Skip to comments.Israel Tells the U.S. It Will Retaliate if Attacked by Iraq
Posted on 09/21/2002 3:02:55 PM PDT by ex-Texan
Israel Tells the U.S. It Will Retaliate if Attacked by Iraq
By MICHAEL R. GORDON
JERUSALEM, Sept. 21 Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has informed the Bush administration that he plans to strike back if Iraq attacks Israel, according to Israeli and Western officials.
Mr. Sharon's statements, made privately to senior American officials in recent weeks, represent a major shift in Israeli thinking since the 1991 Persian Gulf war, when 39 Iraqi Scud missiles struck without any Israeli response.
The prime minister's position reflects a widespread belief among Israeli politicians and generals that Arab leaders perceived Israel's restraint in 1991 as weakness. Throughout his military and political career, Mr. Sharon has always held that any attack on Israel must be promptly and powerfully punished.
"I don't think there is a scenario in which Israel will get hit and not strike back," a senior Western official said. "I think the evolving strategy will be commensurate response."
Mr. Sharon's position has significant implications for the Pentagon, which fears that an Israeli entry would stir up Arab public opinion and make it harder for the Pentagon to maintain cooperation from the Arab states where Washington hopes to base American forces
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(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I don't think Hussein's going to martyr himself to anything.
I really have no special concerns about our troops in the region, beyond the ordinary concern one would always have for one's own side's soldiers. I don't think they are particularly threatened by Saddam's CBW arsenal, which will more likely be targeted at soft, civilian targets in Israel, Europe and the United States. I expect that, if there is fighting (which remains to be seen), most of it will be done from 20,000 feet, or by Kurdish and other local proxies, much as in Afghanistan.
And, in the final analysis, soldiers are for fighting, which may involve dying -- that's what they are there for, and what they sign up for. The United States gets all worked up over the loss of 50,000 men over ten years in Vietnam. In World War I, England lost over 400,000 men in one battle, so let's keep things in perspective, shall we?
Quote: "I say with my hand on my heart, not just to calm everyone, that the state of Israel is ready," Shiri said. "It would be easier for them to carry out a biological attack on even the United States than Israel."
Gee.... with friends like that... who needs Al Queda!
Here's the original quote in context from AIPAC
What's your problem?
Israel Prepared for Potential Iraqi Attack The IDF has never been more ready for a military situation and should be proud of its preparedness for any possible Iraqi attack, Deputy Defense Minister Weizmann Shiri told the Knesset yesterday, according to The Jerusalem Post. He said Israel has been preparing for another Iraqi attack since the Gulf War and has learned the war's lessons. Shiri, who toured the IDF's Arrow Missile program Tuesday, said the IDF can respond to any missile attack before the public is even aware of it. "Whoever decides to attack Israel using ground-to-ground [missiles] will see that Israel has a real response," Shiri said. "I say with my hand on my heart, not just to calm everyone, that the State of Israel is ready. It would be easier for [the Iraqis] to carry out a biological attack on even the United States than Israel
The "it's hopeless so nothing should be done" crowd exists in Israel too. The Israelis could certainly do more than the US was actually doing, unless there was a boomer sitting in the Arabian sea taking target practice with live missles. What the US is capable of doing, and what they might actually be doing are not necessarily the same thing.
But of course you agree with the USA spying on Israel, the Israeli Govenment and the Israeli Military
And just for the record, Pollard did none of the above - he passed on to Israel only the results of the USA's spying on various Arab countries - something the USA had agreed to do in any event but reneged.
If the Israeli gov't really gives a damn about the US population why is this the quote in another thread?
Because it's true. Israel is much better prepared for a chemical or biological attack than is the US. They have issued gas masks to virtually the entire population, including Israeli Arabs. They have done some innoculations and are prepared to do more if necessary. They are perceived as being much more ready to retaliate against any WMD attack with their own WMDs, that is nukes. That may or may not be more than perception, but in this sort of thing, perception counts.
