Soviets To Israel: Stop Jericho Missile! Americans To Israel: Stop The Lavi!
The Soviets have to be congratulated on their unwavering stand behind their client states as they arrogantly attempt to intimidate Israel.
Israel has been developing a missile that can reach important Arab targets, such as Damascus in Syria, or Bagdad in Iraq, or Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. But the Russians say that perhaps Israel will also strike the Russian oil fields of Baku on the Caspian Sea, the Soviet Black Sea Naval bases, or other Soviet targets. When the Russians begin to threaten, be assured that you are beginning to trespass on their secret plans for the future.
It is unlikely that Israel is remotely contemplating what would amount to a full scale war against a Superpower…unless forced to as its final act. At this time the Americans have been bamboozled by their own rhetoric: that it is desirable to remove medium and long range nuclear missiles so that all the Soviets will have to confront in Europe is conventional weapons. Since the Soviet Union, combined with the Warsaw Pact countries, outnumber NATO in every weapons’ category, including manpower, the Soviets will undoubtedly overwhelm the NATO/American conventional forces in short order. The Soviets appear to be attempting to use the same strategy in the Middle East as they are successfully employing in Europe.
Should the Israelis stand down their missile defense, the Soviets, with their allies…Syria, Iraq – soon Iran and perhaps Egypt – will be able to lay claim to the Middle East…including the West’s so-called “Honey Pot” of Saudi oil. Israel, for its own interest, cannot possibly allow the Soviets to obtain dominance in the area.
As usual, the Department of Defense and the State Department are busy shooting themselves in the foot while the Soviets humorously run rings around them.
The Israelis have a more pragmatic outlook on Soviet intentions. However, it is extremely difficult for a country of 4 million to resist the pressures of a ruthless Superpower like the Soviets without any real help.
Israel is not getting the level of necessary help from the U.S. to maintain a deterrent posture to Soviet client states. Yes, America is assisting Israel generously with $3 billion in aid per year, similar to what America gives to Egypt. Except that the U.S. is simultaneously building up the Arab forces to such a degree that Israel cannot possibly keep pace with the qualitative edge that President Reagan promised at the beginning of his Presidency.
Secretary of Defense, Caspar W. Weinberger, has been a remorseless adversary of Israel and has, at every opportunity, built the Arab forces so as to diminish Israel response capability. His public stated philosophy is that a stronger Israel would be a destabilizing influence in the area. Taken conversely that would mean a weaker Israel would stabilize the area.
The Soviets understand that if the Israelis have a long range missile capability, they cannot start trouble in the area with impunity. But does the DoD or the State Department recognize and give credit for the full deterrence capability of Israel…a veritable Sparta among the enemies of any democracy? Of course not.
We have Americans who are interested in the cash flow of oil. Huge multi-national companies, like Bechtel, wish to build chemical plants, roads, airfields for their Arab patrons. We have Americans who view the world through a money clip and denigrate American interests.
At this very moment Israel has received a somewhat different but similar ultimatum from Caspar Weinberger namely: Stop making a superior aircraft, the Lavi, to buy ours…or else. At this time it’s no fun to be an Israeli. The Soviets on one side are saying: Stop the missile; the Americans on the other are saying: Stop the Lavi!
The Soviets do not want a country with a long range retaliatory or pre-emptive capability either in Europe or in the Middle East. We Americans are, of course, accommodating them because we believe the removal of missiles will reduce the probability of nuclear conflict.
But what are the Americans doing? Well, Caspar Weinberger has been in secret negotiations with the Egyptians for over a year or two in order to deliver the new M1-A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank to Egypt for coproduction. Mr. Weinberger presumes that Egypt will be so grateful that they will look out for American interests as the Shah of Iran was supposed to do.
Please, would someone nudge Mr. Weinberger and have him notice that President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt has just re-invited the Soviets back into Egypt. The Soviets have agreed to re-supply Egypt with spare parts for tanks, artillery, radar, missiles and a whole host of binding gestures that makes American’s investment in Egypt a non-event. Egypt is saying that it owes neither Russia nor America but will take what it can get from both and allow both to bid for her favors.
If the Egyptian fiasco isn’t enough of a message to Mr. Weinberger, perhaps he will take note of Kuwait’s refusal to allow American mine clearing helicopters to operate off of Kuwaiti soil to protect Kuwaiti oil. Mr. President – Mr. Shultz – Mr. Weinberger – the message seems clear…just listen…the Arabs don’t like us westerners. They don’t like us even when we are giving them things; they don’t like us when Americans are risking their lives to protect their oil.
Last Friday, Caspar Weinberger before the Iran/Contra hearings was asked a question to the effect: were there any moderates in Iran? Mr. Weinberger stated it was his opinion that they (the Iranians) hated us “venomously”. Is it possible that Mr. Weinberger does not understand that it is not only the Iranians who hate us venomously but Syrians, Iraqis, Jordanians, Libyans, and even the Egyptians who also hate us?
Mr. Weinberger …not one American life is worth the preservation of one Kuwaiti ship and we just lost four Americans, one dead and three missing, in a crash when their helicopter attempted a landing on a ship. Neither our helicopters nor any other equipment is allowed on Kuwaiti soil, even if it is intended for Kuwaiti protection.
But, since we have lost every shred of pride and dignity…why not give away the whole store. Since Caspar Weinberger has already stated publically that a stronger Israel destabilizes the area, it would follow according to the Weinberger doctrine, that Israel should not develop a long range missile capability which would threaten the Soviets or their client states.
It seems absurd that the Soviets and some Americans have joined forces (de facto) to reduce Israel’s strength and clear the path for Soviet intervention in an area other Americans think is important for the West.
On a serious note, long range missiles in the hands of Israelis will be more stabilizing than de-stabilizing. They will dampen Syrian enthusiasm for using long-range Soviet missiles, some with poison gas capability. Long-range Israeli missiles will also give pause to those who wish to start a major war with all of the Arab States against Israel. It will also cause the Soviets to pause should they wish to use the airfields of Syria, Iraq, and Libya in consolidating a hold that could be obtained on Saudi Arabia by the Soviets erstwhile allies.