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 Black September - Newly released documents - The Build Up to War in the Middle East

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PostSubject: Black September - Newly released documents - The Build Up to War in the Middle East   Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:50 pm

I apologise for the length of the posts and the amount quoted in them. This is a subject that I needed to refresh myself on: youngdan reminded us about Black September recently. Both documents posted are Israeli and take an anti-PLO viewpoint. I find them very illuminating about the position of the Palestinians and the relations between the less than democratic Arab regimes with Israel and the US. Personally, I find this material, the second part of which deals with the aftermath of Black September and is newly released, fascinating and illuminating. - - Jerusalem Post

Out of Jordan
By Uriya Shavit
The Israeli public remembers the events of Black September as the operation in which the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan decisively eliminated a Palestinian uprising in the course of one month. The actions taken by King Hussein 32 years ago to expel Yasser Arafat and the senior Palestinian leadership from his country are used as a preferred example by those who claim that in the Middle East, the name of the game is cruelty and mercilessness. The Israeli invasion of the Palestinian cities two weeks ago sharpened the analogy between the conditions that the king faced and the method of operation he chose, and the conditions facing Israel and the method of operation it has chosen.

But the seemingly well-known events of Black September did not last for only one month. The military struggle between Jordan and the Palestinians lasted for a year and a half. The climax came in September 1970, but the battle was won only after 10 bloody months, during which the Palestinians surprised the Jordanians with their tenacity.

A good starting point for understanding the processes that led up to the confrontation can be found in March 1968, when Israel Defense Forces (IDF) entered the Jordanian village of Karameh, about seven kilometers east of the Jordan River, where the young and then unknown leader of Fatah, Yasser Arafat, had his headquarters. The move came in response to a series of attacks carried out by Palestinian organizations against Israel, from Jordanian territory. Prime minister Levi Eshkol declared that the goal of the operation was to prevent "a new wave of terror" against Israel. The UN Security Council condemned the action.
Between 128 and 170 Palestinians were killed during that operation, depending which version one accepts. But, unexpectedly, even the IDF, still basking in the glory of the Six-Day War, suffered heavy casualties: 28 soldiers were killed, 80 were wounded, four tanks remained in Palestinian hands. And Yasser Arafat managed to escape. A state within a state

The limited achievement on the battlefield captured the imagination of the Palestinians in Jordan and of the entire Arab world. Arafat was glorified as the person who had managed, to some extent, to restore downtrodden Arab dignity. Thousands of young Palestinians wanted to enlist in his organization. Fatah became the most important organization within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). In the wake of the battle of Karameh, Arafat's men became more daring. In the refugee camps and in several Jordanian cities, they behaved as though they owned the place: They walked around armed and in uniform, set up checkpoints, collected taxes, and refused to travel with Jordanian license plates on their cars.

The strengthening of the Palestinian organizations posed a dilemma for King Hussein. On the one hand, about two-thirds of his subjects were Palestinians, who supported the guerrilla warfare against Israel. Hussein could thus not oppose them without antagonizing most Jordanians - and without risking a confrontation with Nasser's Egypt, which supported the Palestinians. On the other hand, the increasing power of the Palestinians undermined his sovereignty. The Jordanian police and army were no longer the source of authority in the Jordanian refugee camps, and they gradually lost authority in the north of the kingdom as well.

King Hussein's first attempt to reestablish his authority was made in November 1968. He reached a seven-point agreement with the Palestinian organizations: Members of these organizations were forbidden to walk around the cities armed and in uniform; they were forbidden to stop civilian vehicles in order to conduct searches; they were forbidden to recruit young men who were fit to serve in the Jordanian army; they were required to carry Jordanian identity papers; their vehicles were required to bear Jordanian license plates; crimes committed by members of the Palestinian organizations would be investigated by the Jordanian authorities; and disputes between the Palestinian organizations and the government would be settled by a joint council of representatives of the king and of the PLO. The agreement reached between the sides did not withstand the test of reality. The Palestinian organizations continued to accumulate power in Jordan, and to do as they pleased in the refugee camps. They even intensified the fighting against Israel. During 1969, they conducted 3,170 operations against Israel from Jordanian territory, without bothering to coordinate them in advance with the Jordanian army. The counterattacks carried out by Israel damaged the Jordanian economy, and forced about 70,000 Jordanian subjects to flee from their homes in the Jordan Valley.

In the spring of 1969, the United States began its efforts to promote a political agreement between Israel and the Arab states. King Hussein hoped that president Richard Nixon's Republican administration would be less friendly toward Israel, and would force it to withdraw from the territories it occupied in 1967. He went to Washington to make it clear that Jordan was willing to become more flexible, in order to ensure the success of the American initiative.

The Palestinian organizations anxiously observed his moves. They were afraid of a separate Jordanian-Israeli agreement, which would destroy the dream of a Palestinian state stretching to the Mediterranean Sea. In order to undermine the political contacts and to bring about a military conflagration between Jordan and Israel, Arafat and his partners stepped up the armed conflict against Israel. Hussein reached the conclusion that he had to act - but his hands were tied. He couldn't do more than Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser allowed him to do. At the beginning of February 1970, Hussein went to Cairo, and received Nasser's secret acquiescence to take more decisive action against the Palestinian organizations.

When the king returned to Jordan on February 10, he published a 10-point edict. Among its provisions were a ban on interference by members of the Palestinian organizations with the activity of the Jordanian security forces, a ban on organization of meetings or assemblies without the permission of the Interior Ministry, and a ban on Palestinian political activity.

The Palestinian organizations were not impressed. On February 11, they established a united military headquarters in order to prepare for a possible Jordanian attack. That same night, 300 people were killed in confrontations that broke out between the two sides in the streets of the capital, Amman. King Hussein was afraid of losing control. Nasser allowed him to impose limitations on the Palestinians, but warned him not to accept an all-out Jordanian war against the Palestinians. Hussein ordered the Jordanian army to refrain from additional activities, and declared: "We are all fedayeen" [Palestinian commando groups]. Afterward, he fired his interior minister, who was the greatest enemy of the Palestinian organizations in his government. The first round of battle between the sides ended with a clear victory for Yasser Arafat.

At the end of July 1970, Egypt decided to accept the plan proposed by U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers, which called for an immediate cease-fire in the war of attrition between Egypt and Israel, and for an Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 242. After Egypt, Jordan also announced that it accepted the plan.

The dramatic decision brought about an intensification of the Palestinian battle against Jordan. The radical left organizations in the PLO, George Habash's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Naif Hawatmeh's Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), and Ahmed Jibril's Popular Front- General Command, decided to undermine Hussein's regime in order to ensure the failure of "the Rogers Plan," and perhaps the deposition of the king. In their opinion, the Hashemite regime had to be eliminated in any case, since it was conservative and pro-Western.

Yasser Arafat, head of Fatah, feared that the move to depose Hussein was premature. The Jordanian army numbered 55,000 well-trained soldiers, as well as an armored corps and an air force, whereas the Palestinian organization numbered at most about 15,000 fighters, armed mainly with light weapons. Arafat chose to play both sides against the middle and to maneuver in the ensuing chaos: On the one hand, he didn't stop the radical organizations; on the other, he didn't come out openly against Hussein.