Horse pucky. The Intifada (phase 2 I might add) was planned and ready to go way before he went to the Jewish holy site. Yes it's a Moslem holy site too, but when the Moslems, ie. the Jordanians, controlled access to it, Jews were not allowed, once the Israelies took over access they allowed people of all faiths to have access to the Temple Mount. He had every right to visit a holy place of his religion, esepcially in light of the fact that he wasn't denying Moslems access to their part of it. Even after the Jews once again had access to the Wailing Wall, it was common for the Islamists on the top of the mount to pelt worshipers with rocks, and not just little ones either.
Why should Sharon, or any other foreign leader, need permission of the US to move their forces within their own country?
I think our army forces, if sent into an Iraqi city, would be susceptible to chemical attack. I doubt that chemical weapons could hit US cities. However, biological weapons can hit US cities ad nauseum and we wouldn't know it for weeks. Because of this view, I have alerted our physicians in our practice to work on bioterror and chemical weapons clinical pathways. We need to make sure we can ID the threats quickly in the civilian population.
Losing US lives because Sharon screws up our campaign plans is not good.
Sure there is such a boundry. But if Iraq attacks Israel, wether the US is engaged with Iraq at the time or not, then Israel becomes involved, do they not? Israel has as much obligation to defend itself as we do. The threat is more immediate and more serious in their case.
That's total BS - what's your source?
Israel's official "stated policy" is: "Israel will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the region."
I believe that they have the weapons but the Israeli government has never admitted to it let alone threatened their use as you claim.
I don't think there's any way to be certain that Saddam or one of his henchman would not loose off CBW in the end game. I do not expect him to use them, either in battle or in the form of terror strikes, until or unless it's game over. I do not think they will be of much use on the battlefield anyway, so I think we will see them used against civilians, if at all. There is some possibility that he might stage some kind of large-scale "demonstration" of his CBW, using al-Qaeda proxies, prior to the end game, but I think that is somewhat improbable.
I think he's staked everything on the notion that the United States would be deterred from removing him by the threat of biological attacks on the civilian populations of the US and its allies ("WE HAVE THIS ANTHRAX YOU CAN NOT STOP US"). He's hoping that Bush will be satisfied with a face-saving wrist-slapping involving a showdown over the weapons inspectors, and simply let the issue of Saddam's authorship of 9/11 drop. Then Saddam could capitulate to the inspections, which mean nothing, and live to fight another day, when the world is looking the other way. Basically, this would be a replay of his successful Gulf War strategy, but on an intercontinental scale.
I think our army forces, if sent into an Iraqi city, would be susceptible to chemical attack.
I doubt chemical weapons will be of much use to Saddam locally. If that's his best shot, he would just be commiting suicide by using them. But it isn't his best shot.
I doubt that chemical weapons could hit US cities.
Concur. Nerve agents like VX are not so easy to deploy effectively. It's not like anthrax, where you can just toss a bag of the stuff on subway tracks and kill millions of people.
However, biological weapons can hit US cities ad nauseum and we wouldn't know it for weeks. Because of this view, I have alerted our physicians in our practice to work on bioterror and chemical weapons clinical pathways. We need to make sure we can ID the threats quickly in the civilian population.
Concur. This is very important work. Although things have been happening behind the scenes, with respect to stockpiling smallpox and anthrax vaccines and informing doctors, I really wish plain old-fashioned civil defense were being given a higher profile. Guess they don't want to scare us, hurt the economy, etc.
Losing US lives because Sharon screws up our campaign plans is not good.
I've no doubt Sharon has been working hand-in-glove with the US administration since 9-11. The strategy of "isolating" Yasser Arafat -- an important chess piece in the end game with Saddam -- was brainstormed in the aftermath of the WTC attacks, I've little doubt, and can be viewed as a prototype for the "isolation" of Saddam Hussein. As for Israel's commitment to go nuclear on Saddam's ass if he makes a move against them, that too has been dialed into the isolation plan, along with the similar threat recently issued by Great Britain. Every pressure that can be brought to bear on Saddam will be brought to bear on Saddam. It will take time, but it seems to be going rather smoothly, from where I'm standing.
