Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Israel: the North Korea and South Africa of the Middle East – and the world's worst counter-insurgency nightmare
Can’t fault Jane Fonda or Walter Cronkite for not understanding the nature of the Vietnam War any better than General William Westmoreland. They mistook the conflict for WWI (one), a battle of attrition, when what was needed was an all-out counter-insurgency effort, securing the population from intimidation and seeing to its material welfare.
General Creighton Abrams-mode counter-insurgency could have pulled off victory had it been applied from the introduction of large scale American ground forces.
Post-Westmoreland late-launch might still have cut it without Jane and friends undermining public support. The caveat in either case was that Ho Chi Minh, the Genghis Kahn of Southeast Asia, may have been willing to kill half the population of Vietnam to get what he wanted, or then half of the half, until no one was left.
In Iraq, the same generals who performed remarkably doing what they were trained to do – brush aside Saddam’s tank forces – likely instigated the initial insurgency (not the current sectarian violence) with their occupation – excepting some counter-insurgency learned types like General David Petraeus. Rousting families to round up suspects; collateral kills; patrolling intrusively by day, retreating to out of town forts by night all encourage more insurgents than they discourage.
In today’s Iraq, [this section will be re-written when I finish Endgame.]
Our Afghanistan frustration: effective counter-insurgency measures take the form of mutual aid agreements with local regimes, which President Karzai and cohorts resolutely discourage, wanting no competition running -- and looting -- their country. We could be there forever.
However accurate historically these assessments may be, they show and tell counter-insurgency dos and don'ts.
Israel more like tries (and succeeds!) to instigate and exacerbate every genus and species of violent insurgency against itself -- and its supporters. America’s next question ought to be: why go on supplying super-power succor for Israel’s madcap lashing out at whole terrorist raising populations (e.g., 2006, Lebanon and Gaza) and for its, incomprehensible for a supposedly Western state, unabashed ethnic cleansing of its closest neighbors?
New York City is missing 3,000 people and its formerly two tallest skyscrapers over our support for the insurgency nightmare state. What’s next?
Today’s jihadists remind me a lot of 1960s Communists – with no spelled out plan of how to get from where they are to where they want to be; they just know they should fight, fight, fight. They run to any place there is some resistance provoking injustice (Chechnya?) to proselytize and convert the struggle into a religious fight – themselves having been started over some perceived social injustice – and so they breed.
The exception: the only purely religiously based motive for jihad I know of is Al-Qaeda’s leadership's -- not its rank-and-file's -- who get more frenetic over American troops in Kuwait; Christian warriors in the holy land! -- than over Israel's depredations. Al-Qaeda has not attacked Israel.
Could Israel be pushed into the sea without America to prop it up? Eighth-grade tank math: it would take 9,000 NATO quality tanks and elite crews to successfully invade against Israel's 3,000 (2006 figure). 9,000 tanks were what NATO could have mobilized with the "Russians coming" in the middle of Europe in the middle of the 1980s. Egypt attacks? LOL. Syria, Jordan? ROFL.
Eighth-grade nuclear deterrence math: Israel will be acquiring its seventh and eighth second-strike submarines. Electric propulsion is quieter than nuclear because a reactor's cooling system can never be shut down. The German built subs can be modified to carry at least eight 1,000 mile range cruise missiles. The latest acquisitions recharge their batteries with fuel cells rather than diesel engines, potentially making them totally undetectable – even by us? Don’t forget Israel’s atomic artillery rounds, ICBMs and gravity bombs.
Israel’s fetish with the West Bank settlements reminds me of the Irish Republican Army’s fixation on the six northern counties. The IRA's caterwauling would make you think the fate of the Holy Roman Empire were in question. The total population of Ireland is about half that of the city I grew up in -- reducing the six counties in my sight to the "British quarters" – analogous to New York's Jewish or Italian or Irish neighborhoods. (If Ireland were not an island how would the IRA know those counties were "Irish"? :-])
Ditto for Israel's "Greater Neighborhoods" -- over the absorption of which these people seem willing to see launched the "War of the Western and Islamic Worlds.” I have read that most people in Israel know someone who was killed by terror. They took 80% of Palestine in 1949 – is making that 85% really worth today's ton of troubles?
Israel considers itself so overpowering that it can forever get away free (with $200 billion of our help over 40 years) goading its little corner of the world into a seething sectarian cauldron. America should leave Israel at its word -- and get away free.