Recent events in southern Israel have reinforced the notion that the Israeli government has been, for some time, putting a policy of retaliation into practice.
Retaliation is an emotionally satisfying act that under nearly all circumstances serves as grounds for a counter act that fuels a vicious revenge cycle. It is analogous to inflicting a minor injury, a superficial gash on an adversary without causing a permanent disabling devastation that would put the bad guys out of business for good. As long as the enemy is able to stand up back on their feet and rebound retaliation would only fire up their emotions, energize them, enhance their popularity among their peers and transform their criminal acts to heroic martyrdom.
The recent escalation on the Hamastan border and the Israeli response has not quite eliminated Hamas and its partners’ ability to rebuild and repeat their acts of violence. Evidently, their leaders are already talking revenge.
Palestinian terrorist organizations continue to launch rockets and the Israeli government continues to retaliate. It is evident that Hamas’s rocket technology has been improving as they are able to hit farther and more accurately. Is Israel going to wait for a terrorist big bang before eradicating this cancer or treat it with aspirin to make the temporary pain go away?
There is no question. Iron Dome may not be able to stop 100% of incoming rockets. A war of attrition is advantageous to the enemy since the cost of a single Katyusha or Qassam rocket is miniscule in comparison to a single Iron Dome smart missile. And one day, one of those rockets would hit a sensitive target.
This is only a matter of chance and the odds against such an event are getting thin. Time has come for abolishing retaliation and trading it for eradication of Palestinian terrorism.
Israel must put a stop once and for all to the constant challenge that the Palestinian terror organizations put it through. Settling on eradication of terrorism may yield a transitory resentment by those around the world who label themselves as ‘’civilized.” They may complain that such actions are too harsh, that innocent lives get caught in the cross-fire and that this is not a measured response. But the outcome and its associated benefits would be more permanent and would last long after the memory of the global fury has been faded away.
History has shown that a lasting peace following a bitter war has a better chance of success when the enemy is forced into an unconditional surrender. World War II, is the most recent example of this point. When wars do not end with the absolute defeat and surrender of the enemy, the peace, or the cease-fire that follows is unstable at best.
The Arab-Israeli wars are the best example of that point. I do hope that the Israeli government does not wait for a disaster before ceasing the retaliation policy and substituting it for a policy that affects eradication. It must be a difficult decision for those who believe in measured responses. But if safety and security of Israeli citizens precedes the safety and security of its enemies, then the way for taking the vicious revenge cycle to an end is by opting for a policy that would make it happen.
Dr. Avi Perry, a talk show host at Paltalk News Network, is the author of “Fundamentals of Voice Quality Engineering in Wireless Networks,” and more recently, “72 Virgins,” a thriller about the covert war on Islamic terror. He was a VP at NMS Communications, a Bell Laboratories distinguished staff member and manager, a delegate of the US and Lucent Technologies to UN International Standards body, a professor at Northwestern University and Intelligence expert for the Israeli Government. More information is available at www.aviperry.org.
Roger Clemens was acquitted Monday 5/18/2012 on all charges that he obstructed and lied to Congress in denying he had used performance-enhancing drugs to extend his long career as one of the greatest and most-decorated pitchers in baseball history. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is bringing doping charges against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, threatening to strip his victories in the storied cycling race. And who can forget Marion Jones, track and field champion and Olympic gold medalist who was stripped of her Olympic medals by the International Olympic Committee, then sentenced to six months in prison on Jan. 11, 2008 for lying to a court and deceiving federal investigators. There are countless other sports champions who were stripped of their Olympic gold medals, sent to prison, banned from their favorite sports, suspended for long periods, only because they tested positive to banned substances, not even limited to performance enhancement.
The focus on sports is intended to fashion fair competition where human physical abilities are tested to their limits devoid of what viewed as deceptive, unnatural utility intended to boost performance beyond natural, biological bounds.
Nevertheless, there are two issues needing further scrutiny.
The first one has to do with the focus on drugs and sports. There are many other contests where nature has been dismissed in favor of unnatural, man-made enhancements. Take the Miss Universe or Miss USA beauty contests for example. Many of the contestants had gone through a boob job, a nose job, a liposuction job, even a sex change job. Should those be disallowed? Should those operations disqualify a beautiful girl from participating only because her beauty had been intensified by unnatural means like plastic surgery?
