Thursday, 13 December 2012
Former Israeli Air Force Chief: In Delay There Lies No Plenty

From The Jerusalem Post:

Former IAF chief: Time is on Iran's side


Nehushtan at ‘Post’ conference: Risk of Syrian chemical weapons falling into terrorists’ hands poses threat to entire world.

Ido Nehushtan at 'Post' conference Photo: Marc Israel Sellem

Time is on Iran’s side as it continues to make progress on its nuclear program, former Israel Air Force commander Maj.-Gen. (res.) Ido Nehushtan told diplomats at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Herzliya on Wednesday.

Asking the audience to imagine the implications of a nuclear-armed Iran, Nehushtan cited the 1962 Cuban missile crisis between the US and the Soviet Union, which he said was cleverly managed and peacefully resolved by two responsible leaders.

“Can you manage a crisis like this vis-a-vis a radical Islamic regime?” he asked, noting that a nuclear Iran would create a multi-nuclear Middle East.

“This is a hot area, not built for cold wars,” he explained. “It’s not an Israeli problem, but a regional and a world problem.”

Nehushtan described Iran’s global arms and terrorism network as “an octopus,” citing Iranian Fajr rockets in Gaza, Iran’s presence in Syria, and subversive activities in Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and Thailand.

“Time is working only for one side... the Iranian side, by definition,” he warned, speaking of Tehran’s nuclear program.

“As time goes by it becomes less and less possible to stop this problem,” he said. “The Iranians are masters of negotiations. They invented the game of chess. They know how to do the business. Time is working on their side.”

Nehushtan said a “global toolbox” is in place to prevent a nuclear Iran, adding that “sanctions are having an impact, but so far they have not achieved their goal [of stopping the nuclear program]. This toolbox has to be filled with all the options, all the time, in a credible manner.”

Nehushtan described Syria as being in possession of the largest chemical arms arsenal in the Middle East, if not the world.

“Who is running the business there?” he asked. “The global jihad is there. Iran and Hezbollah are heavily invested. The danger of chemical weapons... is that it could fall into the wrong hands. This is a nightmare not only for Israel and other neighbors [of Syria], but for the entire world – the combination of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.”

Earlier, the former air force commander turned his attention to the turmoil rocking the Middle East, describing the period as historic and filled with threats.

“The Sykes-Picot order is gone,” he said, referring to the 1916 British-French imperial division of the Middle East that gave rise to the regional map of states. “A new order has yet to take shape. We’re in a very fundamental process of transition.” [mentioning "Sykes-Picot," thereby endowing it with a significance it does not deserve, and giving legitimacy to constant Arab invocation of imagined grievances because of that very "Sykes-Picot" agreement, is an error].

Nehushtan said that the major winner so far was political Islam.

“What started as an earthquake coming from youngsters became a big winner of political Islam,” he said.

He noted the Islamist forces were rising to power in Egypt, Tunisia and Gaza with the slogan that “Islam is the solution.

Now the Islamists have to “deliver some solutions to the people.”

Nehushtan also highlighted the penetration of global jihadi forces into destabilized areas, especially Syria, and the increasing proliferation of weapons from Libya, Iran and other countries.

Overall, the region is “less stable, more inflammable, and more religious,” he said. “Solutions are very difficult to come by.”

Referring to last month’s IDF operation to stem rocket attacks from Gaza, Nehushtan said the conflict should be seen as “part of a larger context to define something that is unique to the world: rocket terrorism.”

He said no country other than Israel has had to deal with large-scale rocket attacks on its civilian populations in the post- World War II era, and called on the world to reject rocket attacks as illegitimate. “It’s something you cannot do among peoples, especially if you want to become a people.,” he said, referring to the Palestinians.

He praised the operation as being based on very accurate intelligence, adding that the air force engaged in precision strikes on targets despite operating in a highly populated urban area, a combat zone he described as “a nightmare.”

The Iron Dome rocket shield had disrupted the cost-benefit calculations of terror organizations on Israel’s borders, he argued.

“Everyone, even terrorists, Hamas, Hezbollah, when engaged in violence, make very precise calculations. They know the effect they want to create and they know the price they have to pay. The cost is there... but the benefit for them, harming Israeli civilians, is far less. Ninety percent less. That really disrupts the calculations,” he said.

Posted on 12/13/2012 8:17 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
13 Dec 2012
Christina McIntosh

 'Overall, the region is "less stable, more inflammable and more religious"'.

That is, it has become 'less stable and more inflammable, in proportion as it is experiencing a revival of Islam".

The more Islam, the more violence and chaos.

This is what an Islamic revival looks like...

V S Naipaul put his finger on it, years ago, in 'Among the Believers', when he said flatly, "Islam sanctifies rage".

I seem to recall that G K Chesterton had a similar perception of the Islamic impulse toward simplifying by destroying.

"There is in Islam a paradox which is perhaps a permanent menace

{leave out the 'perhaps, and you've nailed it,  GKC - CM}

'The great creed born in the desert {or which claims to have been born in the desert; though I have my suspicions about that claim - CM} creates a kind of ecstasy out of the very emptiness of its own land {an emptiness that it creates everywhere it goes - CM} and even, one may say, out of the emptiness of its own theology.

'It affirms, with no little sublimity, something that is not merely the singleness but rather the solitude of God.  There is the same extreme simplification in the solitary figure of the Prophet; and yet this isolation perpetually reacts into its own opposite.

"A void is made in the heart of Islam which has to be filled up again and again by a mere repetition of the revolution that founded it.

"There are no sacraments; the only thing that can happen is a sort of apocalypse, as unique as the end of the world; so the apocalypse can only be repeated, and the world end again and again.

"There are no priests; and yet this equality can only breed a multitude of lawless prophets almost as numerous as priests.

"The very dogma that there is only one Mahomet produces an endless procession of Mahomets.

{And that follows logically from the fact that every pious Muslim male is supposed to become a sort of clone of Mohammed, that 'excellent pattern of conduct':  from the slave-taking and war-waging and treaty-breaking, and the bedding of little Aisha and the rape of Rayhana and Safiya, right on down to trivial details of dress - a henna-dyed beard, for example -  and deportment - CM}

'Of these the mightiest in modern times were the man whose name was Ahmed, and whose more famous title was the Mahdi; and his more ferocious successor Abdullahi, who was generally known as the Khalifa.

"These great fanatics or great creators of fanaticism succeeded in making a militarism almost as famous and formidable as that of the Turkish Empire on whose frontiers it hovered, and in spreading a reign of terror such as can seldom be organised except by civilisation.." [from 'Lord Kitchener'].