PRODOS: “What does it take to defend liberty? Ask Israel.”
For the advancement and inspiration of its members
PRODOS FILM STUDY GROUP
With the kind permission of Producer/Director Steve Feld
With special thanks to The History Channel (A & E)
Two Documentary Tributes to the Israeli Air Force.
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1. Raid on the Reactor
Israel’s 1981 airstrike on Iraq’s nuclear reactor.
“The true story of how Israel used politics, espionage, blackmail, targeted assassinations and finally military power to destroy Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor and deny him the bomb. “
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2. Dogfights of the Middle East
Israel’s pilots in action!
“In the cauldron of the Middle East the Israeli Air Force has forged one of the most skilled fighting units in the history of aerial warfare.
Often outnumbered, the Israelis have tallied more victories in the modern dogfight than any other air force.
“Now with remarkable computer animation, you’re in the cockpit with the best of the IAF as Mirage-III and F-15 fighters slug it out with combat tested MiGs. Experience the battle, dissect the tactics, relive the dogfights of the Middle East.”
“The people of Georgia have cast their lot with the Free World. And we will not cast them aside.”
In clear and uncompromising terms, President George W Bushexplains why the United States of America supports Georgia, criticizing Russia’s incursionand insisting South Ossetia will remain with Georgia.
Some brief excerpts transcribed from the video …
… Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected. Moscow must honor its commitment to withdraw its invading forces from all Georgian territory.
… Georgia has become a courageous democracy.
… Since the Rose Revolution in 2003 the Georgian people have held free elections, opened up their economy, and built the foundations of a successful democracy.
…. Georgia has sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq to help others achieve the liberty that they struggled so hard to attain. To further strengthen their democracy, Georgia has sought to join the free institutions of the West.
… Unfortunately, Russia has tended to view the expansion of freedom and democracy as a threat to its interests.
…a contentious relationship with America is not in Russia’s interests
… Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st Century
[photopress:michael_yon_iraq.jpg,full,pp_image] Click here to watch Michael Yon report on progress
in Iraq and how Al Qaeda is getting hammered into the dirt.
Although I completely disagree with his conclusion, Michael Yon has written a beautiful and powerfully reasoned argument against the use of torture.
Disagreements aside, what is most striking and worth reading about this article, however, is not its flawed call for the banning of all forms of “torture”. It’s the presentation of what Michael Yon most elegantly refers to as “the strategic advantage of our values“.
A couple of excerpts …
… once we defeated the Axis, we helped rebuild their countries.
Our Greatest Generation acted with honor and great wisdom. It was the right thing to do, but also the strategically intelligent thing to do. Now Germany and Japan are stable, prosperous democracies and close allies.
When this war is over in Iraq, we do not want a generation of Iraqis thinking that all we did was invade their country and torture and kill people.
We want them to know that, despite whatever mistakes we made, we have no ill-feelings toward Iraqis.
…We want the Iraqis to know that Americans are warriors, but not barbarians. They already know that our young folks will fight like wolverines.The Iraqi insurgents learned that lesson the hard way. American soldiers and Marines have died fighting, with great honor, to bring the region a step forward. By contrast, al Qaeda has murdered tens of thousands of Iraqis, and committed atrocities that have turned the people against them.
Al Qaeda and other terrorists fight without honor. And simply put, that’s why we’re winning in Iraq.
We recaptured the most important strategic territory in guerrilla war – the moral high ground, while never laying down our sword.
The New York Times reports on an Israeli military exercise conducted in the first week of June, involving over 100 F-15 and F-16 fighter jets, and covering a distance of more than 900 miles – able therefore to hit Iran.
An unnamed Pentagon official explained the exercise was intended …
… to send a clear message to the United States and other countries that Israel was prepared to act militarily if diplomatic efforts to stop Iran from producing bomb-grade uranium continued to falter.
“They wanted us to know, they wanted the Europeans to know, and they wanted the Iranians to know,” the Pentagon official said.
“It’s a nightmare scenario for any contingency planner, and I think you really enter the twilight zone if you strike Iran,” Magnus Ranstorp at the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College in Stockholm, told The Christian Science Monitor on Friday, June 20.
“If you attack Iran you are unleashing a firestorm of reaction internally that will only strengthen revolutionary forces, and externally in the region.”
Analysts believe that Tehran would use its rocket capabilities to strike US forces in the Gulf region.
… Analysts believe that Iran’s response to a US or Israeli military strike could be unpredictable.
It “could be” …. “unpredictable”? Doesn’t that also mean it “could be” …”predictable”? Or does this mean that these “analysts” are unable to “analyse” the situation? Or are they saying it’s somehow un-analyseable?