And what about thoroughbred horseracing jockeys? They subject themselves to sweatboxes, diuretics suppositories, and intentional eating disorders before one more derby—Kentucky, Shmetacky or any other high stakes horserace. Should these jockeys be subject to medical screening before being allowed to ride the winning horse?
Take the presidential elections in the US. It’s clear that the winner in many contests is not the person with the best ideas but rather the person with the most money. If you have rich friends you enhance your chances of winning a political race. I am convinced that this is not what the Greeks of the sixth century BC had in mind when they invented the “rule of the people.”
And how about insider trading by member of legislative, governmental or judicial bodies and their staff? Yes! They have finally passed a law restricting members of Congress from using insider information to their own personal advantage— to which they are exposed on a daily basis through their role. Except the new law applies to future trades only. But in sports, athletes were stripped of medals, even sent to prison years after it was proven that they had been using performance-enhancing drugs when they had won. Applying this logic to members of Congress, they should return the money (plus interest) they had acquired by utilizing insider information, not available to the general public.
And this one is really interesting. An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education suggested that university professors were taking stimulants like Adderall to increase their academic productivity. According to the article, several professors considered this "cheating" at academics. The implication is obvious. The quest for knowledge and any knowledge acquired through performance-enhancing stimulants should be disallowed or even ignored if the advances in science or medicine were obtained under the influence.
The second issue has to do with competition fairness. It is my opinion that as long as any contestant has access to enhancements, then using these performance-enhancing means is not unfair. The only case where fairness has been critically challenged, in the examples above, is the case where members of Congress were allowed to trade securities on information not available to the general public. Although it was legal, it was a crime by any logical reasoning.
It is my conviction that performance-enhancing drugs should be allowed if athletes believe that they actually work. Otherwise, Insisting on drug-free sports should carry over to disallowing plastic surgery for contestants in beauty pageants, disallowing vomiting for horseracing jockeys, disallowing spending over a maximum amount for presidential candidates and their friends combined, insisting on money back for all capital gains achieved through insider information obtained by members of congress. And to top it off, the ruling should include cancellation of all scientific and medical breakthroughs if there is any suspicion that they have been obtained under the effect of caffeine:).
Whose Side is Kaspersky On?
Have you ever wondered how the US and Israel have such a detailed knowledge of the progress, the direction and the objectives of the Iranian nuclear project?
Have you ever wondered why former Mossad (Israel’s CIA) boss, Meir Dagan, and former Shabak (Israel’s FBI) head do not foresee the inevitability for an Israeli military attack on Iran with the aim of stopping the Ayatollah’s nuke development?
Have you ever wondered how the Israeli air force was able to penetrate Turkey’s and Syria’s air spaces, devoid of stealthy aircraft, then bomb Assad’s secret nuclear plant without being detected by the most sophisticated Russian radar systems deployed in Syria?
Isn’t it amazing that Israel can pinpoint and employ surgical strikes on stationary and moving enemy targets in Gaza and in the West Bank, anytime, anywhere?
We heard about the computer virus, Stuxnet; it had inflicted great damage to Ahmadinejad’s centrifuges, slowing down his uranium enrichment program. We now know that President Obama has ordered, or in the least, was an active partner to this cyber-attack on Iran. And with the revelation of the Flame virus and the insinuation, or virtual testimony by leading computer security firms such as Kaspersky and Symantec, that Israel, and possibly the US as well, were behind it, a new awareness has been inspired--war and espionage have leaped forward into the bloodless cyber space.
Eugene Kaspersky, chief executive of Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, which uncovered Flame last month, said that his researchers have since found that part of the Flame program code is nearly identical to code found in a 2009 version of Stuxnet. “There were two different teams working in collaboration,” he revealed.
