August 15, 2008

Georgia President Saakashvili: "Both war and peace are in the hands of Israeli Jews."

From Haaretz of Tel Aviv (via Philip Weiss):

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili denied on Wednesday night that Israel has suspended its military aid to the country. "I haven't heard anything about that, and I haven't had time to think about that issue for some days," he told Haaretz.

Saakashvili said he is aware of problems with supplying the pilotless drones that his army ordered from Israeli companies, but not of the stopping of any other shipments of military aid.

"The Israeli weapons have proved very effective," he said at a press conference at his office. When asked whether the Israeli arms played a role in the military successes he claimed the Georgian army had achieved, he joked: "Are you asking me as a representative of Elbit [Elbit is a weapons company trading on the Nasdaq and Tel Aviv stock exchanges] or of Israel Aerospace Industries?"

To a reporter's question about Jews who have fled the fighting and come to Israel, he said: "We have two Israeli cabinet ministers, one deals with war [Defense Minister David Kezerashvili], and the other with negotiations [State Minister for Territorial Integration Temur Yakobashvili], and that is the Israeli involvement here: Both war and peace are in the hands of Israeli Jews."

Yakobashvili is actually not an Israeli citizen.

So, apparently, the 29-year-old Defense Minister of Georgia is an Israeli citizen. That's kind of like John McCain appointing Ephraim Diveroli the Secretary of Defense.
Saakashvili's statements are part of his government's attempt to bring other countries into its war against Russia. During the briefing, Saakashvili noted that he is in constant contact with U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney [uh-oh] and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He promised that U.S. warships would be docking in Georgian ports within a few days to make sure they remain open.

Saakashvili tried to project confidence during the interview, but could not completely hide the stress he is under. A few hours earlier, refugees from Gori held a spontaneous demonstration in front of parliament, calling for Saakashvili to resign.

"We will fight to the death until the last Russian soldier leaves Georgian territory," Saakashvili told reporters. "We will never surrender."

He characterized the announcements against him by Russia's government, blaming him for the suffering of the Georgian people, as "typical Nazi propaganda." He accused Russia of ethnic cleansing in the Georgian villages in the north of the country. "If Georgia falls, all of the energy supply routes will be blocked," he said.

Saakashvili told the press conference that he expected Russia's next victims to be the Baltic countries. He accused Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of "trying to take revenge on the United States, but instead of attacking the Sixth Fleet he found himself an easier target."

Georgian minister slams Israeli suspension of aid
Earlier Wednesday, Yakobashvili told Haaretz that Israel has joined in the West's betrayal of Georgia. As the official in charge of bringing Abkhazia and South Ossetia back into the fold, Yakobashvili oversaw negotiations with the Russians to end the fighting there. He warned the world that the situation would escalate into war, but the West ignored him.

"They said the Georgians are exaggerating again," he charged.

A former Zionist leader who speaks fluent Hebrew ...

But, bear in mind, not an Israeli citizen!
... Yakobashvili credited Israeli defense companies with "enabling us to train our army and giving us the possibility to withstand the Russians," but termed the Israeli government's decision to stop arms exports to his country "a disgrace."

He said the West should have responded by "deploying NATO troops to defend Georgia's vital infrastructure," and that "Israel is betraying us, along with the European countries and the United States."

Referring to rioting by Russian militia groups in villages surrounding Gori, Yakobashvili said: "Today there was a Cossack pogrom against the local population. As a Jew that gives me a different feeling."

Yakobashvili blasted Israel's decision to suspend defense aid to Georgia: "Israel did it at the Russians' behest. It aided the terrorists, the Russians. It's a disgrace. I don't know what it received in return, I only see that Hezbollah continues to get Russian arms, and plenty of it."

"Israel should protect the interests it has here," he continued. "There are many Israeli businesspeople who invested money, and a country should protect its citizens' investments."

He ascribed Georgia's feisty military ability to Israeli training, and said that Russian experts had told him "they never believed Georgia has such an army and that they would encounter such resistance."

