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14 November 2010


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"The French will provide top of the line jets to Israel for these operations. The French are also going to provide mid-air refueling for the dozen planes (backed by 250 aircraft altogether) that will carry out the bombing raid."

Re: the French Connection; It's interesting that the source specifically mentions "top of the line jets" along with the tankers that are necessary to lend Israel's strike package the legs it needs.

Sarkozy has been aggressively/desperately marketing the Rafale to foreign customers like Brazil, India, and the UAE. With zero foreign sales to date on this prestige project, France's military aircraft industry is at stake. The plane has been busy gathering operational experience in Afghanistan, but bombing mud huts (in concert with older jets that have the proper AG targeting hardware already integrated) doesn't have the same ring to it as accompanying an "Osirak II."

Sarkozy is just a businessman. It could be that he's judged an Israeli attack inevitable anyway, that he doesn't really care what Parisian Muslims think (headscarves anyone?), and that he really wants Dassault to beat Boeing/Saab/Eurofighter, as well as capitalize on the weakened Lockmart F-35 program. Israel will be the first non-program "customer" for the F-35.

That's the most plausible thing I can come up with for l'aventurier Sarkozy scenario. Far more likely is that Israel is mad-dogging so as to get a bigger aid payday from the United States. If we all wake up one day to watch a post-attack press conference however, listen for Sarkozy to praise his favorite airplane.

Patrick Lang


"morality, cultural affinity, and promises -- motivate our support for Israel."

You mistake your sentiments (whatever they are based on) for those of the rest (the majority) of us for whom the Israelis have little regard or affection.

"Morality." Where is the morality in supporting a state that denies the equality of its citizens and which is specifically created and maintained as being for the benefit of the members of a particular religion?

"Cultural affinity." Have you been there lately? This has become a police state.

"Promises." What promises? The US has never promised them a damned thing other the kind of flim flammed deals that they are always gouging out of us by manipulating our political system. There is no treaty of alliance between us because the Israelis would never sign one. such a treaty would obligate them to reciprocity with the US. Never!!

Oh, by the way, go look sometime at how many Palestinian refugees and their descendants are located throughout the Arab World.

Saudi Arabia? No treaty with them either for much the same reason. pl

Patrick Lang


Just curious to know if you think there is anything in the world not motivated by business or money. pl

Medicine Man

There is a substantial difference between immigration and colonization.



In answer to your first question (a broad, simple answer to be sure): Because of the ummah, and because it would be immensely popular with the Pakistani people.

I'll also try to answer your second question posed to Pat (if this is presumptuous Colonel, let me know).

That Col. Lang would "like" the US (his country) to act more in line with its own interests, doesn't mean he doesn't understand that emotional (and other!) considerations that lead the US to act against its own interests in this matter.

He isn't "judging" the rightness of what Pakistan might do. He's simply asserting what they might do. As an American, he has a much stronger concern that the US not act emotionally and in its own interests, hence his criticism of some of our international policies.

There is nothing contradictory or odd in any of this. That he can hold America's best interests in one hand while appreciating that policy (sadly) doesn't necessarily reflect those best interests, in the other, is merely a sign of clear thought.

And this is all perfectly in sync with his analysis of what Pakistan might do and the facts that undergird his opinion.

I don't notice him anywhere writing about whether this course of action would be "best" for Pakistan. And in that, there is a difference from his approach to American behavior. Why? If I had to guess, it's because as an American he's more concerned with advancing American interests than Pakistani (or Israeli) ones. In the case of foreign countries, he's simply interested in what they might do, why they might do it, and what it might mean for the US.

As for the "morality" of the existence of Israel, well, I've also not seen him address that in absolute terms. I suspect he would agree with the fairly common argument that Israel's international political legitimacy is likely to be severely undercut if it continues to entrench itself as an apartheid state (if he does believe this, it would be a view shared by many senior Israeli officers. None of these people think the existence of Israel is "immoral;" they simply have an understanding of political reality and the emotions that help shape it.)

Your argument above is a very poor one and boils down to: "If the Pakistanis are going to act out of cultural affinity etc... then the United States should to!"

That kind of thinking, while encountered all too frequently, is not the way to build sound policies.


"The desire of the Moslim lands to remain free of all such incomers is not a value I share."

That is the most ignorant statment that has been made on this forum.