At the beginning of September 1970, the activities of the leftist Palestinian organizations in Jordan turned into open defiance of King Hussein himself. On September 1, a failed attempt on Hussein's life was made while he was on his way to the Amman airport. On September 6, members of the Popular Front hijacked three planes: A Swissair plane and a TWA plane were hijacked to the airport in Zarqa, and an additional plane, belonging to Pan American, was hijacked to the Cairo airport. Three days later, a British plane was hijacked, and
brought down near Amman. The passengers were held hostage. The hijackers demanded the release of Palestinian prisoners in various countries. A spokesman for the Popular Front said in Beirut that the hijackings were carried out in order "to teach the Americans a lesson, because of their long-standing support of Israel."

Yasser Arafat did not condemn the hijackings, which aroused an international protest against the Palestinians. Hussein knew that the international community would now be more sympathetic toward a decisive battle against the Palestinian organizations, and that Nasser - who wanted to promote the Rogers Plan - would be less supportive. The Jordanian king quickly lost control of his kingdom.
At the height of the drama of the hijacked planes, the Palestinians declared the area of Irbid in the north of the country a "liberated region," and announced that they were preparing for "the showdown."

Hussein's inner circle, citizens of Transjordan who feared a Palestinian revolt, explained to the king that the time had come to defeat the Palestinians. "On September 15, at the palace in Sweileh, north of Amman, the associates and advisers of the king gathered,"wrote Prof. Asher Susser of Tel Aviv University in "Between Jordan and Palestine," his 1983 Hebrew biography of Wafsi al-Tal, Hussein's prime minister.

"These people, who had long supported strong action against the fedayeen, convinced Hussein that the time had come to act. They estimated that the army could expel the fedayeen from the large cities within two to three days. Hussein's hesitations disappeared. That same day, he made the decision to strike at the fedayeen. The uncertainty and frustrations of the past weeks disappeared. The atmosphere in the palace on the night of September 16 was like that in military headquarters on the eve of battle. Operational plans were made and organized quickly. The assumption was that there were only a few hours left before the all-out and unavoidable confrontation."

On the morning of September 16, Hussein declared martial law. On September 17, the military attack began. Patton tanks from the 60th armored brigade, accompanied by armored vehicles, entered Amman from all sides, and attacked the headquarters of the Palestinian organizations. Battles took place in Zarqa, Sweileh, Salt and Irbid as well. The opinion of the king's advisers, that the Palestinians could be defeated within days, proved incorrect. The Palestinians surprised the army with their stubborn resistance. There was house-to-house fighting. Hussein knew that the longer the fighting continued, the greater the risk that Arab and international pressure would force them to stop the attack and to reach a compromise with the Palestinians.

Last edited by cactus flower on Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:04 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Black September - Newly released documents - The Build Up to War in the Middle East   Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:50 pm

On September 18, two days after the attack began, a small Syrian armored force invaded northern Jordan. Two days later, it was joined by two Syrian armored brigades, which were reinforced the next day, and swelled to the size of a division. The opening of an additional front against Jordan was the desired scenario for the Palestinians. The Jordanians were afraid that Syria aspired to exploit the civil war that had broken out in the kingdom in order to occupy it and to realize the dream of "Greater Syria." They confronted the Syrians with the 40th armored brigade, and managed to halt their advance.

The U.S. and Israel shared Jordan's fear. Reconnaissance flights by the Israel Air Force above the Syrian force aroused fears in Damascus that Syria would be defeated in another war if it did not withdraw its forces from Jordan. Syria was thus forced to take its troops out of northern Jordan. Its involvement at the time remained a subject for historical debate. Hafez al-Assad, who was the Syrian defense minister in September 1970, told his biographer, Patrick Seale, that Syria's intention in invading northern Jordan was only to protect the
Palestinians from a massacre.

Whatever the case, the swift Syrian withdrawal was a severe blow to Palestinian hopes. Jordanian armored forces steadily pounded their headquarters in Amman, and threatened to break them in other regions of the kingdom as well. The Palestinians agreed to a cease-fire. Hussein and Arafat attended the meeting of leaders of Arab countries in Cairo, where Arafat won a diplomatic victory. On September 27, Hussein was forced to sign an agreement which preserved the right of the Palestinian organizations to operate in Jordan. For Jordan, it was humiliating that the agreement treated both sides to the conflict
as equals.

The agreement declared that Jordan "would support the Palestinian liberation movement"; that "both sides would withdraw from the cities," and "that all the prisoners would be released." The only clause that served the Jordanians was the one that stated that the Jordanian police would be the only body authorized to impose law and order. But Hussein had no reason to assume that the Palestinians would observe this clause any more than they had before, after signing similar agreements.

According to conservative, minimum estimates, several hundred Palestinians died in the battles of September 1970; according to the maximum estimate, there were several thousand casualties. Their independent military might suffered a major blow. Those were the circumstances which gave the name "Black September" to the events of the bloody month. But politically, Arafat and the Palestinian organizations were not dealt a decisive blow. Even after bringing the main force of his army to bear against them, Hussein did not succeed in expelling them from the country, and they were able to prepare for the next stage of the campaign.

But two developments outside Jordan determined the fate of the Palestinian organizations in Jordan. On September 28, Nasser died of a sudden heart attack. He was only 52 years old, and it was said that the tremendous pressure that he had been under because of the events of Black September had brought about his demise. With Nasser's death, the most important protective umbrella of the Palestinians in Jordan disappeared, and Egyptian involvement in the Jordanian-Palestinian conflict waned for the time being. Two months later, the Syrian defense minister, Hafez al-Assad, the leader of the pragmatic branch of the Ba'ath party, seized control in Damascus. So Syria was also not free for the time being to be involved in Palestinian affairs.

The time was ripe for the third and last stage of the continuing war between King Hussein and Yasser Arafat.

After Nasser's death, Arafat understood correctly that his position had been weakened. On October 31, 1970, he signed a five-point agreement, which was similar to that signed in November 1968, and was designed to return control of the country exclusively to King Hussein. The agreement stated that members of the Palestinian organizations were expected to honor Jordanian laws, instructed them to dismantle their bases, and forbade them to walk around armed and
in uniform in the cities and villages.

Had the Palestinians honored that agreement, Hussein would have had difficulties in continuing to act against them. But the PFLP and the DFLP - the two organizations to the left of Arafat - refused to accept its conditions. They called on their members to ignore the Jordanian government, and at a meeting of the Palestinian National Council, they were responsible for prompting the acceptance of the proposal that Transjordan would be part of the Palestinian state to be established in the future.

The open defiance caused renewed conflict between the Palestinians and the Jordanian army, whose commanders were in any case eager to finish the work they had begun in September. At the beginning of November 1970, incidences of fighting erupted between members of the PFLP and DFLP and the Jordanian security forces. On November 9, Jordanian prime minister Wasfi al-Tal, the sworn enemy of the Palestinians, announced that in accordance with the agreement signed a month earlier, the authorities would no longer allow the Palestinians to walk around with weapons or to store explosives. The announcement was not honored, and the security forces received instructions to confiscate the Palestinians' weapons.