Yakobashvili claimed the Georgian forces had destroyed Russia's 58th army and downed 17 planes and three helicopters (data unsubstantiated by other sources).


Judging from Yakobashvili's complaints (as opposed to Saakashvili's reassurances), apparently the Israeli Foreign Ministry has decided that it's in Israel's national interest to cut Georgia adrift and make nice with the Russians (although powerful interests within and without the Israel Defense Ministry seem to vociferously disagree). As is frequently the case, however, Israel's most enthusiastic boosters within the U.S. don't want America to follow Israel's sensible policies. Instead, they want the U.S. to fight for Israeli interests that Israel is too smart to fight for itself.


Whenever I write about something like this, I get denounced for being "obsessed" with Israel. People explain to me that that's not the whole story. The real story is Russia's Resurgence or the Threat to Energy Supplies or Democracy Under Siege or all the themes you've seen headlined a hundred times in the American press.


Of course the Israeli Connection is not the whole story. I'm not the Encyclopedia Britannica. My job is to post material that is true, new, significant, and interesting / entertaining, in roughly that order. I look for angles that aren't being given their due weight in the U.S. mainstream media. The Israeli Connection is X percent of the story in the Russian-Georgian war. Whatever X percent is, the share of American media coverage devoted to the Israeli Connection is only a tiny fraction of X percent. Go check out Google News and see how much attention the U.S. establishment press has devoted to the Israeli Connection. (The American Jewish press has been better, as usual).

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

So why in the Hell would Israel want Georgia to get involved in a war with Russia, especially since it has been obvious since day one that Georgia would get its ass kicked? Is this a good advert for Israeli weapons, or an Israeli connection? Why should Israel give a s**t about the Caucasus? What am I missing here?

Tschafer

Anonymous said...

"The Israeli Connection is X percent of the story in the Russian-Georgian war. Whatever X percent is, the share of American media coverage devoted to the Israeli Connection is only a tiny fraction of X percent. Go check out Google News and see how much attention the U.S. establishment press has devoted to the Israeli Connection."

The Israeli "connection" is not being commented on because Israel as a nation did nothing except sell weapons to Georgia.

France sold even more weapons to Georgia, but nobody in the US press is commenting on a French "connection" because weapons sales are not exactly unusual in international trade.

All Israel engaged in was some weapons sales and maybe sending some military advisors.

Israel also sells weapons to Turkey and other countries, and Britain and France and the US sell even more around the world.

The fact that the US press is not commenting on this "angle" is because weapons sales are perfectly mundane in the international arena.

Isreal has a deep diplomatic relationship with Turkey and has sold billions of dollars worth of arms to them, but when Turkey had some military fights with Iraqi Kurds, I didn't hear any paleocon talk about an "Israeli connection" to those border fights or comments about how Israel was selling weapons to Turkey. The reason no one commented was because arms sales are mundane.

China sells weapons to Pakistan, does anyone in the press talk about a Chinese connection when India and Pakistan get into some potential military confrontation over terrorism or Kashmir?

david davenport said...

Georgia Strikes Back With Air Defenses

Aug 11, 2008

By David A. Fulghum and Douglas Barrie

If the land war in Georgia so far seems to be going decidedly in favor of the Russian army and navy, the Georgians seem to be racking up a lopsided score with their air defenses.

Over the weekend, the Russians made a successful advance on land through South Ossetia to the outskirts of the Georgian east-west transportation hub of Gori. There also was a one-sided naval battle - that resulted in the sinking of a Georgian gunboat - in the Black Sea off the coast of the second breakaway enclave of Abkhazia.

However, Georgian air defenses appear to be taking a steady toll on Russian aircraft. Russia has admitted to losing a total of four aircraft (the Georgians claim 10) in the conflict. So far they've admitted to the destruction of three Su-25 Frogfoot strike aircraft ( The Su-25 factory, which the Rooskies reportedly bombed, happens to be located in Georgia. -- DD) and a Tu-22M3 Backfire bomber that was flying a reconnaissance mission.

