Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Iran arms Hezbollah with sophisticated anti-air missile defense...


..and the Olmert government did absolutely nothing about it.

On April 15th Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders at the Imam Ali air base in northern Tehran celebrated the inauguration of Hezbollah’s new anti-air missile wing and the `graduation' of 500 Lebanese trainees in a course given n in the use of sophisticated anti-air missiles supplied by Iran.

These include the Sayyad 1 (Hunter), the Misagh 1 (meeting with Allah) and the Shahab Sagheb (Meteor) , which is based on the Chinese technology that was originally based on technology that came from America via Loral. These new missile systems, and their newly trained crews have a major impact on the Israeli Air Force's tactical ability to stop any of Hezbollah's missile attacks on Israel's cities.

The missiles themselves have already been supplied to Hezbollah by Iran with out UNIFIL lifting a finger - so much for Resolution 1701.The trainees left Lebanon from Damascus on March 7th and returned to Lebanon after their graduation ceremony yesterday, April 16th, again via Damascus - without the Olmert government lifting a finger to stop them.

It is absolutely incredible to me that Israel's government and military would allow 500 Hezbollah trainees to leave Damascus airport and then return as trained air defense specialists, let alone allow Iran to ship Hezbollah the missiles themselves.

If Round 2 of the Israel-Hezbollah war breaks out this summer and Hezbollah is able to decimate Israel's civilian population with missile attacks because the air force's capability to respond in force is compromised, they will have a great deal to answer for.

What's even worse is that this ultimately impacts much more than just Israel.

7 comments:

nazar said...

In all fairness to Olmert, there isn't much he could do. No one wants to see another re-run of the summer of 2006, and verbal protests will do nothing but make Olmert look weak and incompetent.

Freedom Fighter said...

Huh?!?! `Protests'?!!?

Like that ever did Israel any good?

Nazar, first of all, if I were PM of Israel, Hezbollah would be a memory by this time, and the entire problem of them rearming as Iran's proxy would be moot.

Second, I would have warned the UN once, and then stopped the missile traffic by any means necessary..and if the UN complained, I'd tell them to start enforcing their own resolution.

Needless to say, that plane with the new `graduates' on it would never have made it to the ground in one piece.

As for that rerun you speak of, that's inevitable because of Olmert's failed policies.Why do you think Iran is rearming Hezbollah and Hamas anyway?

Sorry, but I prefer to fight from a position of strength, at a time of my choosing.

There's a great deal Olmert could do if he wasn't so worried about keeping out of jail and keeping his lefty wife and daughter from castigating him at home.

Sorry if this came off as a bit of a rant, but my G-d! This happens on Yom HaShoah, when Olmert and other Israeli politicians are solemnly intoning `never again'...

ff

louielouie said...

No one wants to see another re-run of the summer of 2006,

on the contrary, i think the stop n go clerk in tehran has got just such plans.
Olmert is not saying anything because he is too busy keeping his fingers in the dike of his political career, than to care what happens to israel.

nazar said...

FF, I too would like to see some strong action taken against the jihadis, but we gotta be aware of the political realities he's facing. If he was to "take care" of that airplane, or do something equally drastic, the USA would cut off most if not all aid and Israel would once again be the world's punching bag. Without that aid money, Israel would be left floundering in the water. Therefore, unless they have Bush's full support to take action, they shouldn't risk it.

Remember the Yom Kippur War? Israeli intelligence knew an attack was imminent, yet Golda Meir let the Arabs attack first rather than launch a pre-emptive strike because she knew the USA would cut off aid to Israel if she struck first. Henry Kissinger later stated that if "Israel had struck first, it wouldn't have gotten so much as a nail."

Sometimes the least worst option is to wait and let the enemy hit first.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Nazar,
I appreciate what you're saying..but here's why I don't agree.

In the first place, 80% of the aid you're talking about gets spent right here in the form of weapons purchases. One of the reasons Israel enjoys such strong support in Congress is not only because of the popular support from Jews, Evangelical Christians and many others but because of the influence from US defense contractors - who also benefit from joint projects utilizing Israeli high tech.

