I don’t buy the notion that a massive Islamic Center with a top 13th story Mosque overlooking Ground Zero is ‘community outreach’ & neither should you.
In Shanksville PA at the site of United Flight 93′s tragic 9/11 crash, deluded Jihad sympathizing leftists tried to mark the hallowed ground with a giant crescent made of trees pointing to Mecca in the traditional Islamic custom. Out of over 1000 design submissions, the so called “Crescent of Embrace” was the one selected for the official 9/11 memorial. Madness, a huge Islamic symbol to mark the site of one of Islam’s ugliest moments.
Now at the WTC site, another symbol of victory?
That’s what Jihadists & their supporters revel in, symbols of victory over the infidel. They dedicate buildings, sites, children.. you name it to martyrs & atrocities. How this project is going forward is beyond me. Then again no it isn’t..
America’s own government seeks to strip the worlds radical Islam, Jihad, Islamic terrorism from the lexicon.. Sweep it all under the rug in the name of political correctness. Why not stick a huge honking Mosque up with a view over Ground Zero? It fits in with the progressive agenda nicely, it’s not as if Islamic terrorists viciously slaughtered 3000 people in the name of Radical Fundamentalist Islam anyhow.
President Touched A Raw American Nerve
Surrounded by high profile liberal Jewish advisers, Obama promised the world and some regarding his Israeli bonafides while campaigning. The American Jewish community extended the benefit of the doubt despite what were clear warning flags.
- Obama’s hard progressive political views, most often associated with unfriendly parts of the US democratic party.
- Strong ties to African American Black Liberation Theology in the form of a 20 year stint under viciously anti-Israel pastor Jeremiah Wright.
- A consistent pronounced sympathy to Palestinian and Arab narratives
- His primary foreign policy focus, a loudly stated intention to engage with rogue & terror supporting regimes.
We all know the results.
While American public support of Israel was peaking, the White House pursued a highly visible policy of creating daylight between America & Israel. Undermining Israel’s elected government, ratcheting up pressure, and for the 1st time ever turning the Israeli public itself against a sitting US President. All of it simply unheard of.
Obama was gambling, senior administration figures even warned him such policies could cost him dearly..
Gibbs is also a regular at foreign policy meetings. He volunteered that he attended all 33 hours of the Afghanistan briefings, though he noted that he never said a word. He did chime in during last month’s escalating tensions with Israel, if only to make sure the president understood the “conventional wisdom” promoted in the media, that Obama’s toughness with Likud hard-liners would potentially erode his domestic Jewish support. “For a lot of reasons, he would discount that,” Gibbs said, referring to the president.
Obama was wrong..
The American Jewish community, both houses of Congress, the American public have all voiced their anger. The GOP buttressed by poll after poll showing massive pro-Israel support among Republicans (often over 80%), in conjunction with alarming diminishing support among Obama democratic faithful; has seized Israel as a key issue and is running with it politically for the 2010 Mid-Terms. All in the hopes of luring soft democratic Jewish & independent voters to GOP candidates, based on the mounting anger with White House Israel policy and the very public blowout.
As the Obama administration tries to mend its strained ties with Israel, strategists say U.S. policy on the Jewish state could influence several battleground House and Senate races this fall.
Jewish leaders from both parties are watching Senate campaigns in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and Florida, and a pair of House races in President Barack Obama’s home state where they say Israel policy could loom large. [...]
There is also the matter of funding. Rumors that Jewish funding for democratic candidates, once a torrent has dwindled into a dry wadi. In reaction, a massive WH PR blitz this past month to repair the messaging as Rahm Emmanuel calls it, patch up the dyke so to speak.
Concern mounts. An unfriendly administration, the GOP push politically which seeks to wedge American voters on the issue. All of it threatens what was once a green pasture of strong bi-partisan Israel support in America. The only consolation, many candidates will be yelling loud & proud over each other on both ends of the aisle to establish their own Pro-Israel bonafides with the American public.
Israel - So often already through no fault of its own, has become an all new battleground once again in 2010.
Procurement Wars as Lockheed Boeing Face Off
If you follow the Hashmonean you already know about the saga playing out to vie the Israeli skies.
In one corner, the largest procurement defense contract in US history known as the JSF – The fighter of the future addled by teething problems and ballooning budgets. In the other, the veritable air to air superiority fighter of the 20th Century – The F-15. Now updated with new aerodynamics, enclosed weapon bays, modern avionics, Air to Air radar absorbing coatings, and sporting a new moniker the F-15SE (Silent Eagle).
I have followed the saga closely..
