If you’ve been following the news coming from the Middle East, you are aware that a week ago an Israeli-owned oil tanker, the Mercer Street, was attacked by drones while sailing in the Arabian Sea in international waters off the coast of Oman.
Since the founding of Israel in 1948, Israel and the Arabs have been at war starting with the 1948 Arab-Israel War. There have been a series of shooting wars including the 1967 War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
In both of these wars, the Israelis emerged victorious by the skin of their teeth and acquired territory that was used to launch the underlying attacks that started these wars. [Remember the fact that Israel ended up with MORE territory when folks begin to whisper that Israel needs to return to the pre-1967 borders, meaning Israel needs to return its conquered lands.]
It is important to know that Israel was the product of the United Nations 1947 Partition Plan for Palestine. This plan recommended three things:
1. The creation of an independent Arab State;
2. The creation of an independent Jewish State; and,
3. The creation of an internationalized Jerusalem.
You may recognize that plan as the Two State Solution which continues to this day.
Comes now the recent rapprochement between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel. But, first, some background, shall we?
Our country has been indelibly marked by the status of peace in the Middle East in four important ways:
1. We have supported Israel through a series of wars with the 1973 Yom Kippur War almost ending with a tragic outcome that was prevented by direct American military material support.
Had the US not sent replacement tanks to make up battlefield losses against the Syrians in the Golan Heights, the Syrians might have taken Tel Aviv. It was a very close thing.
Prime Minister Golda Meir made a phone call to President Nixon and in that same hour American tanks were loaded onto American aircraft, off loaded in Tel Aviv, and sent into battle with no time to even over paint the American stars. It was that close.
Israel continues to be the most powerful democracy in a region dominated by despots.
Big Red Car here on a sunny Christmas Eve awaiting Christmas and the Prince of Peace which brings me to the subject of generals, politicians, and wars.
As a soldier (combat engineer officer), I spent a lot of time around generals. As a class of the species, they represent the top 0.1% of any year group of officers. The road to the top is a meritocracy and a very tough one. [Sure, there are some political generals, but as a general assessment they are the best of the best — if they remember to stay in their lane.]
Generals are at the top of their profession which is to wage war against the enemies of the United States and WIN.
The part about winning is an essential element in the General business.
Big Red Car here on a lovely ATX day. Nice and sunny, but cool.
This Monday is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. It is also the day that the United States will convert its Jerusalem consulate into the mother ship — the United States Embassy in Israel. [The US has had a consulate in Jerusalem for decades. They are simply renovating and re-flagging the consulate.
This was first directed to be done by the US Congress in 1995 during the Clinton administration. The law provided that the executive branch could waive this directive every six months for a “good reason” which Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump did until President Trump announced – “That’s it, y’all. The US Embassy moves to Jerusalem. Now. I promised I’d do it and by God I will.” [Note: This is one of the reasons why a lot of people support him. He does what he says he’s going to do.]
Big Red Car here on a cloudy Texas day. This is a lot of clouds, y’all, but we like them. Syria and North Korea are a couple of lawless, outlaw regimes, but did you know they have had a relationship for years?
Syria is the bunch run by Bashar al Assad who has killed 500,000 of his countrymen, internally displaced 6,000,000 more, and turned 5,000,000 into refugees. [Can you imagine any scenario in which this shithead continues to run Syria?]
North Korea is the bunch run by Kim Jong Un whose family has lorded over his country like a penal colony and has literally starved them so badly that the average height of a North Korean has diminished three inches in the last forty years. [To be technically correct, a South Korean is, on average, three inches taller than a North Korean. Same gene pool, different nutrition.]
So what have they been up to? Continue reading
Big Red Car here on a glorious Friday — sunny, clear, crisp but going to warm up this afternoon just the way we like it in the ATX.
So, Vlad the Pute is turning the Russian military loose in Syria to strut its stuff. Keep your eye on this development as it will be a huge change in the future of the Middle East. No conjecture here — this will be huge. Count on it.
The Russian military has historically been held in very low esteem by professional observers. It was once a brute force that overwhelmed its enemies (most famously in World War II) with sheer numbers and material rather than expertise, strategy, and tactics. It was always thought of as being a little technologically backward particularly when compared with the Americans and NATO. Continue reading
Big Red Car here. Another beauty in the ATX. Ahhh, thank you, God!
So, The Boss was chatting with one of his trade school buddies. “Trade school” is what you call VMI, West Point, Air Force Academy, Annapolis, Citadel and other military schools. It is an inside joke amongst trade school grads.
They get on the subject of asymmetrical warfare — fancy word for terrorism and the whole Middle East mess. Lump in Al Qaeda, ISIL, Boko Horam and the flavor of the day shitheads.
Social media and the role of the Internet bubbles to the surface. Continue reading