Global, Israel, Politics

Dudu Get Your Gun

&Within days of pulling out of Lebanon last summer, it already seemed that we were getting ready for another war. The politicians started talking tough, and there was a palpable desire for revenge on the street. As a good American and Israeli that had always been taught that war was bad, and that violence should only be used as an absolutely last recourse, the whole discussion sounded perverse, but yet I could empathize with people. They felt hurt and betrayed by their own abilities. And, just as an athlete who fails in one competition, will often be desperate to compete in the next one, Israel seemed to be smelling blood, anxious for its next oppurtunity to fight.
I was frightened, and I hoped and prayed that all of htis wold pass, that perhaps the jingoist pose that our government was playing was just that – an act – meant to deter would be combatants, but as of yesterday’s news, it seems like my hope was misplaced. You might not have heard, it hardly made the news over in America, but Syria reported Thursday afternoon that an Israeli war plane had flown over the country, at supersonic speeds, dropped munitions, and that the Syrian air defense had fired at the invader.
Israel didn’t comment.
adjudicate disputes. It is ùúé÷ä ëäåãòä “silence is like acknowledgment.” It’s true, there are limitations on how far we take it, but in this case, it seems appropriate. If someone accuses you of invading their country, or in other words, of committing an act of war, unless you want to go to war, you must deny it. There are only two reasons I can think of for Israel choosing not to comment. A – We did fly into Syria B – We didn’t, but we want to fight a war anyway. Either way, it doesn’t sound good for the Jews.
Also, please understand, this is not the typical ruse of accidentally crossing into foreign territory to provoke an attack (ie., Rio Grande). The Syrians claimed this plane flew in off of the Mediterranean, and was shot at above northeastern Syria. That doesn’t happen by accident. Not even a creative one.
So, what’s the result? Iran has pledged any help neccessary to defend Syria, Syria has reserved the right to retaliate, a bunch of Israeli politicians and generals are smiling, and the region is again on the brink of war. Hopefully saner minds on the other side of the border will save our lives, but if not, we’re on the way back to the front. God help us, if we need to depend on the sanity of the Iranians.

21 thoughts on “Dudu Get Your Gun

  1. Josh, don’t be a political naif. There are a hundred reason Israel may have flown over Syria, without any intent or liklihood of starting a war: accident; testing Syrian response to determine placement of anti aircraft weapons; a show of strength; a warning to stop backing Hizballah, etc. etc. I don’t know what Talmudic or other law that would prohibit Israel, Jews, or anyone else from doing this – it’s part of the cost of living in a hight tension, rough neighborhood. And if you think that sitting back and constantly being mr. nice guy will get results, talk to me about 3,000 people who once worked in the world trade centre.

  2. i don’t understand why this blog insists on believing the worst about israel at all times. like “incorrect” said – there are a million reasons israel would have done this other than to instigate a war.
    but that’s not even the point. anyone with a basic understanding of international affairs understands that if israel does not want to start a war a outright denial is the worst thing it can do – it will elevate this to the next level and keep it in the news. ignoring it makes it go away the fastest – if israel went on record denying and blaming syria for instigating – where would that lead? it would keep the affair in the headlines for much longer than warranted.
    but i’m not really blaming syria here either – what probably happened is that citizens on the ground noticed israeli aircraft and alerted media, authorities, whomever. syria was forced to make a statement so it decided to make the most vanilla statement they could – accusing israel of an “ammunition dump” – not an attack, not a bombing, “an ammunition dump”. laughable enough not to make real international waves – but serious enough to that syria doesn’t get attacked internally.
    2 more things – if you seriously believe the aircraft were shot at causing them to leave then your understanding of middle eastern affairs leaves even more to be desired. secondly – talmudic logic in order to attack israel? how low can you go?

  3. Israel was never known for being sane. But I’m sort of sick of fighting useless wars for an incompetent government. They should think twice before they call me for something there’s no point in getting killed for.

  4. Amit, if defending the Jewish people isn’t worth dieing for, then move to a nice easy country like New Zealand or Costa Rica; nice, of course, until Muslims reach critical mass in those countries as they are approaching in Europe, at which point you will either be turned into a dhimini or killed.

