30 March 2011

How do you fight a suicidal nation?

As a backdrop to this post, I recommend reading this post from Doug Ross. In it are quotes from Ahmadinejad and cronies which are very scary, but not exactly late-breaking news. If you've been following this psycho in the news, you'd have known for quite a while that he has been clinically proven to be a nutjob, and will sacrifice all 74 million Iranian citizens for an opportunity to destroy the little and great Satan - Israel and the United States.

Here are a few choice lines from that post:

"We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization... we must make use of everything we have at hand to strike at this front by means of our suicide operations or by means of our missiles." - Hassan Abbasi, "strategic adviser" to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

"We are in the process of an historical war between the World of Arrogance [the West] and the Islamic world, and this war has been going on for hundreds of years... Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism? ...you had best know that this... goal [is] attainable." - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

"Our revolution's main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi." - Mahmoud Ahmanutjob

"Is there art that is more beautiful, more divine, and more eternal than the art of martyrdom? A nation with martyrdom knows no captivity." - Same nutjob
We can make fun of the monkey-faced lunatic all night long (I'm too busy during the day), but the fact remains that he has an advanced technology, has advanced missile and space technology, is giving that technology to terrorist organizations worldwide, and is avidly pursuing nuclear weapons.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tours the Natanz nuclear facility. (AFP)

How do we fight a nation that is hell-bent on destroying you, at all costs? How to you deter such a nation when that very deterrence is seen as the ultimate reward? How do you frighten a person who spends each day conjuring up the scariest Armageddon scenarios and gleefully pursues them?

First, let's think about how you don't fight them: you don't 'engage' them. You don't talk to them. You don't deter them. MAD worked fine during the cold war against the evil (but quite sane) Soviet Empire. It is not relevant here. Similarly, the Samson Option is also not a valid military strategy. The Samson Option is a theoretical doctrine (not officially adopted by the Israeli government) that brings down the house around the Philistines, and in effect wipes out the country that destroyed you with a second strike capability. The Samson Option is not a viable military strategy as while it may provide some satisfaction to the surviving three submarine crews, it does nothing for the victims of the nuclear holocaust.

Invasion is not a viable option. Israel's army, while technologically superior, numerically is less, with 570,000 soldiers (including reserves), while Iran's army has 900,000 soldiers (also including reserves). More relevant, though, is the geography of needing to pass through Jordan and Iraq to get boots on the ground, makes this operation a solely air and navy one; possible, yet rife with supply and logistical problems. The US will not assist a Israel-led invasion of Iran.

Conventional airstrikes will be ineffective. Iran's military and nuclear sites are extremely hardened, and decentralized. So destroying a single site will be extremely cumbersome, and even if successful, many more remain to be destroyed. Tactical nuclear strikes would be effective militarily, but difficult to rationalize to the world, but more importantly, to the Israeli citizenry.

The response to the existential threat Iran poses to Israel may have its roots in the slaying of the Greek Mythological creature of Hydra by Heracles (bear with me, I'm going somewhere). Hydra was a creature with countless heads who, if a head were cut off, grew two heads in its place. Heracles (our hero) cut off many heads, but (with help) cauterized each head-stump to prevent the regrowth of the head. It turns out that the Hydra did have one head that could kill it if cut off, but the logistical problem for Heracles was knowing which head that was. So he systematically cut off and cauterized heads one by one until he finally got the one linchpin head.

Despite Hydra's poisonous blood, noxious fumes, and regrowing heads, Heracles had it easy. Hydra did not have countless ballistic missiles and rockets aimed at Heracles' family back home, so he had the 'luxury' of cutting off a single head at a time until the beast was killed. Israel does not have this luxury. And as you've probable figured out by know, the metaphor of cutting off heads refers to 'cutting off' political/military heads such as Ahmadinejad and Khamenei.

