Samson: the ultimate suicide bomber
There is a lot of worry popping up in the media just now - "Can Israel Survive?" Don't worry about it. It relates to something that Palestinians, the Arabs, and perhaps most Americans don't realize - the Jews are never going quietly again. Never. And if the world doesn't come to understand that, then millions of Arabs are going to die. It's as simple as that. - Joe McCain*The double standard of the "international community" re Iran's "supposed" nuclear armaments program rings a tad more shrill every day. As signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and additional protocols Iran has every right to carry out uranium enrichment for purposes other than weaponization.
Which is why the US has since 2004 favored "Iran's exit from NPT … and its allies are following up. It will give them the pretense to report Iran to the UN Security Council," Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh told PIN in an interview. "The United States has been seeking to tell the world that Iran is producing atomic weapons. In the meantime, this country has failed to offer any evidence."
But even if it were true that Iran is seeking nuclear arms (something which has not been proven) in a region where Israel (a non-signatory of the NPT along with Pakistan and India) has a reported 400 warheads and the admitted capability to intercept the Shihab-3 rocket, the basis for any Iranian "nuclear missile," one would think the balance of terror alone would be deterrent enough.
Unless there is some other reason. According to Efraim Inbar of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, the nature of the threat lies in his claim that "The Islamic Republic of Iran is the greatest and most urgent threat to the new regional order in the Middle East and to American hegemony in world affairs."
The part about American hegemony we've heard countless times before. It is merely there to appease those who subscribe to American Imperial designs. The more interesting phrase in the last sentence is "the new regional order in the Middle East."
The New Regional Order
There was a time when the United States was the unquestioned military superpower in the Middle East and drew obedient if grudging respect from all sides. No more. Now Israel is the region's superpower, and where it once looked to the United States not just for diplomatic support but also for military rescue, now Israel can thumb its nose at Washington and go its own way. – David WoodAs you may have noted the only voices that seem to increase in volume and vindictiveness towards Iran and in support of opening a new war front in the Middle East is Israel and its supporters'. Why would that be? Could it have anything to do with this "new regional order"? To answer that we have to take a closer look at the taboo that is the Israeli nuclear and biological weapons programs and strategic posture. This will also answer the question, "What is Joe McCain talking about?"
According to John Steinbach, in 2002 Israel had "supplanted Britain as the World's 5th Largest nuclear power, and may currently rival France and China in the size and sophistication of its nuclear arsenal." Israeli nuclear weapons research was spearheaded in the late 1940's by Ernest David Bergman. It was France "which provided the bulk of early nuclear assistance to Israel culminating in construction of Dimona," which went online in 1964. With all that in place one problem remained. How was Israel to get its hands on the necessary uranium: "yellowcake"?
Steinbach writes: "The short term answer was to mount commando raids in France and Britain to successfully hijack uranium shipments and, in 1968, to collaborate with West Germany in diverting 200 tons of yellowcake (uranium oxide). These clandestine acquisitions of uranium for Dimona were subsequently covered up by the various countries involved. There was also an allegation that a U.S. corporation called Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) diverted hundreds of pounds of enriched uranium to Israel from the mid-50s to the mid-60s.
"Despite an FBI and CIA investigation, and Congressional hearings, no one was ever prosecuted, although most other investigators believed the diversion had occurred. In the late 1960s, Israel solved the uranium problem by developing close ties with South Africa in a quid pro quo arrangement whereby Israel supplied the technology and expertise for the "Apartheid Bomb," while South Africa provided the uranium."
Something else the Israeli and former Apartheid regime co-authored in happy genocidal unison was the so-called "ethno-bullet." In 1997, US Defense Secretary William Cohen "revealed that he had received reports of countries working to create 'certain types of pathogens that would be ethnic-specific.' A senior western intelligence source confirmed last week that Israel was one of the countries Cohen had in mind."
"In developing their "ethno-bomb", Israeli scientists are trying to exploit medical advances by identifying distinctive genes carried by some Arabs, then create a genetically modified bacterium or virus. The intention is to use the ability of viruses and certain bacteria to alter the DNA inside their host's living cells. The scientists are trying to engineer deadly micro-organisms that attack only those bearing the distinctive genes. The programme is based at the biological institute in Nes Tziyona, the main research facility for Israel's clandestine arsenal of chemical and biological weapons."
On November 15, 1998, The Sunday Times published a report stating that "Israel is working on a genetically-targeted biological weapon. The article cites Israeli military officials and western intelligence officials as sources for the report. The biological weapon is to be used to kill Arabs (mostly Iraqis) based on their genetic make-up. An unidentified scientist working on the project is quoted as saying that Israeli scientists have 'succeeded in pinpointing a particular characteristic in the genetic profile of certain Arab communities, particularly the Iraqi people.' The program is allegedly being worked on at the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR)."
Getting back to Israel's nuclear weapons we have to ask, of what type are they? According to Steinbach "there is little doubt that Israeli nukes are among the world's most sophisticated, largely designed for 'war fighting' in the Middle East. A staple of the Israeli nuclear arsenal are 'neutron bombs,' miniaturized thermonuclear bombs designed to maximize deadly gamma radiation while minimizing blast effects and long term radiation - in essence designed to kill people while leaving property intact."
Other types include: ballistic and cruise missiles capable of ranges up to 950 miles, nuclear landmines, artillery shells with ranges up to 45 miles, cruise bearing submarines, and "the bombs themselves [which] range in size from 'city busters' larger than the Hiroshima Bomb to tactical mini nukes."