- Frozen Out: Israel Looking to Drop F-35 tender, buy Advanced F15-SE
- Air Supremacy: Lockheed F35, Boeing F15SE in Combat for the Skies Over Israel
- Confirmation: Senior IAF Officers Question JSF Plans
- No Deal: JSF F-35 Saga Continues; Israel Still Loitering
- Buyers Remorse? : Joint Strike Fighter Woes Continue
JSF F35 Lightning II key procurement factors for Israel remain:
Economics, Time Frames, and Access. We already know the JSF, who’s costs have quadrupled for Israeli procurement (150 Million+) cannot be bought in numbers originally envisioned. We already know that deliveries will not meet critical threats and our need for long range interdiction soon. We already know that Israel & the Pentagon are in a long running battle regarding access to key F-35 JSF electronic systems & components. Initial squadron deliveries of vanilla JSFs themselves to Israel are no longer envisioned before 2016-2018, if then.
F-15 - We already know that Israel has maintained 100 – 0 kill ratios flying the eagle. We already know we can fly them with one wing blown clear off. We already know that Israel has previously procured Eagles with custom requirements & Israeli avionics in the F-15I RAAM (Thunder), and we have a long term training, supply and maintenance regiment in place.
Video on An Israeli F-15 flying with one wing..
What has changed? The Eagle has taken flight. Boeing, having lost the initial X-Plane prototype race to Lockheed which produced the F35, now seeks a little sweet revenge. Key words? Aggressive flight testing schedule.
The Israel Air Force closely followed the maiden flight of the F-15 Silent Eagle, which took to the skies over the weekend in the US. Debate continued within the Defense Ministry over whether it should buy the aircraft in the face of expected additional delays in the development of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The flight took place over St. Louis, headquarters of the plane’s developer, Boeing Co.
During the 80-minute flight, the plane, called the F-15E1, opened and closed its left-side conformal weapons bay, which contained an AIM-120 Instrumented Test Vehicle (ITV) missile that was not launched.
“The Silent Eagle demonstration flight validated our initial engineering design approach,” said Boeing F-15 Development Programs Director Brad Jones. “Our intent was to verify all systems are operational in a flight environment. This flawless flight allows us to move into the next phase. In the next couple of weeks, we will ferry F-15E1 to the test range and launch an AIM- 120.” [...]
Crunch Time - We will not be getting the F-35 JSF access we want.
Last month it was reported that a critical factor for Israel regarding the JSF continued to lay with access. The Obama administration & Israel like to say loud and proud that defense ties are phenomenal. But Israelis are sharp tacks. We mere mortals suspect that JDAMs, Fuel, ordnance and other goodies were withheld when Obama came into office as pressure tactics on the Netanyahu govt.
Should future conflict erupt with a 3rd party under a future less friendly administration.. We may be stuck without access to key electronic systems, replacement parts and the JSF computer core – Woohoo! Grounding one of the most lethal air forces in the world while we wait for C-5 Galaxies to disgorge components coming from the USA..
Why is it likely we won’t we be getting full access? Because this tidbit made the news last week regarding ongoing JSF negotiations..
Israel wants the Obama administration and Lockheed-Martin Company (NYSE: LMT) to set up a US-run logistics and maintenance center for the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet in the Negev, reports “Defense News”, quoting US and Israeli government and industry sources. Lockheed-Martin is the chief contractor for the F-35, which is due to become the next-generation mainstay of the Israel Air Force.
The request is basically a new Israeli condition to Israel’s commitment to procure the expensive planes.
“Defense News” says that Israeli officials consider construction of a large logistics center to be a critical factor for independent operational capabilities, especially since airports and seaports are liable to be targets of rocket and missile attacks in a war.
You know it baby! They call it just in time delivery today. Stock & lock them computer cores, systems, replacements and all the JSF goodies right here in the holy land. That way when the going gets tough.. The tough don’t all of a sudden decide to get all political on us.
Fighter of the future or old faithful?
Perhaps both. Or maybe simply the aerial wars continue – If you’ve ever pulled a few Gs in a 100 million dollar fighter plane you already know, brinkmanship is all part of the dogfight. A decision is expected in Israel by fall.
Israeli program & needs dictate faster, higher capabilities
Last year, the USA radically altered its ballistic missile defense plans by scrapping its long range ICBM defense plan based in Europe in favor of shorter medium range defense systems. The main component of the new plans would be the SM-3 interceptor, currently in use on American AEGIS ABM Cruisers.
A major focus of the plan was to upgrade the SM3 interceptors themselves in capability, making them adaptable to launches from the ground as opposed to only at sea, amongst other capability upgrades in newer block variants of the missile.
