Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Monday, October 09, 2006

As the storm of war approaches

By Aussiegirl

The Jerusalem Post's Caroline Glick is in full battle dress in this impassioned article. I love these courageous women. She's sounding the alarm. Is anyone listening? One could say the same for the leaders in our own country. Here are just a few snippets from a much longer article in the JP.

Column One: As the storm of war approaches | Jerusalem Post

The clouds of the coming war are converging upon Israel. But our political and military leaders refuse to look up at the darkening sky.

The Russian bear has awakened after 15 years of hibernation. Under the leadership of former KGB commander President Vladimir Putin, Russia is reasserting its traditional hostility towards Israel.

On Tuesday, Russian military engineers landed in Beirut. Their arrival signaled the first time that Russian forces have openly deployed in the Middle East. In the past Soviet forces in Syria and Egypt operated under the official cover of "military advisers." Today those "advisers" are "engineers." The Russian forces, which will officially number some 550 troops, are tasked with rebuilding a number of bridges that the IDF destroyed during the recent war. They will operate outside the command of UNIFIL.

Mosnews news service reported on Wednesday that the engineers will be protected by commando platoons from Russia's 42nd motorized rifle division permanently deployed in Chechnya. According to the report, these commando platoons are part of the Vostok and Zapad Battalions, both of which are commanded by Muslim officers who report directly to the main intelligence department of the Russian Army's General Staff in Moscow. The Vostok Battalion is commanded by Maj. Sulim Yamadayev, who Mosnews refers to as a "former rebel commander."

With the deployment of former Chechen rebels as Russian military commandos in Lebanon, the report this week exposing Russia's intelligence support for Hizbullah during the recent war takes on disturbing strategic significance. According to Jane's Defense Weekly, the Russian listening post on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights provided Hizbullah with a continuous supply of intelligence throughout the conflict.

[...]WHAT IS Israel doing to meet these gathering threats?

First we have our elected leaders. They contend with the growing threats by denying them, giving in to them and attempting to change the subject. The Olmert-Livni-Peretz government had no public reaction to the Russian-Chechen deployment in Lebanon. As far as the Israeli government is concerned, this issue, like the fact that Hizbullah has returned to its pre-war positions and that UNIFIL forces are doing nothing to prevent its rapid rearmament, should be of no interest to the pubic.

According to Channel 2, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is now leaning towards capitulating to Russia's demands and transferring proprietorship over the Russian Compound to the Russian government during his upcoming visit to Moscow.

As to Syria, rather than crafting a Syria policy, the government argues about the desirability of giving Syria the Golan Heights now or later. Above and beyond all else, as Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Amir Peretz proclaim, from the government's perspective, the best way to deal with the growing military threats is to ignore them and destroy Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.

Our political leaders are not the only ones involved here. It is the IDF's duty to sound the alarm bells and contend with these threats. But the IDF is doing no such thing. Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz claims that he is devoting all of his time to rebuilding the IDF after what he refers to as its "mediocre" performance in Lebanon. Practically speaking, however, Halutz is not contending with the threats. In an interview with Yediot Aharonot on Sunday, Halutz discounted the Syrian developments and maintained his position that we won the war in Lebanon and are feared by Hizbullah.

[...]ANY OBJECTIVE observer of the developments in our region understands that the storm of war is rapidly approaching us. With Moscow's blessing, the Palestinians, Hizbullah, Syria and Iran are steadfastly preparing for battle.

There is no doubt that Israel can weather the coming storm. But to do this, we must have political and military leaders who are willing to recognize its inexorable approach.


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