Several computer experts, including Kaspersky, alleged that both Stuxnet and Flame must have been engineered by a state rather than an individual or a small group of hackers. The cyber weapon (Stuxnet) and the super spyware worm (Flame) are simply too big, too sophisticated and too complex to be a product of anyone other than a state, they insisted. And given the fact that these programs targeted Iran’s nuclear project, Iran’s infrastructure and government officials as well as other Muslim states in the Middle East with little or no side-infections, is nothing less than circumstantial substantiation that Israel and the US have been cooperating in the making of these cyber weapons.
Consequently, the answer to my rhetorical questions above is—the US and Israel know and control some of the details of Iran’s nuke program, thanks to Stuxnet, Flame and their still undetected cousins. The detailed intelligence and the ability to control and remotely manipulate key installations inside Iran and other Middle Eastern countries has removed a great deal of anxiety about Iran’s ability to surprise and bully the rest of the world; it has possibly prevented a premature military action against the mullahs’ corrupted regime. Also, it explains why former Israeli intelligent chiefs have expressed a passionate aversion to an Israeli military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities; they must have believed that Israel could accomplish its goals through a well-executed cyber-war. Additionally, it explains Israel’s military chief of staff’s confidence in the success of a military campaign against Iran shall it be called for.
Nevertheless, Kaspersky does not want to join forces in the effort to stop Iran’s nuke program. On the contrary, he publicizes details of the Flame worm; he is working on detection and vaccination aimed at disabling it, preventing it from spreading. Directly or even indirectly, he lends a hand to Iran, helps the Ayatollah overcome and prevent further infections of his electronic infrastructure. Kaspersky is on the Iranian side of this cyber war.
Kaspersky’s intentions are marketed as an effort designed to prevent a dangerous metastasis into unintended targets worldwide. Except, the Flame worm and the Stuxnet virus have been specifically designed as a weapon of targeted killing, as a laser stiletto intended to minimize collateral damage. It does not spread like a standard virus; it works like the latest "smart bomb" used to treat breast cancer by using a drug to deliver a toxic payload to tumor cells while leaving healthy ones alone.
Kaspersky’s efforts must have contributed to an intelligence setback in the US and in Israel, as the handlers of the Flame virus instructed it to self-destruct, leave no traces and vanish into a cyber-black hole. And since proper intelligence is key to either avoiding unnecessary wars like the Iraq war, or quickly and successfully disabling a terrorist enemy’s ability to carry out aggressive acts, then the only conclusion derived from Kaspersky’s actions are that his firm has elevated the risk of a military campaign against Iran; it has also increased the risk that a military campaign will be more costly. It did not contribute to a more peaceful world.
The important lesson that we all must learn from Kaspersky’s efforts to publicize his analysis of the Flame worm is that his company and other security firms should join forces and cooperate with those governments trying to prevent Armageddon, rather than defending those who try to bring it about.
Turkey Crosses One More Red Line
A Turkish court, on Monday May 28, 2012, formally pressed criminal charges against Israeli generals. The charges were pressed for the generals’ alleged involvement in the deaths of nine Turkish nationals. These deaths occurred when these people tried to lynch Israeli Defense Force’s (IDF) personnel who boarded the Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara, during its attempt to break Israel's blockade of Gaza in 2010.
Consequently, Israel is facing the following choices:
A. Send officers to Turkey to stand trial
B. Retaliate by indicting those Turkish officials responsible for blessing the Turkish failed incursion attempt
C. Send defense lawyers to Turkey when the trial begins with the aim of countering the charges
D. Ignore it
E. Go on a public Relations blitz, trying to have the trial backfire on Turkey like a boomerang
Only two of the above fall within the set of feasible potential responses, and there is only one option that should be applied.
The idea of sending the IDF officers to Turkey to face trial is downright absurd. Since the IDF Cast Lead campaign Turkey has been turning more hostile by the day toward Israel and warmer by the hour towards Israel’s arch enemies. Turkey president, Mr. Erdogan has become the loudest animated voice within the chorus comprising those who try to delegitimize Israel’s right to self-defense. Sending the Mavi Marmara to Israel’s coast, in an attempt to breach the legal barrier against the Gaza-bound arms-smuggling activity, was an aggressive, malicious act designed to inflict harm on the state of Israel.
