Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dayan's Mad Dog

Andrew Sullivan:

Iranians now chant "Death To China" but some Israelis now see America as their enemy. The position of these far right Israelis is the same as Charles Krauthammer's and Bill Kristol's:

Prior to the rally Dayan told The Jerusalem Post he hoped "Netanyahu will learn lessons from those who preceded him." He added that "David Ben-Gurion founded Israel in spite of American pressure... Menachem Begin destroyed Osirak in spite of American opposition, and Yitzhak Shamir rejected American demands to stop construction." Demonstrators held signs that said, "Yes to Israeli Independence! No to American Demands!" Other signs read, "Israel will not fold."

How long before some far right Israelis burn US flags?

Andrew's question, and the long-overdue sharpening of boundaries in U.S.-Israeli relations in general, remind me of this snippet from the 2003 edition of David Hirst's The Gun and the Olive Branch:

[T]he time may also come when the cost to the US of continuing to support its infinitely importunate protégé in a never-ending conflict against an ever-widening circle of adversaries is greater than its will and resources to sustain it.

That would very likely be a time when Israel itself is already in dire peril. And if it were, then America would very likely discover something else: that the friend and ally it has succoured all these years is not only a colonial state, not only extremist by temperament, racist in practice, and increasingly fundamentalist in the ideology that drives it, it is also eminently capable of becoming an 'irrational' state at America's expense as well as its own.

The threatening of wild, irrational violence, in response to political pressure, has been an Israeli impulse from the very earliest days. It was first authoritatively documented, in the 1950s, by Moshe Sharett, the dovish Prime Minister, who wrote of his Defence Minister, Pinhas Lavon, that he 'constantly preached for acts of madness' or 'going crazy' if ever Israel were crossed. Without a 'just, comprehensive and lasting' peace which only America can bring to pass, Israel will remain at least as likely a candidate as Iran, and a far more enduring one, for the role of 'nuclear-crazy' state.

Hirst quotes Martin van Creveld, professor of military history at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem:

We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother." I consider it all hopeless at this point. We shall have to try to prevent things from coming to that, if at all possible. Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hirst book first came out about 30 yrs ago I believe. Good read.

7/29/2009 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was 1967, I think, that Israel deliberately sank the USS Liberty, the USN communications intelligence collection vessel that was listening to Israeli (among others) military communications. They don't just play the mad dog card; they are mad dogs. And we roll over.

7/29/2009 2:04 PM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...


What would anyone expect from the "Holy Land" but what we have seen since forever ... it can even be called "Biblical"!

US Foreign Policy has been a disaster ever since WW2 and especially since the Vietnam War. Here we have Isreali governments pounding shoes on the table like Khrushchev while the American Congress cannot even work up enough balls to declare a War, not to mention the "draft issues". Instead of the DRAFT Congress buys Blackwater. If we are going to be serious and even send our youth off to War then we damn well better have the decency to at least Declare a War. The whole idea of "pre-emptive" strikes is for draft dodgers. How many draft dodgers serve in the Israeli government? We just finished with four draft dodging Executives in the White House. Bush & Cheney and Clinton & Gore. Did Obama register for the draft? Hummmm???

I fully agree that Israel is a wild card in more ways than just nukes. I for one am tired of US Foreign Policy and the billions of foreign aid handed out to insatiable foreign governments. There comes a time when the American Empire will fade away like the British Empire did. Its not so much policy or allies that will dictate that event, but our DEBT will have the final say so, just like Russia.

In the Von Mises book, "Planned Chaos" (1947)he speaks to the causes of War being fought over "resources". Certainly that is the case today with the Middle East, but one country stands out above all others in their vast quest to stockpile resources and that country is CHINA. Remember they are still Communists and they still rule, they just quit wearing the MAO uniforms.

If you think the accumulation of resources is new to China then think again. In 1971 I was in Tehran, Iran and I never saw so many Chinese in an airport in all my life. It looked like a MAO CONVENTION. I thought I got off in Beijing! It was the oil ...


7/30/2009 3:11 AM  
Anonymous Stan said...

Will those with a brain please admit to the following:

1. WWII was the USA's debutante on the world stage and we as a nation and as a people 'grew up" from our shared sacrifice.

2. Vietnam was a mistake.

3. Iraq II was a mistake.

4. Implementing a draft or volunteering for a "mistake" is, as our current President would say, "Stupid" This is not a knock on our military, it is just that one can fight valiantly for a cause - but - that does not make the cause right. Our military is above and beyond all others but it was misused in both of the above cases.

5. Supporting Isreal is a necessity based on our shared heritage and national interests in the region. Isreal has been a trusted friend and an effective proxy whenever needed and everyone in the USA needs to acknowledge that.