Until January 1971, the Jordanian army heightened its control in all the central cities. At the beginning of that month, the Jordanian army began an attack against the Palestinian bases along the highway between Amman and Jerash, in order to cut them off from the other cities and to take over the roads linking their strongholds. In response to the operation, the Palestinians agreed to hand over their weapons to the Jordanians. This agreement was not honored either.
Toward the end of March, after a Palestinian arms warehouse was discovered in Irbid, the Jordanian army placed a curfew on the city, arrested some of the Palestinian activists, and expelled others. The takeover of Irbid was completed at the beginning of April. Afterward, many senior members of the Palestinian organizations, who were aware of their weakness, began to withdraw from Amman as well.

Yet, despite the series of defeats, the Palestinian organizations did not give in. On June 5, the senior Palestinian organizations, including Yasser Arafat's Fatah, came out with a declaration on Radio Baghdad in which they called for the deposition of King Hussein. The reason they gave for this was that deposing him was the only way to prevent the signing of "a peace agreement between Israel and Jordan."

In mid-June 1971, after three tense months during which the sides made efforts to fortify their positions by political means, Jordan embarked on the final campaign against the Palestinians. The Jordanian army, which for almost 10 months had been pushing the Palestinian organizations out of the major cities, used large forces to expel them from the mountainous regions of the cities of Jerash and Ajloun, in the north of the kingdom, where about 3,000 armed Palestinians were located.

The members of Fatah declared that they preferred to die in battle rather than surrender to the Jordanian dictates. After four days of battle, the Jordanian army overcame the last pockets of resistance.

King Hussein held a press conference and declared that there was now "absolute quiet" in the kingdom. Seventy-two Palestinians who were afraid of the Jordanian soldiers chose to undertake the most humiliating action possible for them: They fled to the West Bank and surrendered to IDF soldiers.

The Palestinian rout was complete. King Hussein had removed the grave threat to his throne, and had strengthened his control over the kingdom. Fatah, beaten and humiliated, established an avenging arm - called "Black September." The first operation by this group took place on November 28, 1971. Four of its members assassinated Wasfi al-Tal, Jordan's prime minister and the enemy of the Palestinians, on the steps of the Sheraton Hotel in Cairo. Tal's last words were: "They've killed me. Murderers, they believe only in fire and destruction."

The saying that history repeats itself, once as tragedy and once as farce, has not proved itself in the Middle East. Here the tragedies tend to repeat themselves again and again. For Jordanian identity, September 1970 was a turning point. The continuing effort made by King Hussein to blur the differences between the identity of Transjordanians and that of Palestinians was replaced by the "Jordanization" of the administration and the army in the kingdom, and paved the way for Hussein to gradually relinquish his desire to reestablish his total sovereignty over the West Bank. The American and Israeli support of Jordan in the face of the Syrian invasion of the north of the kingdom strengthened Jordanian recognition of the fact that the stability of the kingdom depended on the support of the West.

For the Palestinian leadership, Black September was the month in which it proved that the military might of its members should not be underestimated, and that it had the ability to formulate the agenda of the Arab states and of Israel. At the same time, the Palestinian leadership also proved that it wasn't aware of the limitations of its power, and had wrongly estimated the willingness and the capability of Arab countries to fight for its people. Since then, the Palestinian leadership has returned to the achievements - and the mistakes - of Black September, at every critical junction at which it has found itself.

For Yasser Arafat, Black September was a test. He was asked to honor agreements, and repeatedly violated them; he was asked to rout out the extremists in his camp, and he didn't rout them out; he was asked to opt for realistic strategic goals, and he didn't opt for them. From Jordan he continued to Lebanon, from Lebanon he was expelled to Tunis, from Tunis again to Gaza and to Ramallah, where he found himself, 32 years after Black September, once again causing chaos, and once again besieged by armored forces which he will not be able to subdue.
The lessons learned from the events of Black September have not been quickly forgotten. After the recent invasion of the IDF into the Palestinian cities, the Hashemite Kingdom sent several serious warnings to Israel. They included a warning about the tragic consequences of deporting Yasser Arafat back to Jordan.

Source: Uriya Shavit, Haaretz Newspaper, May 28, 2002

Last edited by cactus flower on Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Black September - Newly released documents - The Build Up to War in the Middle East   Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:53 pm

Rosner's Domain: Newly released documents reveal how Nixon wanted Israel to attack in Syria (so Jordan will be saved)

The tumultuous events of September 1970, in Jordan and around it, are well known to all those following Middle East history. In short: early in the month, Palestinian terrorists highjacked airplanes and landed them in Jordan. Later in the month Jordan's King Hussein launched an all out attack against Palestinian militias operating in Jordan. Later Syria sent forces to invade Jordan, Iraq was threatening to do the same, Israel was getting ready for counter-invasion, the US sent forces into the Mediterranean fearing Soviet intervention. You can read good summary here and a lengthy Time article from 1970 here.

The story was detailed in many books and articles. But now, a release of new official US documents - as part of the Foreign Relations of the United States series - provide for a whole new bucket of reading material available for those wanting to understand the inner workings of the Nixon team during this crisis. I spent four hours reading through it, and had great fun. While reading, I copied some of the highlights, and what I'll show here is the discussion within the administration regarding the best way for Israel to intervene if the need arises.

Israel was the regional power expected (and intended) to support the King in case his forces can no longer control Jordan. Syria and Iraq have threatened to intervene in the crisis, and Syria sent forces into Jordanian territory. In the 21st of September, the administration was debating whether Israel should attack Syrian forces in Jordan, or attack in Syria itself.

The material below is copied from the original documents but was shortened, and I added some explanation where needed. It shows how this discussion evolved from eight in the morning until 12 hours later. Even if you don’t read it all, make sure not to miss the conversation between Henry Kissinger and Yitzhak Rabin.

Minutes of a National Security Council Meeting, September 21, 8:45 a.m.

Participants: The President, Secretary of State William Rogers, Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, Deputy Secretary of Defense David Packard, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Dr. Henry Kissinger, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs General Alexander Haig, Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs Joseph Sisco.

...Dr. Kissinger stated that at 5:15 that morning [Israel’s] Ambassador [Yitzhak] Rabin had called and reported that Irbid [a Jordanian city] had fallen to the Syrian forces, that the Israeli Government did not believe their intervention should be limited to air action alone, and that they had posed a series of questions and conditions on which they would like a response within three hours. Later, at about 6:45 a.m. Ambassador Rabin had called again and stated that Israeli reconnaissance had observed Syrian units south of Irbid...

The Israelis had no territorial ambitions vis-à-vis Jordan, however, they did believe that an attack in support of the King must have some “political cause” and that some adjustment of a technical nature would have to be made as a result of their attack... Among Israeli conditions were assurances that the U.S. would protect Israel against Soviet counteraction...

...Secretary Rogers then stated that the important issue was whether or not the Syrians were actually moving south with the view toward taking Amman [Jordan’s capital] or whether they intended merely to carve out an enclave in northern Jordan. Admiral Moorer [Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas H. Moorer] stated that his intelligence suggested that a spearhead of 40 Syrian tanks was indeed moving south. Secretary Laird confirmed that military intelligence suggested that the spearhead was on a route which led to Amman.

Sisco then stated that before the Israelis move [to help the King] one of the conditions listed by them early that morning was the requirement that the King know what they were doing and be in full agreement with it... The President then stated that…The question, rather, is what effect will Israeli intervention have on the King. Secondly, what effect will Israeli intervention have on the Soviets.

It is difficult to believe that the Soviets are not aware of what the Syrians have been doing. If the Soviets were to move in the face of our messages, both public and private, then I suspect further delay on our part would be dangerous. From the King’s perspective also it should be kept in mind it is not so much a question of whether the Syrians intend to take over Amman, but rather the impact that any Syrian action is having on his morale...

