December 10, 2010
These lines are being written to you from California as I prepare for my return trip to OKC from having been out here because of the visit of Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon to Southern California.
I wanted to give you "part" of an interview Moshe did some months ago before he had become Vice Prime Minister, dealing with the Iranian-Ishmaelite-Hezbollah-Hamas-Terrorist War, then we shall look at some current news about Russia!
First, part of that Interview:
I [became] the Chief-of-Staff of the IDF in July 2002. [I had progressed] from the level of soldier to section commander, platoon leader, company commander, [battalion] commander, and so forth. In the past year I spent part of the time in Israel and nine months in Washington as a Distinguished Military Fellow in the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. I came back and I have joined the Shalem Center as a Distinguished Fellow to deal with strategy in all fields, in security as well as governing and education and also the things which I consider very important for the security and for the future of the State of Israel. Here I am. Interviewer:
What have you learned most from the soldiers you worked with? Moshe Yaalon:
There are many things I learned as a soldier and as a commander but basically I would say that for Israel, the only natural resource that we have is the people, human resources. We are lacking land in Israel. Without oil, gold, or other natural resources we have succeeded in developing a very prosperous economy. We enjoy the state of the art in science and technology and this is the case of the military. When it comes to the military we enjoy the combination of the state of the art in technology and more importantly, of very good soldiers and officers with a very good spirit, highly motivated, highly educated, committed, [and] devoted to the Jewish people and to the State of Israel. This is our main advantage when it comes to war, either the conventional type [of] warfare like we faced in the past, in the Six Day War, in the Yom Kippur War, and this is the case when we had to fight Palestinian terrorism. Interviewer:
What do you believe is going to happen in the near future with Hezbollah and Israel?
In the end Hezbollah was defeated in the battlefield and suffered many casualties, hundreds of casualties. Most of the medium- and long-range rockets have been destroyed.
Their facilities, headquarters, command posts, economic facilities in Lebanon have been destroyed. We are talking about over 4,000 Hezbollah targets [that] have been hit by the Israeli air force and the ground force and they have to recover, and probably they will try to recover and to be rearmed by Syria and Iran. As long as they are not rearmed successfully, I believe we will not provoke aggression. And now it is up to the international community as well as the Lebanese government to implement the resolution. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 calls [for] the disarmament of Hezbollah. This is the challenge for the near future: not to allow Hezbollah to be rearmed but to be disarmed, and of course not to allow the Iranian Revolutionary Guard presence in Lebanon like the Syrian presence. Actually Bashar Assad was forced by the Lebanese to pull out his troops from Lebanon without even a single shot. Now it’s up to the Lebanese to decide whether they want to suffer from this kind of phenomenon. Hezbollah is a state within a state provoking these kind of attacks and paying the price like the Lebanese paid in the last war from this provocation, and this is a challenge for the near future. We should understand that Israel fought the war against Hezbollah but Hezbollah is the proxy. This is the situation in the Gaza Strip too. We fought against Hamas. We are fighting even today against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Fatah terrorists in the Gaza Strip, but today they are supported by Syria and Iran. And actually, Iran is the mastermind of those attacks; Syria is the facilitator.
Syria and Iran supplied the weapons to Hezbollah and to the jihadists in Iraq.
To my mind—this is my observation—this is part of World War III—World War III, which is the war between the radical Islamists, which we should call them, [and] the West. That is what we’re facing today and this war is not just against the State of Israel. This war is against the West. Actually Ahmadinejad is leading today the camp of radical Islam and although he doesn’t share all the views with al-Qa’ida and the Muslim Brotherhood, they share the same views [on] defeat[ing] the Western cultures, and the way [they want] to do that based on their beliefs, based on their strategy: Israel should be wiped off the map because Israel is a state of "infidels," as they call it, like the United States—but we are only the "Minor Satan," the United States is the "Big Satan"—and both countries should be destroyed.
Unfortunately, to my mind, the West is sleeping and especially in Europe not even talking about the United Nations’ behavior in the last conflict. Sponsors like Iran and Syria challenge the international world order and they deny accountability. Syria and Iran supplied the rockets to Hezbollah. They encouraged and pushed Hezbollah to attack Israel—as well as [encouraging] Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Unfortunately the international community and especially the United Nations prefers to ignore the international world order and to allow them to get away without paying a price for being war regimes.