It “could be” …. “unpredictable” … Yeah, I must remember to use that phrase some day.
“One very important issue from a US intelligence perspective, [the Iranian reaction] is probably moreunpredictable than the Al Qaeda threat,” said Ranstorp.
Maybe we should also stop hunting downAl Qaeda in that case?
He said Iranian revenge attacks in the past have been marked by “plausible deniability” and have had global reach.
“I doubt very much our ability to manage some of the consequences.”
What about the consequences of allowing Iran to keep on its current quite “predictable” course? Analyse that.
Speaking ofIslamOnline.net, I see that thesitenow brings up an error page where before it had some interesting notes under the heading: “Apostasy: Definition & Ruling” which statedthat apostates (those who leave Islam) should be murdered.
Here is the text from that now missing page:
A questioner asks …
If a Muslim leaves Islam, what do Muslims call him? And what is the Islamic prescribed sentence for the one who leaves Islam. Please send me as soon as possible. Thank you very much.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.Dear questioner! Thank you very much for this question that reflects deep insight and true search for knowledge. May Allah grant you success in this life and the Hereafter.
It goes without saying that, leaving Islam is the ugliest and the worst form of disbelief (kufr) in Almighty Allah. It is technically called ridda (apostasy from Islam), and someone who leaves Islam is called a murtadd (apostate).
The Qur’an makes it clear that the one who leaves Islam, hinders people from the path of Allah and then dies as such will be a loser on the Day of Judgment. His eternal abode will be Hell, where he/she will suffer severe torture and endless chastisement. Allah will not forgive him/her, nor will any of his/her good deeds be accepted from him/her. Allah Almighty says: (Lo! Those who disbelieve and turn from the way of Allah and then die disbelievers, Allah surely will not pardon them.) (Muhammad 47: 34)
Also, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said:
“The blood of a Muslim who testifies that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah is not lawful to shed unless he be one of three: a married adulterer, someone killed in retaliation for killing another, or someone who abandons his religion and the Muslim community.”
The prescribed punishment for a murtadd:
If a sane person who has reached puberty voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be punished.
In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph (or his representative) to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.
However, don’t worry because here’s the “Religion of Peace” bit …
No one besides the caliph or his representative may kill the apostate. If someone else kills him, the killer is disciplined (for arrogating the caliph’s prerogative and encroaching upon his rights, as this is one of his duties).
[ ... and so on ... ]
i.e. The killer of the apostate is not treated as a regular murderer. He is not subject to capital punishment or life imprisonment- not even by the caliph or his representative.
And his crime when killing the apostate is not that he killed a man, but that he was “arrogating the caliph’s prerogative” to kill the apostate.
The Bush administration charged Thursday that a secret Syrian nuclear reactor was within weeks or months of completion before Israel bombed it on Sept. 6 and demanded that North Korea and Syria publicly acknowledge their collusion on a facility that could have produced plutonium for a nuclear weapon.
“It was nearing operational capability,” a senior intelligence official told reporters yesterday at one of a series of briefings on the reactor organized by the administration.
… After the Israeli airstrike, Syria used a controlled demolition explosion on Oct. 10 to destroy the rest of the facility, which exposed reactor equipment that Syria had tried to hide, the U.S. officials said.
Click here to view the CIA video released on April 25 2008 detailing Syria’s covert nuclear reactor and the North Korean involvement in its construction. The reactor was destroyed by the Israelis before it could become operational in September 2007.
In Michael Yon’s latest report from Iraq, Al-Qaeda on the Run, he interviews Abu Ali of the “1920 Revolution Brigades” – the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement in Iraq, and formerly called the Iraqi National Islamic Resistance.
Michael Yon writes:
Just months ago our forces would have shot Abu Ali on sight, and he surely would have done the same to us.
Today we are allies, for now.
… We had certainly killed a lot of his people, and the 1920s certainly had killed many American soldiers.
During severe fighting with al Qaeda in April 2007, the 1920s reached out to American soldiers, and together they have been dismantling al Qaeda here in Baqubah and other places.
Why? Why has the 1920 actively turned against Al Qaeda?
Abu Ali said that on 1 April 2007, he and his people attacked al Qaeda in Buhriz for their crimes against Islam
… Abu Ali said they fought hard against al Qaeda, and on 10 April, they asked the Americans to join the attack. It worked.
… Abu Ali said that “al Qaeda is an abomination of Islam: cutting off heads, stealing people’s money, kidnapping… every type of torture they have done.”
