Archive for the ‘Mad Mullahs’ category

Iran’s Top Judge Warns of Enemy Schemes for Election

April 20, 2017

Iran’s Top Judge Warns of Enemy Schemes for Election, Tasnim News Agency, April 20, 2017

(Apparently, the external Resistance Movement and the internal dissidents are causing the Mad Mullahs concern. Please see also, Iran’s Stage-Managed Elections. — DM)

In an address to a meeting of judicial officials on Thursday, Ayatollah Amoli Larijani highlighted the enemies’ outright hostility to Iran, pointing to the huge investment they have made for undermining the Islamic Republic and to the rising number of anti-Iranian media outlets.

“They (enemies) may also want to deal a blow to the (Iranian) Establishment during the elections,” the top judge added.

He then called on the judicial authorities and prosecutors to work in cooperation with the police and security forces to foil attempts at creating tensions and chaos.

Iran’s presidential election is planned to be held on May 19.

Iranians will also cast their ballots in the City and Village Councils elections on the same day.

On Wednesday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei warned of the enemies’ attempts to damage the process of election by publishing tempting stories in their media outlets, stressing that the Iranian nation will foil such plots with the same vigilance it has shown in the past.

The election should be held with high turnout and in healthy and secure conditions, Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized, saying that way polls would provide the country with immunity.

Iran’s Mullahs: Dead Syrian Children are Fakes!

April 9, 2017

Iran’s Mullahs: Dead Syrian Children are Fakes! Power LineJohn Hinderaker, April 8, 2017

(Are they auditioning for positions as CNN and MSNBC writers? Why did they neglect to mention that the “White Helmets” are “vile Zionists?”– DM)

Do you think President Trump has gotten the mullahs’ attention? Do you think they realize they aren’t dealing with a willing dupe like Barack Obama? That is how it looks to me.

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How nervous are Iran’s rulers, sponsors of the Assad regime, about President Trump’s missile strike on Syria? This nervous: Iran’s semi-official FARS news service headlines, “Swedish Medical Associations [sic] Says White Helmets Murdered Kids for Fake Gas Attack Videos.”

President Trump is now threatening to take America into a war against Syria, Iran and even Russia, a war he says is justified by “evidence” he has received from the Syrian White Helmets.

Ridiculous. President Trump has made no such threat.

We will prove beyond any doubt that this is a “Deep State” organization, a melding of CIA, al Qaeda and Britain’s intelligence services. We now have “slam dunk” proof that Trump and the “fake news” MSM are and always have been in lockstep, playing us all.

Heh. Who knew the “deep state” includes al Qaeda? The Iranians are hysterical.

Google itself is involved, at war with this group and others, censoring them from their search engines. The information here will be new to Americans.

Huh? This is never explained.

The White Helmets, supposedly an independent NGO, receives up to $100m from the CIA and UK Foreign Office, “dark project” funding. Murdering children is their stock and trade as we will prove. Sharing headquarters with Turkish Intelligence in Gaziantep, Turkey, this organization is far more “death squad” than civil defense. …

The Iranians’ theory is that those dead children in widely-seen photos and videos had been alive, and weren’t gassed by Assad’s forces, but were murdered for political reasons:

Swedish Doctors For Human Rights (swedhr.org) analysed videos, the rescue after an alleged attack by Syrian government forces. The doctors found that the videos were counterfeit, where even Arabic stage directions were overheard, and that the alleged “Rescue” in actuality is a murder. On first analysis, it looked as though the doctors working on the child assumed he was already dead.

More:

However, after broader investigation, our team ascertained that the boy was unconscious from an overdose of opiates. The video shows the child receiving injections in his chest, perhaps in the area of the heart and was eventually killed while a clearly fake adrenaline injection was administered.

This was a murder.

There is much more, but you get the drift. After eight years of treating Barack Obama like…I can’t say it, this is a family site…the mullahs are hysterical over President Trump’s assertion of American interests and values. FARS News, the regime’s more or less official news outlet, talks of little else. Here are FARS’s current headlines:

* ‘Emergency’ Protests across US Demand ‘Hands off Syria’

* Swedish Medical Associations Says White Helmets Murdered Kids for Fake Gas Attack Videos

* Syrian Army Chief Visits Airbase Hit by US Missiles before Resumption of Operation

* Anti-War Group Protests against US Strike in Syria

* Russia: US Fails to Prove Existence of Chemical Weapons at Syrian Airfield

* Top Iranian, Russian Security Officials Discuss US Missile Strike on Syria

* Hezbollah Condemns US Blatant, Foolish Attack on Syria

* Russian Ground Force to Take Part in Anti-Terrorism Operation in Syria’s Hama

* Blustering Toward Armageddon: How Trump Is Upsetting China While Antagonizing Russia

* Top Iranian, Russian Security Officials Discuss US Missile Strike on Syria

* Arab Analyst: US Attack against Syria Not to Topple Assad

* Syrian Fighter Jets Restart Combat Flights over Terrorists’ Centers from Shayrat Airbase in Homs

Do you think President Trump has gotten the mullahs’ attention? Do you think they realize they aren’t dealing with a willing dupe like Barack Obama? That is how it looks to me.

Why Iran Might WANT To Get Nuked After Nuking Israel

July 12, 2016

Why Iran Might WANT To Get Nuked After Nuking Israel, PJ MediaROBERT SPENCER, July 12, 2016

Nukes away

In all the controversy about the Iranian nuclear deal and Iran’s nuclear aspirations, it has been little noted that the leaders of the Islamic Republic may have reasons of their own actually to want to nuke Israel.

And their motivation is not in spite of the fact that Iran would almost certainly be nuked in retaliation … but because of it.