I doubt if the Administration would cut off aid, and even if they did, Israel now has it's own weapons industry. The reason it was developed was because Europe put an arms embargo in place on the eve of the `67 war, and the US was `neutral in thought, word and deed' to use LBJ's phraseology, and did not supply Israel with any arms until after that war was over.

As for Bush and Condi, they are pretty much desperately trying to bribe the Sunni Arabs however they can to try and keep them from allying with Iran. So far,that policy has been a dismal failure, as you know.

2nd, the first responsibility of a country's leadership and military is to deal with existential threats.And while the Israeli government knew that an attack might be imminent, they did nothing to prepare for it. That's why Golda Meir and Labor were turned out of office after the Yom Kippur War,in which Israel came close to defeat and annihilation. I doubt the families of the casualties of that war would agree with your assessment about it being better to `wait'.

I also think Kissinger is talking through his hat..especially since Nixon overrode him and the State department to speed the aid to Israel once he found out that they were delaying the airlifts because of `technical problems' and Russian personnel were involved on the Arab side.

This is also a very different scenario than in 1973. Thanks to advances in weaponry and Israel's allowing Hezbollah , Hamas and Fatah to become established within missile range of Israel cities, the civilian population will be hit first, rather than an assault on Israel's military.

Olmert owes consideration to Israel's civilians first, before `diplomacy'.

B.Poster said...

I suspected Israel must have its own weapons industry and that they had one for some time. My memory is a bit scetchy here but I remember reading about a speech made by an Israeli military official back in the early 1980s. In this speech, he said the IDF believed that they could prevail in a war against the Soviet Union. In the early 1980s the Soviet Union was militarily superior to even the US. The only thing that kept the US and Western Europe free of Soviet rule was the nuclear deterrent. If the IDF could have prevailed against the Soviet Union, prevailing against the US or even a Coalition of Western military forces would have been far less challenging than defeating the Soviet Union.

Now fast forward to today. The US military is in weakened state from its fight in Iraq. Even before the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq the US military was in no condition to challenge either Russia or China. Now the gap between Russia, China, and the US is even greater. Russia and China are clearly militarily superior to the US. The gap between Russia and the US is even greater today than it was in the early 1980s.

While the US has not always been helpful to Israel, Israeli leaders and those who elect them to their positions of leadership bear ultimate responsibility for their actions.

I think Freedom Fighter is spot in his suggestions for Israeli policy. As for American policy, we should begin by developing the vast reserves of oil and gas that we currently have. This will give us some leverage when dealing with Arab leaders. We should implement tough fuel efficiency standards, as well. We should secure our borders and implement immigration reforms so we have a better idea of who is in the country. We should upgrade the military's nuclear arsenal to bring it on a level that is at least somewhere close to what Russia has. Also, we need to upgrade the conventional capabilities of the US military. Right now it is no match for Russia or China.

To be blunt the US needs new leadership. The sooner we get this the better. We face an existential threat. Time is running out. If things continue on the present course, very soon we will be unable to defeat it. Very soon we may find ourselves fighting to the death not becuase we have a chance to win but because death is better than slavery.

As it stands now, we can still win but we will need to do a better job of defining the enemy and supreme sacrifice will be required on the part of the American people and our Western European allies.

America, Israel, and Western Europe are in this together. It is time we elect leaders who recognize this. Western Europe will not get peace by attempting to throw the US and Israel under the bus. The US will not get peace by trying to throw Israel under the bus and the US will not gain peace by abandoning Western Europe. We need to band together to defeat this Islamists/Communist enemy that threatens the very survival of our civilization.

B.Poster said...

While US aid to Israel is likely very helpful to Israel, it is not mission critical. Israel has a very high tech economy and a capable military industry. It does not need US foreign aid, however, Israel is America's most important ally. We should help them in any way we can.

With that said, I think a completely self sufficient ally is more valuable than one that is in some way sustained by US aid. I think US and Israeli leaders should jointly set a time table, perhaps it would be done privately, that all formal US aid ends. I think the same thing should apply to South Korea and Tawian as well.