Tag Archives: Israel

Is Geneva of 2013 the new Munich of 1938? Why Israel Has Reason to be Worried.

Is Geneva of 2013 the new Munich of 1938?


Hitler and Chamberlain at Munich 1938

Hitler and Chamberlain at Munich 1938

The news that the “Great Powers” of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany have reached an agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran over Iran’s controversial nuclear program has been greeted with immense skepticism among Iran’s foes.

Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the other Gulf States are very concerned about the potential for Iran to develop nuclear weapons.  They do not trust the Iranians, and increasingly, they do not trust the Obama Adminstration to follow through with either enforcing the agreement (which they believe is too weak anyway), or to follow through with punishing Iran if Tehran violates the agreement.


Critics of agreement reached in Geneva point to several factors to justify their concerns.  The U.S. made a lot of noise over North Korea’s nuclear  development, yet did nothing to halt the North Koreans from growing their nuclear capabilities.  Today, North Korea is a nuclear-armed state.  While that is not Obama’s fault, critics point the the use of chemical weapons by Syria and the “red-line” threat made by President Obama.  Syria crossed that red line by using chemical weapons to kill Syrian civilians.  Despite rather explicit warnings, the Obama Administration did nothing substantive to punish the Assad regime.  An agreement was reached whereby Syria said they would divest themselves of the chemical weapons, but many critics, including the Israelis, expect Syria to not follow through and surrender all of their weapons.  With this example, it is no wonder that those that know the Iranians best, the Israelis and Saudis, do not believe that the U.S. will do anything to enforce the Geneva agreement if/when Iran cheats on their end of the bargain.

Geneva 2013 Negotiators

Geneva 2013 Negotiators

While President Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, believe they have averted war, as they did with the Syrian crisis earlier this year, what they have really done is made an attack on Iran by Israel, with possible aid from the Saudis and others, much more likely.  Israelis often use the lessons of history related to the Nazi regime, the Holocaust, and World War Two to explain their extreme reluctance to trust others, and especially not to trust those who constantly threaten them with destruction.  In 1938, Hitler wanted to annex part of Czechoslovakia, and was threatening war to get what he wanted.  The Great Powers of that time, Britain, France, and Italy, gathered with Hitler in Munich to discuss the crisis.  Wary of war, the British and French agreed to a deal with Hitler that literally gave away part of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis.  The Czechoslovaks had not been invited to the Munich conference.  Their fate was decided by others.  By the time the actual shooting war in Europe began in September, 1939, Hitler had already reneged on the Munich Agreement and had seized the rest of Czechoslovakia, in partnership with other Czech neighbors.  Britain and France did nothing to aid the Czechs and Slovaks from being dismembered.  With the annexation and occupation of Czechoslovakia, the Holocaust began in that sad country.  With lessons like this in their memory, Israel has good reason to neither trust the intentions of the Iranians, nor to trust the promises of the “Great Powers.”


Similar to the appeasement of Hitler by the British and French in Munich in 1938, the appeasement of the Iranians at Geneva in 2013 will lead to a greater chance of war in the near future.  Israel looks to the lessons of history and to the lessons of believing President Obama at his word.  Neither of these examples provides Israel any reason to expect a good outcome.  The engines of war are warming up.  This will not end well for anyone.

Syrian Conflict is now a Regional War

Syrian Rebel

Syrian Rebel


Is the Syrian Civil War Becoming a Regional War?

According to the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, the three-year old Syrian War is now a “Regional War,” having drawn in other nations and non-state actors as belligerents in the conflict.

Here is a quick look at the facts of this nasty civil war back up the General’s analysis.  The war in Syria began as a protest movement against the dictatorship of Bashar Assad.  Having inherited his power from his father, the late Hafez al-Assad, the current Syrian president is the head of the Ba’ath Party, and a member of the Alawite religious minority in Syria.  The Assads have long been allied to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and, in turn, have been key sponsors of the Shi’ite militias of Lebanon, in particular, the powerful Hezbollah terrorist group. 