"The greatest influx of Jews into Asia Minor and the Ottoman Empire, occurred during the reign of Mehmed the Conquerors's successor, Beyazid II (1481–1512), after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal. The Sultan issued a formal invitation to Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal and they started arriving in the empire in great numbers.
A key moment in Judeo-Turkic relations occurred in 1492, when more than 150,000 Spanish Jews fled the Spanish Inquisition, many to the Ottoman Empire. At that point in time, Constantinople's population was a mere 70,000 due to the various sieges of the city during the Crusades and the so-called Black Death of the 14th century, so this historical event was also significant for repopulation of the city. These Sephardic Jews settled in Constantinople as well as Salonika.
The Sultan is said to have exclaimed thus at the Spanish monarch's lack of wisdom: "Ye call Ferdinand a wise king he who makes his land poor and ours rich!".[17][18] The Jews satisfied various needs in the Ottoman Empire: the Muslim Turks were largely uninterested in business enterprises and accordingly left commercial occupations to members of minority religions. They also distrusted the Christian subjects whose countries had only recently been conquered by the Ottomans and therefore it was natural to prefer Jewish subjects to which this consideration did not apply.[19]
The Spanish Jews were allowed to settle in the wealthier cities of the empire, especially in the European provinces (cities such as: Istanbul, Sarajevo, Salonica, Adrianople and Nicopolis), Western and Northern Anatolia (Bursa, Aydın, Tokat and Amasya), but also in the Mediterranean coastal regions (for example: Jerusalem, Safed, Damascus, Egypt). Izmir was not settled by Spanish Jews until later. The Jewish population at Jerusalem increased from 70 families in 1488 to 1,500 at the beginning of the 16th century. That of Safed increased from 300 to 2,000 families and almost surpassed Jerusalem in importance. Damascus had a Sephardic congregation of 500 families. Istanbul had a Jewish community of 30,000 individuals with 44 synagogues. Bayezid allowed the Jews to live on the banks of the Golden Horn. Egypt, especially Cairo, received a large number of the exiles, who soon out-numbered the native Jews. Gradually, the chief center of the Sephardic Jews became Salonica, where the Spanish Jews soon outnumbered their co-religionists of other nationalities and, at one time, the original native inhabitants.

Painting of a Jewish man from the Ottoman Empire, 1779.
Although the status of the Jews in the Ottoman Empire may have often been exaggerated,[20] it is undeniable that the tolerance was enjoyed. Under the millet system they were organized as a community on the basis of religion, alongside the other millets (e.g. Orthodox millet, Armenian millet, etc.). In the framework of the millet they had a considerable amount of administrative autonomy and were represented by the Hakham Bashi, the Chief Rabbi. There were no restrictions in the professions Jews could practice analogous to those common in Western Christian countries.[21] There were restrictions in the areas Jews could live or work, but such restrictions were imposed on Ottoman subjects of other religions as well.[19] Like all non-Muslims, Jews had to pay the harac ("head tax") and faced other restrictions in clothing, horse riding, army service etc., but they could occasionally be waived or circumvented.[22]
Jews who reached high positions in the Ottoman court and administration include Mehmed II's minister of Finance ("defterdar") Hekim Yakup Pasa, his Portuguese physician Moses Hamon, Murad II's physician Ishak Pasha and Abraham de Castro, the master of the mint in Egypt.
During the Classical Ottoman period (1300–1600), the Jews, together with most other communities of the empire, enjoyed a certain level of prosperity. Compared with other Ottoman subjects, they were the predominant power in commerce and trade as well in diplomacy and other high offices. In the 16th century especially, the Jews were the most prominent under the millets, the apogee of Jewish influence could arguable be the appointment of Joseph Nasi to Sanjak-bey (governor, a rank usually only bestowed upon Muslims) of the island of Naxos.[23] Also in the first half of the 17th century the Jews were distinct in winning Tax farms, Haim Gerber describes it as: "My impression is that no pressure existed, that it was merely performαnce that counted."[24]"

FB Ali

The issue of a Pakistani response to an Israeli attack on Iran was raised in the post and in several comments.

There is no doubt that an attack on Iran will be considered by the vast majority of Pakistanis as another attack on the Muslim world. (The Shia-Sunni issue will only matter to a small number of religious fanatics). It is quite unlikely that the government or the military will retaliate with a strike against Israel. (The idea that the French could influence such a decision is beyond comic!). What will happen is that, as usual, the US will pay the price for Israel’s foolishness.

Anti-US sentiment will spike (including among military and government personnel). The present tepid support for the US war in Afghanistan will turn into covert obstruction and even sabotage, especially along the supply line. Taliban and other insurgents will get further traction from their charges that the government and military command are American stooges.