...The President then noted that one option might be for the Israelis to move into Syria. Secretary Laird added that they might strike Syrian air fields. Secretary Rogers commented that in his view militarily Syria was the best target, but politically Jordan was preferable...

...The President then asked the group to consider the Syrian invasion problem, and questioned whether or not an Israeli invasion of Syria did not in effect constitute a more difficult problem. If the Israelis moved into Syria, the Soviet involvement certainly would be more likely. Secretary Rogers asked if Israeli action against Syria was the only alternative...

... Secretary Rogers then asked what we would tell Congress if we decided to go ahead with Israeli intervention... The President stated that should the question arise, we should state that we were aware of the possibility of Israeli intervention, but deny that we were working with them actively on this possibility. And finally, we should add that we understand the reasons for their action...
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PostSubject: Re: Black September - Newly released documents - The Build Up to War in the Middle East   Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:57 pm

Minutes of Washington Special Actions Group Meeting, September 21, 4:25 p.m.

Chairman: Kissinger, State Department: U. Alexis Johnson [Under Secretary for Political Affairs], Talcott Seelye [Country Director for Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria], Defense: David Packard [Dep. Sec. of Defense], G. Warren Nutter [Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs], James Noyes [Dep. Asst Sec. for Near Eastern, African, and South Asian Affairs], Joint Chiefs of Staff: Moorer, Lt. Gen. John W. Vogt [director of the Joint Staff], CIA: Lt. Gen. R.E. Cushman [Dep. Director], David Blee [Directorate of Operations], National Security Council: Haig, Col. Richard Kennedy [director for staff planning and coordination], Harold H. Saunders, Samuel Hoskinson, Adm. R.C. Robinson, Peter Rodman, Jeanne W. Davis,

Kissinger: ...the President has ordered that we explore with Rabin the possibility of encouraging the Israelis to move into Syria after all [instead of moving forces into Jordan] — the course which we rejected yesterday. I realize we were all united against this yesterday on political grounds, but I would like to present some of the President’s reasoning. Israeli ground intervention will be very tough on Hussein. An attack on Syria will be less dangerous to him than if it were directed against his territory. Also, it would be easier to get Israel to withdraw from Syrian territory than from Jordanian territory. If the situation unravels in Jordan, Israel could use it as a pretext to stay in. Also, it might give some help to the moderates, if there are any left in the Arab world, who could blame the Syrians for having brought on the fighting. Sisco is exploring this with Rabin.

State might look at its draft texts [for release in case of Israeli intervention] to see how they might be changed if Israel went into Syria. It may be easier to reposition things in the event of a move on Syria even though our original judgement was in the opposite direction.

Johnson: I have no judgement of the move in a military sense.

Moorer: There is a real bottle-neck at the Syrian border. Once they seal them up, they [the Syrian forces] can’t get out. Also, the Israelis could get in behind them and cut them off.

Kissinger: We all rebelled against the notion of involving another state, but the impact would be easier on the King.

Vogt: What would be the impact on the Soviets?

Moorer: The Soviets may react very differently to an attack on Syria.

Kissinger: One of the purposes of this exercise is to face them down. They will scream, and it will have to be over in 72 hours. I doubted at first the desirability of pegging the statement to the peace effort, but now that I see it, I like it. (to Mr. Seeyle) Can you consider what to say on the same general theme if Syria were invaded rather than Jordan?

Johnson: We haven’t had a chance to discuss possible [UN] Security Council action yet. That will require more careful consideration.

Seelye: This is consistent with the idea that we should seek parallel action.

Kissinger: If Israel moves into Syria, can we condemn Israel in the SC?

Seelye: We wouldn’t have to. We would just say everyone should get back to his own territory.

Kissinger: ...we can’t take a position based on a call for immediate Israeli withdrawal in the face of what we’ve done. We can’t single out Israel after we put them up to it.

Packard: We will ask everyone to get out.

Kissinger: ... we can’t deny having some prior knowledge—Israel won’t let us. On the other hand, if we go too far, it will produce the charge of collusion with all its consequences. We must strike a line between.

Seelye: We can say Israel decided independently to move and, in the light of the circumstances, we view the move sympathetically.

Minutes of a National Security Council Meeting, September 21, 6 p.m.

Secretary Rogers... stated that Assistant Secretary Sisco had talked to Ambassador Rabin about the desirability of Israeli action against Syria within Syrian territory and the Israelis had responded very unenthusiastically about action against Syria [the report by Sisco will be a matter of dispute later]. According to Secretary Rogers the Israelis felt that it would be better politically to move against Syria but not militarily. Admiral Moorer stated that this puzzled him since action against Syria would be tantamount to cutting the rear of the enemy forces... The President asked whether or not it might not be better to approach the Israelis separately again on this issue.

...The President stated that he felt that Israeli action against Syria would give King Hussein the best break. It would be easy for the Israelis to move in and act quickly, cut off the Syrian rear, and accomplish the same thing without jeopardizing the King’s position in the Arab world as a result of his having brought Israeli forces into Jordan.

For all these reasons, the President stated, I believe it would be best to have the Israelis attack Syria. If we are unsuccessful in doing that, in light of Israeli reservations, then air action alone would probably be best.

Dr. Kissinger stated that he agreed with this analysis, but that it might be difficult to get the Israelis to stick to air action alone. However, in light of the improving military situation on the ground [Jordan was holding back the Syrians successfully], they might feel otherwise at this point in time.

Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Israeli Ambassador (Rabin), September 21, 7:05 p.m.

K: There is a point of clarification I want to raise with you. What did you tell Sisco this afternoon about the alternate plan we mentioned to you this afternoon, the alternate courses of operations? [namely, attacking Syria]

R: He raised the question. He said they estimated that Jordan didn’t want ground operations in Jordan and he asked about the possibility of carrying out diversionary action in Syria. He asked my opinion. I made it very clear that diversionary operations cannot achieve anything unless the purpose is to eliminate the forces in Jordan.

K: I want to get one thing clear. Did I understand you correctly when we talked this afternoon that if a major operation was carried out in Syria, from a military point of view this was a feasible operation? You and I have to be meticulous in our understandings for this reason. What you tell me I report to the President. When another version is reported, my version must be the correct one. Otherwise there is no sense in my talking to you. I reported my understanding of the conversation this afternoon—from a purely military point of view you expressed the thought that this might be an effective and probably the effective way of doing it.

R: Exactly.

K: We were told this evening that it was your judgment that from a military point of view it was not feasible [Kissinger refers to the report on the Sisco conversation].

R: This time it is recorded. He [Sisco] talked about diversionary tactics. I went into detail and explained to him. I said to him you don’t have diversionary...

K: You don’t have to explain any more than that.

R: It is unbelievable.

K: The only essential thing is that any time you deviate, even in the slightest—which you didn’t do... I want to know when I say in a meeting “It is my belief that this is the Israeli point of view,” I want to be exactly right.

R: I said “what do you mean by diversionary?”

K: I understand.

R: I said nonsense. They have decided to move that force because they have a reason to do so. They are willing to take the risk. I don’t believe in diversionary.

K: I fully understand.

R: There were at least two people on their part and one on our part, and he came to me and said . . .