Photos from the combat area show the wreck of the Tu-22 and a Frogfoot as well as a picture of the Backfire pilot in a Georgian hospital. The pilot was Col. Igor Zinov, a 50 year-old Tu-22M3 instructor pilot stationed at the Russian Flight Test Center at Akhtubinsk. (See Aviation Week's defense photo gallery for photos.)

"Ergo, the Russians are using their A-Team, as expected," a U.S. analyst says.

( No, if 50 year-old instructors are flying combat missions, that's NOT a sign of resurgent, youthful Russian air power. One sees no new Russian aircraft or weapons in the photos of fighting in Georgia, either. --DD )

Other analysts say the Georgians are probably operating the SA-11 Buk-M1 (low-to-high altitude) and the (low-to-medium altitude) Tor-1M mobile air defense missile systems.

"The Russians have gone to great lengths to try and implicate the Ukraine in the Russian Air Force losses, even going as far as to suggest that an SA-5 sold to the Georgians by the Ukraine was responsible for the Backfire loss," a second U.S. analyst says. "That's clearly not the case, but shows the Russian attempt to bring the Ukraine into the periphery of this event by implication, and to attempt to explain how one of their premier long-range attack assets could have been shot down so easily.

"The Russian press has been making lots of noise about the BUK and TOR systems, and I would say that the BUK is the most likely culprit for all of these aircraft losses," the analyst says. "If so, it points out a major flaw in the Russian plan - not gaining [and] maintaining pure air superiority [and] dominance over the battlespace by taking out the Georgian air defenses and air defense network before they went into the conflict."

Russian-built and designed air defenses are apparently exploitable, as was shown in the Israeli Air Force's total shut down of Syrian air defenses prior to bombing a suspected nuclear site. But Russia apparently has yet to apply the digital keys to unlock the Georgians' network.

During the months before the conflict, the Russians claimed to have shot down several Hermes 450 UAVs (made by Israeli-based Elbit) with fighter aircraft stationed at least temporarily in South Ossetia.

The Russians say they shot down a Georgian Frogfoot outside the town of Eredvi in South Ossetia today. The Russians - in a stunning piece of irony - have twice bombed the Su-25 Frogfoot manufacturing plant on the outskirts of the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.

So if the Georgians over-estimated their ground forces, "it appears that the Russians underestimated the Georgian air defense abilities in this conflict, and have paid the price," the second U.S. analyst says.

Georgia's foreign minister, Eka Tkeshelashvili, and deputy interior minister, Eka Zguladze, will be in Brussels tomorrow for emergency talks at NATO headquarters. The two officials will meet with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, and address the North Atlantic Council.

Photo shows crashed Su-25 Frogfoot strike aircraft canopy. Both sides are claiming to have shot down this aircraft in recent hostilities between Russia and Georgia. Image from Georgian television.


http://www.aviationnow.biz/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/AIR08118.xml&headline=Georgia%20Strikes%20Back%20With%20Air%20Defenses

anony-mouse said...

1/ Georgia is named after St. George, the crusader. Given that Georgia borders both Turkey and Chechnya, the crusades and Russia's relationship with the Muslim world must have an 'X' effect on the situation in Georgia now, which hasn't gotten any attention in the MSM. I think I'll talk about that again and again.

Anybody know the name of Georgia's national flower...

2/ I checked www.forward.com and www.thejewishweek.com and although there are articles about the situation in Georgia (mostly about how it affects Georgian Jews and the Israel-Iran situation), there is next to nothing about any connection between Israel arms and Georgia (and Ha'aretz isn't part of the American Jewish press-in fact its 1/3 EU owned). So I don't know where the idea that the American Jewish Press is covering what Ha'aretz (assuming Ha'aretz is accurate) is covering came from at all.

Tanstaafl said...

