Wikileaks and Israel

We may not be able to get the news from our press,but the foreign press and alternative media sources continue to let us know the substantive things released in the Wikileaks State Department Cables.  I can’t read Norwegian, but the Norwegian Aftenposten is the source of the following story outlined by Professor Juan Cole on his website Informed Consent.

The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has summarized an Israeli military briefing by Israeli Chief of Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi of a US congressional delegation a little over a year ago and concludes that

‘ The memo on the talks between Ashkenazi and [Congressman Ike] Skelton, as well as numerous other documents from the same period of time, to which Aftenposten has gained access, leave a clear message: The Israeli military is forging ahead at full speed with preparations for a new war in the Middle East.

Note: This war preparation is serious and specific, according to the paper, and clearly is not just a matter of vague contingency planning.

The paper says that US cables quote Ashkenazi telling the US congressmen, “I’m preparing the Israeli army for a major war, since it is easier to scale down to a smaller operation than to do the opposite

I have to also tell you that my print copy of  The Economist showed up in the mail box today with this huge headline:  Please, Not Again:  The Threat of War in the Middle East.  Also, there’s this subtitle in the online version: ‘Without boldness from Barack Obama there is a real risk of war in the Middle East’.  I am assuming that the editorial staff there got the low down on some of these items way before we finally are reading about them here.  Predictably, there’s a lot on Hizbullah rocket stockpiles.  No information on such robust Israeli war planning.  Coverage of war drum beating is always predictably filtered and lop-sided.

Democracy Now also has major coverage of Israeli preparations for war via the Wikileaks information.

The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten is claiming it has come into possession of all of the classified U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks. In a report on one newly released cable, the paper reveals that Israeli Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told a U.S. congressional delegation a little over a year ago that the Israeli military is forging ahead at full speed with preparations for a new war in the Middle East. The cables quote Ashkenazi saying, “I’m preparing the Israeli army for a major war, since it is easier to scale down to a smaller operation than to do the opposite.”

Evidently the driving force behind this is Hamas and Hizbullah stockpile of rockets and their capabilities according to Juan Cole as cited above.  Israel–like any other state–has the right to defend itself.  This should go without saying.  However, the more I read, the more I’m convinced this goes way beyond that.  There are stockpiles in the hands of nefarious groups.  So far, that’s been it.

The general’s plans are driven by fear of growing stockpiles of rockets in Hamas-controlled Gaza and in Hizbullah-controlled Southern Lebanon, the likely theaters of the planned major new war. Ashkenazi does not seem capable of considering that, given a number of Israeli invasions and occupations of those regions, the rockets may be primarily defensive.

Ashkenazi told the visiting delegation that Israeli unmanned drones had had great success in identifying rocket emplacements in southern Lebanon, and that it had been aided in this endeavor by the US National Security Agency,which spies on communications.

Israeli unmanned drones? I’d forgotten that development was announced last than a year ago. The Heron TP is evidently the size of a 737 and can fly nonstop for 20 hours giving it more than enough steam to get well into Iran. Now, we’re beginning to see why they were so excited about it.  I figured it might be used to take out Irani nuclear weapon facilities or something possibly noble like that.  Of course, I should know better given how much WMD were used to beat the drum beat against Iraq. We know how well that turned out.

Instead, we read this.  Again, it’s from Juan Cole translating the source.

The new, major war will be a total war on civilians, Ashkenazi boasted: “In the next war Israel cannot accept any restrictions on warfare in urban areas.” (I den neste krigen kan Israel ikke godta noen restriksjoner på krigføring i byområder in Norwegian, or let us just translate it into the original German: “Im nächsten Krieg kann Israel keine Beschränkungen der Kriegsführung in städtischen Gebieten akzeptieren.”.) Mind you, the civilian deaths deriving from this massive and unrestricted bombing campaign on targets in the midst of civilian urban populations will be “unintentional.” Planning to bomb civilian areas with foreknowledge that you will thereby kill large numbers of civilians is a war crime.

I certainly hope the Secretary of State is answering the 3 a.m. phone calls these days.  If the remaining naysaying  idiots on the planet haven’t figured out the value of the Wikileaks yet, they never will.  We could always send them off to be used as human shields in a possible war zone hidden from our view for over a year.  Frankly, I agree with Mr. Rogers.  I like to be told.  Do you think we’d have invaded Iraq if we’d have been told a lot of the lies behind that invasion by a Wikileaks type whistle blower source?