K: But they were not at the meeting with the President.

R: It becomes something that’s impossible to work.

K: It will be straightened out.

R: I tried to find out to Haig after I came back. I wanted to explain the concept of diversion.

K: You should have done that.

R: I couldn’t reach him.

K: Then you should have left word.

R: I did and was told he would call me back.

K: It doesn’t matter; no one is blaming you. Relax Mr. Ambassador. We will be back to you tonight.

R: Very strange. I didn’t write it down—someone else did.

K: We’ll confuse everybody if we keep this up. Someone has just come in. Goodbye. [The President had walked into Mr. Kissinger’s office

with Mr. Haldeman]

Kissinger-Rabin conversation continues, 7:20 p.m. [After the President left Mr. Kissinger’s office]

K: The President wants, on an urgent basis, the assessment of your government of the plan of a major attack in that region and on a diversionary attack... keep in mind some of the advice I gave you this afternoon—about cleverness.

R: Okay.
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PostSubject: Re: Black September - Newly released documents - The Build Up to War in the Middle East   Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:58 pm

Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, September 23

Ambassador [to Jordan Dean] Brown finally was able to get in touch with the palace last night concerning our request for a clarification of King Hussein’s thoughts on Israeli ground intervention in Jordan and coordination directly with the Israelis. He had to double talk again with Zaid Rifai [Chief of the Jordanian Royal Court] who said that the King “prefers action from up high” [air force attack] and that “if anything is to be done low it should not be here but away [from Syria]”... Rifai also said that it is important for the U.S. to keep up the pressures it has already asserted and that the principal aim must be to get the Syrians withdrawn so that the Iraqi do not also get the idea they can get away with something.

Minutes of a National Security Council Meeting, September 23, 9:30 a.m.

The President directed that the WSAG [Washington Special Action Group] carefully review the language of the U.S. response to take cognizance of these facts, noting that the situation of the moment had improved, and it may be that King Hussein does not want Israeli or U.S. air support. If this is true, the United States will have finessed the problem. In effect, the U.S. response should suggest that we do not want unilateral Israeli action but, at the same time, make it clear that we are grateful for Israeli cooperation. The President added that it was the United States which took the initiative with the Israelis on this issue and it is the Government of Israel that was most helpful in response to our request...

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PostSubject: Re: Black September - Newly released documents - The Build Up to War in the Middle East   Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:28 pm

fasinating. thanks for those posts cf!
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PostSubject: Re: Black September - Newly released documents - The Build Up to War in the Middle East   Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:42 pm

No problem. Here's something from Global Research.
By posting these things, I'm not saying that I accept everything in them as being correct, but they are certainy useful for taking us past the simplistic level of propoganda and/or news headlines.

Aragon posted this link on another Gaza thread .

The reason the rationale for invading Gaza keeps changing, (from rocket-fire to Hamas infrastructure to strengthening deterrents to weapons smuggling to ceasefire violations etc) is because the Israeli leadership wants to conceal the true objective. The purpose of "Operation Cast Lead" is to conduct a dress rehearsal for another invasion of Lebanon.

That's the real goal. Israel has never recovered from its defeat at the hands of Hezbollah during the 33 Day war in 2006, so it is planning to restart hostilities. The attack on Gaza is just a "dry run" to strengthen morale and put the finishing touches on the battle plan. That's why there's such a disparity between the implicit risks of the current operation and its minuscule strategic gains. It's not really Hamas in the cross-hairs, but Hezbollah; and this time, Israel hopes to crush them with overwhelming force. The massive week-long aerial bombardment of Gaza; the pounding by heavy artillery units, and the deployment of elite troops and armored divisions, all presage a massive Normandy-type invasion of Lebanon with the probability of high casualties.

Gaza has also been the testing ground for new Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of the General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. Barak and Ashkenazi replaced former Defence chief Amir Peretz and Israeli Air Force Commander Dan Halutz, the two main scapegoats for the failed campaign. The new leaders are expected to take what they've learned in Gaza and use it in Lebanon. So far, the invasion appears to have gone according to plan.

Israel's Tonkin Bay?

Two days before Israel began its bombardment of the Gaza Strip, UNIFIL (UN peacekeepers) increased the number of daily patrols along Lebanon's southern border. According to the Jerusalem Post, "The decision to increase UNIFIL's patrols had nothing to do with Israel's military operation... but rather with the international organization's goal to monitor the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701."

Hezbollah has been watching the activity on the border with growing concern suspecting that Israel may be using the invasion of Gaza to divert attention from their real objective, another war in Lebanon. Presently, the Shi'ite militia is on its highest alert and is preparing itself for any sudden flare up. Israeli warplanes have increased their flights over Lebanon in the last 10 days and the IDF has called up thousands of reserve troops and placed some of them along the northern border. Naturally, the tension is rising . Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has publicly rejected the idea of supporting Hamas militarily, but the Israeli media continues to portray him as a potential threat.

"We are here, ready for every possibility and prepared for any aggression," Nasrallah said on Monday. "We will not weaken, fear or surrender. I tell Olmert, the loser, the disappointed and defeated in Lebanon, 'You will not be able to eradicate Hamas and you will not be able to eradicate Hezbollah."


According to the Jerusalem Post: "On Monday, Lebanese president Michel Suleiman suggested Israel was responsible for eight rockets that were found in southern Lebanon, saying that he fears "it is an Israeli attack to implicate Lebanon," according to the NOW Lebanon news site."

The eight rockets were on timers and aimed at Israel from Lebanese territory. Was Israel planning to start a war and make it look Hezbollah was to blame? The former President of Lebanon thinks so.

In an exclusive interview with Press TV on Tuesday, former President Emile Lahoud warned that once Israel is finished with Gaza, it would attack Lebanon in reprisal for its failure in the 33-day war.

“I'm sure that Israel is thinking after Gaza would turn towards Lebanon, and after Lebanon it will take every Arab state one by one, and this is what some of the Lebanese as some Arab leaders are not thinking about,” said the former Lebanese president....This is while Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was quoted as telling the French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday that "today Hamas and Tomorrow Hezbollah," will come under attack. (Press TV)

Also, the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported this provocative comment by Head of Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin: "Yadlin said, 'Hezbollah might carry out a low-profile attack by means of a Palestinian organization that would be limited and not set the border alight.' He added that forces also remained on high alert in light of a possible Hezbollah strike against an Israeli target abroad." (Ha'aretz, 1-6-09)

Who really wants another war; Hezbollah or Israel?

Israel never accepted the outcome of the 33 Day war and will probably use the UN's failure to implement UN Resolution 1701--which requires the disarming of all militias--as an excuse for restarting the conflict. Nicholas Blanford, who authored a report on the 33 Day war, told Press TV:

"Yes, 1701 stopped the war in 2006. It stopped the fighting. I mean it saved the Israelis, the Israelis were obviously in deep trouble as various internal investigations and reports and commissions have elaborated....It was kind of an unfinished war in many respects. Hezbollah, for their part, recognized Israeli unease and unhappiness with the outcome of the war."

Israel considers the war "unfinished" and has been readying itself for two and a half years for a rematch. (Al Jazeera reported "Rockets from Lebanon Hit Israel" hours after this article was written.