Auster is crapping on you. And it has nothing to do with your efforts to report what's true, new, significant, or interesting.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

"We will fight to the death until the last Russian soldier leaves Georgian territory," Saakashvili told reporters. "We will never surrender."

I just realized I can't imagine either Obama or McCain saying anything similar if we were in Georgia's place.

I'm also kind of impressed the guy's a "former" Zionist leader by 29. Most Americans aren't even done with college by that age.

testing99 said...

Blogger may have screwed up my last submission, so let's try this again.

If you are a small, vulnerable nation, without a lot of money to throw around, who do you call for:

1. Military advice
2. Human resources -- most of your people are Soviet grads and incompetent in managing modern organizations
3. Weapons
4. Training in weapons
5. Diplomatic advice

Sweden, Germany, France etc. will sell weapons but not advisors. The Russians will sell all but they're out for obvious reasons. India and South Africa will sell all of the above, and no surprise they are there along with US advisors.

Israel has a lot of advantages in offering men and weapons systems, in that as a small nation itself it cannot afford long, drawn out conflicts. So it's "solutions" tend towards using maximum violence to deter further attacks. Compared to India, which has a "Big Army" approach maximizing manpower and such, Israel is a better bet for small countries. Unlike Uncle Sam, Israel is like Europe. Cash and carry, no restrictions.

Israel is like Sweden -- both are major arms exporters. Unlike Sweden, Israel also supplies men and training, because Israel suffers a defacto boycott in the EU. Money has to come someplace. Turkey is a major supplier of contracting, military equipment, and technical assistance on both sides of the Gulf.

testing99 said...

David Davenport -- good call on the limits of Russian Air.

That's likely their big weakness. It takes a lot of money, time, and effort to train pilots. A fifty year old pilot is a huge sign that Russia has been unable to train and retain skilled pilots.

Of course, coming trends in drones, remotely piloted, may make air power "affordable" for any power capable of a machine shop and basic jet engine manufacture.

The Swedes make an air defense system, that's highly mobile and capable of hitting even F-22 Raptors (so they claim) day or night. Networkable too which makes them even more deadly.

I was impressed with the speed and operational tempo of the Russian advance initially, and could not figure out why they just ... stopped. Probably ran out of pilots, and thus switched to rampaging idiot militias (Ossetians, Chechens!) to bait out the Georgian forces or simply ethnically cleanse people.

It's not that Russia is a juggernaut, it seems a jury-rigged operation with baling wire and spit holding things together with some very talented commanders, against ... well basically nothing.

Even not very good beats nothing.

[I am not unsympathetic to the strategic dilemma that Russia finds itself in, post-Beslan, Nord-Ost, and Moscow bombings. The need to be ruthless and intimidating in a VERY bad neighborhood, but I don't find this to be the solution.]

Grumpy Old Man said...

The Israelis have long made an industry of supplying weapons and training to pariah states, including South Africa, and in places where it was impolitic for the US to involve itself openly.

In the Georgian case, there have been Georgian Jews for a very long time, since 600 BC. Most have emigrated, but not necessarily severing all ties with Georgia.

They also have a large Russian-speaking population and many ties, some sub rosa, to Russia.

We need an Eric Ambler to write some good spy novels about all of this stuff.

beowulf said...

France sold even more weapons to Georgia, but nobody in the US press is commenting on a French "connection" because weapons sales are not exactly unusual in international trade.

Don't be obtuse. If the French weapons were purchased by a defense minister who happened to be a French citizen, then yes people would be commenting on a French connection. That this defense minister is only 29 years old is astonishing. I've tried to think of a historical parallel.

By way of comparison, when Winston Churchill was named First Lord of The Admiralty at the age of 37, he was considered damn young. And Churchill was a Sandhurst graduate who'd had seen combat as cavalry officer.

The only parallel that comes close is when New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey appointed his 32 year old boyfriend Golan Cipel to be head of NJ's Homeland Security office (rejecting Louis Freeh's offer to serve for free).