The nine Turkish nationals, who died during the Mavi Marmara incident, were the ones who declared war on the Jewish state by attempting to lynch the Israeli soldiers who boarded their ship. The Israeli soldiers had no choice but to defend themselves against their Turkish attackers. The soldiers were only guilty of protecting their own lives in self-defense under the brutal ambush aimed at lynching them—not a crime.
Sending defense lawyers to Turkey to counter the charges will undoubtedly become a futile attempt at countering a political plot, not a legal, legitimate attempt at realizing justice. Furthermore, any Israeli attorney trying to defend Israeli actions (on Turkish soil) concerning the Mavi Marmara, will, in all probability, be subject to intimidation, harassment and even life-threatening assaults. Once again, this option is infeasible.
Although retaliating by indicting those Turkish big shots responsible for blessing the failed incursion attempt will be emotionally satisfying to Israelis, it will be viewed by the rest of the world as extravagant rather than a legitimate legal move. And since Israel takes pride in and is respected by its allies for its fair, objective and balanced legal system, a move to politicize it may jeopardize Israel’s reputation in this venue.
Ignoring the Turkish move has its merits. The subject will fade away from the headlines and will not be the subject of the talk around the water cooler. Still, the Turkish move may attempt to bring Interpol into the picture. This could develop into a dangerous precedent as emphasized by former ambassador to the US, Dr. Meir Rosen, who claimed that "If Turkey gets an international arrest warrant, it may demand that all Interpol member states issue arrest warrants for Israeli officers, at least in the short term”.
This kind of a development in light of the fact that Interpol is known for its politically motivated role in arrests and deportations is a dangerous precedent. If it sticks, then not only the indicted Israeli commander swill be unable to travel to most countries outside Israel for fear of being arrested, but future commanders may be less willing to take risks in protecting the state of Israel as a result.
The only logical option left for an Israeli response is to fight the indictment by going on a public relations blitz, trying to have the trial backfire on Turkey like a boomerang. Turkey is vulnerable. Every accusation the Turks have ever laid on Israel can rub on them directly in as significantly more pronounced way, as if the accusations were injected with steroids before reversing course and biting the Turks in the face.
The Turks accused Israel of genocide during the Cast Lead campaign without having any proof, without looking at the evidence, without taking into account the defensive nature of the war, which attempted to end Hamas’s rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. The Turks never considered how hard Israel had worked to protect the civilian enemy population in Gaza by avoiding shooting at enemy combatants when they surrounded themselves with human shields—has an enemy of any nation ever halted hostilities during a two-hour-lunch to allow the civil population (including the opposite fighting forces) to go out, shop for food, maintain their normal business, so life would not turn to complete hell? No one has ever fought that kind of humane battle other than Israel.
Nevertheless, Erdogan continues to deny Turkey’s role in committing genocide on its own Armenian citizens. He continues to ignore Turkey’s aggression in Cyprus where the Turks cleansed half of the island from its Greek population, creating a refugee problem that they have been failing to admit to, while continuing to occupy the cleansed land, building and expanding settlements. It should also be noted that while the Palestinian refugee problem was self-inflicted and should be blamed on the Arabs, the Greek Cypriot refugees were not trying to throw all Turks to the sea when they were forced out of their homes by the invading Turkish army.
And now Turkey is trying to deny Israel’s right to self-defense. Erdogan makes a mockery of international law, claiming that the sea blockade of Gaza is illegal, where in fact; all law-abiding nations including the UN have clearly recognized the legality of that blockade, just like they had done when JFK blockaded Cuba during the missile crisis in the 60s.
Israel must make the case in front of the law-abiding nations of the world that the Turks are the only guilty party in the Mavi Marmara incident, that Erdogan’s refusal to take responsibility for his country’s crimes and reckless actions has made Turkey’s judicial system a joke. Israel should make the case that the aggressive part of the Mavi Marmara incident was not the IDF soldiers’ act of self-defense, but rather the violent attempt to breach the blockade by the Turkish government. It was the Turkish government, who knowingly and willingly sent armed IHH members – a known terrorist group – to break Israel’s counter-terrorism blockade. It is the Turkish government whom the world should condemn. It is the Turkish legal system whom the world should ridicule. And it is Israel’s duty to push for that condemnation of Turkey and its legal system.