"Greater Israel"

The upcoming war with Lebanon has less to do with Hezbollah than it does with Israel's geopolitical ambitions. Israel wants to establish a new northern border at the Litani River in southern Lebanon and create an "Israel-friendly" regime in Beirut. The plan to annex the land south of the Litani River dates back to the founding of the Jewish state when Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion described the country’s future borders this way: "To the north the Litani River, the southern border will be pushed into the Sinai, and to the east, the Syrian Desert, including the furthest edge of Transjordan."

In 1978, the IDF launched Operation Litani with the intention of annexing the southern part of Lebanon and setting up a Christian client-regime in Beirut that would take orders from Tel Aviv. Israel said that it needed a "buffer zone" for its security, the same excuse that it uses today. The 1982 invasion devolved into an 18-year onslaught which ravaged the Lebanese economy and killed more than 20,000 civilians. In 2000, Israel was driven from Lebanon by the region's newest guerrilla militia, Hezbollah.

Israel's territorial objectives have not changed. They want to seize more land to achieve their vision of "Greater Israel" and reduce adjacent Arab countries to a "permanent state of colonial dependency".

This explains why Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure and communications network were intentionally targeted. Israel requires its neighbors to languish in abject poverty and hopelessness. By destroying Lebanon's life-support systems, Israel figured it would eliminate a potential rival while establishing itself as the dominant power in the Middle East. This same template for "total war" is being used in Gaza where mosques, schools, media offices, sea ports, girl's dormitories, ambulances and vital infrastructure have been destroyed while international media, doctors and the Red Crescent have been refused entry. The rules of war have been abandoned altogether.


"A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" provides the neocon blueprint for "rebuilding Zionism in the 21st century" and redrawing the map of the Middle East in a way that promotes Israeli interests. The document states:

"Securing the Northern Border: Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which America can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran, as the principle agents of aggression in Lebanon, including by: paralleling Syria’s behavior by establishing the precedent that Syria is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and should that prove to be insufficient, striking at select targets in Syria proper." (A Clean Break; Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser)

Eventually, Syria will be dragged into the war so that Israel can move forward with its plans to build a oil pipeline from Mosul to Haifa. Israel wants to be a major player in the global oil trade. In Michel Chossudovsky’s article "Triple Alliance: US, Turkey, Israel and the War on Lebanon", the author says:

"We are not dealing with a limited conflict between the Israeli Armed Forces and Hezbollah as conveyed by the Western media. The Lebanese War Theatre is part of a broader US military agenda, which encompasses a region extending from the Eastern Mediterranean into the heartland of Central Asia. The war on Lebanon must be viewed as ‘a stage’ in this broader ‘military road map’".

Chossudovsky shows how the recently completed Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline has strengthened the Israel-Turkey alliance creating an opportunity to establish "military control over a coastal corridor extending from the Israeli-Lebanese border to the East Mediterranean border between Syria and Turkey." Lebanese sovereignty is likely to be one of the casualties of this Israel-Turkey strategy.

Most of the oil from the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline will be transported to Western markets, but a percentage of the oil will be diverted through a "proposed" Ceyhan-Ashkelon pipeline which will connect Israel directly to rich deposits in the Caspian. This will allow Israel to supply markets in the Far East from its port at Eilat on the Red Sea. It is an ambitious plan that ensures that Israel will be a critical part of the global energy distribution system. (See Michel Chossudovsky, The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil, July 2006)

Oil is the main reason the US and Israel want regime change in Syria. An article in the UK Observer, "Israel Seeks Pipeline for Iraqi Oil", notes that Washington and Tel Aviv are hammering out the details for a pipeline that will run through Syria and "create an endless and easily accessible source of cheap oil for the US guaranteed by reliable allies other than Saudi Arabia." The pipeline "would transform economic power in the region, bringing revenue to the new US-dominated Iraq, cutting out Syria, and solving Israel’s energy crisis at a stroke."

The Israeli Mossad is operating in northern Iraq where the pipeline will originate and their agents have developed good relations with the Kurds. The Observer quotes a CIA official who said, "It has long been a dream of a powerful section of the people now driving this administration and the war in Iraq to safeguard Israel’s energy supply as well as that of the US. The Haifa pipeline was something that existed, was resurrected as a dream, and is now a viable project — albeit with a lot of building to do."


Ironically, the invasion of Gaza was in part motivated by vital energy resources, too. According to an article by Jake Bower, "Why It Rains: Hamas holding Israeli gas reserves hostage":

"GAZA: Plans for proposed $400,000,000 offshore natural gas field development project....The deposit reportedly contains an estimated 50 to 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The field... is considered to be the largest in the area north of Egypt....

Estimated at 100 billion cubic meters of proven reserves, these discoveries potentially offer enough gas to meet Israel's goal of supplying 25% of its energy needs for more than 20 years - even without further imports. The discovery has also raised realistic expectations of locating oil deposits beneath the gas fields.

Unfortunately for Israel, 60% of these reserves are in waters controlled by the Palestinian Authority, which has signed a 25-year contract with British Gas for further exploration in the area.... Keen to secure the gas for its domestic market but unwilling to submit its sensitive energy supplies (and their profits) into the hands of the Palestinians, Israel has for the past 6 years pursued a policy of non-commitment, stalling and obstruction." (Jake Bower, "Why It Rains: Hamas holding ?Israeli? gas reserves hostage")

The natural gas deposits are just one more reason why Israel plans to remove Hamas and replace it with Mahmoud Abbas and the corrupt Palestinian Authority (PA).

The Middle East is being reshaped according to the ideological aspirations of Zionists and the exigencies of a viciously-competitive energy market. That's a combo that makes peace nearly impossible.

Mike Whitney is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Mike Whitney
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PostSubject: Re: Black September - Newly released documents - The Build Up to War in the Middle East   Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:01 pm

Apologies again for the wholesale lengthy quotation.

Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War?

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, January 11, 2009

A very large delivery of US weaponry to Israel consisting of 3,000 tons of "ammunition" is scheduled to sail to Israel. The size and nature of the shipments are described as "unusual":

"Shipping 3,000-odd tons of ammunition in one go is a lot," one broker said, on condition of anonymity. "This (kind of request) is pretty rare and we haven't seen much of it quoted in the market over the years," he added. "Shipping brokers in London who have specialized in moving arms for the British and U.S. military in the past said such ship charters to Israel were rare. (Reuters, Jan 10, 2009)

The Pentagon has entrusted a Greek merchant shipping company to deliver the weapons to Israel: "The U.S. is seeking to hire a merchant ship to deliver hundreds of tons of arms to Israel from Greece later this month, tender documents seen by Reuters show. The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) said the ship was to carry 325 standard 20-foot containers of what is listed as "ammunition" on two separate journeys from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod in mid-to-late January.

A "hazardous material" designation on the manifest mentions explosive substances and detonators, but no other details were given.(Ibid)

It is worth noting that a similar unusually large shipment of US ordinance to Israel was scheduled in early December: "Tender documents indicate that the German ship hired by the US in early December also carried a massive cargo of weapons that weighed over 2.6 million kg [2600 tons] and filled up to 989 standard 20-foot containers to Ashdod from North Carolina." (Press TV, 10 Jan 2009)

Are These Large Shipments of Ordinance Connected to the Invasion of Gaza?

