Now, that's fascinating. The news out of the Washington Post of the runaway and hugely redundantly expensive, and fairly inept-to-inoperative Homeland Security in the United States, post 9-11. Over three thousand government and private contractor organizations operating from ten thousand locations across the U.S. and almost a million people with top-secret security clearance, and 33 new building complexes to house them. They've managed to produce 50,000 reports annually. What has it resulted in?
There's a whole lot of home-grown, and-growing young Islamist jihadi threats on the horizon. Some of them have already committed to martyrdom, and some have succeeded beyond their wildest delusions. More have been apprehended as a result of citizen-awareness alerting authorities. And the home-grown threat has not been pacified, and it will continue to fester. And so too, doubtless, will the immense industry constructed to detect their sinister plans.
Mind, they could take more than a few lessons from the State of Israel, a country that lives within a hornet's nest of incendiary states bristling with their own home-grown fanatics eager to bring down the autocratic, totalitarian, theocratic governments - most of which deplore the presence of Israel themselves and have in the past, and will in the future, do what they can to destroy it. (They do it with the aid of human intelligence trained to detect dangers and to act accordingly.)
And, beyond that, there's the proxy terror groups who threaten the country at its borders, and well beyond, even as the UN agencies stand watch - and there's the tribal-inbred, religion-fanatic-invested citizens of the country themselves of Arab origin, but with Israeli citizenship who plot, who attack, who sit in the elected Knesset representing Palestinian rights, with no loyalty whatever to the State that has given them all the rights of citizenship.
But the U.S. cares, deeply, about the state of the State of Israel. As its ally and protector. Even if the State of Israel is prickily irritating at the best of times. As in rumbles coming out of the country that it will have no option but to attack the Islamic Republic of Iran which constantly threatens its existence, and which is coming perilously close to producing bomb-grade uranium in its busy-beaver nuclear installations.
That, apart from all the lethal devices that Israel's borders are being bombarded with daily, threats from Hamas and Hezbollah, beloved proxies of Iran and Syria to increase the accuracy, lethality and reach of more technologically sophisticated armaments courtesy of Russia and China and North Korea. However, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro, in Israel to announce that Congress has allocated $205-million to accelerate development of the "Iron Dome" anti-rocket system is useful news.
Useful in the sense that it may belay for the time being Israel's other concerns. For President Obama is anxious to ensure that Israel does not undertake to initiate a bombing foray over Iran to destroy its nuclear installations in an effort to save itself from nuclear destruction by Iran. Since he is convinced that should Israel act in such a selfish manner to save its future, it will impact deleteriously on American interests in Iraq and Afghanistan, et al.
"U.S. support for Israel's security" harrumphed Mr. Shapiro, "is much more than a simple act of friendship. We are fully committed to Israel's security because it enhances our own national security and because it helps Israel to take the steps necessary for peace... we cannot entrust Israel's future to the status quo. And the most certain way to ensure Israel's future as a democratic state is through a sustainable regional peace." Um, yes, that agenda. Where no other American presidents have succeeded, the president who has pledged American-Islamic friendship urgently requires a break-through.
Israel has become increasingly isolated. The world, which post-Holocaust deferred anti-Semitism to hateful obscurity having no place in decent society appears to have embraced, post-defensive attack of Gaza in 2008 - and with the support of the Goldstone Report to the United Nations - a virulent form of anti-Israelism. Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriella Shaley, pointed out the danger to the existence of the Jewish State in the growing syndrome of anti-Zionism as a close relative to anti-Semitism.
"Israel", she said in Washington, "is the most isolated, lonely country in the world". And where the Arab world did not manage to succeed in destroying it through a succession of wars, and the economic boycott failed singularly in its intent, and while the jury is still out on terrorism, which the building of the internationally-abhorred protective wall between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza appears to prevent, de-legitimization of the State's existence may prove more effective.
Within the United Nations itself, with many of its off-shoot committees like the Human Rights Commission, largely controlled by the huge Muslim Nations Bloc, (Organization of the Islamic Conference) Israel is forever condemned and isolated, held to account in a way no other nation faces, while unlike the nations that condemn it, its human rights record remains a sterling one. European courts of public opinion remain set against Israel, accusing it of war crimes against the Palestinians when nothing could be further from the truth.
To round things out nicely, Egypt's uneasy peace pact with Israel may be in doubt in view of the fact that an intelligence source quoted by the Washington Post warns that President Hosni Mubarak is suffering from terminal cancer, with possibly no more than a year to live, placing in possible jeopardy the 1979 peace treaty, a very chilly "cold peace". Jordan's peace treaty with Israel appears an increasingly tenuous one, with high-pitched criticism of Israel's current government issuing from Amman.
Add to that Saudi Arabia whose Wahhabist fundamentalist outlook has never looked anything but sourly at the presence of Israel in the midst of the Arab Middle East. The influence that Saudi Arabia exerts on the other Arab countries is immeasurable, and its "normalization-peace plan" details insisting that Israel submit to its rigidly-untenable terms might itself eradicate the state's Jewishness. And then there is the sinister overtures that Shiite Iran and Wahhabi Saudi Arabia are engaging in.
Traditionally enemies, Arab Sunni Saudi Arabia, and Aryan Shiite Iran, are once again engaging in talks to mend their differences to ensure they do not "serve the interests of the Zionist regime and enemies of the region and the Muslim world." As though Israel's warm relations with Turkey nourished and well entrenched before the installation of an Islamist Turkish government now in complete free fall, decaying toward full belligerence weren't enough of an isolating drama.
Just how convoluted Middle East politics remain can be seen in the fear that Saudi Arabia feels respecting Iran's nuclear agenda. Despite their more recent warming trend in relations, Saudi Arabia has been purported to have given tacit approval to an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear infrastructure. The London Times reported the Saudis gave permission for Israeli bombers to pass over the Kingdom on a bombing mission to Iran.
Should Israel finally be forced to decide it can wait no longer, and undertake to risk striking Iran, it will do so because it can no longer countenance the risk of being bombed by a nuclear-armed Iran. Which fact of Iranian nuclear-arms would present as a direct threat to the entire Middle East. Once such an event occurred, all concerned with the exception of Iran's Supreme Commander and its President, would breathe a sigh of relief. Ordinary Iranians would take the opportunity to resurrect their Green revolution.
While the international community, breathing relief at the pre-emption, would also breathe fire and condemnation at Israel for bringing the calamity of potential war in the Middle East closer to reality. And the United States would raise its huge objections respecting Israel's intransigent refusal to heed its directions, withdrawing its support temporarily from Israel, until it is assured that the attack has indeed not harmed its interests.
Labels: Inconvenient Politics, Israel, United States