Friday, April 09, 2010

"Bad to Worse"

Fervently do I wish I had only good news to carry into Shabbat. But this is not the case. Thank G-d for Shabbat, which gives us a break and provides a perspective. Without it, I think several of us (myself included) might go mad.


Let me begin with a link to a piece of mine that just went up on American Thinker. It addresses the horror of PA incitement and the degree to which Obama ignores it while coming down hard on us.

I just got word of the acceptance of this material now. I'll come back to this, and perhaps run the entire piece in my next posting. But please, see it now, and share it, with attribution to the American Thinker. This is important stuff that must be made public broadly: The sense I have is that Obama (whatever his motivation, which I choose not to analyze) is working to progressively weaken the US -- which means the free Western world, and certainly Israel, are peripherally affected, as well.

I have already mentioned the decision to remove terms such as "jihad" from the national security document -- which means the blinders Obama and members of his administration are wearing are about to become even larger than they already were, and the enemy will go unidentified.

But there are also recent decisions that Obama has made with regard to US nuclear deterrence. As the New York Times explained earlier this week:

"[Obama will be] revamping American nuclear strategy to substantially narrow the conditions under which the United States would use nuclear weapons.

"Mr. Obama’s strategy is a sharp shift from those of his predecessors and seeks to revamp the nation’s nuclear posture for a new age...

"It eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the cold war. For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack."

But nations contemplating use of biological or chemical weapons are deterred by the possibility of nuclear response. Obama has now made it more feasible for them to consider such attacks. The president says that deterrence can be maintained via “a series of graded options,” whatever this actually means. I am not convinced, nor are many of his critics.

He does say, and I mention here, that the US would respond to "outliers like North Korea and Iran" in different terms. And yet... America has just gotten a bit weaker.


For Israel, deterrence depends on that element of not knowing what weaponry we possess and what we would do with regard to our alleged nuclear weaponry if threatened or attacked. We need to keep our enemies off balance. That's a good part of what protects us here. Any move to increase the transparency of our intentions or to limit our ability to respond is very much bad news for us.

This coming Monday and Tuesday, there will be a Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC, to which 40 nations have been invited. At least in theory, the topic of discussion will be preventing nuclear weapons from getting into the hands of renegades and terrorists.

As of yesterday, it was the intention of Prime Minister Netanyahu to attend. Today's Jerusalem Post, written last night, says that Netanyahu had been reassured by the US administration that Israel's alleged nuclear capabilities would not be a "central issue" at the gathering, and he felt secure enough in this respect to proceed with plans to participate. This, even though it was clear that Arab states would bring up the issue, and even though not making it a "central issue" still leaves a lot of latitude for action.

But now it has been announced that Netanyahu will not be attending, but will send Intelligence Minister Dan Merridor (Likud) instead. The sudden change comes with information that "participating Arab countries led by Turkey and Egypt plan to use the summit to demand that Israel sign the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) and allow its alleged nuclear capabilities to be placed under international inspection."

I ponder, but have no answers, regarding how this move makes it less possible for the Arab nations to proceed with their intended plans -- perhaps Merridor can defer on matters in situations where a prime minister could not. I'm glad for Netanyahu's reluctance to attend, as too often, eager to be a participating part of the world community, we end up trapped in a hostile international forum.


Please see Dr. Aaron Lerner's commentary on IMRA today: "Israel Must Reject American Nuclear Blackmail."


And what of the projected Obama plan for peace in the Middle East? My guess, a matter of educated intuition, is that this was either a proposal put forward by those eager to see this happen, or a trial balloon. What has transpired since the NYTimes article was released is that denials have come from the White House. It's possible that these denials have come because initial response was negative in too many quarters. Keep up the pressure here, please!


It's a scandal and a security nightmare of the worst order. Only now, as a blackout on this information is lifted is the full story being told.

Anat Kamm, a former member of the IDF who served at Central Command, who allegedly stole 2,000 sensitive IDF documents (making copies of them), is being charged with espionage. Currently she is under house arrest.

She is said to have turned the documents over to Haaretz reporter Uri Blau who published some articles based on the information they contain. He is currently in London and has been for some period of time. The Shin Bet has been negotiating with him for return of all documents, and some but not all have been secured. He is believed to still be in possession of hundreds of top-secret classified military documents, and he refuses to voluntarily return from London.

Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin says that as long as the whereabouts of these documents is unknown, there is a direct, ongoing threat to national security. "This pose[s] a direct and real threat to the lives of IDF soldiers and Israel citizens." The concern, of course, is what hands they will fall into. The material includes information on such matters as the steps Central Command would take in the event of a major military escalation.

It is when negotiations with Blau broke down that the gag order was lifted. The Shin Bet is working vigorously to secure return of all materials and now, I believe, regrets the time expended in "negotiating." Stronger techniques will now be utilized. Part of the problem has to do with the freedom of the press in a democracy.


There is a great deal more to say, about the above and many other issues. But Shabbat preparations call.

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