In concluding the interview Abu Ali had the following message for Americans …
… he said, “I ask one thing,” and now I [Michael Yon] paraphrase Ali’s words: “After the Iraqi Army and Police take hold and the security forces are ready, we want a schedule for the leaving of the American forces.”
I find this a curious statement to make.
After all, US-led Coalition forces already plan to do exactly that: To leaveonce the job is done – onceIraqachievesa reasonable degree ofstable,democratic governance.That’s been the plan from the beginning, hasn’t it?
Doesn’t Abu Ali know this? Or perhaps he doesn’t trust the Americans? Or perhaps when (hopefully) it finally happens, he can claim some credit for it?
The group first appeared in June 2003 as a “nationalist Jihadist movement” dedicated to the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in order to build an Islamic state.
It’s vital that they do not appear to be actually HELPING United States forces. Any appearance of “help” must be a means to an end.
The endbeing the most bitter of allends:building an Islamic state – a state that is incompatible with Democracy.
Let’s also keep in mind that, as the Jamestown Foundation reports (April 10, 2007) a former 1920 leader – as well as about 30 members – have been slain recently by Al-Qaida:
The 1920 Revolution Brigades recently announced the death of its leader, Harith Dhahir Khamis al-Dari, nephew and namesake of Harith al-Dari, the exiled head of the Muslim Scholars Association.
The 1920 Revolution Brigades is one of the largest indigenous Iraqi insurgent groups, but after al-Dari’s death, the Brigades announced its split into two factions (the 1920 Revolution Brigades and Hamas-Iraq).
… Al-Dari was reportedly long targeted by al-Qaeda for his refusal to pledge allegiance to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, amir of the ISI [Islamic State of Iraq], and was finally killed by an al-Qaeda ambush on March 27.
… Al-Dari is not the only insurgent leader who has been targeted by al-Qaeda. In addition to stepping up their propaganda campaign promoting the ISI, al-Qaeda has been actively engaged in assassinations and targeted bombings against Iraqi Sunni tribes who do not comply.
According to al-Hayat, militants from various factions stated that al-Qaeda has killed 30 members of the 1920 Revolution Brigades and the Islamic Army (al-Hayat, March 31).
[photopress:cool_dude_victor_quinonez.jpg,full,pp_image] Fellow Michael Yon fan, Victor Quinonez, pictured above,
wrote to me saying: “Mike Yon does the best job in telling us about it all, and he takes the best pics.” We’re with you on that one mate!
Michael Yon, embedded (journalist, photograper, blogger) with American troops fighting alongside Iraqitroopsreports on entering and liberatinga villagein Baqubha, previously held byAl Qaeda.
This is a brief report but includesplenty ofgruesome photos of villagers murdered by Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Michael Yon’s reports nearly always include observations about the soldiers and their commanders -their effectiveness on the joband theircharacter. This is often captured by his description ofhow he is treated by the soldiers.
… Although the soldiers usually do not know me, they are courteous and professional, and always watching out for me.
And so it was with LT Baxter, who was commanding the M-1 tank that I’d be riding along in, and who made sure I didn’t break my neck getting into the tank. I nearly pulled him off the tank while climbing aboard.
… LT Baxter, the tank commander, was concerned that the heat was getting to me, and checked my uniform for sweat, asking several times if I was okay. They always watch out for me.
Also, how the American soldiers behave towards captured enemy combatants:
Later in the day, some of the soldiers from the unit I share a tent with, the C-52, told me that one of their Kit Carson scouts (comprised of some of our previous enemies who have turned on al Qaeda) had pointed out an al Qaeda who had cut off the heads of children.
Soldiers from C-52 say that the Kit Carson scout freaked out and tried to hide when he spotted the man he identified as an al Qaeda operative.
Just how (or if) the scout really knew the man had beheaded children was unknown to the soldiers of C-52, but they took the suspected Al Qaeda to the police, who knew the man.
C-52 soldiers told me the Iraqi police were inflamed, and that one policeman in particular was crazed with intent to kill the man who they said had the blood of Iraqi children on his hands.
What’s this guy doing being a cop if he can’t deal with this situation?
According to the story told to me on 30 June, it took almost 45 minutes for the C-52 soldiers to calm down the policeman who had drawn his pistol to execute the al Qaeda man.
Was he sacked from his job? I don’t know. I doubt it.
Anyway, thisis apart of Michael Yon’s report I found most interesting:
That same policeman nearly lost his mind when an American soldier then gave the al Qaeda man a drink of cold water.
I wonder how much this small incident sums up the nature of the problem we have – and may continue to have – in Iraq.