Sounds crazy? Of course. But once you enter into the wild and weird world of Shi’ite Muslim eschatology, it all begins to make sense. As I show in my new book The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran, there are specific conditions in Shi’ite tradition for the return to earth of their messiah-like figure — the Twelfth Imam.

Jafar al-Sadiq, the sixth Imam and central figure of Shia jurisprudence, prophesied that the Twelfth Imam would not return “till you are severely tested.” Jafar added:

At that time you shall be severely examined and you shall be differentiated and sieved. There will be famines. A person will become a ruler in the morning and put to death in the evening.

The return of the Twelfth Imam, Jafar went on, would come at a time when the Shi’ites were experiencing persecution to a terrible, unprecedented degree:

That which you look forward to will not be until you are tested … That which you look forward to will not be until you are sieved … That, which you look forward to, will not be until you are sifted. That which you look forward to will not be except after despair.

How severe would this test be? Jafar said that the Twelfth Imam’s return “will not occur till two-third population of the world is not destroyed.

Presumably, then the Twelfth Imam will return when one-third of the world’s population has been destroyed.

This time of massive death and destruction, however, will herald the consummation of all things. A prophecy attributed to no less an authority for Shi’ites than Ali ibn Abi Talib, the foundational figure of Shi’ite Islam, says:

In the last period of time, the Almighty Allah will raise a man among the illiterate masses whom he will support by his angels and protect his helpers, help him through his signs and he will conquer the whole world. All would enter the fold of religion willingly or unwillingly. He would fill the earth with justice, equity and proof. No disbeliever will remain without accepting faith.

The emphasis on the Twelfth Imam only returning at a time of immense persecution of the Shi’ites has given rise to speculation that the leaders of the Islamic Republic might try to hasten his return by provoking that persecution.

The Iranian leader Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was President of Iran from 1989 to 1997 and remains influential in the Iranian government, said in December 2001:

“If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing [sic] in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world.”

It could also, with millions of Muslim dead, bring back the Twelfth Imam.

The Cold War deterrence strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction has no teeth in a situation in which one side welcomes death. One side is sure not only that Allah will reward martyrdom, but that such large-scale carnage will hasten the final victory of their party over not just one, but all of its enemies.

The Iranian leadership clearly takes the prophecies regarding the Twelfth Imam very seriously.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran from 2005 to 2013, had a highway built between Tehran and the Shi’ite holy city of Qom, approaching the Iraqi city of Samarra — the city in which the Twelfth Imam disappeared and from which he will return.

The highway is apparently intended for the Twelfth Imam himself, so that immediately after he does return, he can make his way to Tehran quickly to begin waging global war against the enemies of the Shi’ites.

The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in June 2014: “The coming of Imam Zaman is the definite promise by Allah.” Imam Zaman is Imam of the Time, a title of the Twelfth Imam. But, Khamenei said, for the Twelfth Imam actually to return would require some changes, including “regional preparedness.” The Islamic Republic, in any case, “without a doubt will be connected to the worldwide revolution of Imam Mahdi.”

In light of former president Rafsanjani’s words about nuclear war and the prophecies about the persecution that would trigger the Twelfth Imam’s return, Khamenei’s term “regional preparedness” takes on a decidedly ominous cast.

Might the mullahs actually be willing to nuke Tel Aviv and take a retaliatory nuclear strike that could kill tens of millions of Iranians?

If it would hasten the Mahdi’s coming, why wouldn’t they?

The Mullahs’ Plan to Hit Israel

April 7, 2016

The Mullahs’ Plan to Hit Israel, Front Page MagazineDr. Majid Rafizadeh, April 7, 2016

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The Islamist state of Iran’s blatant aggression and provocative attitudes have reached an unprecedented level.

After the nuclear deal, and Obama’s appeasement policies towards Iran, the ruling Islamists of the country have become very public and vocal about their ideological objectives.

Most recently, the Fars News Agency, the Islamic Republic’s state-controlled news outlet, quoted Iranian Deputy Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Maassoud Jazzayeri, warning the United States to stay away from Iran’s redlines―one of which is Iran’s ballistic missiles.

In addition, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh was also quoted by the ISNA agency as stating, “The reason we designed our missiles with a range of 2000 km is to be able to hit our enemy the Zionist regime from a safe distance.” Iran has increased its short–and medium–range ballistic missiles, and currently boasts the largest ballistic missile stockpile in the Middle East.

But what will Obama’s response to these threats be? Most likely there would be more bowing to the ruling clerics of Iran and giving them more carrots. Iranian theocrats have learned that intransigence works with Obama.

There is a simple rule that if you reward a student or your kid for bullying and breaking the rules, you will be encouraging his/her bad behavior, which can ultimately become dangerous for everyone around that person. In addition, if you show students your weakness–such as being willing to give them extra points so that they give you good reviews at the end of the year–they will take advantage of that, or as the Persian proverbs goes: “they will milk you to the end.”

And this is exactly what Iran is doing and how President Obama is encouraging the Islamic Republic’s aggression. Iranian leaders have become cognizant of the fact that intransigence absolutely works with the White House, and threatening Obama with pulling out of the nuclear deal will lead to Obama offering more concessions to the mullahs.

There is a basic rule in Iran’s politics and in Iran’s Supreme Leader’s philosophy: concessions means weakness.  Once someone shows you his/her weakness, you have to speed up getting more concessions from him or her until there is nothing left to get from them.

Here is a chain of events that can easily help us understand how we got here with Iran. It also helps predict how President Obama and the White House will respond to Iran’s recent aggression and threats to the US and Israel.

When the nuclear negotiations were initiated, Obama announced his terms. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Khamenei, gave an inflammatory speech, lashing out at the US. Obama’s response was to increase the number of centrifuges that Iran can hold and give Tehran more leverage in uranium enrichment. Obama also agreed not to include issues such as Iran’s ballistic missiles, human rights or the fate of those Americans imprisoned in Iran during the negotiations.