He concludes that "The Israeli arsenal of weapons of mass destruction clearly dwarfs the actual or potential arsenals of all other Middle Eastern states combined, and is vastly greater than any conceivable need for 'deterrence.'" Thereby establishing that the gravest threat to Israel from Iran is not the threat of attack, as Efriam Inbar would have it, but the threat to its "regional hegemony:" the loss of atomic leverage.
Masada was not an example to follow - it hurt the Romans not a whit, but Samson in Gaza? With an H-bomb? What would serve the Jew-hating world better in repayment for thousands of years of massacres but a Nuclear Winter. Or invite all those tut-tutting European statesmen and peace activists to join us in the ovens?" - David Perlmutter in Los Angeles TimesAs for Israel's strategic posture re nuclear weapons, the main doctrine has been that Israeli WMD's are a deterrence against conventional and unconventional attacks. Failing that the next strategic choice would be the "Samson Option," i.e. "an all-out attack against an adversary should defenses fail and population centers be threatened." According to Seymour Hersh the title stems from "Israel's notion that once they have the Bomb, they are in a position to bring it all down on everyone if ever they feel cornered." Much like the biblical Samson who "commits suicide by pushing down the temple pillars, in order to kill as many of the Philistine leaders as he can."
It has been this threat of a nuclear bullet to the world's temple that Israel has used and uses today to form a great deal of Middle East policy. The Israeli nuclear doctrine is broader and includes a pre-emptive option. In an address to the Department of War Studies, King's College, London, on October 16, 1996, Louis Rene Beres opined that "Deterrence and preemption strategies could fail, even though they had been supported by nuclear weapons, and Israel's continued survival might then require the weapons and tactics needed for nuclear warfighting."
On May 15, 2001, Beres spoke of "The credibility of Israel's still deliberately ambiguous nuclear deterrent … could create erroneous calaculations by prospective attackers, a situation that could plausibly undermine Israel's nuclear deterrent … Perceptions are all-important in matters of Israeli nuclear deterrence. By keeping all elements of its nuclear doctrine secret, Israel could contribute to an impression among its regional enemies that Israeli nuclear weapons are unusable. "
Therefore, he says, "To prevent nuclear war, Israel needs an appropriate nuclear deterrent. But it cannot rely entirely upon this one base of national security any more than it can rely only upon conventional deterrence. Rather, it must now rely upon complementary nuclear and conventional forces, and upon the continuing and associated availability of certain preemption options." Which I take to mean Israel's willingness to strike first with nuclear weapons lest the "enemy" should get ideas must be made as plain as day (no pun intended).
A great part of the strategy depends on the "enemy's" knowledge of it. This is achieved in part through the dissemination of overt and covert "crazier than thou" threats such as the one by Perlmutter quoted above.
Threat of the Third Temple Bullet
Bere's plans are of course only a prelude to the "Samson Option." Not only that, the "Samson Option" has a broader scope. It is used to blackmail. According to Steinbach "As early as 1956 Francis Perrin, head of the French A-bomb project wrote 'We thought the Israeli Bomb was aimed at the Americans, not to launch it at the Americans, but to say, "If you don't want to help us in a critical situation we will require you to help us; otherwise we will use our nuclear bombs."'"
"During the 1973 war, Israel used nuclear blackmail to force Kissinger and Nixon to airlift massive amounts of military hardware to Israel. The Israeli Ambassador, Simha Dinitz, is quoted as saying, at the time, 'If a massive airlift to Israel does not start immediately, then I will know that the U.S. is reneging on its promises and...we will have to draw very serious conclusions...'"
"Just one example of this strategy was spelled out in 1987 by Amos Rubin, economic adviser to Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who said 'If left to its own Israel will have no choice but to fall back on a riskier defense which will endanger itself and the world at large... To enable Israel to abstain from dependence on nuclear arms calls for $2 to 3 billion per year in U.S. aid.' Since then Israel's nuclear arsenal has expanded exponentially, both quantitatively and qualitatively, while the U.S. money spigots remain wide open."
Along these same lines Tom Ambrose ended his 2003 article "Big, Bad Israel" with these words: "If the day should ever arrive that Israel is destroyed by its enemies, the U.S. will surely and shortly thereafter meet its own demise."
I'll end this post with an extended quote from an article by David Hirsh published in the Observer on Sunday September 21, 2003:
The threatening of wild, irrational violence, in response to political pressure, has been an Israeli impulse from the very earliest days. It was first authoritatively documented, in the 1950s, by Moshe Sharett, the dovish Prime Minister, who wrote of his Defence Minister, Pinhas Lavon, that he 'constantly preached for acts of madness' or 'going crazy' if ever Israel were crossed. Without a 'just, comprehensive and lasting' peace which only America can bring to pass, Israel will remain at least as likely a candidate as Iran, and a far more enduring one, for the role of 'nuclear-crazy' state.
Iran can never be threatened in its very existence. Israel can. Indeed, such a threat could even grow out of the current intifada. That, at least, is the pessimistic opinion of Martin van Creveld, professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. 'If it went on much longer,' he said, 'the Israeli government [would] lose control of the people. In campaigns like this, the anti-terror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing. I regard a total Israeli defeat as unavoidable. That will mean the collapse of the Israeli state and society. We'll destroy ourselves.'
In this situation, he went on, more and more Israelis were coming to regard the 'transfer' of the Palestinians as the only salvation; resort to it was growing 'more probable' with each passing day. Sharon 'wants to escalate the conflict and knows that nothing else will succeed'.
But would the world permit such ethnic cleansing? 'That depends on who does it and how quickly it happens. We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother." I consider it all hopeless at this point. We shall have to try to prevent things from coming to that, if at all possible. Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.'
Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother. This is why all nations fall in line?
* Brother of Senator John McCain, 11 April 2002.