  5. Syria constantly makes idle threats against Israel and supports groups directly involved in offensive action against Israel. It’s normal and expected, and not all alarming, that Israel would engage in espionage. Syria just received shipment (along with Iran) of Pantzir anti-aircraft defense systems from Russia. They were most likely engaging in a flyover in order to determine how many systems Syria received and where they were located. They got caught, and Syria engaged them with the systems which the Russians had claimed were unjammable. Ooops. The IAF jets jammed them, and to pick up speed, dropped their extra fuel tanks (and possibly munitions) over an empty area. The Syrians are pissed because their new systems were defeated by a routine espionage flight, so they’re making a big deal out of it on the international arena.
    This is not as big of a deal as it sounds. If Israel WEREN’T engaged in espionage over Syria, then I’d be worried.

  6. Hey Yaakov. The Syrians say it was a warplane, not a spy plane, andthat makes sense, since it had this extra cargo to drop. If we wanted to know what was going on, well, it is 2007, and there are these funny metal boxes in space called satellites. Also, Israel has spy drones it can use.

  7. “Hey Yaakov. The Syrians say it was a warplane, not a spy plane, andthat makes sense, since it had this extra cargo to drop. If we wanted to know what was going on, well, it is 2007, and there are these funny metal boxes in space called satellites. Also, Israel has spy drones it can use.”
    Well if the Syrians say it was a warplane then it no doubt was a warplane. And if the Syrians say it dropped extra cargo then it must have dropped extra cargo. And if the Syrians say they saw an Israeli airplane on their radar screens, then they must have seen an Israeli airplane on their radar screens.
    Because as we all know, no airborne reconnaissance platform would ever carry extra fuel tanks. And satellites provide full time, full spectrum coverage of every inch of land that you may be interested in. And the Syrian government would never tell a lie.
    Would you care to share more of your knowledge of space-based and airborne reconnaissance, target detection and classification, strategic and tactical intelligence and remote sensing with us?
    Josh you are being a total political, geopolitical and military naif here.

  8. For a more serious and holistic view of The Syrian Blip Affair of 2007, see this article in Y-net:
    “The Syrians don’t know what they saw Wednesday night on the radar screens and what they fired at. Israel has no interest in helping them understand what they saw or didn’t see….
    “The Syrians cannot say with certainty or prove that there was a plane or another aircraft, and they are also unable to describe the route used by that unidentified object.
    “This happens often as part of intelligence efforts: One side spots something – it doesn’t know exactly what it saw or what it fired at – and then sends an experimental balloon via the media, in order to be able to complete the missing details through the response.
    “This is probably why the IDF Spokesperson’s Office says, “We do not comment on reports of this nature.” Whether the Syrians saw something or did not see something, whether it was an Israeli aircraft or something belonging to another country – there is no reason why Israel should help the Syrians in their interpretation efforts, helping them improve their aerial defense system of course.
    “What is clear now is that in a situation of tension between two countries, each side carries out continuous surveillance efforts and intensive intelligence gathering in order to examine the other side’s intentions…
    “The fact is that what the Syrians spotted did not open fire on them, but at the most released flares when the radar closed up on it. They too understand that if there was anything there, it is reasonable to assume that it belonged to the field of intelligence gathering. Such activities are routinely carried out by Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran and anyone meddling in what is happening in the region.”
    But of course this simply must have been an Israeli fighter jet…. right?

  9. Why does any of you think Israeli propaganda is more trustworthy than Syrian propaganda? And if my life is on the line, I think I have a right to know why.

  10. Amit, if you seriously question what your government says v. the Syrian government, then you really are in the wrong country (and I’m not saying that with malice – Jewish, Muslim, or Christian – if I really thought that my government was at the level of one of the most brutal, vicious dictatorships on the planet, I would move).

  11. I don’t get it, what does Bush have to do with this? Why should Israel come out and tell the entire world what was going on? Doesn’t “war” become less likely if the Syrians know that Israel has US support and the US will not tolerate a Syrian nuclear program?