During testimony to the Armed Services Committee as a result of the scrapping of the ICBM program, we learned more about the Israeli Arrow - the next generation Israeli interceptor as well as the future of the SM-3. The new Israeli interceptor incorporates some intense new enhancements, and if deployed as planned will represent a significant jump forward for Israeli missile defense. If successful the program due to its advanced technology will likely also be employed by the USA, as it is slated to surpass the SM3 interceptors in capability and do so in the near term.
Leapfrogging current capability
The Israeli concept is to take the medium range interceptor Arrow 2s and make them more versatile in two ways. Exo Atmospheric, enabling them to intercept targets outside the atmosphere, combined with some radical advancements in self propulsion & sensors. In other words Israel wants the system to be able to self guide itself outside the atmosphere once the booster is released, allowing the actual interceptor warhead to track and seek targets solo. Instead of having multiple system designed for medium & longer range ICBMs Israel wants to combine it all into a medium system that can hit long range ICBMs in space, at least that’s my understanding of it all..
Lieutenant General Patrick J. O’Reilly, Director of the MDA:
“The design of Arrow 3 promises to be an extremely capable system, more advanced than what we have ever attempted in the U.S. with our programs” Gen. O’Reilly told the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services subcommittee for strategic forces. “This has to do with the seekers that have greater flexibility and other aspects, such as propulsion systems- it will be an extremely capable system”.
The benefits of the new interceptor would include the ability to sense decoys, and re-route interception to another target. Equally, in multiple volleys with large numbers of incoming missiles the system could in theory allow Israel to send up multiple ABM missiles and the individual interceptors could re-target other warheads if their initial target were already destroyed or perhaps missed.
The Americans say.. Possibly. The reasoning lies not behind the radical Israeli technology which makes all this theoretically feasible, but the compressed time frames. General Oreilly (the father of US ABM currently) laid out how the US goes about fielding & testing US programs (Video), usually measured in years verging on a decade or more. Israel seeks to develop, field & test this radical jump in just a few scant years.
The Israel Air Force will hold its first test of the Arrow 3, under development by Israel Aerospace Industries, in early 2011, officials said on Wednesday.
Jointly developed by IAI and Boeing in the US, the Arrow 3 will serve as Israel’s top-tier missile defense system, adding another layer of defense to that provided by the Arrow 2, which is already operational and deployed throughout Israel.
The initial test of the Arrow 3 will not include the interception of a mock enemy missile. An interception test will likely take place in 2012.
“The Arrow system can effectively counter all of the missile threats that exist in the region,” said Inbal Kreiss, the Arrow 3 project manager at IAI. [...]
The much more cautious Americans are skeptical, firstly they generally spend a ton more money than Israel does in development and this translates on time frames as well. Israel does development leaner & meaner in this regard as a consequence of not having as much funding or time for that matter.
In written testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee June 16, O’Reilly said the Arrow-3 program has “very high schedule and technical risk,” leading MDA to fund work on a land-based version of the SM-3 as a backup.
Some of the benefits of this US skepticism are integration, as a backup Israeli arrow launchers will be modified to house the American SM3 interceptors (who’s advancement as stated will be longer in the coming). Equally, the Arrow 3 if successful will be able to integrate to American sea based launchers. Overall, the radar & detection systems are also being integrated more globally in line with the American new plan for its own missile defenses, as evidenced already by the deployment of the US X-Band Radar in Israel by G. W. Bush.
Can we succeed?
They said the Arrow itself (Hetz) could not be done as well in the 80s when it was initially proposed. The Arrow 2 is now fully deployed and can intercept Scuds & basic Shahabs as we speak. I would not bet against Israel again moving the ball forward in ABM Missile Defense. As it is the rush is on because of Iran’s large leaps in fielding ICBMs and nuclear capable missiles. In the end we don’t have much choice BUT to succeed..
The former dep. national security adviser to G.W Bush and Middle East expert does an extensive video interview on his views of the current state of Middle East Peace (or lack thereof), and the missteps of the Obama administration regarding the US Israel relationship. (H/T Jen Rubin)
Missed Opportunities under W & Obama
I am always on the lookout for Mr. Abrams articles and views, because he’s usually quite on the mark. Amongst other interesting points he touches on is one regarding his own personal differences of opinion with the Bush admin regarding the rushed Annapolis peace drive. My own views at the time chronicled here at the Hashmonean were that Condi Rice and the US State Department convinced the President to gamble all on Annapolis, to try and secure some foreign policy gains during the radical FP shifts of Bush’s 2nd term. That term came up short in all too many ways save for Iraq.