There may be a few effective heads which will kill the beast of Iran and their troublesome 'mini-me's Hezbollah and Hamas, but the trouble is knowing which of those heads are the lethal ones, and which one just spawns two in their place. And we can't be systematic about it - their second strike capability is worrisome.

I propose (you listening Bibi?) to initiate a violent assassination operation which simultaneously kills all of Hydra's heads. The term "targeted assassinations" is too tame for what I have in mind. The only effective assassination program would be to plan for and destroy all effective terrorist and state heads, at the same time, and in one fell swoop. It will be gruesome. It will have civilian casualties. But any other option would be too costly - on our side and on theirs.To do nothing would be an invitation for the 12th Imam. But to do something too slowly would be setting a place at the table for him.

I'll leave you with a parting quote from Moshe Dayan who sums up the only effective political and military strategy for Israel that I've seen work:
“Israel must be a like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.”

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25 March 2011

Busy Week in Israel


Friday Morning: IDF Home Front Command and IDF Medical Corps delegation prepare to depart for Japan

The delegation consists of around fifty soldiers and officers including logistics teams, experts in the field of population management, Japanese translators, experts from the Committee of Atomic Energy, fourteen doctors specializing in different fields, seven nurses and nine paramedics. The teams will assist Japan's rehabilitation efforts by providing various medical services and establishing a medical center manned by the IDF Home Front Command and IDF Medical Corps specialists.

Heading the delegation is Commander of the IDF Home Front Command Search and Rescue Unit, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Shalom Ben-Ari.

Heading the delegation’s medical team is deputy to the Chief Medical Officer, Col. Dr. Ofir Cohen-Marom.

Friday Morning: 6 more rockets hit the Eshkol Region surrounding Gaza last night.

Thursday Evening: At about 8:40 PM this evening, a combined IDF Air and Naval assault commenced on Gaza. Loud explosions can be heard from Gaza...

Thursday  5:35 PM Intelligence warnings of imminent rocket attacks on Southern Israel.

Thursday  5:34 PM An elderly woman from Ashdod died earlier today from a heart attack -- due to the the shock of hearing the aid raid siren of the rocket attack (or perhaps the sound of the rocket's explosion).

Thursday  5:21 PM - Gaza Rocket hits Sederot. No reports of injuries.

Thursday  3:49 PM Reports of  air raid warnings around South-Central Israel

Thursday  3:42 PM Additional mortar attack on Eshkol region next to Gaza.
Name released for publication: British tourist, Mary-Jane Gardner killed yesterday by Arab Terrorist bomb attack in Jerusalem.

2:57 PM
Air Raid Sirens go off in Central Israel; Yavneh, Gedera, Rishon LeZion, Ashdod.

Thursday  2:58 PM Rocket lands South of Rishon LeZion...exact location still classified. Additional rocket launched towards Ashdod.

 More Pictures Here

Wednesday  4:41 PM Multiple wounded currently undergoing surgery - all with shrapnel injuries.

Wednesday  4:38 PM Kiosk (newsstand) owner near bus stop called police to report suspicious object at the bus stop. While on the phone with the police the bomb exploded.

Wednesday  4:31 PM Bomb was approximately 4 pounds (1-2 Kilos) and filled with shrapnel.

Wednesday  4:01 PM Unconfirmed reports of at least 3 dead.

Wednesday  3:55PM Police say it was not a suicide bomber. Bomb was apparently placed in the bus stop.

Wednesday  3:38PM More wounded found 200 meters from blast site.

Jewish driver shot at 12:30PM near Revava in the Shomron. (YNET says that dead body was found in Revava).

Unconfirmed report that it was a bomb in the bus stop. Trying to confirm this.

Wednesday  3:21PM Around 15 minutes ago a bus exploded in front of Binyanei HaUma (Jerusalem Convention Center).

30 people wounded.

Medical personnel being evacuated due to threat of additional bomb on site.

Phone lines have crashed around the country (but seem to be up again).