To be fair, Freeh only had experience as an FBI Special Agent, Assistant US Attorney, US District Judge and FBI Director. Unlike Copel, he had no experience in the Israeli Navy.

amir said...

1) Israel did not send advisors. The men who went to Georgia to train the soldiers did so as privae citizens for money (i suppose), though they did need to receive government approval.
2)The 29 year old defense minister is Georgian much more than Israeli. He was born in Georgia, went to University in Georgia and did not serve in the Israeli army. From what I was able to understand his family probably emigrated to Israel when he was a child and at some point, probably at a very young age, he returned to Georgia. I wonder if it was in order to avoid military service. Like many people, he holds two citizenships.
3) The Israeli angle has been blown out of proportion, but is's mainly the fault of Israelis who are always looking for the Israeli angle to every story.
4) I saw the interview on tv with Saakashvili. The reporter (an Israeli) was really pushing him to talk about the Israeli angle. When he said: "both war and peace are in the hands of Israeli Jews" he was laughing. He said it jokingly obviously to satisfy the Israeli reporter who was pressing him for the Israeli angle.

Bert Rustle said...

A quite remarkable interview of David Bakradze, Chairman of the Georgian Parliament, by Stephen Sackur on BBC News' Hardtalk

... Russian forces have driven Georgian troops out of the tiny separatist enclave of South Ossetia, and they have the firepower to go much further, if the Kremlin wants them to.

Georgia's President calls it the cold blooded murder of a small country. Is Georgia now paying the price for a massive strategic misjudgement? ...


David Bakradze was pressed repeatedly on why Georgia instigated this recent conflict and in my opinion failed to explain Georgia's actions.

This interview is definitely worth a look.

David Davenport said...

Like many people, he holds two citizenships.

Another cosmopolitan.

f_cubed said...

But what about that "former New York Lawyer" of high office in Georgia? You know, that fellow that in a conference call not too long ago, high level Russian(s) told Secretatry Condi Rice that "he had to go". Pots, kettles, Israelis and Americans. I dunno, bias maybe?

Big Bill said...

I can understand the Israelis pulling their advisers out and stopping weapon sales.

I imagine the Israelis, like some of the commenters here, will look to us Americans to step in and take the heat (I would if I was in their situation!).

I figure they are the brains behind the operation and we (are expected to be) the blood and the brawn.

From the Neocon perspective, if we Americans let down S'vili's Jewish investors over there by not going to war with Russia, we are not just letting the investors down, we are letting down globalization and the world economy.

anonymous: assuming Israel did nothing but sell weapons, can you understand why S'vili is so hot about Israel's "betrayal" of Georgia?

Doesn't make any sense.

I don't accuse the gun dealer who sold me my pistol of "betrayal" for not coming to my house when a robber shows up.

I may accuse the police of betayal, but that is because they have duties and commitments beyond that of just supplying me with a gun.

S'vili and Y'vili may be totally deranged, of course. Totally out of touch with reality. If so, we shouldn't do anything for the Georgians.

Me, I suspect we have gun dealers from one pissant country stroking "generals" from another pissant country into buying more guns, and (stupidly) overstroking them so much that they started a shooting war.

I can almost hear the Israeli saleman/advisers: "Oh, you bad. You Real Bad. You a regular Moshe Dayan! Hell, we wouldn't lie, you a Jewish bruthaman. Here, have another drone."

Now the Neos expect the USA to bail the 'Villis out by going to war with Russia to save American "honor", while the 'Villis do their part by desperately punch every co-ethnic paranoia button they can -- "Cossacks! Nazis! Genocide! Holocaust!" -- in hopes that some co-ethnics in the USA will respond by leaning on Bush and Rice.

... and, sadly, it seems to be working.

Big Bill said...

anon: "I'm also kind of impressed the guy's a 'former' Zionist leader by 29. Most Americans aren't even done with college by that age."

No, son, correct that. Most of your tribe is done with college by that age.

