shai suggested replacing Hamas crude rockets with more advanced ones as they are easier to detect and intercept , aren’t Scuds easier to detect and intercept , so what is the big deal if it was not to justify war by Israel ,

May 2nd, 2010, 1:03 pm


Shai said:


Sorry, I don’t quite recall what you mean about Hamas rockets. I never suggested they should get “more advanced ones”. In fact, I never spoke about what Hamas should or should not do. That’s for them to decide, and bear the consequences of, not for me.

I hope you’re wrong about Syria giving up on “peaceful means”, because it only takes one side to go to war, not an agreement by all. While I understand the concerns of many in the Arab world that Israel is “looking for an excuse”, I still believe that Netanyahu is not a man of war, and that he won’t start one. Olmert, Barak, and even Livni, would be much more likely to start a war than Bibi.

Likud doesn’t need to go to war to justify itself to its constituents. It has always been the case that Labor (and recently Kadima) do! The Left in Israel does the Right’s “dirty job”.

Remember that Hamas has already fired rockets into Israel, and the Netanyahu-led government didn’t go to war, as the Olmert government did. I don’t expect that to change.

May 2nd, 2010, 2:30 pm


Husam said:

Bravo, Amir… just as I expected, you couldn’t resist…you tried, but failed miserably again. The problem is you think you are right when all the facts are just in front of you.

May 2nd, 2010, 5:34 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

OK Shai, 🙂 I’ll do it.
Thank you OTW for your own-tax money.

OTW and people who hold the same views as he does, sees Israel as the incarnation of all that is evil in this world, and sees the Arabs as a source of innocence and victimhood. It’s quite a waste of energy to argue with them. Nothing I could say will save them from their fixations.

I don’t like the tone. Israel has to obey, or else. In that case, I choose the “or else” option.

Tribal-Jad and Husam.
Resorting to argumentum ad hominem show that your other arguments are in a state of complete bankruptcy.

May 2nd, 2010, 8:13 pm


lally said:

Chas Freeman is incorrect that there is no American military base in Israel. For security reasons, the installation of the forward-based X-band radar system in the Negev @ Nevatim is in the first, official American military base in Israel.Supposedly, no Israelis are granted access to it.

The sole purpose of this installation is to coordinate & link US/Israeli missile defense platforms in order to protect Israel from retaliatory launches from Iran, Syria, Lebanon, what have you.

Theoretically, if my country truly wanted to stop Israel from more aggressive military action in the region, it could order EUCOM to shut down all access to American data and uplinks thus leaving Israel vulnerable.

Theoretically, we could warn that Israeli launches of warplanes, missiles, etc (which we will know immediately thanks to the X-Band radar @ Nevatim) will result in radio silence in regards to mobilizing American assets in Isreal’s defense.


American so-called “helplessness” in stopping Israeli agressions is a lie. Even the current leadership of the IDF would be hesitant about going to war without the activation of the joint US/Israeli missile defense assets as wargamed during last fall’s “Juniper Cobra 10” exercises.

But, as LBJ demonstrated so long ago, the lives of Americans are fungible when it comes to insuring that Israel remains safe from the obvious consequences of her periodic killing sprees.

For some reason, those agitating for American involvement in attacking Iran are deluding themselves that the American polity will forever remain blissfully ignorant that such actions and the resultant blowback would be directly linked to Israel and her American agents. Unlike the Iraq example, which BTW was NOT an Israeli objective, the linkages are direct, overwhelming and undeniable.

No doubt, there are some Americans who deeply believe that American (or Israeli) martyrs would be acceptable in order to manifest their devoutly desired visions of apocalyptic rebirth. However, I wouldn’t bet the farm that the growing scepticism about our “special relationship” wouldn’t eventually swamp American “support” for Israel if the repercussions of US/Israeli military agressions result in a conflagration that envelops the ME and beyond to SW Asia.

Nor, were I Israeli, would I be sanguine about gas masks, safe rooms, the Homefront Command and joint missile defense systems being adequate to shield me and mine from the exponentially higher bloody costs of more wars of choice.

May 2nd, 2010, 8:22 pm


Off The Wall said:

I don’t see good or evil, i see a spectrum, or you may say a fuzzy set. But I can see crisply, are wasted opportunities, lives, and treasures. Like many on this site, I see potentials for the entire region and see no hope coming from anywhere including Israel. I see procrastination and protractions on fundamental issues by all parties, And I know bullies. Israel so far has been acting as the neighborhood bully. Only a self deluded person does not see that.

I do not blame you for resenting the “do or” tone. And I did not mean that. But when your action, and the actions of a few in my country, jeopardize the global safety and security, I will not stand silent. It does not drive me crazy as you alluded in an earlier post, i makes me sad for the manifested stupidity.

May 2nd, 2010, 9:02 pm


Ghat Albird said:


Insightful comments. Although definitely not as knowledgeable overall about the military aspects my feelings since the installation of the electornic systems last year and possibly other not advertised system wholly under US control I would think that the US chiefs of staff main consideration is that Israel does not act out its “mad dog” routines.

As far as being a defensive system it is possible that at some point during say an altercation between Israel and its neighbors the system could experience a “delay” and or a malfunction.

May 2nd, 2010, 9:02 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Unlike the Iraq example, which BTW was NOT an Israeli objective, the linkages are direct, overwhelming and undeniable.


Most of the participants (and conspiracy theorists) here disagree with you and believe the Iraq “example” WAS “an Israeli objective.

May 3rd, 2010, 12:04 am


jad said:

Why do they even bother us with news about new projects when there is always only ‘one’ company is doing them all out of its ‘exceptional’ standards and ‘connections’?
It seems that every project in Syria doesn’t need to go into any bidding or any kind of competition or to be approved by public, what the heck Syrians need to know about their own country’s future and their own money, from Damascus master planing to energy projects and hotels everything should be done by one person.
I don’t see any good coming out of this ugly monopoly of a country’s economy, especially when we know that all these projects are done under a PPP, BOT, BOOT contracts…good luck Syria! Soon enough the Syrians will pay triple fold the normal electricity bill.
شام القابضة توقع مع شركة فيستاس اتفاقية شراكة لتطوير طاقة الرياح في سورية

May 3rd, 2010, 12:20 am


Husam said:

Amir said:

“Tribal-Jad and Husam.
Resorting to argumentum ad hominem show that your other arguments are in a state of complete bankruptcy.”

Amir: argumentum, arguments, bankruptcy, what the heck are you taking about? It is not complicated: you claimed Israel can stand on its own out of your sheer arrogance, you were proved wrong. But, you continued without any second thoughts or reconsideration. Hard core people with tunnel vision cause unnecessary agony for everyone. Be flexible bro, I know it is hard, but at least try.

May 3rd, 2010, 12:43 am


norman said:

Hi Shai

i might have been mistaken , but i think in a jocking moment , you or somebody suggested that Israel replaces Hamas Crud rockets with more advanced missiles that can be targeted easier by Israel ,

May 3rd, 2010, 1:18 am


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