This war is not just against Israel. This war is against the West.
When it comes to the rules of war, we keep to our moral values based on the international order. We try to do our utmost to avoid civilian casualties—what we call collateral damage—when we have to defend ourselves and to hit the Hezbollah rockets. But when Hezbollah positions its rockets in family houses, it’s a unique phenomenon that [the] Israel Defense Forces had to deal with. There are family houses in the Lebanese villages: houses with living rooms, kitchens, children’s rooms—and in the additional room is a rocket launcher. We had to hit it, and unfortunately even the secretary-general of the United Nations preferred to condemn us for hitting civilian houses, instead of criticizing and condemning Hezbollah and its sponsors for violating all the rules of war, of keeping the international order. The world should wake up by all means, not just regarding the rules of war. I’m talking about the fact that Iran is on the way to acquir[ing] military nuclear capabilities, violating all the understandings and international agreements, and without paying a price.
How can Israel and other nations deal with the growing problem of Syria and Iran?
The outcome of the last conflict in Lebanon should be first of all political and economic sanctions imposed on Syria and Iran. We have hard evidence that both of them supplied the weapons to Hezbollah, as well as supplying the weapons and allowing the mujahideen (jihadists) to open up a front against the coalition troops [in Iraq]. U.S. troops and British troops and others are killed by Iranians, Iranian weaponry systems, and Iranian explosives, and mujahideen [were] allowed by Bashar Assad to be deployed in Iraq. It’s a pity that the international community did not agree and is not unified to come out with a resolution to impose sanctions. Without using political and economic sanctions, in the end we’ll face the military option either against Syria or against Iran; and it’s clear otherwise we are ready to surrender to this kind of behavior, this kind of policy to defeat the West.
Then, the News from Russia:
US diplomats were astonished to hear a new tune from their Russian interlocutors when they met privately in advance of the world power negotiations with Iran which opened in Geneva Monday, Dec. 6.
For five years, Moscow had persisted in denying there was any proof that Iran was running a secret military nuclear program or that the ayatollahs were surreptitiously building the infrastructure for the manufacture of nuclear bombs and warheads. The Kremlin always insisted Iran lacked long-range ballistic missiles and had no plans for producing any projectiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
Even in July, when they were persuaded by the US to vote for international sanctions, it was only for the sake of a quid pro quo. Moscow extracted from Washington an undertaking not to interfere with the inauguration on Aug. 28 of the nuclear reactor Russia had installed at Bushehr in southern Iran as well as a guarantee to prevent any interference by Israel.
The Obama administration was required further to obtain a direct commitment from Israel guaranteeing the reactor immunity from attack.
Moscow's reward for this self-restraint was a pledge to hold back S-300 missile interceptors from Tehran and Damascus, notwithstanding a signed contract for its supply to guard Iran's nuclear sites from missile or air attack.
Even when the horse-trading was at its most intense, the Russians refused to credit the mounting layers of intelligence in American and Israeli hands attesting to Iran's burgeoning arms and missile programs.
But then, in early November, the Russians suddenly changed their tune. Washington and Moscow sources report that a surprising new message came through their diplomatic channels, notably in Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's off-the-record video conferences with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Russians were now saying that they had come to the conclusion that nothing could stop a big country like Iran - with a population of 70 million and rich oil and gas resources and the high technological ability to run nuclear reactors, uranium enrichment processing and produce nuclear fuel rods – from acquiring a nuclear bomb. Once it had decided on this course, it was bound to succeed.
This surprise flip flop finally brought Moscow around to the conclusion, reached long ago by Washington, Paris, Berlin and Jerusalem, that Iran was well on the way to its goal of a nuclear weapon or warhead.
Our military sources add that, even so, Moscow still refuses to believe Iran is capable of producing a ballistic missile sophisticated enough to carry a nuclear warhead. Its experts insist that Iranian missile production has never managed to get past Scud technology, a reference to the World War II Russian surface missile of that name.
Trust us, say the Russians to the Americans: We designed the Scuds and we spent decades upgrading them before moving on to more advanced weaponry. So no one can pick up faster on the weaknesses betrayed by a military machine which is not up to mastering any missile technology beyond the outdated Scuds.