[xyz-ihs snippet=”incontentbox”]

As the violence in Syria has escalated, and the Assad regime has lost more territory to the rebels, other actors have entered the fray.  Pro-Western Muslim nations in the neighborhood, including Turkey and Jordan, are openly giving sanctuary and aid to the Free Syrian Army rebels.  Saudi Arabia and other rich Gulf States are providing economic and moral support to the rebels as well.  The NATO allies are also providing support for the defense of Turkey and Jordan, while also aiding the rebels.

On the opposite side, Hezbollah is now sending its military forces into Syria to fight for the Assad regime, while Iran supplies the government forces with weapons, training, and financial support.  Some reports claim that Iranian military personnel are also involved in the fighting.  Shi’ite militias from Iraq are also reportedly in Syria helping the regime. 

The 800-pound gorilla, so to speak, in the neighborhood is Israel.  Still technically at war with Syria since the first Arab-Israeli War in 1948, Israel is very worried about the transfer of advanced weapons from Assad to Hezbollah.  In particular, Israel is worried about long-range Iranian and Russian-supplied missile transfers and the potential for Syria’s stock of chemical weapons falling into Hezbollah’s hands.  To this end, Israel has launched at least three air strikes in recent months to prevent such transfers.  All this while also responding to shots and rounds falling into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.  Israel has provided medical assistance to Syrian rebels in the border region, and speculation has arisen as to whether Israeli Special Forces have been inside Syria lately.

With the ongoing tensions between Israel, Turkey, Jordan and the Western Allies on one side, and the Syrian Assad regime, Hezbollah, and Iran on the other (as well as the ongoing tension and terrorism in neighboring Iraq), it is safe to say that General Myers is correct in that the Syrian Civil War has now evolved into a true regional conflict with the potential to erupt into a major Middle East War.

Syrian rebel fighter in Aleppo

Syrian rebel fighter in Aleppo

Islamist Guerrillas Bedevil Both Israel and Egypt in Sinai

Israeli Casualties On August 18, 2011, squads of heavily-armed Popular Resistance Committee (PRC)  guerrillas from Gaza travelled about 120 miles through Egyptian Sinai to attack Israeli citizens near the southern Israeli city of Eilat, killing eight Israelis. Israel retaliated with airstrikes on targets inside Gaza. The PRC is a relatively small Palestinian resistance group that has at times served as an ally of Hamas.

This attack on Israel took place just as Egyptian forces began targeting Salafist Islamist guerrillas who have been attacking Egyptian  pipelines in the Sinai. These attacks by bySalafist Islamist forces believed tied to al-Qaida, prompted Egypt’s military rulers to seek permission from both Israel (due to troop level restrictions in their mutual peace agreement), and from Hamas, the Palestinian faction that rules over Gaza.  Egypt sent over 1,000 security forces backed by armored personell carriers launched a campaign to defeat the Islamist guerrillas.



See also:

Interesting Commentary on Possible Israeli War

History Guy (@historyguycom) has shared a Tweet with you:  “MJayRosenberg: RT @972magazine: New on +972: Netanyahu facing mounting political challenges, has few tricks left. Will he try to start a war? http://t.co/JdpeWa8″ –http://www.twitter.com/MJayRosenberg/status/97342517774790656

Posted from WordPress for Android

Osama bin Laden Biography

Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qa’ida Terrorist Organization

Osama bin Laden 

 Osama bin Laden (March 10, 1957-May 1, 2011) was the mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, is reported to have been killed by U.S. forces in Islamabad, Pakistan on May 1, 2011. The evening of May 1, 2011, President Obama announced that bin Laden was killed by an American team in a compound deep inside Pakistan. After a firefight in which bin Laden was killed, the American forces took custody of bin Laden’s body.

