Gas mask time? Or time to put the political leaders into quarantine? The problem, and this is endemic to all democracies is the politicization of the Armed services. The military becomes subordinate to political considerations such as elections, timing, public opinion so that the actual military analysis of a given situation passes through a filter of distortion and ambiguity. This is no more obvious than in Israel in which combat judgement is often batted around in public by the likes of the defense minister Barak and politicians like Tzipi Livni in which the result is a degrading of the services and disrespect for the virtues of combat readiness made more evident by the Iran nuclear threat that has been so mediatized and speculated on that the role of the military, security of the citizen, has become secondary. Thomas Friedman and Andrew Goldberg, NYT and Atlantic respectively, among others, are closet five star generals who know when to drop the hammer. Yet the threat is real and the political dog fighting only prolongs the nausea surrounding the uncertainty.
( see link at end) In Ramadan speech to Islamic country ambassadors, Iranian president says liberation of Palestine will solve all world problems. In a speech published on his website Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the ultimate goal of world forces must be the annihilation of Israel….
…Speaking to ambassadors from Islamic countries ahead of ‘Qods Day’ (‘Jerusalem Day’), an annual Iranian anti-Zionist event established in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini and which falls this year on August 17, Ahmadinejad said that a “horrible Zionist current” had been managing world affairs for “about 400 years.” “They are the decision makers, to the extent that the presidential election hopefuls [of the USA] must go and kiss the feet of the Zionists to ensure their election victory,” he added.
Ahmadinejad added that “liberating Palestine” would solve all the world’s problems, although he did not elaborate on exactly how that might work.
“Qods Day is not merely a strategic solution for the Palestinian problem, as it is to be viewed as a key for solving the world problems,” he said….
He added: “Anyone who loves freedom and justice must strive for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the way for world justice and freedom.”
The Iranian president said that Israel reinforced “the dominance of arrogant powers in the region and across the globe” and that Arab countries in particular – he cited Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Syria and Turkey – were affected by Israel’s “plots.”
Ahmadinejad, who has called the Holocaust a myth, has previously called for Israel’s annihilation, in a 2005 speech in which he used a Persian phrase that translates literally as “wiped off the page of time.” Readhttp://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=279864
If we go back to the Gulf War volume I in 1991, fears were also mounting. The media did its part to augment anxiety with speculation about impending disaster. Then, Israelis were putting all their extra money into food as shelves emptied in the supermarkets, the hoarding leading to unwarranted price increases….
Then as now, is there nothing to fear? No need for gas masks and among the religious, a bravery in the confidence that the long awaited redemption is out of the gate and moving faster than we realize; maybe faster than a speeding bullet, with Israel being the safest place on the planet.
But back then, the Israeli Army was operating on the basis of their own analysis and not assurances from the divine and spiritually connected. Citizens were advised where and when to pick up their gas masks, and taught how to put them on, how to seal a room, and how to self administer a dose of atropine in case of exposure to mustard gas.
By this time, Saddam did his line in the sand routine, and there was panic at the airport to leave Israel. At the same time hundreds of the faithful were scooping up bargain basement rock-bottom priced tickets to go to Israel to show their faith! Emissaries of hope, just before the U.S led coalition attacked with more ordnance in 24 hours than months of fighting in 1944.
Next day the SCUDs hit Tel Aviv, with a lot of damage but no fatalities and no chemicals in these 500-lb payload bombs of Russian design, of which the shock-wave alone could knock down sturdy structures. Civil authorities in Israel were told to prepare the hospitals for about 6,000 people according to the data they compiled from the Iran/Iraq war and the use of SCUDs.
It was very peculiar; for six long weeks, SCUD missiles were launched into Israel, such as a missile with a successful direct hit on the gas pipeline near Tel Aviv, and instead of a massive fire, nothing happened since the day before the line was shut off for servicing. A large building was essentially splintered in two from the shock wave, but no one was injured since they had gone home. Even one residential apartment building was rubbled to the ground with inhabitants inside. Somehow, everyone walked away.
A bomb shelter was hit directly with two hundred people inside by a 550 lb payload. People were tossed into the air and screaming on the ground, yet not one was injured even though three walls of the shelter collapsed. Another SCUD madea direct hit on a community building, but somehow did not even explode. The number of SCUDs fired at Israel was thirty-nine and none had chemical warheads. The total was over 4,000 buildings damaged, over two hundred injuries, of which only one was serious and twelve indirect deaths, likely heart attacks due to fear. Only one death attributable to missile attack in six weeks.
By comparison, Saddam Hussein fired one SCUD in Saudi Arabia and killed several hundred. Is Ahmadinejad the Nebbuchanezzar of the Bible who makes his final stand before the Messiah as Orthodox judaism asserts, or is he merely a warm-up act, a song and dance specialist before something even more satanic appears?