I see you have very little knowledge of nuclear weapons effects. It's true Israel is a small country, but it's not that small. Esepcially considering that none of their enemies are likely to have thermonuclear weapons, limiting the potential yield of a single device to a few 10s of kilotons, at most, in anything delieverable by aircraft or missle. Even if they did, not even the big baby that the Soviets once exploded, which was something on the order of 50 megatons would "level" Israel. This site indicates that even a 50 MT weapon would only break windows at a distance of about 45 miles. It indicates that destructive radius of a bomb goes as the cube root of the yeild, and give window breaking distance for a 20MT bomb. Lots of small ones are better than one big one. Even so it would take 3 of those 50MT devices (the one was a one of a kind device, although it was air delievered), to even break windows over all of Israel.
LONDON - Former British prime minister John Major says that before any US-led attack is launched against Iraq, its leader Saddam Hussein will be warned that if he uses chemical or biological weapons, nuclear bombs will be dropped on his country.
Mr Major revealed that 'private warnings' had been passed on to President Saddam that there would be an immediate nuclear response if he used weapons of mass destruction during the 1991 Gulf War, following Iraq's invasion of neighbouring Kuwait.
Mr Saddam had been told that Baghdad would be 'obliterated' if he used chemical or biological weapons against either allied coalition troops or any Middle East target.
The warnings had the desired effect and Mr Major, who was Conservative Party prime minister at the time, said that similar warnings would be passed on before any future strike against Iraq.
Mr Major said in a future war, the worst nightmare would be that Mr Saddam, facing defeat, might use his chemical or biological weapons.
'In a new war, we will be going in specifically to replace the Iraqi regime. Saddam will be gone,' Mr Major said.
'He will be dead. He will be in prison or he will be in exile.
'If he was cornered, would he try to create maximum chaos? Would he seek to use weapons of mass destruction?
'Would he use them on oil fields in the Middle East, to create economic chaos? Would he pass them to terrorist groups?
'Would he - perhaps the worst nightmare of also - try to use them on an adjacent capital?'
During the 1991 war, Iraq targeted Jerusalem with 39 Scud missiles, killing two people and injuring hundreds of others, in an attempt to drag Israel into the war.
Mr Saddam knew that if Israel joined the coalition forces, Arab support of the coalition might evaporate. The US persuaded Israel not to retaliate against the Iraqi attacks, supplying Patriot ground-to-air missiles to help destroy the Scuds.
Mr Major made his remarks about the nuclear deterrent in a public appeal to the current Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith to question Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair more closely over Iraq.
Mr Major asked: 'What is the exit strategy after the current Iraqi regime has gone? Who will replace them? How long will coalition troops stay in Iraq?
'Will Iraq split into pieces? Will there be chaos thereafter?'
He said these questions should already have been asked of Mr Blair.
I'm an American dammit!
Yeah, so am I, and so was Leon Klinghoffer, a disabled passenger murdered in his wheel chair by Arafat's thugs, while on Mediteranian cruise aboard the Italian cruise ship the Achille Lauro. The Egyptians let the SOBs go, but US Navy F-14s forced the plane carrying the terrorist to land in Italy. See this site
But then again Leon was just a Jew, and even though I am not, that matters not a bit to me, but the fact that he was an American sure as heck does.
Only if China used nukes. Nobody is going to "roll over" the ROK. I got off the plane from Korea less than 2 days ago. Maybe you should spend some time on the ground in uniform before you make absolute pronouncements.
Everyone on FR that is whoopin' it up, hoping for an Israeli nuclear attack on Iraq, have not thought it out very clearly and should pray it never happens.
I think they have the proper hardware, but they likely don't have the necessary codes for secure comm, nor for IFF settings. If we don't give the codes to the Israelies, which we could and then change them later when the sitution is resolved, then we couldn't tell the difference between Israeli airplanes and Iraqi ones, except if we see them take off, which we might or might not, depending on where the AWACS was positioned. JSTARS of course is used for tracking stuff on the ground, and then passing target coordinates off to the bomb droppers, artillery and of course the commaders in the field. If it sees a big column of tanks heading east accross Jordon, I think we'll be able to figure out that they are Israeli. Confusion could arise if Syria were to jump in on Iraq's side, something I don't consider likely, even if Merkavs (Israeli tanks) are on the road to Bagdad.