Now Khamenei knew the game. He used another shrewd tactic by giving another speech threatening the US that he will pull out of the negotiations if certain conditions were not met. Obama’s response was to immediately allow the Islamic Republic to receive all sanctions relief (including the removal of United Nations Security Council’s sanctions), even before Iran finishes its 10-year obligations. Obama also gave Iran a green light to become a nuclear state by enriching uranium at a level that they desire, spinning as many centrifuges as they like, and buying arms with no limits, after the 10-year period.

Khamenei and the IRGC leaders wanted to more forcefully milk the cow, as the Persian proverb goes. Iran launched its ballistic missiles in violation of the JCPOA (UNSCR 2231 Annex II, paragraph three), which states that Iran should not undertake any ballistic missiles activity “until the date eight years after the JCPOA Adoption Day or until the date on which the IAEA submits a report confirming the Broader Conclusion, whichever is earlier.”

President Obama ignored it. Iran launched ballistic missiles several times more. President Obama issued a superficial statement criticizing Iran. Khamenei immediately gave his Nowruz speech heavily lashing out at the United States, the “Great Satan,” and implying that he will pull out of the nuclear deal.

To appease the ruling clerics of Iran, Obama immediately backed off his statements by breaking the promises that he made to the Congress when he was trying to get his nuclear deal through. In other words, he is now preparing to give Iran access to the US’s banking and financial system, and he has already lifted sanctions against Iran that are not related to the nuclear program, but to Iran’s ballistic missiles, terrorism and human rights violations. Iran was also removed from the list of countries for which there is a travel ban, although it is prominent sponsor of terrorism.

Thanks to Obama’s weak leadership and appeasement policies towards the mullahs, Iran is already publicly attacking several countries in the region directly or through its proxies Hamas, Hezbollah, Badr, Kataeb Imam Al Ali, Harakat Al Islam, etc. Iran would have never dared to be so intransigent and aggressive when the UNSC sanctions were previously imposed on Iran. However, sanctions are being completely lifted, thanks to Obama.

Iran has a history spanning over 2,500 years and it goes without saying that that the mullahs are among the shrewdest politicians. They can smell weakness from thousands of miles away and they know how to exploit it. Obama’s weakness–that he fears his so-called crowning foreign policy achievement (the nuclear deal) might fall apart–has led to Iran’s bullying, and has driven his carrots-but-no-stick policy towards Tehran. It appears that Obama is indeed focused on scoring superficial records in his name, such as the nuclear deal or visiting Cuba. But there is no doubt that his so-called “accomplishments” will be forgotten soon. The things that are important are the lives that have been lost, the human rights violations, and the escalation of regional conflicts on the part of Iranian leaders thanks to Obama’s decisions.

Op-Ed: Chaos and 2nd Cold War, Part II: Israel’s Nuclear Strategy

October 11, 2015

Op-Ed: Chaos and 2nd Cold War, Part II: Israel’s Nuclear Strategy, Israel National News, Prof. Louis René Beres, October 11, 2015

(Part I is available here. — DM)

Israel should now be calculating the exact extent or subtlety with which it should consider communicating key portions of its nuclear posture and positions. Naturally, Israel should never reveal any too-specific information about its nuclear strategy, its nuclear hardening, or even its nuclear yield-related capabilities. Still, sometimes, the duty of finely-honed intelligence services should not be to maximize strategic secrecy, but rather, to carefully “share” certain bits of pertinent information.

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How will Russia respond to any ramped up American uses of force in the Middle East, and, more plausibly, vice-versa?  One must assume that Jerusalem is already asking these key questions, and even wondering whether, in part, greater mutualities of interest could sometime exist with Moscow than with Washington.

To wit, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in September 2015. Among other things, the Israeli leader must  be calculating: 1)Will the Obama Administration’s incoherent retreat from most of the Middle East point toward a more permanent United States detachment from the region; and 2) If it does, what other major powers are apt to fill the resultant vacuum? Just as importantly, and as an obvious corollary to (2), above, the prime minister should be inquiring: “How will the still-emerging Cold War II axis of conflict impact America’s pertinent foreign policy decisions?”

There are some additional ironies yet to be noted. Almost certainly, ISIS, unless it is first crushed by U.S. and/or Russian-assisted counter-measures, will plan to march westward across Jordan, ultimately winding up at the borders of West Bank (Judea/Samaria). There, ISIS Jihadists could likely make fast work of any still-posted Hamas and Fatah forces, in effect, taking over what might once have become “Palestine.” In this now fully imaginable scenario, the most serious impediment to Palestinian statehood is not Israel, but rather a murderous band of Sunni Arab terrorists.[16]

What about the larger picture of “Cold War II?” Israeli defense planners will need to factor into their suitably nuanced calculations the dramatically changing relationship between Washington and Moscow. During “Cold War I,” much of America’s support for the Jewish State had its most fundamental origins in a perceived need to compete successfully in the Middle East with the then Soviet Union. In the progressive development of “Cold War II,” Jerusalem will need to carefully re-calculate whether a similar “bipolar” dynamic is once again underway, and whether the Russian Federation might, this time around, identify certain strategic benefits to favoring Israel in regional geo-politics.

In all such strategic matters, once Israel had systematically sorted through the probable impact of emerging “superpower” involvements in the Middle East, Jerusalem would need to reassess its historic “bomb in the basement.” Conventional wisdom, of course, has routinely pointed in a fundamentally different policy direction. Still, this “wisdom” assumes that credible nuclear deterrence is simply an automatic result of  physically holding nuclear weapons. By the logic of this too-simplistic argument, removing Israel’s nuclear bomb from the “basement” would only elicit new waves of global condemnation, and would likely do so without returning any commensurate security benefits to Jerusalem.