IDF Southern Command have places South at highest alert level. Barrage of rocket attacks expected.

Police concerned that a suspected second bomber is walking around the area.

Police checking all cars parked there for additional bombs.

Wednesday  7:22 AM Police and IDF Homefront Command have ordered Be'er Sheva residents to move to secured areas (bomb shelters, etc) due to additional/possible imminent rocket attacks.
Wednesday  7:19 AM Due to the GRAD rocket attack on Be'er Sheva, all schools in the Be'er Sheva region are canceled, except for Ben-Gurion University.
Wednesday  6:22 AM Hamas launches GRAD rocket at Be'er Sheva, the capital of South-Central Israel. One moderately wounded. Indications of additional rocket launches continue...

Wednesday  12:43 AM Air Raid Sirens sound in Ashkelon and Ashdod, as Hamas rockets land in the Ashkelon area. No physical injuires or damage reported. Two treated shock in the Ashdod area.

IDF Air Force retaliating and Palestinian Sources in Gaza report of a huge explosion in Gaza city.
Hat tip Jameel's Place

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20 March 2011

Sarah Palin in Israel This Week

The former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will visit Israel this week.

According to IDF Radio, the her visit is labeled as a private one, but she will be meeting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as well as others. She will have dinner with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at his official residence in Jerusalem on Monday evening. The visit will be short, lasting less than two full days.
Palin is expected to visit the Kotel (Westrn Wall), as well as Nazareth, and will tour Israel by helicopter.

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Purim in Israel

The Jewish Festival of Purim Begins Saturday Night in Israel! 


Purim is the holiday remembering a very specific story of Jewish past. In short, we Jews were exiled from the Land of Israel (6th century BCE), and found ourselves under Persian rule. Persian King Ahasverus had a high-ranking officer named Haman, a descendant of Amelek - arch enemy of the Jewish people. When Haman was entering the palace, the high priest of the Jews, Mordechai, would not bow down to him. Haman wanted to kill Mordechai and all the Jews, and he got King Ahasverus' permission to make a decree to exterminate all the Jews in the Persian Empire, that would have eliminated almost every Jew in the world. So, Mordechai sends in his niece, Ester, Ahasverus' new queen, and she talks to old King Ahasverus. He loves her, she reveals Haman's plan, King Ahasverus has Haman hung on the very trees he planned to hang the Jews on... yay!  Then the Jews, "And the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and with slaughter and destruction, and did what they would unto them that hated them."(Esther 10:5)

As we say: "For the miracles and the deliverance and the victories​ and the salvation​ and the battles that You did for our ancestors​, in those days at this time!"

Purim is celebrated by giving gifts to the poor, gifts to our friends (mishloach manot), listening to the reading of the Scroll of Ester (telling this story -- which is found in the Tanach/Bible) twice, and finally, getting very drunk during a ritual meal and wearing costumes. 

We dress up in costumes to help celebrate. Since charity is a central feature of the holiday, when givers and/or recipients disguise themselves this allows greater anonymity thus preserving the dignity of the recipient.

World leaders have always known about our connection to our faith and festivals. Hitler banned and forbade the observance of Purim. In a speech made on November 10, 1938, (the day after Kristallnacht), Julius Streicher surmised that just as "the Jew butchered 75,000 Persians" in one night, the same fate would have befallen the German people had the Jews succeeded in inciting a war against Germany; the "Jews would have instituted a new Purim festival in Germany."

Purim Albums and Posts

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11 March 2011

IDF Women

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تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك Since before independence in 1948 Women have served.  First in the Hagana, then after Israel's independence in the IDF.  IDF Women have a long tradition of service. For 2 to 3 years IDF Women in uniform... كس

10 March 2011

09 March 2011

IDF Technology and Training

IDF Ground Forces Commander Maj. Gen. S. Turgeman recently discussed IDF preparations for the modern battlefield, including recent improvements both in terms of technological equipment and manpower quality. 