The long-term impact is likely to be more significant. Such a development would increase the chances of a takeover of Pakistan by (political) Islamists (not the Taliban religious Islamists), and bring that day closer. Under them a military strike on Israel would be quite possible.



Certainly, though I am skeptical that a Jewish grandfather and some overtly racist domestic policy positions is enough to create Harper's Sarkozy.

Maybe if the scenario was Dutch F-16s and Geert Wilders.. but then it wouldn't add up operationally. Then again, I would like to see an expert opinion that French Rafales and KC-135s would.

What stood out to me was the specific mention of France's top prestige commodity and its top salesman in this scenario, so I took that and ran with it. A failure of imagination perhaps.

Am I missing the forest for the trees? I would be very interested to hear your assessment of French motives in this scenario.

Patrick Lang


I presume that you write of Palestine. In that case "immigration" was conducted into a place occupied by its traditional inhabitants. This "immigration" was conducted under the auspices first of the foreign Ottoman Turkish Empire and then under the auspices of the foreign British Empire. In neither case were the wishes of the inhabitants taken into consideratin at all. pl

Patrick Lang

FB Ali

I believe I spoke of Pakistan's capabilities and not its intentions. pl


My sentiments would appear to be shared by a majority of the elected representatives in Congress. Here, this is widely but not wisely, discounted and laid to the 'machinations' of AIPAC and money and (presumptively?) military-industrial complex.
Since citizens in a democracy can choose to advance any cause they desire, I have little problem with that. If the voters of the United States decide they do not like this outcome it will change abruptly. While democracies are not designed to register the emotional strength with which a position is held, in practice they frequently do so because the proponents of a strongly held belief get out there and work. The majority is left standing there scratching their heads and saying how did that happen. NRA and RTL are other cases on point.

Indeed, what are the Palestinian refugees around the world doing but advocating for the interests of the group with which they identify and which contains many relatives. This is precisely what you see as being a traitor when you believe that some are advancing the interests of Israel over those of the United States. If it is moral in one case, it is moral in the other.

Currently asked to choose between Israel and any Muslim nation where do you think the American population would come down? Al Qaeda's position that if they push us, we will push Israel has a real potential to backfire.

"Morality" I do not expect perfection. Having a single state committed to furthering the Jewish religion and culture does not trouble me. Don't like, don't live there. Particularly given the several which are predominately focused on furthering the totally unendangered majority religions of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.

Certainly, I would not choose to live in such a state but will give Israel great credit for doing much better by its Arab citizens in more trying circumstances than we did for our minorities for the longest time. And, yes, of course, they can do better. And will be safer if they do so.

"Cultural affinity." A police state -- where they can tap your phones,control your movements, throw you in a gulag, order a citizen to be executed without a trial,putting up walls to deter invaders, use torture and declare wars on whims. Frankly, I'm not sure how much room to talk we have. Civil liberties and civility tend to go out the window when any nation is under threat of violence whether terrorism/freedom fighters or military attack.

"Promises" We seem to keep promising Israel to look after their security if they will just trust the Palestinians enough to settle for an arrangement which increases the ability of the Palestinians to harm Israel without Palestine even being required to stop the indoctrination of their children against Jews. Standard military strategy holds that you assess your opponents capability not merely his stated intentions. When the sentiments are such as they are, why on earth would Israel do anything to increase the capacity?

Patrick Lang


"advancing the interests of Israel over those of the United States." You have answered your own question. To advocate a foreign cause is legitimate. To advocate a foreign cause over the interests of your own country is treason in every sense of the word except the language of the constitution. If Palestinians here or Americans of Palestinian descent do that I condemn them equally.

"We" in the sense of the United States have promised Israel nothing. The vapid and self serving assertions of politicians like Joe Biden are his personal opinions and nothing more. If the congress wishes there to be a real "promise" to Israel, let the Senate debate a treaty of alliance with mutual commitments. That, I will support. pl

FB Ali

Col Lang,

I was referring to the statement in the Harper post: Israel is also aware of the danger of Pakistani strikes against Israel, in retaliation for the bombing of Iran.

You are correct in saying that Pakistan has the capability of hitting Israel with its missiles, including those with nuclear warheads.


Jane, quick question, what has Israel ever done for the United States?

2nd Op

Most of the above comments, IMO, reflect "a deep hostility to Israel" (h/t to Mr Habakkak). How can Americans who dislike our government's policy toward Israel effect a change? Or is the task hopeless?