Scholars know, for good reason, that the conventional wisdom is often unwise. Looking ahead, the strategic issues facing Israel are not at all uncomplicated or straightforward.  Moreover, in the immutably arcane world of Israeli nuclear deterrence, it can never really be adequate that enemy states merely acknowledge the Jewish State’s nuclear status. Rather, it is also important that these states should be able to believe that Israel holds usable nuclear weapons, and that Jerusalem/Tel-Aviv would be willing to employ these usable weapons in certain clear, and situationally recognizable, circumstances.

Current instabilities in the Middle East will underscore several good reasons to doubt that Israel could ever benefit from any stubborn continuance of deliberate nuclear ambiguity. It would seem, too, from certain apparent developments already taking place within Mr. Netanyahu’s “inner cabinet,” that portions of Israel’s delegated leadership must now more fully understand the bases of any such informed skepticism.

In essence, Israel is imperiled by compounding and inter-related existential threats that justify its fundamental nuclear posture, and that require a correspondingly purposeful strategic doctrine. This basic need exists well beyond any reasonable doubt. Without such weapons and doctrine, Israel could not expectedly survive over time, especially if certain neighboring regimes, amid expanding chaos,  should soon become more adversarial, more Jihadist, and/or less risk-averse.

Incontestably, a purposeful nuclear doctrine could prove increasingly vital to coping with various more-or-less predictable strategic scenarios for Israel, that is, those believable narratives requiring preemptive action, and/or an appropriate retaliation.

Typically, military doctrine carefully describes how national forces should fight in various combat operations. The literal definition of “doctrine” derives from Middle English, from the Latin doctrina, meaning teaching, learning, andinstruction. Though generally unrecognized, the full importance of doctrine lies not only in the several ways that it can animate and unify military forces, but also in the uniquely particular fashion that it can transmit certain desired “messages.”

In other words, doctrine can serve an increasingly imperiled  state as a critical form of communication, one directed to its friends, and also to its foes.

Israel can benefit from just such broadened understandings of doctrine. The principal security risks now facing Israel are really more specific than general or generic. This is because Israel’s extant adversaries in the region will likely be joined, at some point, by: (1) a new Arab state of “Palestine;” and/or by (2) a newly-nuclear Iran. It is also because of the evidently rekindled global spark of “bipolar” or “superpower” adversity, and the somewhat corollary insertion of additional American military forces to combat certain new configurations of Jihadi terror.

For Israel, merely having nuclear weapons, even when fully recognized in broad outline by enemy states, can never automatically ensure successful deterrence. In this connection, although starkly counter-intuitive, an appropriately selective and thoughtful end to deliberate ambiguity could improve the overall credibility of Israel’s nuclear deterrent.  With this point in mind, the potential of assorted enemy attack prospects in the future could be reduced by making available certain selected information concerning the safety of  Israel’s nuclear weapon response capabilities.

This crucial information, carefully limited, yet more helpfully explicit, would center on the distinctly major and inter-penetrating issues of Israeli nuclear capability and decisional willingness.

Skeptics, no doubt, will disagree. It is, after all, seemingly sensible to assert that nuclear ambiguity has “worked” thus farWhile Israel’s current nuclear policy has done little to deter multiple conventional terrorist attacks, it has succeeded in keeping the country’s enemies, singly or in collaboration, from mounting any authentically existential aggressions. This conclusion is not readily subject to any reasonable disagreement.

But, as the nineteenth-century Prussian strategic theorist, Karl von Clausewitz, observed, in his classic essay, On War, there may come a military tipping point when “mass counts.” Israel is already coming very close to this foreseeable point of no return. Israel is very small.  Its enemies have always had an  undeniable advantage in “mass.”

More than any other imperiled state on earth, Israel needs to steer clear of such a tipping point.

This, too, is not subject to any reasonable disagreement.

Excluding non-Arab Pakistan, which is itself increasingly coup-vulnerable, none of Israel’s extant Jihadi foes has “The Bomb.”  However, acting together, and in a determined collaboration, they could still carry out potentially lethal assaults upon the Jewish State. Until now, this capability had not been possible, largely because of insistent and  persistently overriding fragmentations within the Islamic world. Looking ahead, however, these same fragmentations could sometime become a source of special danger to Israel, rather than remain a continuing source of  national safety and reassurance.

An integral part of Israel’s multi-layered security system lies in the country’s ballistic missile defenses, primarily, the Arrow or “Hetz.” Yet, even the well-regarded and successfully-tested Arrow, now augmented by the newer and shorter-range iterations of “Iron Dome,” could never achieve a sufficiently high probability of intercept to meaningfully protect Israeli civilians.[17] No system of missile defense can ever be “leak proof,” and even a single incoming nuclear missile that somehow managed to penetrate Arrow or corollary defenses could conceivably kill tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of Israelis.[18]

In principle, at least, this fearsome reality could be rendered less prospectively catastrophic if Israel’s traditional reliance on deliberate ambiguity were suitably altered.

Why alter? The current Israeli policy of an undeclared nuclear capacity is unlikely to work indefinitely. Leaving aside a Jihadi takeover of already-nuclear Pakistan, the most obviously unacceptable “leakage” threat would come from a nuclear Iran. To be effectively deterred, a newly-nuclear Iran would require convincing assurance that Israel’s atomic weapons were both (1) invulnerable, and (2) penetration-capable.

Any Iranian judgments about Israel’s capability and willingness to retaliate with nuclear weapons would then depend largely upon some prior Iranian knowledge of these weapons, including their expected degree of protection from surprise attack, as well as Israel’s expected capacity to “punch-through” all pertinent Iranian active and passive defenses.