19 Comments on “Wikileaks and Israel”

  1. Dario says:

    What I’m thinking, is that if Israel attacks Iran, North Korea might take advantage of the situation. Right or wrong, Iran and North Korea are paranoid. Aaagh!

    • dakinikat says:

      I think we’re far better off knowing this because it might put the brakes on it. The last thing we need is more stirring shit up around the area. The last mess with Lebanon, etc. didn’t end well for Israel or any one. And North Korea is just looking for any excuse to be more crazy!

      • Dario says:

        If it was any nation, I think you’re right, but not in this case. From its birth in 1948, to the Suez Canal affair, the 1967 War, Lebanon, all of it, the whole history says to me that it’s a nation with its own rules, and it has the full support of the U.S. We’re heading into a collision course that reminds me of the British Empire before WWI.

        • dakinikat says:

          Hopefully, this president doesn’t believe in the rapture crap like the last one did.

          • Dario says:

            I don’t trust Obama to do anything right. The problem I see is that any conflict with Lebanon might have the intention to hit Syria and Iran because those two nations help Hezbollah.

          • dakinikat says:

            I’m certain Syria and Iran are the bigger goal. They are the puppet masters and bank in this. That’s also why it’s a bigger powder keg now than even before. Many of these states aren’t just states. They’re clients of bigger things. I think that would include Israel.

          • Dario says:

            Que será, será. I saw it with Iraq. It didn’t matter that the information was bogus, or that millions marched against the war, or that the UN did not give its blessing. When a country is bent on war, nothing matters. I’m done with demonstrations.

          • dakinikat says:

            Yea. I remember being yelled at in a restaurant for trying to tell my friend at the time that the entire thing was bogus and that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. Some guy felt the need to get up and tell me from across the room. I was referred to as ‘unpatriotic’. Needless to say that I told him that I felt saving the lives of soldiers and the US Treasury from unnecessary debt was something I considered highly patriotic. Wasn’t appreciate though at the time …

          • Branjor says:

            I was told to go to France and lost friends over it.

      • Fannie says:

        Agreed, but I see they are trying to pass a law saying that if you receive information and pass it on to us, they are coming after you.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      I overheard some people talking at Walmart the other day, and one of them was saying something about going to war with Iran, to boost the economy. Because…war always helps create jobs. I wonder if the average person out there feels like these 2 guys did.

      • Dario says:

        WWII was unusual because Europe and Japan were destroyed, creating a huge market for the U.S. Wars are a drain. The return from wars are bad, unless there’s economic rape of the defeated country, as it happened with colonies. Wars are the worst investment, imo. The same investment in education or infrastructure would reap great rewards.

      • dakinikat says:

        The most it will do is hold unemployment at the current rate. Doubt it would stimulate the economy. We don’t destroy enough stuff in these kinds of wars and the people making money–like Halliburton–have all moved to Qatar. The last place it will stimulate is the US economy.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        They were a couple of older guys, and remember this is backwoods Georgia here…

      • Sima says:

        Why don’t they look in front of their faces? We are IN TWO wars already. And the economy is basically in the dump. How can another one help at all?

  2. fiscalliberal says:

    If this tinderbox lights up, I wonder how we will find the troops to fight it and how we will pay for it. Will the Tea Party then extend the Debt Ceiling? The Middle East continues to bleed us

    I wonder how much longer it will be untill we realize that we are can not be the worlds keeper

  3. Branjor says:

    Majorly scary shit. I think SoS Clinton must already know about it. I certainly hope the whole blessed world knowing about it *does* put the brakes on it, and send it to a screeching halt.

  4. salmonrising says:

    Juan Cole is a fantastic resource on the Middle East. And, he is passing the hat for contributions to help pay for upgrades to his website. Vis a vis a question I raised here a weekor so ago regarding what to do to get around Pay Pal and credit cards, Prof. Cole responded positively to my inquiry about where to send a check to support his work. He has since posted that contact information on his blog.

    Lesson: Ask. Sometimes, it still works.

    As far as your ending question @ the possibility of derailing the US invasion of Iraq had there been a Wikileaks type of revelation: I doubt it would have made any difference. The commercial media in the US are owned by those who stand to profit most by bedding down with the government, to say nothing of those who profit from its never-ending wars. Stenography just pays too damn well.

    Moreover, the 9-11 fever was still at high tide, making any meaningful publication of dissent especially risky for those feeding at the public trough.

  5. Minkoff Minx says:

    WikiLeaks: Iran can attack Israel within 10-12 minutes

    “We therefore believe,” Ashkenazi said, “that the next war will take place in the same areas where the previous wars occurred,” Lebanon and Gaza.