Osama bin Laden came from a wealthy Saudi Arabian family of Yemeni origin. Bin Laden’s father gained his wealth as the owner of one the major construction firms in Saudi Arabia, and Osama bin Laden himself was trained in construction engineering. Osama bin Laden became radicalized largely through two significant events in recent history. The first was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a muslim country. Osama bin Laden moved to Afghanistan, as did many other young Arab men, to help the Afghans battle the atheistic Communist Soviets. The other radicalizing moment was the presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia during and after the Gulf War of 1991.

In bin Laden’s particular world view, the Americans were latter-day Crusaders occupying the birthplace of Islam (Saudi Arabia), for the benefit of Christianity and the Zionists (Jews) occupying Palestine and Jerusalem. Jerusalem is holy city to Muslims, as well as to Christians and Jews. Taking the skills and networking contacts he gained in the Afghan War, bin Laden formed an organization he called al-Qaida. In Arabic, al-Qaida means “The Base”, or “Foundation.” Osama bin Laden intended al-Qaida to be the base or foundation upon which other Islamist individuals and groups could stand upon to wage war against Islam’s enemies (Christians, Jews, the West in general, and Shiite Muslims).

The first major attack by al-Qaida that actually brought the group and bin Laden into the American public’s view were terrorist bombings in Africa in 1998 that resulted in hundreds of deaths. The targets in those bombings were American Embassies.

Then, in 2000, al-Qaida attacked an American naval ship, the USS Cole, in Aden harbor. His next big attack took place on September 11, 2001, when his operatives hijacked four commercial airliners and launched them into buildings in New York and the Pentagon. In retaliation, the United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan, where bin Laden enjoyed protected status as an ally of the Taliban government there.

Ever since the 2001 Invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. has hunted for Osama bin Laden. On May 1, 2001, U.S. Navy Seals helicoptered into Pakistan, assaulted the compound where bin Laden was located, killed him in a firefight, and then” took his body into custody”, to use the words of President Obama, who gave a nationally televised speeche announcing the death of bin Laden.  See also: http://www.historyguy.com/bin_laden.html

Palestinian Hamas Kills Four Israelis

According to the BBC on Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Four Israelis killed in West Bank

Four Israelis have been shot dead in the West Bank, Israeli police say.

Their vehicle came under fire on a road between the settlement of Kiryat Arba and the Palestinian village of Bani Naim, near the city of Hebron.

The military wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, said it had carried out the “heroic operation”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it showed there should be “no compromise” on Israeli security demands at the relaunched direct peace talks.

Hamas supporters in the Gaza Strip celebrated news of the West Bank attack
“The prime minister ordered the security forces to act without diplomatic limitations in order to catch the murderers,” his spokesman, Nir Hefetz, said on arrival in the US ahead of Thursday’s meeting between Mr Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington.

“Terror will not determine Israel’s borders or the future of the settlements,” Mr Hefetz added.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad also condemned the attack, saying it went “against Palestinian interests”.

The White House condemned the killings in the “strongest possible terms,” adding that all parties must “continue working to achieve a just and lasting peace in the region”.

US state department spokesman PJ Crowley said: “There may well be actors in the region who are deliberately making these kinds of attacks in order to try to sabotage the process.”

‘Grave incident’

The attack took place near Bani Naim after dark on Highway 60, a busy route used by both Palestinians and Jewish settlers.

The four victims – two men and two women, one of whom was pregnant – were reportedly shot at from a passing vehicle.

Video footage showed a white estate car standing at an angle on the side of the road, its windows shot out and its doors riddled with bullet holes. Officials said all four victims were from the Beit Haggai settlement.

“This was a terrorist attack and the army is treating it as a grave incident,” Israeli army spokeswoman Lt-Col Avital Leibovich told reporters.

It was the first fatal shooting in the West Bank since mid-June, when a police officer was killed, and the most lethal attack in the West Bank in four years, when a suicide bombing killed four people at a settlement.

“Security was stable for the past few years and we hope this will not cause any deterioration,” Col Leibovich said.

On its website, the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, declared “its full responsibility for the heroic operation in Hebron”.