Jurisprudentially, at least, following JCPOA in Vienna, a  nuclear weapons-capable Iran is a fait accompli. For whatever reasons, neither the “international community” in general, nor Israel in particular, had ever managed to create sufficient credibility concerning a once-timely preemptive action. Such a critical defensive action would have required very complex operational capabilities, and could have generated Iranian/Hezbollah counter actions that might have a  very significant impact on the entire Middle East. Nevertheless, from a purely legal standpoint, such preemptive postures could still have been justified, under the authoritative criteria of anticipatory self-defense, as permitted under customary international law.

It is likely that Israel has undertaken some very impressive and original steps in cyber-defense and cyber-war, but even the most remarkable efforts in this direction will not be enough to stop Iran altogether. Earlier, the “sanctions” sequentially leveled at Tehran – although certainly better than nothing – could have had no tangible impact on effectively halting Iranian nuclearization.

Strategic assessments can sometimes borrow from a Buddhist mantra. What is, is. Ultimately, a nuclear Iran could decide to share some of its nuclear components and materials with Hezbollah, or with another kindred terrorist group. Ultimately, amid growing regional chaos, such injurious assets could find their way to such specifically U.S- targeted groups as ISIS.

Where relevant, Israeli nuclear ambiguity could be loosened by releasing certain very general information regarding the availability and survivability of appropriately destructive  nuclear weapons.

Israel should now be calculating the exact extent or subtlety with which it should consider communicating key portions of its nuclear posture and positions. Naturally, Israel should never reveal any too-specific information about its nuclear strategy, its nuclear hardening, or even its nuclear yield-related capabilities. Still, sometimes, the duty of finely-honed intelligence services should not be to maximize strategic secrecy, but rather, to carefully “share” certain bits of pertinent information.

What about irrational enemies? An Israeli move from ambiguity to disclosure would not likely help in the case of an irrational nuclear enemy. It is even possible, in this regard, that particular elements of Iranian leadership might meaningfully subscribe to certain end-times visions of a Shiite apocalypse. By definition, any such enemy would not necessarily value its own continued national survival more highly than any other national preference, or combination of preferences. By definition, any such enemy would present a genuinely unprecedented strategic challenge.

Were its leaders to become authentically irrational, or to turn in expressly non-rational directions, Iran could then effectively become a nuclear suicide-bomber in macrocosm.  Such a profoundly destabilizing strategic prospect is improbable, but it is also not inconceivable. A similarly serious prospect exists in already-nuclear Pakistan.

To protect itself against military strikes from irrational enemies, especially those attacks that could carry existential costs, Israel will need to reconsider virtually every aspect and function of its nuclear arsenal and doctrine. This is a strategic reconsideration that must be based upon a number of bewilderingly complex intellectual calculations, and not merely on ad hoc, and more-or-less presumptively expedient political judgments.

Removing the bomb from Israel’s basement could enhance Israel’s strategic deterrence to the extent that it would heighten enemy perceptions of the severe and likely risks involved. This would also bring to mind the so-called Samson Option, which, if suitably acknowledged, could allow various enemy decision-makers to note and underscore a core assumption. This is that Israel is prepared to do whatever is needed to survive. Interestingly, such preparation could be entirely permissible under governing international law, including the 1996 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice.[19]

Irrespective of  its preferred level of ambiguity, Israel’s nuclear strategy must always remain oriented toward deterrence, not to actual war-fighting.[20] The Samson Option refers to a policy that would be based in part upon a more-or-less implicit threat of massive nuclear retaliation for certain anticipated enemy aggressions.  Israel’s small size means, inter alia, that any nuclear attack would threaten Israel’s very existence, and could not be tolerated. Israel’s small size also suggests a compelling need for sea-basing (submarines) at least a recognizably critical portion of its core nuclear assets,

From a credibility standpoint, a Samson Option could make sense only in “last-resort,” or “near last-resort,” circumstances. If the Samson Option is to be part of a convincing deterrent, as it should, an incremental end to Israel’s deliberate ambiguity is essential. The really tough part of this transformational process will lie in determining the proper timing for such action vis-a-vis Israel’s security requirements, and in calculating authoritative expectations (reasonable or unreasonable) of the “international community.”

The Samson Option should never be confused with Israel’s overriding security objective: To seek stable deterrence at the lowest possible levels of military conflict. As a last resort, it basically states the following warning to all potential nuclear attackers:  “We (Israel) may have to `die,` but (this time) we won’t die alone.”

There is a related observation. In our often counter-intuitive strategic world, it can sometimes be rational to pretend irrationality. The nuclear deterrence benefits of any such pretended irrationality would depend, at least in part, upon an enemy state’s awareness of Israel’s intention to apply counter-value targeting when responding to a nuclear attack. But, once again, Israeli decision-makers would need to be aptly wary of ever releasing too-great a level of specific operational information.

In the end, there are specific and valuable critical security benefits that would likely accrue to Israel as the result of a purposefully selective and incremental end to its historic policy of deliberate nuclear ambiguity.   The right time to begin such an “end”  has not yet arrived. But, at the precise moment that Iran verifiably crosses the nuclear threshold, or arguably just before this portentous moment, Israel should  promptly remove The Bomb from its “basement.”

When this critical moment arrives, Israel should already have configured (1) its presumptively optimal allocation of nuclear assets; and (2) the extent to which this preferred configuration should now be disclosed. Such strategic preparation could then enhance the credibility of Israel’s indispensable nuclear deterrence posture.

When it is time for Israel to selectively ease its nuclear ambiguity, a second-strike nuclear force should be revealed in broad outline. This robust strategic force – hardened, multiplied, and dispersed – would need to be fashioned so as to recognizably inflict a decisive retaliatory blow against major enemy cities. Iran, it follows, so long as it is led by rational decision-makers, should be made to understand that the actual costs of  any planned aggressions against Israel would always exceed any expected gains.