The request by the Pentagon to transport ordinance in a commercial vessel, according to Reuters, was made on December 31, 4 days after the commencement of the aerial bombings of Gaza by F16 Fighter jets. Analysts have hastily concluded, without evidence, that the 2 shipments of "ammunition" were intended to supply Israel's armed forces in support of its military invasion of Gaza. "A senior military analyst in London who declined to be named said that, because of the timing, the shipments could be "irregular" and linked to the Gaza offensive." (Reuters, January 10, 2009)

These reports are mistaken. Delivery of ordinance always precedes the onslaught of a military operation. The ordinance required under "Operation Cast Lead" was decided upon in June 2008. Further to Tel Aviv's request under the US military aid program to Israel, the U.S. Congress approved in September 2008 the transfer of 1,000 bunker-buster high precision GPS-guided Small Diameter Guided Bomb Units 39 (GBU-39). The GBU 39 smart bombs produced by Boeing were delivered to Israel in November. They were used in the initial air raids on Gaza:

"...The Israel Air Force has used the new lightweight GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb acquired from the USA, in the recent attacks in Gaza. The [Jerusalem] Post mentioned the new weapons ordered last September having arrived last month [November], and already put to action with the IAF fighters. These weapons could have been deployed by the Boeing/IAF F-15Is, since sofar SDB is cleared for use only with this type of aircraft.

It is highly unlikely that the bulk of the weaponry included in these two large shipments, scheduled to arrive in Israel in late January, is intended to be used in Israel's military operation in Gaza. The GBU-39 is lightweight (130 kg). The entire shipment of GBU 39s (1000 units) would be of the order of a modest 130 tons. In other words, the specifications of the GBU 39 do not match the description of the "unusually large" and "heavy" shipment of ordinance.


Escalation Scenario

The shipment ordered on December 31 is of the order of 3000 tons, an unusually large and heavy cargo of "ammunition" pointing to the transfer of heavy weaponry to Israel. According to US military statements, the ordinance is for stockpiling, to be used "at short notice" in the eventuality of a conflict:

"This previously scheduled shipment is routine and not in support of the current situation in Gaza. ...The U.S. military pre-positions stockpiles in some countries in case it needs supplies at short notice." (Reuters, 10 Jan 2009, emphasis added) Whatever the nature of these large weapons shipments, they are intended for use in a future military operation in the Middle East.

Since the launching of the Theater Iran Near Term Operation Operation (TIRANNT) in May 2003, an escalation scenario involving military action directed against Iran and Syria has been envisaged. TIRANNT was followed by a series of military plans pertaining to Iran. Numerous official statements and US military documents have pointed to an expanded Middle East war.
What these shipments suggest is that the "escalation scenario" not only prevails, but has reached a more active stage in the process of US-Israeli military planning. Whether these weapons will be used or not is not known. The central question, in this regard, is whether the Gaza invasion is part of a broader military adventure directed against Lebanon, Syria and Iran, in which heavier weaponry including US made bunker buster bombs will be used.

History of US Weapons Shipments to Israel

The stockpiling of US made bunker buster bombs by Israel has been ongoing since 2005: "The United States will sell Israel nearly 5,000 smart bombs in one of the largest weapons deals between the allies in years. Among the bombs the [Israeli] air force will get are 500 one-ton bunker busters that can penetrate two-meter-thick cement walls; 2,500 regular one-ton bombs; 1,000 half-ton bombs; and 500 quarter-ton bombs. The bombs Israel is acquiring include airborne versions, guidance units, training bombs and detonators. They are guided by an existing Israeli satellite used by the military.

The sale will augment existing Israeli supplies of smart bombs. The Pentagon told Congress that the bombs are meant to maintain Israel's qualitative advantage [against Iran], and advance U.S. strategic and tactical interests." (Jewish Virtual Library: September 21-22, 2004, Haaretz / Jerusalem Post.)

The actual shipments of US made bunker buster bombs started in 2005. The US approved in April 2005, the delivery of: some 5,000 "smart air launched weapons" including some 500 BLU 109 'bunker-buster bombs. The (uranium coated) munitions are said to be more than 'adequate to address the full range of Iranian targets, with the possible exception of the buried facility at Natanz, which may require the [more powerful] BLU-113 bunker buster [a variant of the GBU 28]'" (See Michel Chossudovsky, Planned US-Israeli Nuclear Attack on Iran, Global Research, May 1, 2005)

The BLU-109 is smaller than the GBU 28. "It is a 2,000lbs warhead that can be used in combination with a GPS guidance kit [...], and can penetrate up to 15 feet of fortified concrete." (See

In 2006 at the height of the Lebanon War in August 2006, a major shipment of the 2.2 ton GBU 28 bombs, according to the New York Times, was dispatched to Israel. The GBU 28 is produced by Raytheon. It was used against Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War, has the the capability of penetrating some 20 feet of reinforced concrete. (Haaretz, 9 Nov 2008) In contrast to the GBU 39 smart bombs (130 kg) used against Gaza, each GBU-2 8 weighs a hefty 2.2 tons. "The Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28) is a special weapon developed for penetrating hardened Iraqi command centers located deep underground. The GBU-2 8 is a 5,000-pound laser-guided conventional munition that uses a 4,400-pound penetrating warhead." Federation of American Scientists, (For a visual depiction see "Bob Sherman, How the GBU-28 works", USA Today on-line.).


Video of GBU 28 on UTube

The recent unusually large shipments of weaponry to Israel are part of the 2004 agreement between Washington and Tel Aviv, financed by US military aid to Israel. As mentioned above, there is a history of delivery of bunker buster bombs (including the GBU 2 Cool, going back to 2005. While the nature and composition of these recent weapons shipments to Israel are not known, one suspects that they include the heavier version of the bunker buster bombs including the GBU-28. In this regard, it is worth noting that last Summer, Israel requested the Pentagon to deliver GBU-28 bunker buster bombs. The stated purpose was to use them in the eventuality of a military operation directed against Iran.

In September 2008, according to US and Israeli press reports quoting Pentagon officials, Tel Aviv's request was turned down. According to the reports, Washington categorically refused to deliver the shipment of GBU 28 bunker buster bombs, to be used to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. "Instead" Washington accepted to deliver the lightweight GBU-39 for use against Gaza.

The U.S. had "rejected an Israeli request for military equipment and support that would improve Israel's ability to attack Iran's nuclear facilities." The Americans viewed [Israel's] request, which was transmitted (and rejected) at the highest level, as a sign that Israel is in the advanced stages of preparations to attack Iran. They therefore warned Israel against attacking, saying such a strike would undermine American interests. They also demanded that Israel give them prior notice if it nevertheless decided to strike Iran. In early September, Haaretz reported that the request had included GBU-28 "bunker-buster" bombs. (note cf - posted about this previously: read Kissinger above, and consider if this information (the US rejection) is sound or not)

In mid-September, the U.S. agreed instead to sell Israel 1000 GBU-39 "bunker buster" bombs which Israeli military experts said "could provide a powerful new weapon" in Gaza, AP reported.
So: when Israel requested weapons that the U.S. expected would be used for bombing Iran, the U.S. said no, and added explicitly that it did not want to see an Israeli attack on Iran. And there was no Israeli attack on Iran. (Defense, December 2008)

Last edited by cactus flower on Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Black September - Newly released documents - The Build Up to War in the Middle East   Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:02 pm


Media Disinformation

The official statements and press reports are bogus. Israel and the US have always acted in close coordination. Washington does not "demand that Israel give them prior notice" of a military operation: The report in Haaretz suggests that the Bush Administration was adamant and did not want the Israelis to attack Iran. In fact, the reports suggested that the US would shoot down Israeli planes, if they tried to attack Iran:

"Air-space authorization: An attack on Iran would apparently require passage through Iraqi air space. For this to occur, an air corridor would be needed that Israeli fighter jets could cross without being targeted by American planes or anti-aircraft missiles. The Americans also turned down this request. According to one account, to avoid the issue, the Americans told the Israelis to ask Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for permission, along the lines of "If you want, coordinate with him." (Haaretz Nov 9, 2008) This Israeli report is misleading. Israel is America's ally. Military operations are closely coordinated. Israel does not act without Washington's approval and the US does not shoot down the planes of its closest ally.

