Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Gaza reality check

In “Toppling Hamas is not the solution” (November 5), Jeff Barak writes, “According to a Lebanese newspaper report over the weekend, there is a 10-step incremental accord on the table, including a prisoner swap toward the end of the process, to ensure long-term quiet.”

Long-term quiet? Barak should read what Prof. Raphael Israeli writes about the Islamic understanding of the term hundna (cease-fire) and or tahdiah (calm). A hudna cannot last more than 10 years, a tahdiah up to 1 year.

As Israeli 
explains : “Since a peace plan is out of the question, Hamas resorts instead to the Hudaybiyya precedent set by the Prophet himself, when, constrained by his weakness at the gates of Mecca, Muhammad consented to a 10-year hudna. Unlike Western cease-fires, which hinge on consent from both parties, hudna is unilateral and the party implementing it can reverse it anytime they like."

So much for the dream of long-term quiet with Hamas. Hamas will break the hudna whenever it likes.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Does Putin’s concept of the MAD doctrine differ from the classic Soviet one?

Putin was speaking to an audience of international experts in Sochi, the Black Sea 

He said:

We have no concept of a preemptive strike.   

Our concept is the retaliatory strike. This means that we will use nuclear weapons only when we have been convinced that a potential aggressor is attacking Russia, attacking our territory.  Of course it is a world-wide catastrophe. But I repeat, we would not be the initiators of such a catastrophe because we do not have a preemptive strike .

Well, in that situation we are in a way waiting that someone uses nuclear weapons against us and we ourselves do nothing.

Yes, of course. The aggressor will have to understand that retaliation is inevitable, that he will be destroyed and that we, as victims of aggression, as martyrs, will go to heaven. They will simply croak because they won't even have time to repent. 

В российской военной доктрине нет концепции превентивного ядерного удара; такой удар может быть только ответно-встречным

Когда убеждаемся, что атака идет на территорию России, только после этого мы наносим ответно-встречный удар. Конечно, это катастрофа всемирная. Но я повторяю: мы не можем быть инициаторами этой катастрофы, потому что у нас нет превентивного удара. Да, в этой ситуации мы как бы ждем, что в отношении нас применят оружие. Сами ничего не делаем. Но агрессор все равно должен знать, что возмездие неизбежно, что он будет уничтожен. А мы жертва агрессии. Мы, как мученики, попадем в рай, а они просто сдохнут. Они даже раскаяться не успеют. 

My comment:

The key sentence is in red. Apparently, Putin does not sufficiently mind that he and everyone around him would die.  Which would mean that the MAD doctrine that worked during the Cold War might start faltering even with the Russians, not only the Iranians.

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Il-20 downing. Whom are we to believe? Russia or Israel?

So after all the evidence the Israeli Air Force delegation presented to the Russians, they are still accusing Israel! Is this surprising? Hardly. A leopard never changes its spots.
Whom are we to believe?  The mentality that produced the reaction to the Kronstadt rebellion, the collectivization, the Ukrainian famine, the Kirov murder, the great Purge of the thirties, the Show Trials,  the Gulags, the Katyn massacre,  the Doctors’ Plot or just recently the bizarre RT Skripal poisoning suspects' interview? 
Or should we believe Israel? For those who know history the answer is obvious.


Update, September 26, 2018.  Published as a letter to the editor in today’s Jerusalem Post

Saturday, September 22, 2018

How manipulated are we? By Putin and by The Times of Israel?

It is a pitiful world we live in. Just when I wanted to demonstrate how manipulated we are by Putin’s handling of the Skripal poisoning suspect’s RT interview , I find out how The Times of Israel is using similar tactics. What a shame!

My post to the article  Russian spy poisoner suspect said to have been in Tel Aviv in 2016as I see it  

And this is what everyone else can see

Monday, September 17, 2018

What did Putin want to achieve with the RT Skripal poisoning suspects' interview?

That journalists managed to find all these inconsistencies with the suspects’ passports and cover stories just shows that the Russians intended them to find them.  An experienced spy agency could not have been so sloppy.

So why is Putin doing this? They could have all just said nothing instead of having this preposterous Marx Brothers sketch interview on RT (transcript in English here) which the Washington Post thinks backfired. But did it backfire, or was not believing it the original intent?

I remember years ago, as a foreign student in the USSR, I often wondered how was it possible that the USSR had such primitive propaganda and was it not clear that so many Soviets would not believe it?

But then I was told that I was missing the point. Of course many Soviets did not believe Soviet propaganda and the authorities knew that they did not believe it. But what the authorities meant was this: we know that you do not believe what we are saying and you know that we know that - but there is nothing you can do about that!   In other words, the authorities were demonstrating their sheer power over the populace, - and that was the actual goal of the propaganda.  

So is Putin doing the same today?  Giving the finger to the West?  Demonstrating the powerlessness of the West?