  12. @Victor.
    I’ve been looking through a lot of old posts, and some of this stuff is almost comical.
    Josh wrote:
    Syria has reserved the right to retaliate, a bunch of Israeli politicians and generals are smiling, and the region is again on the brink of war. Hopefully saner minds on the other side of the border will save our lives
    Thank God for President Assad’s sanity.
    Amit wrote:
    Why does any of you think Israeli propaganda is more trustworthy than Syrian propaganda?
    Good point.

  13. @Victor.
    Maybe Josh is right. If Assad had finished his nuclear reactor, he’d probably have a lot more confidence today to make political reforms in his country. Additionally, if the more radical Islamic movements take power in Syria, the West would have had nothing to fear because we’d have what’s known as MAD with a nuclear-powered Islamic Syria.
    Looking back, it was probably a huge mistake for Israel to take out Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981 as well. A nuclear-armed Sadaam never would have dreamed of invading Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. He definitely wouldn’t have used such weapons during the Iran-Iraq War, or against the Kurds–a true moderate Arab ruler would never use anything more than mustard gas on his own citizens.
    And, just think how much nicer a world we would have today had the West not conditioned lifting sanctions on Libya on Gadaffi ending his WMD program. What a wonderful, progressive, planet we would live in had Gadaffi only still had all of those chemical and biological weapons.
    Don’t worry, Victor, there is still hope for some PROGRESSIVE change in the Middle East–whatever those AIPAC talking points say–
    we can rehabilitate President Assad as a moderate friend to the West, give him billions of dollars in Western aid, grant the Syrian military sovereignty over the Golan, and while we’re at it we’ll turn a blind eye as Assad solidifies hegemony over Lebanon (or, Greater Syria, as it’s known in some part of this world.) What a progressive idea,
    . . . if only that war-mongering crowd wouldn’t get in the way!!!

  14. @Victor.
    I won’t be around for a while, but keep this in mind
    (We all want what’s best for this world, and none of us are certain how to get there, btw.)
    I was completely against the Iraq war in 2003, and I still think it was a mistake, but it does affect certain things below:
    If what has somehow been tagged the “Progressive” world had had its way over the years then:
    (1) President Assad would have received a Nobel Peace Prize within the past few years. He would control a regime deemed “moderate” by the West, a regime that would have received billions of dollars per year. Syria likely would have retaken a large bit of sovereignty over Lebanon, in order to “stabilize” the region. Assad, with a military rebuilt on Western hardware, would be in control of the Golan. (as a result of an Israel-Syria treaty)
    (1)(a) Syria would be well on its way to becoming a nuclear power (no Israeli 2007 attack)
    (2) Saddam Hussein would have nuclear weapons at his disposal (no Israeli 1981 attack)
    (2)(a) Not only would Saddam still control Iraq (no 2003 War) he would control Kuwait and maybe even Saudi Arabia (no 1991 War), and hence he would be one of the world’s most powerful men, possessing a large quantity of the crude oil supply.
    (3) With such power Saddam probably could have intimidated the Iranian regime into not pursuing nuclear weapons.
    (3)(a) Had the Iranian government been on the course it is today, however, there would be no sanctions in place–only dialogue–and they might be much closer to a bomb (they could be very close as it is, nobody knows.)
    (4) With no Iraq invasion in 2003, and probably a great deal of loosening of sanctions, Gaddafi would own chemical and biological weapons, and who knows how that would have affected the madness in Libya.
    (5) Hamas would be considered in Western circles a key interlocutor in the peace process, with all of the booty associated with that role–millions in Western financial aid and the veto power to block and Israel-Palestine deal.
    This is what the “Progressive” world would have wrought.
    God help us.

  15. Jonathan1, I don’t see many people contesting these historical reviews. Maybe you and I should collaborate on a “minority report” from everything we’ve discussed with the hope of holistically and methodically addressing some of these issues and publishing it on Jewschool. That might be more constructive than our head nodding to one another. If you’re interested, email me – victorshikhman at gmail. If not, it’s ok. I just see how passionate you are about this, and I think we should give that impulse a more tangible expression than forgotten comment streams.

  16. @Victor.
    I can’t do that, and I won’t be here for a little bit anyway.
    But, I appreciate your sentiment, as always.

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