The Russian experts recently confirmed this diagnosis with the discovery that the missiles Iran used to boost its first miniature spacecraft Safir (Messenger) 1 and 2 and Kavoshgar (Explorer) 1 in 2008 and 2009, consisted of three stages, the first two of which were old Scuds.
Having changed its mind about Iran's nuclear motives, the Kremlin was suddenly ready to turn the screw in earnest when it became clear that UN, US and European sanctions lacked the punch for curbing Iran's drive for a bomb.
According to our sources, the Russians offered to work with the Americans on a penalty painful and costly enough to daunt Iran from going all the way to a bomb. The Iranians must be convinced, they explained, that their potential strategic benefit from joining the world's nuclear club was not worth having their economy go into meltdown.
At first, Russian diplomats refused to explain what they were talking about. In the third week of November, they unveiled a plan which consisted very simply and brutally of an international naval and air blockade against Iran to choke off its oil and gas exports to world markets.
The plan's success depended on three key steps:
The blockade must be watertight and impossible for Iran's friends, including China, Venezuela, Syria and Turkey, to breach.
Washington and Moscow must cooperate in steps to avert a global energy crisis.
The two powers must guarantee a steady fuel supply to countries dependent on Iranian oil like Japan and major importers like China in case of shortages on the international market.
The Americans could hardly believe their ears when they heard this proposal. The Russians had fought tooth and nail against any proposed embargo - even a partial one - on selling Iran oil products and especially refined oil.
They had also been up in arms against any damage to Iran's energy industry, financially or otherwise. Now, all of the sudden, Moscow was proposing the ultimate punishment, more radical than any US President Barack Obama had ever contemplated
After Moscow's cat was out of the bag, the White House put a team to work on the motives underlying the Kremlin's radical change of face. It was instructed to explore three alternative hypotheses:
, the Kremlin had truly come to believe in Iran's drive for a nuclear bomb and felt compelled to protect its military and energy interests by cutting down the potential threat a nuclear-armed Iran would pose to Russia and the Central Asian nations which Moscow regards as it strategic hinterland.
, The rise of Chinese influence and its expanded investments in Iran's energy industry are the cause of deep concern to the Russians and they will go a long way to thwart it.
, Iran is only second to Russia as the world's top holder of gas reserves (971 trillion cubic feet -Tcf compared with Russia's 1,680 Tcf). Moscow may suspect the Obama administration of opting for diplomacy – not just to curb Iran's nuclear aspirations but as the long way round toward hauling US-Iranian relations back to level they attained between the 1950s and mid-1970s, when American influence reigned supreme in Tehran. The Russians fear America also aims at eventually challenging Russia's primacy as the sole natural gas supplier for Central and West Europe by supporting the projected Nabucco gas pipeline from Erzurum in Turkey to Baumgarten an der March in Austria and so diversifying gas suppliers and delivery routes to Europe.
Iranian intelligence proved itself on the mark in the way Tehran responded to the first round of its resumed negotiations with six world powers ((US, Russia, UK, France, China and Germany) which ended in Geneva on Tuesday, Dec. 7. It came typically in the form of an ultimatum for round two to proceed, spelled out by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "If you come to the negotiations by cancelling all the nasty things and wrong decisions you have adopted – lift resolutions, sanctions and some other restrictions that you have created, then the talks will definitely be fruitful."
Moscow sensed in this warning a challenge: For the negotiations to continue, the Russian blockade proposal ("other restrictions") must be scrapped along with sanctions. The Russians got their first taste of the tough bargaining tactics Tehran routinely employs against the United States.
Before going forward, the Obama administration must determine which of the three hypotheses about the motives behind Moscow's volte face is the correct one – genuine concern about a nuclear-armed Iran or a tactical move to preserve its oil and gas empire.
All this news, Moshe Ya’alon’s Interview, his opinions about Iran and its Terrorist Proxies — Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc., — and this most recent News from Russia, who figures in heavily in the Bible Equations of the Coming Battle of Armageddon tells us all that the coming of our MESSIAH, JESUS, OR AS THE JEWS CALL HIM, JESHUA, my SAVIOUR, whom General Shimon Erem quoted from Eph 2:14 [For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;] this past Monday evening, HE is certainly coming soon.
Yedidim of Israel