“In light of change in the characteristics of conflict, we definitely need fast and lethal maneuvers. We understood this during the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead. A fast and lethal maneuver shortens the duration of war while preserving our old concept of security – of moving the action to the enemy’s territory as fast as possible,” says Maj. Gen. Turgeman, in a recently published interview he granted to the military magazine Israel Defense. 

On the new version of the DAP.  "The system doesn’t know the art of commanding, it only makes the commanders more effective.”

This year we will introduce a portable command and control system to the infantry forces which will be called Shachar,”  Built around the $500 million Tzayad (Hebrew - Hunter) Digital Army Program (DAP), has become Israel's centerpiece in its land force modernization effort, with new capabilities linking all combat echelons and disparate ground force elements into a single, secure C4I net. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) plan to deploy the fourth block version, Torch 400, on the Golan Heights facing Syria, marking the operational debut of Israel's first fully digitized combined arms division.

Beyond the technology equipment processes, the IDF's Ground Forces Commander noted that the most important ingredient of all is the investment of the Ground Forces in the quality of command and the training. “The quality of command is the flagship of the Ground Forces, and we will invest every effort in order to take it as far as possible”, noted Maj. Gen. Turgeman. “This year we markedly increased the level of difficulty of training exercises in the reserve brigades – including training exercises with live fire for entire reserve brigades, training which were not like these since the beginning of the last decade.”

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07 March 2011

Rapid Fire, Mar. 7th

Rapid Fire for Monday, March 7th:

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Krav Maga

Due to Israel's constant state of conflict, Krav Maga has continually been tested and refined over the years through actual combat situations. In Krav Maga training, the same lethal techniques developed on the battlefields of the Middle East are adapted for ordinary people who might face an attack or other aggressive encounter and need to defend themselves. Unlike many other martial arts, Krav Maga lacks a strict system of rules—a fighter is trained to use his or her fists, elbows, or shins in any way he can to inflict enough pain to break free from an opponent and, if necessary, disarm him. Blows are aimed at the opponents vulnerable areas, including his eyes, stomach, throat, and groin, in order to make the most impact. A crucial defensive technique of Krav Maga is to keep the body constantly moving, using the arms to deflect blows from all angles. The object is to be able to face multiple opponents from all sides, wielding multiple weapons, including knives, pistols, and even assault rifles.

Despite this no-holds-barred approach to self-defense, Krav Maga training centers endorse a system of values including personal integrity, non-violence, good citizenship, and humility. Its reputation as an excellent cardiovascular exercise has secured Krav Magas small but growing cult status, and it is now studied by some 10,000 people around the world.

Krav Mag, literally translated as close combat or contact combat, is one of the most lethally effective hand-to-hand combat techniques in the world. It was developed by Imi Lichtenfeld, a Czech-born former heavyweight boxing champion trained in self-defense tactics by his father, a police officer. In 1940, facing Nazi persecution, Lichtenfeld was forced to emigrate to Palestine the Jewish Homeland (now Israel). After the formation of the state Israel in 1948 he was asked to develop self-defense and hand-to-hand combat techniques for the elite units of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Over the next two decades, Lichtenfeld trained IDF fighters in what would become the Krav Maga system, a combat style featuring elements of boxing, judo, and jujitsu as well as stick- and knife-fighting techniques. After leaving the army, Lichtenfeld began teaching the system to civilians, and in 1978 he and some of his students founded the International Krav Maga Federation, a nonprofit organization aimed at promoting teaching of the fighting system in Israel and around the world. By the time Lichtenfeld died in 1998, Krav Magas popularity had spread among law enforcement and security officers, as well as civilians of all ages, both male and female, across Europe and the United States.

Want to learn Krav Maga?

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06 March 2011

Rapid Fire, Mar. 6th

Rapid fire for Sunday, March 6th, after a week-long hiatus:

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