All he's saying is that Israel is more prepared for an Iraqui attack than is the USA and consequently it would be easier for Saddam to carry out a biological attack on the US than on Israel. -- where's the insinuation you perceive?
The end result is the same, another Republican President has to clean up the mess of another failed Democrat President. How many times does this scenario have to play out until our nation understands how we are being manipulated?
It's not the White House doing the manipulating. That much is clear!
Yes. But we wouldn't need to. ROK rocks.
Currently reverve combat troops are doing more than their annual month of service due to the intifada.
In time of all-out war with full mobilization over 500,000 reserves can join the standing army in about 48 hours and ready to roll on 3 fronts.
When asked for a source you come up with something British PM John Major is purported to have said. Where in the article you proffered is there anything backing up your spurious claim.
At what? Volleyball? Tiddlywinks? Offence? Defense? I would rate them number one or two at defense. The US obviously couldn't stop a significant attack on our soil. I would rate the US number 3 or 4 at homeland defense. You need to compare apples to apples.
Israel is not an offensive (expeditionary) force, as is the US.
Force ratios between the IDF and PLA? LOL! (Israel has nukes. That would be a force multiplier, even if never used.) In what context? Your question indicates your lack of understanding.
Tuesday, August 20, 2002 Fox News http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,60836,00.html
JERUSALEM Israel says there is one sure thing amid the uncertainties over how the U.S.-Iraq showdown will play out: if attacked by Iraq, the Jewish state will respond.
The Palestinians fear Israel might also exploit the turmoil of war for a punishing strike against them, such as expelling their leader, Yasser Arafat.
Both sides agree there won't be a replay of the 1991 Gulf War.
Israel says it is far better prepared for an Iraqi attack, including with chemical or biological weapons, than in 1991, when it was hit by 39 Iraqi Scud missiles with conventional warheads. At the time, under stern U.S. pressure, Israel did not retaliate.
Israel now has the Arrow, a sophisticated anti-missile system, and its own spy satellite, the Ofek. Air force squadrons have intensified training, reportedly including delivery of a nuclear counterstrike to an Iraqi "dirty bomb."
Most Israeli civilians have been given gas masks. Health workers are being inoculated against smallpox. A standard feature in homes and apartments built in the last decade is a "safe room" with metal doors that can easily be sealed to keep out poisons.
"The people of Israel are the most protected in the world against chemical or biological attack," said Transport Minister Ephraim Sneh, a former general.
A U.S. attack on Iraq is widely seen as inevitable, and so is an Iraqi strike against Israel, but military analysts disagree on whether Saddam would use conventional or non-conventional weapons.
Shlomo Aronson, a political scientist at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said Saddam never used chemical weapons outside his own territory, though he once employed them against invading Iranian troops. "It shows that he is very conscious of the limited use of non-conventional weapons," Aronson said.
However, Amatzia Baram, an Iraq watcher at Haifa University, said the stakes were higher for the Iraqi leader now because the goal is ousting him, not just subduing him.
"When (U.S.) troops are in and around Baghdad, he (Saddam) has no choice. He knows he is doomed and then has to push the button," Baram said.
Israel says that this time, it will strike back.
"What I told the Americans, and I repeat it: `Don't expect us to continue to live with the process of restraint," Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said last week. "If they hit us, we reserve the right of response."
While Israel promises to coordinate with the Americans, it may not be swayed this time to hold back. During the Gulf War, the United States, trying to preserve the Arab coalition against Saddam, insisted that Israel not strike back.
Former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens revealed this month that in 1991, Israeli commandos were training for a ground raid to destroy missile launchers in western Iraq. The war ended abruptly, before the mission could be carried out, Arens wrote.