6. Pearl Harbor and 911 were our wake-up calls that we are not invincible and that our actions cause unexpected reactions. But they also showed the world how we can rally around the flag when provoked. No other country in the world can project power like we can. But I thank God that in America we are taught that with such great strenght comes much responsibility. I also thank God everyday that He has given this power and responsibility to the USA and not to the immoral countries of the world such as China and Russia. I remember as a youngster being moved and disturbed by the observatons and motivations that I read in "Red Star Over China" and the "Gulaug Archipelago" etc. Now after living in California my entire life and traveling the world extensively I have had many experiences interacting with ethnic Chinese and Russians from all regions and to me most of these folks that immigrate to the US exibit the same mime...can't believe the freedom that we afford them, can't believe the opportunity given to the "common man" here for self improvement and self enrichment, they bring deeply felt prejudices with them regarding people that look "different" and they freely take advantage of our generosity and seeming naivete to accumulate personal wealth without wanting to contribute to the general good. (Luckily these last few traits seem to change after a couple of generations in the US).

My point, if I have one, is that we live in a dangerous world and that the USA,in my humble opinion, is the best option and the best place in the world to live in at this point is history for reasons too numerous to count. I would never want to see our great country once again stoop to the immoral and illegal levels exibited time and again by either China or Russia and that we allowed under the Bush/Cheney regime.

7/30/2009 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stan, what are you talking about? "Debutante" om the world stage? How about crushing the weak Spanish empire, and taking many of their holdings. How about entering into WW1 allowing France/England to win a decisive victory and inflict an unfair peace on Germany?

As for your spider man quote, when have we shown that much responsibility? When arming Afghan maniacs in the 1980s? When we tortured Filipinos who dared to question our dominance? When we dropped not one, but two nukes on Japan? When we sent lunatics into Cuba? When we otherthrew the elected gov't on Iran in the 1950s?

How about humiliating Russia after the USSR fell, sending lunatics over to help them "modernize" their economy, while we bring NATO right up the their border. Was that responsible?

Isreal is an ally sure, but no more so (or less) than France, Italy, or any other middling democracy. If Israel wishes to continue stealing land, god bless them, lord knows we (and every other country on earth) began that way....i just don't want them doing it on our dime anymore.


7/30/2009 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Stan, did you actually read Red Star over China? It was largely pro-communist (actually Maoist) propaganda. The anti-Gulag. But you knew that right?


7/30/2009 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Goldhorder said...

Lmao at Stan!
The wonders of public school education always amazes me. As the mogumbo would say... 'we are freaking doomed!' If you have children teach them Mandarin. The rising power is always the producers of the world. Not the consumers Stan. America's time is coming to an end. Asia is the place to be for anybody with capital to invest

7/30/2009 9:34 PM  
Anonymous b. said...

"Hirst quotes Martin van Creveld"

CR, would you mind providing a bit more context? Van Creveld's books are well-written and rather down to Earth. The quote is not clear: what does he consider hopeless - Israel's objective prospects, or the insanity it might embark on? With the Van Creveld of Command or Transformation I would expect the latter - he has been a strident critic of the evolution of the IDF.

8/03/2009 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Chad said...

It's high time Israel stood on their own two feet. We need to cut aid to that country. They are like the kid who keeps getting in trouble and we are the parent who keeps turning the blind eye.

8/06/2009 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What "shared heritage and national interests" are you talking about? Jews consist less than 2% of the US population, and many of those aren't even observant. I don't recall the US government intervening in Ireland's disputes, even though 15% of americans are of Irish ancestry. The only interest we need have is access to the Persian Gulf's oil supplies. the people of that region and everywhere else have to sort out their politics on their own, long term stability can not be imposed. Insisting that the fact that 2000 years ago your group inhabited a land allows you take it back and replace the current population is ludicrous, there are over 80 displaced ethnic groups around the world, most of them would say their god gave them that land. The creation of Israel is on par with giving Tennessee back to the Cherokee or the Welsh pushing the English back to Jutland.

And in recognition of our alliance, Israel has killed our sailors, conducted espionage against us, sold the identity of US agents to the USSR in an attempt to increase Jewish emigration, sold weapons and technology to S.Africa and China, and blatantly interferes in our internal politics. Allies like these we don't need.

8/08/2009 6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Dayan quote is just boilerplate. Nixon famously strove to project a bit of madness in order to get a better peace deal in Vietnam. He failed.

I think at one time or another every political and military leader has such ideas, in a game theory sort of way.

Israel isn't going to nuke Europe. They might nuke Iran and really play the madness card but if they do they better be ready to effect the final solution for the Palestinians and any other assortment of Muslims.

8/12/2009 9:57 PM  

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