Most of us Americans never go to college.

Most of us Americans never have and never will.

Most of us Americans have not finished our third tour of Iraq and Afghanistan by age 29 andd returned to our families, however.

Most of us Americans are brainwashed not to defend our OWN borders "to the death" (as the article quoted the noble 'Villis as saying, God bless 'em) by age 12.

Sadly, most of us Americans have been brainwashed to defend other people's borders "to the death" well before age 29, however.

Anonymous said...

That this defense minister is only 29 years old is astonishing. I've tried to think of a historical parallel.

The one that comes to mind is Franklin Delano Roosevelt as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1913 at the age of 31, at a time when ASN was a much more important position that it is today--as seen as in 1898 when FDR's cousin could plan and initiate an entirely new theatre of a war out of his office.

TR himself was appointed to the post at age 39. More recently, Reagan's Navy Secretaries Lehman and Webb were appointed at 39 and 41 respectively, and were considered very young. As was Rumsfeld when appointed as Ford's SECDEF at age 43.

Big Bill said...

If I may be permitted to translate for you, Anonymous:

"Israel is like Sweden -- both are major arms exporters."

[translated: since everybody likes the Swedes, and since we are doing what the Swedes do, we are good people, too! So don't blame us!]

" ... Unlike Sweden, Israel also supplies men and training, because Israel suffers a defacto boycott in the EU."

[translated: It is all the goys' fault! If only Europe would buy our stuff then we Israelis wouldn't be forced to send military equipment and advisers around the world!]

" ... Money has to come [from] someplace."

[Yikes! If you ever wondered why Israel is facing a brain drain of their best and brightest you would have your answer right here. No one who fashions herself as morally superior, sensitive, caring, and cultured would be happy wit this rationale for dealing guns. Although I am sure it would persuade the Spartans.]

Of course the author is wrong in painting Israel as Sparta. It is not selling guns due to Goy Europe the Oppressor.

See this link:

http://www.freshplaza.com/news_detail.asp?id=16134

In sum, Israel itself has shut off it "money" -- its trade with the Palestinians, who are Israels second biggest market after the USA.

In the article, Israeli businessmen complain about how the Israeli government boycott is going to wipe them out.

I don't even cite the plenty of other articles that recount the huge trade with Europe.

There is plenty of European/Israeli trade, and no European "boycott", "defacto" or otherwise.

So why do the Israelis sell guns and advisers to the rest of the world?

Simple. Israel is a dealer in guns and military advice for the same reason Jews are famous for dealing in diamonds and not horse manure: the profits are greatest there.

And God bless them. There isn't anything wrong with training and equipping other people's armies.

It may hurt Reform Jewish-American self-esteem when Jews are arms merchants just because there is good money in it, but I am in no way bothered.

So there is no need to make excuses for Israeli arms merchants and advisers, anonymous. As a Jew you should feel free to be a "nation like any other nation" and sell guns to anyone you want.

Heck, I wasn't even upset when y'all sold weapons to Mugabe. He paid good money.

For more see:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0610/p07s01-wome.html

As the article explains, all that old Zionist blood and soil "back to the land" kibbutz stuff just doesn't make sense anymore.

Selling kibbutznik vegetables has a lousy return on investment compared with kibbutz-made armored personnel carriers, anti-riot gear and guns. It makes imminent sense to me. So wwhy struggle to find excuses and blame the Europeans, anonymous?

There is nothing to be ashamed of ... unless, of course, you are committed to a morally superior self-image as a "light unto the nations" as so many of the Reform in America are.

The other reason to drop the blame-the-gentiles argument is that most goyim just don't buy it anymore. That old "we wouldn't do it unless the goyim forced us to" won't work.

Frankly, your gentile boycott argument smacks of the old "we would all be just plain old peaceful Jewish peasant farmers if only the Christians would have let us own land, but they didn't, so we were forced to be bankers and money-lenders."

Which makes one immediately wonder why Jews didn't return to peaceful peasant farming as soon as y'all owned Israel.