Norbert M. Salamon

2nd Op:

I do not know of any near term way that the citizens could change the way the Government act vs, Israel; however, NATURE will impose the condition that USA self-interest is opposed to the pro-Israeli standpoint, being that that precicious liquid, a,k,a, petroleaum in its natural constitution, is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO THE USA ECONOMY, and the source thereof is largely in MUSLIM, a,k,a, anti-Israeli lands. This might take two years or less, depending on the blowback due to QUII, or conversely 3-4 years until the decline gets real [2015 by USA JOINT COMMAND ESTIMATE]. This NATURAL condition gives Israel at most 4 years or so to wag the tail of USA Congress, the the lightsw go out.



If you are a Palestinian living under Israeli rule, then Israel is a police state as you describe one. "Don't like, don't live there." Where are those who were born and lived all their lives in Israel/Palestine supposed to go?

2nd Op,

I never thought we would see S. Africa become democratic, or Eastern Europe. American public opinion is far ahead of Congress re Israel/Palestine. Young people, especially, are pro-Palestine. There are calls for divestment on university campuses, and that's where American public opinion started to turn re S. Africa. Every time Israel conducts an unprovoked attack on its neighbors (Lebanon, Gaza, aid flotillas) polls show the majority of Americans disapprove. Public opinion is shifting. It takes time.

Mike C


Regarding Israel operating the F-22, I never heard anything along those lines. I pay attention to aviation, and a story like that would have annoyed me no end considering Israel's history of technology transfer.

I checked the usual sources anyway, and couldn't find a story connecting to Israel, apart from them wanting a couple dozen. I found one instance of an Aussie exchange pilot flying the Raptor.

Clifford Kiracofe

On the French, I vaguely recall the French played a major role in helping Israel obtain nuclear weapons capability...

and they certainly were enthusiastic about Suez.

2nd Op,

Americans will have to harden their hearts, come to see their interests clearly, and act accordingly.

Israel is not the problem per se. It is the larger forces behind Israel that are the problem, the forces behind the Jewish Agency which created Israel, and so on...



"Having a single state committed to furthering the Jewish religion and culture does not trouble me. Don't like, don't live there."

That is not the stated foundation of the State of Isreal:


"THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations."

The people of Israel are free to live up to thier own principles or to abandon them.

Those living in Palestine, whether Muslim or Christian, caused neither the Diaspora nor the Holocost. Neither did they issue or agree to the Balfour Declaration or the Leauge of Nations Manadate for Palestine.


Medicine Man

Col. Lang,

Sorry, I was replying to Jane's attempt to conflate immigration into the US with Israeli settlement efforts; a comparison that is a bridge too far in my opinion. I decided the effort was moot and left my comment short and cryptic.

Patrick Lang

Mike C

I may have been misinformed about the F-22 loan. Data call. pl


I am moderately with cloned poster on this, but I think it contains a mixture of real and fantasy elements.

The central fantasy element being the planned Israeli - French attack on Iraq. I doubt France could act that unilaterally inside the larger EU frame at this point in time.

Germany has emerged as the leading channel for this approach to Iran, and Sarcozy, in part, is reacting against Merkel's role in this EU effort.

Fact is Sarkozy has worked closely in coordination with Merkel lately on other issues. (devious dissembler?)

Let me not go into details but the passage about the French - Israeli cooperation feels carefully constructed. The allusion in the end serves to distract disbelieve, help the narrative pass our antisemitism detection meters: Look here it happened before. But then we do not hear the supposed Israeli military voice directly, which may have put things differently.

Wouldn't Israel risk with such an action US support? Think about it!

Both Sarkozy and Merkel basically support Israel versus Iran. But militarily? I doubt.

I'd appreciate a comment from Harper.


Many good comments here, especially PL in response to Jane and FBI Ali and DH
To pick another that feels like the appropriate response to the crux of the narrative: Judith Weingarten's. It really makes my comment superfluous.

In this last sense I would like to ask Jane, where can I find Al Qaeda's press releases, so I can certify this:

Al Qaeda's position that if they push us, we will push Israel has a real potential to backfire.

But actually there is no need to respond.

Retired (once-Serving)Patriot

Re: F22s in Israel,

If that happened, it was (and would be) very well wrapped. Personally, I doubt it. Tech in Israeli hands somehow finds itself in PRC and Indian hands shortly thereafter. And in F22, there's tech that is the basis for "Fortress Pacifica" and holding the line against presumed aggressive expansion by PRC into the western Pacific. So, I have my doubts.

Then again, our defense industry is shot through with industrial espionage and "profit over country" theorists; therefore, who's to say the most important elements of F22 are not already within the CAD/CAMs of IAI?


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