In the final analysis, whether or not a shift from deliberate ambiguity to some selected level of nuclear disclosure would actually succeed in enhancing Israeli nuclear deterrence would depend upon several complex and intersecting factors. These include, inter alia, the specific types of nuclear weapons involved; reciprocal assessments and calculations of pertinent enemy leaders; effects on rational decision-making processes by these enemy leaders; and effects on both Israeli and adversarial command/control/communications operations. If  bringing Israel’s bomb out of the “basement” were to result in certain new enemy pre-delegations of nuclear launch authority, and/or in new and simultaneously less stable launch-on-warning procedures, the likelihood of unauthorized and/or accidental nuclear war could then be substantially increased.

Not all adversaries may be entirely rational. To comprehensively protect itself against potentially irrational nuclear adversaries, Israel has no logical alternative to developing an always problematic conventional preemption option, and to fashion this together with a suitable plan for subsequent “escalation dominance.” Operationally, especially at this very late date, there could be no reasonable assurances of success against many multiple hardened and dispersed targets. Regarding deterrence, however, it is noteworthy that “irrational” is not the same as “crazy,” or “mad,” and that even an expectedly irrational Iranian leadership could still maintain susceptible preference orderings that are both consistent and transitive.

Even an irrational Iranian leadership could be subject to threats of deterrence that credibly threaten certain deeply held religious as well as civic values. The relevant difficulty here for Israel is to ascertain the precise nature of these core enemy values. Should it be determined that an Iranian leadership were genuinely “crazy” or “mad,” that is, without any decipherable or predictable ordering of preferences, all deterrence bets could then have to give way to preemption, and possibly even to certain plainly unwanted forms of war fighting.

Such determinations, of course, are broadly strategic, not narrowly jurisprudential. From the discrete standpoint of international law, especially in view of Iran’s expressly genocidal threats against Israel, a preemption option could still represent a permissible expression of anticipatory self-defense. Again, however, this purely legal judgment would be entirely separate from any parallel or coincident assessments of operational success. There would be no point for Israel to champion any strategy of preemption on solely legal grounds if that same strategy were not also expected to succeed in specifically military terms.

Growing chaotic instability in the Middle East plainly heightens the potential for expansive and unpredictable conflicts.[21] While lacking any obviously direct connection to Middle East chaos, Israel’s nuclear strategy must now be purposefully adapted to this perilous potential. Moreover, in making this adaptation, Jerusalem could also have to pay special attention not only to the aforementioned revival of  major “bipolar” animosities, but also, more specifically and particularly, to Russia’s own now-expanding nuclear forces.

This cautionary warning arises not because augmented and modernized Russian nuclear forces would necessarily pose any enlarged military threat to Israel directly, but rather because these strategic forces could determine much of the way in which “Cold-War II” actually evolves and takes shape. Vladimir Putin has already warned Washington of assorted “nuclear countermeasures,” and recently test launched an intercontinental nuclear missile.[22] One such exercise involved a new submarine-launched Bulava missile, a weapon that could deliver a nuclear strike with up to 100 times the force of the 1945 Hiroshima blast.

Current adversarial Russian nuclear posturing vis-à-vis the United States remains oriented toward the Ukraine, not the Middle East.[23] Nevertheless, whatever happens to U.S.-Russian relations in any one part of the world could carry over to certain other parts, either incrementally, or as distinctly sudden interventions or escalations. For Jerusalem, this means, among other things, an unceasing obligation to fashion its own developing nuclear strategy and posture with an informed view to fully worldwide power problems and configurations.

Whether looking toward Gaza, West Bank (Judea/Samaria), Iran, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, or Syria, Israel will need to systematically prioritize existential threats, and, thereafter, stay carefully focused on critically intersecting and overriding factors of global and regional security. In all such meticulously careful considerations, both chaos and Cold War II should be entitled to occupy a conspicuous pride of place.

Sources:

[16] A further irony here concerns Palestinian “demilitarization,” a pre-independence condition of statehood called for by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Should Palestinian forces (PA plus Hamas) ever actually choose to abide by any such formal legal expectation, it could makes these forces less capable of withstanding any foreseeable ISIS attacks. Realistically, however, any such antecedent compliance would be highly improbable. See, for earlier legal assessments of Palestinian demilitarization, Louis René Beres and (Ambassador) Zalman Shoval, “Why a Demilitarized Palestinian State Would Not Remain Demilitarized: A View Under International Law,” Temple International and Comparative Law Journal, Winter 1998, pp. 347-363; and Louis René Beres and Zalman Shoval, “On Demilitarizing a Palestinian `Entity’ and the Golan Heights: An International Law Perspective,” Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 28, No. 5, November 1995, pp. 959-972.

[17] There is another notable and more generic (pre-nuclear age) risk of placing too-great a reliance on defense. This is the risk that a corollary of any such reliance will be a prospectively lethal tendency to avoid taking otherwise advantageous offensive actions. Recall, in this connection, Carol von Clausewitz On War:  “Defensive warfare…does not consist of waiting idly for things to happen. We must wait only if it brings us visible and decisive advantages. That calm before the storm, when the aggressor is gathering new forces for a great blow, is most dangerous for the defender.” See: Carl von Clausewitz, Principles of War, Hans W. Gatzke, tr., New York: Dover Publications, 2003, p. 54.

[18] For early authoritative accounts, by the author, of expected consequences of a nuclear attack, see: Louis René Beres, Apocalypse: Nuclear Catastrophe in World Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980); Louis René Beres, Mimicking Sisyphus: America’s Countervailing Nuclear Strategy (Lexington, Mass., Lexington Books, 1983); Louis René Beres, Reason and Realpolitik: U.S. Foreign Policy and World Order (Lexington, Mass., Lexington Books, 1984); and Louis René Beres, Security or Armageddon: Israel’s Nuclear Strategy (Lexington, Mass., Lexington Books, 1986).