I still believe one of the last remaining opportunities to stop the Iranian nuclear weapons drive was lost at the tail end of that 2nd term, with Bush & Cheney still in office. Hopefully I’m wrong about that. At the time it was rumored that PM Olmert floated a request to strike, but President Bush was advised against getting on board while VP Cheney held a harder line. We all know what has developed subsequently under the new President Obama.. Iranian, Syrian and Palestinian appeasement have reached new untold heights at both Israeli & American expense.
PR Job – Obama Admin Displays Its Effective Israel Outreach
Lots has been made of late of the massive PR job the Obama administration has been selling American voters & Jewry regarding Israel. Everything is just great, there never was a crisis, the whole thing was really just some ‘faulty messaging’.. In fact, we may have imagined the whole thing here in Israel *eyeroll*.
I do have a vivid imagination.. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that a US Deputy National Security Adviser (tasked with advising the President on the war on terror no less) would lavish praise on the Hezbollah terrorist organization!? Then follow that outrageousness up by referring to the Capital of the State of Israel Jerusalem as Al Quds in an official statement, on official White House video no less!
John Brennan calls for the US to build up Hezbollah moderates!
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is looking for ways to build up “moderate elements” within the Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla movement and to diminish the influence of hard-liners, a top White House official said on Tuesday.
John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism, met with Lebanese leaders during a recent visit.
“Hezbollah is a very interesting organization,” Brennan told a Washington conference, citing its evolution from “purely a terrorist organization” to a militia to an organization that now has members within the parliament and the cabinet. “There is certainly the elements of Hezbollah that are truly a concern to us what they’re doing. And what we need to do is to find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements,” Brennan said.
He did not spell out how Washington hoped to promote “moderate elements” given that the organization is branded a “foreign terrorist organization” by the United States. “We don’t deal with them,” he acknowledged.
Last month, the United States and Israel accused Syria of arming Hezbollah with increasingly powerful missiles and weapons technology. Brennan said he raised those concerns during his recent visit to the region.
This is the man advising the President on Counter Terrorism, and this is the administration that has a “rock solid commitment to Israel’s security”.
This terrorist organization is now viewed as legitimate because it has members in Lebanese parliament? Despite starting a war with Israel 3 years ago, bombarding Israeli civilians with thousands of rockets and now arming itself with tens of thousands more including long range weapons most normal countries do not even possess, let alone any other terrorist groups. They need to be ‘engaged’ like Iran & Syria to ‘promote their moderation’.
It’s total progressive insanity from the Muslim / Arabist outreach capitol of the World – The Obama White House! Hamas cannot be far behind.
Michael Rubin at AEI unleashes..
Reuters reports that the Obama administration wants to help shore up “moderates” within Hezbollah. In order to help the White House identify terrorist moderates, I offer this list:
- Hezbollah: The moderates are the ones who make car bombs only out of midsize vehicles rather than SUVs or trucks.
- Hamas: Moderates still believe in annihilating Israel, but they refrain from advocating throwing all the Jews into the sea because of environmental impact; they propose burying some instead.
- Taliban: Ask Colin Powell. It’s been almost nine years since he spoke of moderate Taliban, so his definition might be ready by now. But, generally, moderate Taliban dilute the acid somewhat before they toss it into unveiled women’s faces.
- Al Qaeda: The moderates are the ones who would have taken down only one World Trade Center tower, rather than both.
- PLO: Moderates are pragmatists: They are willing to speak about tolerance and reform so long as the State Department keeps the subsidy flow coming. They accuse radicals of making the purchase of Western weaponry to funnel to terrorists that much more difficult.
- Abu Sayyaf: Moderates refrain from using a blunt knife when beheading captive Western tourists.
- IRGC: Moderates firmly believe that they should keep their nuclear bomb yields below 50 kilotons so that the radiation cloud from nuking Israel doesn’t blow back too far.
Pandering to Islam.. Obama Style.
If all this was not disturbing enough, here’s Brennan putting the cherry on top just in case you were buying the White House PR Job about Israel, Jerusalem or anything else.
I’m not the Prime Minister of Israel, just a citizen.. But I can’t imagine anyone here is going to be overly thrilled with the notion of ‘embracing the moderates’ in the terrorist organizations trying to kill us, or by the White House referring to our Capital as Al Quds!?
I seem to recall Hezbollah murdering US Marines, French soldiers, Americans (including CIA station chiefs) but I guess this was the phase when they were terrorists. Now that they only fire tens of thousands of missiles at Israelis, murder our boys ect they are militiamen come diplomats.. Isn’t that just special?