The answer, as the kibbutzim making APCs will tell you and as any goyischekopf can see, is simple: there is no money in being a peasant farmer. There IS money -- big money -- selling guns and military advisers.

And don't buy into that "Israel sells to pariah nations" stuff the moralizers (even on this web site) shove down Jewish throats. The "pariahs" are willing to pay a huge premium, and as long as they don't have a beef with Israel or the Jews, what's the problem? America sold poison gas materials to Saddam, the Iranians sell to the Palestinians, so why shouldn't Israel sell to other pariahs?

headache said...

David Davenport:
Here is a n interesting take on the American role in Georgia:

http://venik4.livejournal.com/


It seems the Russians had their planes taken down by anti-aircraft systems of their own manufacture:
SA-11 Buk-M1 and Tor-1M. Seems to be a good system. From what I can tell the Iranians have also purchesed such systems. But at the end of the day the quality of the operators is paramount.

Mark said...

Georgia is named after St. George, the crusader. Given that Georgia borders both Turkey and Chechnya, the crusades and Russia's relationship with the Muslim world must have an 'X' effect on the situation in Georgia now

St George, who died in 303 AD, was a crusader? Was he resurrected 800 years later?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the same quote can be aplied to this country: both war and peace are in the hands of [Israeli] Jews. Do we go after North Korea? No, Israel's interests are not involved. Do we go into Darfur? Ditto. Do we intervene in Zimbabwe, or Cuba, or Venezuela, or Uganda? Nah, no israeli interests at stake. Do we go after Saddam Hussein? Yes, he represents a credible threat to Israel. Do we try to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan? Yes, to try to stanch the growth of Islamic power in the Middle East. Will we bomb Iran? I'm afraid the answer will be yes, because Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust and represents another credible threat ot israel.

albertosaurus said...

Testin99 wrote:

Of course, coming trends in drones, remotely piloted, may make air power "affordable" for any power capable of a machine shop and basic jet engine manufacture.

In fact the case for cheap drones is even stronger. The American Predator and Reaper pilotless drones are not jets at all. The Predator uses a four cylinder piston engine built by Rotax. The airframe of a Predator is based on light weight private planes some of which use the same Rotax 115 HP engine but many of which use Toyota or Subaru auto engines.

So it seems likely that such aircraft will be even more affordable than Testing99 supposes. If the US wishes to police this emerging technology we will have to monitor the sales of Toyotas and Subarus.

Anonymous said...

Testing99 and Big Bill are equally ignorant about Israel's economy, which has been growing at a fast clip for a developed country for the last several years.

Testing is wrong about a "de facto" EU boycott: Israel does plenty of trade with the UK, Belgium, and Germany, all EU countries. He's also wrong in thinking that Israel is dependent on weapons sales; it has a diversified economy with leading companies in industries such as pharmaceuticals, high-tech agriculture, software, electronics, high-tech manufacturing, etc.

Big Bill is wrong about Israel's motivation in getting into arms sales -- sure, there's money in it, but it basically evolved as a result of making a virtue of necessity. Back when the U.S. and other countries refused to sell weapons to Israel, Israel started making its own. Why not make some for export, as the U.S. does as well? Frankly, the profit margins for Israeli software firms probably dwarf those of its weapons manufacturers.

As for Bill repeating the stereotype of Jews always being drawn to fields with a lot of money-making potential, how to explain the preponderance of Jews in mathematics and basic scientific research? How to explain all the Jewish social workers, teachers, etc.?

In the big picture, the Georgia situation means little, for us or for Israel. Georgia's president got too big for his britches and Putin smacked him down. Since the majority of the people in the two disputed areas don't want to be part of Georgia anyway, there is no moral reason to be opposed to Russia asserting de facto control over them. Neither we nor Israel are going to send a lot of weapons to Georgia now to provoke the Russians, and the Russians aren't going to take over Georgia to provoke us.

- Fred

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