[19] See: “Summary of the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons,” Advisory Opinion, 1996, I.C.J., 226 (Opinion of 8 July 1996). The key conclusion of this Opinion is as follows: “…in view of the current state of international law, and of the elements of fact at its disposal, the Court cannot conclude definitively whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be lawful or unlawful in an extreme circumstance of self-defense, in which the very survival of a State would be at stake.”

[20] This advice was a central recommendation of the Project Daniel Group’s final report,  Israel’s Strategic Future (ACPR, Israel, May 2004: “The overriding priority of Israel’s nuclear deterrent force must always be that it preserves the country’s security without ever having to be fired against any target. The primary point of Israel’s nuclear forces must always be deterrence ex ante, not revenge ex post.” (p. 11). Conceptually, the core argument of optimizing military force by not resorting to any actual use pre-dates the nuclear age. To wit, Sun-Tzu, in his ancient classic, The Art of War, counseled: “Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

[21] Once again, Prussian military thinker, Carl von Clausewitz, had already highlighted the generic (pre-nuclear age) dangers of unpredictability, summarizing these core hazards as matters of “friction.”

[22] ICBM test launches are legal and permissible under the terms of New START, It does appear, however,  that Russia has already developed and tested a nuclear-capable cruise missile with a range of 500-5500 KM, which would be in express violation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). At the same time, current research into the U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike Program seeks to circle around INF Treaty limitations, by employing a delivery vehicle trajectory that is technically neither ballistic nor cruise.

[23] Russia, of course, is operating much more openly and substantially in Syria, but here, in the Middle East theatre, at least, Moscow’s public tone toward Washington is somewhat less confrontational or adversarial.

 

Cartoon of the day

September 15, 2015

H/t Town Hall

Jolly good mullah

UK: Anjem Choudary Charged With Supporting Islamic State

August 9, 2015

UK: Anjem Choudary Charged With Supporting Islamic State, The Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, August 9, 2015

(With which of Choudary’s precepts do the Mad Mullahs of Iran disagree? — DM)

  • A recent BBC poll found that 45% of British Muslims believe extremist clerics who preach violence against the West are not “out of touch” with mainstream Muslim opinion.
  • “Allah said very clearly in the Koran ‘Don’t feel sorry for the non-Muslims.’ So as an adult non-Muslim… if he dies in a state of disbelief then he is going to go to the hellfire… so I’m not going to feel sorry for non-Muslims.” — Anjem Choudary.
  • “Under the Shari’ah, the false Gods that people worship instead of Allah will be removed, like democracy, freedom, liberalism, secularism etc.” — Anjem Choudary.
  • “We are Muslims first and Muslim last. Passports are no more than travel documents. If you are born in a barn that doesn’t make you a horse!!” — Anjem Choudary.
  • Choudary urged his followers to quit their jobs and claim unemployment benefits so that they could have more time to plot holy war against non-Muslims. He said Muslims are entitled to welfare payments because they are a form of jizya, a tax imposed on non-Muslims in countries run by Muslims… as a reminder that non-Muslims are permanently inferior and subservient to Muslims.
  • Choudary says he is not afraid of going to prison, which he describes as a fertile ground for gaining more converts to Islam. “If they arrest me and put me in prison…” he warned, “I will radicalize everyone in prison.”

Anjem Choudary, one of the most outspoken and provocative Islamists in Britain today, has been remanded in custody, charged with the terrorism offense of encouraging people to join the Islamic State.

The charge is related to Choudary sending messages to his nearly 33,000 followers on Twitter, allegedly encouraging them to join the Islamic State — the radical Sunni Islamist group that has taken control over large parts of Syria and Iraq, and has threatened to attack targets in Europe and North America.

The effort to prosecute Choudary — well known for his relentless efforts to implement Islamic Sharia law in the UK — indicates that the British government intends to follow through on its recent pledge to crack down on radical Islam in the country.

It remains to be seen, however, if Choudary’s detention will serve as a deterrent to other Islamists in Britain. A recent BBC poll found that 45% of British Muslims believe extremist clerics who preach violence against the West are not “out of touch” with mainstream Muslim opinion.

Choudary was originally arrested in September 2014 during police raids in London, as part of an ongoing Metropolitan Police investigation into Islamist-related terrorism. He was subsequently released on bail while police continued their investigation.

On August 5, Choudary, 48, and an associate, Mohammed Rahman, 32, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and were charged with repeatedly violating Section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000 between June 2014 and March 2015.

Addressing the court, Sue Hemming, the head of special crime and counter-terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said:

“It is alleged that Anjem Choudary and Mohammed Rahman invited support for ISIS [also known as the Islamic State] in individual lectures which were subsequently published online. We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute Anjem Choudary and Mohammed Rahman.”

When asked by the judge to indicate how he would plead, Choudary said: “Cameron and the police are guilty.” The judge replied that he took that to mean that he would be pleading not guilty. Choudary will remain in police custody until August 28, when he is set to appear at the Old Bailey, the Criminal Court of England and Wales. If convicted, Choudary faces up to ten years in prison.

Until now, Choudary, a lawyer by training, has managed to avoid prison by treading the fine legal line between the inflammatory rhetoric of Islamic supremacism and the right to free speech. He has never been convicted of any offense.

Choudary is the former leader of the Muslim extremist group, al-Muhajiroun (Arabic: “The Emigrants”). Al-Muhajiroun, which celebrated the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001, was banned in January 2010.

Since then, al-Muhajiroun has repeatedly reinvented itself under an array of successor aliases. These include, among others: Islam4UK, Call to Submission, Islamic Path, Islamic Dawa Association, London School of Sharia, Muslims Against Crusades and Need4Khalifah, all of which have also been banned.