Earlier, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said the attack had been “a natural response to the crimes of the occupation”.

He said it was also proof of a “failure of security co-ordination” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip from the Fatah-dominated PA in June 2007.

Hebron, in which some 500 Jewish settlers live in fortified enclaves amid about 100,000 Palestinians, has long been a flashpoint for violence.

The BBC’s Wyre Davies in Jerusalem says there was no warning an attack like this would take place, and the incident is likely to strain negotiations this week.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Mr Netanyahu will attend a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on Thursday in what will be their first direct talks in nearly two years.

Before leaving the West Bank, Mr Abbas urged “Israel not to miss this historic opportunity for peace,” saying that “if there is only a 1% chance of achieving peace we will strive for it”.

Mr Netanyahu meanwhile said he hoped for “a peace based on recognition, security, stability and economic prosperity between the two peoples that will endure for us and our children”.

Both sides have agreed to place a one-year time limit on the direct negotiations, but correspondents say prospects of a comprehensive deal are slim, as serious disagreements exist on the core issues.

Israel-Iran War Draws Closer

On August 21, 2010, Iran, with Russian aid, began inserting the fuel rods into the Bushehr reactor. Some analysts believed that Israel would not risk an attack after August 21 for because of the risk of serious nuclear contamination throughout the Gulf region if the reactor were to be destroyed. However, other analysts see evidence of war preparations by Israel, Syria, and Iran. Clues these analysts see include:
–Ongoing publicity and concern in Israel over the Gallant Scandal, which some Arab sources see as a smokescreen to deflect attention away from war preparations by Israel.
–The presence of Iranian Revolutionary Guards chief Gen. Mohamed Ali Jafari in Damascus, apparantly for discussions on coordinating Syrian, Hezbollah, and Iranian military responses to an Israeli strike.
–Statements made by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas saying that direct peace talks with Israel were not in the likely because “a big military surprise awaits the Middle East.”

See also: http://www.historyguy.com/iranwar.htm

Iran Reactor: Will Israel Attack the Bushehr Reactor?

Russian sources associated with that nation’s assistance program with Iran’s nuclear program announced that by August 21, 2010, the fuel rods necessary to power the Bushehr nuclear reactor will be installed. Some analysts, such as John Bolton, former
U.S. ambassador to the U.N., believe that announcement creates a deadline by which Israel will attack the
Bushehr reactor. According to Bolton, an Israeli strike at the Iranian reactor must come before the nuclear
material is installed, otherwise, an attack could spread radioactive material throughout parts of the Middle East.

Also, in August, 2010, an article was published by The Atlantic magazine which presents facts and opinions on the possibility of an Israeli strike at Iran. The Atlantic article concludes that there is a 50 percent likelihood that Israel will strike the Iranian nuclear program by July, 2011.

See also:  http://www.historyguy.com/iranwar.htm

New Fighting on Israel-Lebanon Border

Just as international analysts express growing concerns over the possibility of a renewal of all-out war involving Israel, Lebanon, Hezbollah, and possibly Syria, new clashes are reported along the tense Israel-Lebanon border in early August,  2010.  According to early reports, at least four were killed in mutual artillery fire across the border.

Israel said an Israeli battalion commander was killed, and Lebanon claimed at least two of its soldiers and a journalist were killed in shelling. 

According to the New York Times:

The skirmish began when Israeli soldiers were conducting activities along the border area. There are conflicting reports about whether Israelis were installing a surveillance camera on a fence or clearing a tree.

Lebanese officials said Israelis had crossed the border into Lebanon, but Israeli military officials denied the claim, saying they were in Israeli territory.

Lebanese soldiers said they fired warning shots at the Israelis, prompting a brief but heavy exchange of fire.

Israeli military officials said they returned fire with light arms and artillery and then dispatched helicopters several minutes later to attack a Lebanese command center, damaging several armored combat vehicles.

This marks the most serious combat along the border since the month-long war between Lebanon/Hezbollah and Israel in the summer of 2006.