Israeli officials refuse to talk about the nature of Israel's response, but the expectation is that the payback would be in kind.
Military analyst Zeev Schiff wrote in the Haaretz daily that while the probability of an Israeli nuclear counterstrike is extremely low, it's one of the scenarios in extensive Israeli air force maneuvers.
Israel has reportedly asked Washington for advance warning of a U.S. attack on Iraq. It also requested that at the start of the war, U.S. troops focus on destroying missile launchers in western Iraq, the only area from which the rockets can reach Israel.
It is not clear how many missiles Saddam still has, with estimates ranging from about 20 to several dozen. Iraq also has chemical and biological weapons, and Israel says it has new evidence that production is being accelerated.
Despite the dangers to Israel, 57 percent of Israelis believe a U.S. attack on Iraq is a good idea, according to a recent survey.
Raanan Gissin, an adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said that a delay "will only give him (Saddam) more of an opportunity to accelerate his program of weapons of mass destruction."
The Palestinians, who backed Iraq in the Gulf War, said they oppose any attack on Iraq.
There are widespread sympathies for Iraq in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where Saddam is seen as one of the Palestinians' staunchest defenders in the Arab world. Iraq pays $25,000 to the family of each Palestinian suicide bomber who strikes Israel and has given lower stipends to others killed and wounded in the conflict with Israel.
Arafat today does not openly side with Iraq, after his 1991 alliance with Saddam against Kuwait led to the expulsion of thousands of Palestinians from Gulf countries.
The Palestinian Authority, which is barely functioning, says it doesn't have the means to prepare for the event that an Iraqi attack on Israel, especially with non-conventional weapons, inadvertently hits Palestinian areas.
"We can't distribute medical injections for children in the Palestinian areas, so how can we prepare for any new developments?" said Palestinian Labor Minister Ghassan Khatib.
Since June, Israeli troops have been occupying most West Bank towns to try to prevent terror attacks on Israeli civilians.
Gissin was evasive when asked whether Israel would provide gas masks and other protective gear to Palestinians, should troops still be occupying West Bank towns during a U.S.-Iraq war. "When we reach that stage, we will find a solution," Gissin said.
In 1991, Israel clamped a curfew on Palestinians in all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the seven weeks of the Gulf War but did not give them gas masks.
Many Palestinians fear that this time around, Israel would exploit the tumult of a war, with the world's attention turned elsewhere, to carry out a punishing strike against them.
Khatib said the Palestinian Authority is worried that Israel "may dare to do things that the world had prevented it from doing until now," such as expelling Arafat.
Gissin would only say that Israel wants to bring an end to terror attacks, but that "we have no war with the Palestinian people."
PLA's army is clearly huge. You underestimate the strength in numbers. While force multipliers are helpful, having a 1000:1 ratio is not. IDF does not have tactical nukes. Most sources report that the nuclear devices are fighter based or missile warheads in the 20Kt range.
Regarding your characterization of homeland defense, that's really silly. After all, there are no known military threats to our borders in North America.
Whether or not you are looking at "offensive" vs. "defensive" activity, the analytic point is secondary to the primary issue and the issue is whether or not Israel should intervene once our forces are in action.
I say no.
Let them put that in their hookahs and smoke it.
IMHO, if the war broadend beond Iraq, the US and UK will not be able to handle it without Israel's involvment. And... I think we are counting on it.
Personally I was wondering about the electromagnetic pulse consequences.
It feels satisfying to say "We'll turn Baghdad into GLASS!!!" (in the event of WOMD use), but it just doesn't work like that. Too much collateral damage.
What in the heck do you call September 11?
I read the thread. The whole canard about the #3 power is useless without context. I was trying to bring context to the armchair generals.
Who said the IDF doesn't have tactical nukes? They seem to have everything from MREs to H-bombs. I would be suprised if they didn't have everything they need.
Ok, the analytic point of the IDF being pretty ready to go aside, if anyone attacks a country, they should expect to get their @ss kicked by the country they attacked. Regardless of whether the US is involved in the theater.