A study published by the London-based Henry Jackson Society in September 2014 found that one in five terrorists convicted in Britain over more than a decade have had links to al-Muhajiroun.

A report published by the British anti-extremist group Hope Not Hate in November 2013 concluded that al-Muhajiroun was “the single biggest gateway to terrorism in recent British history.”

Al-Muhajiroun is said to have also played a major role in radicalizing Michael Adebolajo, who was found guilty of murdering (and attempting to decapitate) the British soldier Lee Rigby outside London’s Woolwich Barracks in May 2013.

Choudary said Rigby would “burn in hellfire” as a non-Muslim, and also praised Adebolajo as a “martyr.” He said:

“Allah said very clearly in the Koran ‘Don’t feel sorry for the non-Muslims.’ So as an adult non-Muslim, whether he is part of the Army or not part of the Army, if he dies in a state of disbelief then he is going to go to the hellfire.

“That’s what I believe so I’m not going to feel sorry for non-Muslims. We invite them to embrace the message of Islam. If they don’t, then obviously if they die like that they’re going to the hellfires.”

720Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary (right) praised one of the murderers of British solider Lee Rigby (left) as a “martyr” and said Rigby would “burn in hellfire” as a non-Muslim.

Police say that Choudary’s rhetoric has become more incendiary since June 2014, when the Islamic State proclaimed itself to be an Islamic Caliphate, a theocracy ruled according to Sharia law. Since then, police say, Choudary has repeatedly crossed the legal threshold for criminal prosecution for encouraging terrorism, such as justifying the beheading of the American journalist, James Foley, and the British aid worker, Alan Henning.

Choudary believes that the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is “the caliph of all Muslims” and that Shariah law will eventually “be in command even in America and in Britain and in China and in Russia and everywhere else.”

The expansion of the Caliphate, the global implementation of Sharia law and Islamic supremacism are common themes in Choudary’s Twitter universe, where — through a daily barrage of anti-Western tweets — he repeatedly admonishes his nearly 33,000 followers to avoid assimilating into British culture.

In one tweet, Choudary wrote:

“Eventually the whole world will be governed by Shari’ah & Muslims will have authority over China Russia USA etc. This is the promise of Allah.”

He also tweeted:

“Under the Shari’ah, the false Gods that people worship instead of Allah will be removed, like democracy, freedom, liberalism, secularism etc.”

In another tweet, Choudary wrote:

“A Muslim always prefers: Shari’ah over Democracy, Submission over Freedom, Khilafah over Secularism, Jihad over oppression, Allah over [Prime Minister David] Cameron!”

Again, he tweeted:

“Cameron needs to accept that Islam is the fastest growing religion/way of life in Britain today & that one day Shari’ah will be implemented!”

On July 14, Choudary tweeted:

“The Khalifah [Caliphate] must ensure that no non-Muslim criticizes Islam or tries to convert Muslims to their own false belief, only Islam is propagated.”

On July 10, he tweeted:

“When the Shari’ah comes to UK/France/US/Russia/China we’ll ban Alcohol, Gambling, Fornication, Pornography, Usury, Democracy, Freedom, The UN etc.”

On July 6, Choudary wrote:

“The only time Muslims, Christians & Jews lived together peacefully with their honor protected in Europe was under the Shari’ah in Spain.”

After the July 2015 shootings of American servicemen by a Muslim in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Choudary tweeted:

“There’s a conflict in the world between those who believe Sovereignty belongs to Allah & those who believe it belongs to Obama! #Chattanooga.”

And again:

“The cycle of violence that we find ourselves in can be resolved. Muslims, Christians & Jews can live peacefully under Shari’ah! #Chattanooga.”

Choudary, who was born in the UK, has also explained how he feels about his British citizenship:

“We are Muslims first and Muslim last. Passports are no more than travel documents. If you are born in a barn that doesn’t make you a horse!!”

Choudary, who is married and has four children, enjoys a comfortable lifestyle that is being paid for, year after year, by British taxpayers. In 2010, the newspaper The Sun reported that he takes home more than £25,000 (€35,000; $38,000) a year in welfare benefits.

In February 2013, Choudary urged his followers to quit their jobs and claim unemployment benefits so that they could have more time to plot holy war against non-Muslims. He said Muslims are entitled to welfare payments because they are a form of jizya, a tax imposed on non-Muslims in countries run by Muslims. According to Sharia law, the jizya is a reminder that non-Muslims are permanently inferior and subservient to Muslims.

In a video, Choudary said:

“We [Muslims] take the jizya, which is ours anyway. The normal situation is to take money from the kuffar [non-Muslim]. They give us the money. You work, give us the money, Allahu Akhbar. We take the money.”

Meanwhile, Choudary’s Twitter followers have threatened violence unless he is released. In one tweet, a supporter used the hashtag #FreeAnjemChoudary with a picture of Big Ben and the flag of the Islamic State. Another tweet said: “The black days is coming to Britain if it doesnt [sic] release the Muslims.” Yet another said: “O Allah! Whoever has harmed them, then harm him, n whoever has shown enmity to them, then show enmity to them.” And another: “The shariah of Allah is the only solution for UK. #democracy is rotten.”

According to data compiled by an online analytics company, the hashtag #FreeAnjemChoudary was shared nearly 600 times in first the 24 hours after Choudary’s detention, potentially reaching 700,000 people. The data shows that most of Choudary’s supporters are living in the West: 69% of Choudary’s supporters are tweeting from Britain, Canada and the United States, and another 10% tweeting from Australia.

Choudary says he is not afraid of going to prison, which he describes as a fertile ground for gaining more converts to Islam. “If they arrest me and put me in prison, I will carry on in prison,” he warned. “I will radicalize everyone in prison.”