The Nature and Composition of the Recent US Weapons Shipments to Israel

These unusually large shipments of ordinance would normally require Congressional approval. To our knowledge, there is no public record of approval of the unusually large shipments of heavy "ammunition" to Israel. The nature and composition of the shipments are not known. Was Israel's request for the delivery of the 2.2 ton GBU 28 accepted by Washington, bypassing the US Congress? Are GBU 28 bombs, each of which weighs 2.2 tons part of the 3000 ton shipments to Israel. Are tactical bunker buster mini-nuclear bombs included in Israel's arsenal? These are questions to be raised in the US Congress.

The two shipments of "ammunition" are slated to arrive in Israel, respectively no later than the 25th and 31st of January. Secretary Robert Gates who remains at the helm of the Department of Defense ensures continuity in the military agenda.

Preparing for a Confrontation with Iran: Beefing Up Israel's Missile Defense System

In early January, the Pentagon dispatched some 100 military personnel to Israel from US European Command (EUCOM) to assist Israel in setting up a new sophisticated X-band early warning radar system. This project is part of the military aid package to Israel approved by the Pentagon in September 2008: "The Israeli government requested the system to help defend against a potential missile attack from Iran. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates signed off on the deployment order in mid-September. ....

Once fully operational, the system will be capable of tracking and identifying small objects at long distance and at very high altitude, including space, according to U.S. Missile Defense Agency officials. It also will integrate Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global missile detection network. “This will enable the Israelis to track medium- and long-range ballistic missiles multiple times better than their current radar allows them to,” Morrell said. “It will … more than double the range of Israel's missile defense radars and increase its available engagement time.”

This, he said, will greatly enhance Israel’s defensive capabilities. “There is a growing ballistic missile threat in the region, particularly from Iran,” Morrell said. “And no one in the region should feel more nervous about that threat than the Israelis. And they clearly do, and they have asked for our assistance.” (Defense, January 6, 2009, emphasis added.)

The new X-band radar system 'permits an intercept soon after launch over enemy instead of friendly territory" (Sen. Joseph Azzolina, Protecting Israel from Iran's missiles, Bayshore News, December 26, 2008). The X-band radar would "integrate Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global missile detection network, which includes satellites, Aegis ships on the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and land-based Patriot radars and interceptors." (Ibid)

What this means is that Washington calls the shots. The US rather than Israel would control the Air Defense system: ''This is and will remain a U.S. radar system,' Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. 'So this is not something we are giving or selling to the Israelis and it is something that will likely require U.S. personnel on-site to operate.'" (Quoted in Israel National News, January 9, 2009, emphasis added). In other words, the US military controls Israel's Air Defense system, which is integrated into the US global missile defense system. Under these circumstances, Israel cannot launch a war against Iran without the consent of the US High Command.

The large shipments of US ordinance, slated to arrive in Israel after the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States and Commander in Chief are part of the broader program of US-Israeli military cooperation in relation to Iran. The reinforcement of Israel's missile defenses combined with the large shipments of US weapons are part of an escalation scenario, which could lead the World under an Obama Administration into a broader Middle East war.

New Cold War?

There has been a military build on both sides. Iran has responded to the Israeli-US initiative, by beefing up it own missile defense system with the support of Russia. According to reports (December 21), Moscow and Tehran have been holding talks on the supply by Russia of "medium-range air defense systems - specifically, S-300 surface-to-air missile systems" (Asian Times, January 9, 2009)

We are moving from bias and propoganda, to disinformation on a grand scale as was the case with Georgia's attack on South Ossetia last year - Bombing and shelling of the S. Ossetian capital without warning a few hours after the Georgian premier had gone on television telling South Ossetians he had "declared peace" - put out in the press as an unprovoked "Russian invasion" of Georgia.

The global economic crisis has put the skids under America, a heavily armed but economically bankrupt state, and ferocious competition for oil and gas reserves is now driving them towards a regional if not a global war.

Turning the back on Gaza is not just a question of abandoning innocent people to be pulverised to death in their homes, its going to have much wider implications than that.[/color]
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PostSubject: Re: Black September - Newly released documents - The Build Up to War in the Middle East   Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:47 pm

Paul: No such thing as an independent Israel
Sun, 04 Jan 2009 12:03:54 GMT
The following is an exclusive Press TV interview with US congressman Ron Paul, a unique conservative politician who wants an end to US military presence on foreign soil, advocates US withdrawal from the UN, NATO and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and opposes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Ron Paul, House representative of the 14th district of Texas, believes that US foreign policy must be reformed to avoid conflicts around the world.

The interview was conducted outside the Foreign Relations Committee.

Press TV: What is your opinion on the idea of the US blocking Iran's oil exports and preventing its gasoline imports from reaching the country (based on H. Con. Res. 362 previously sought by US congressmen)?

Paul: I think it is an outrage I think it is a blockade. It is the use of force to stop the inflow of petroleum products and people and goods, banking, trains, cars, trucks, cargos. It's all prohibited. How can we stop that without the use of the navy and without the use of force? This idea is not a blockade it is just pure silliness on their part [US senators and congressmen].

If we bomb them, that's the start of hostilities. They (US policy makers) are never willing to take anything off the table, which includes a nuclear-first strike. So, if they do that do you think the Iranians are going to sit still? They are going to react!

The opposition said that, well, we don't want them to block the Strait of Hormuz [the Persian Gulf waterway which allows the passages of a third of the world's daily oil supply]. They ought to change their policy because they are more likely to get the Strait of Hormuz blocked if we persist on this. If we do any bombing or we put on a blockade, it's going to lead to big trouble.

Press TV: There has been a lot of speculation that Israel may act on its own and conduct an independent air strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. Do you think that's possible?

Paul: I don't think there is such a thing as an independent Israel doing anything, because I think no matter what they do its our money, its our weapons, and their not going to do it without us approving it and if they get into trouble we're going to bail them out, so there is no separation between the two.

Press TV: During your line of questioning at the Foreign Relations Committee you mentioned the Seymour Hersh article, which was among the articles that revealed that the Congress had awarded the Bush administration hundreds of millions of dollars for a covert operation to overthrow the Iranian government. Why did you mention those stories?

Paul: Well it's something that I have known about and heard about and it does go on. It goes on all around the world. To me it was a surprise that it was news, because we have been doing that and people do talk about it. I think it's an outrage. How would we react if somebody did it to us? We would be infuriated, willing to go to war. The fact that somebody came and tried to undermine our government.
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PostSubject: Re: Black September - Newly released documents - The Build Up to War in the Middle East   Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:59 am

Interesting... mind you, we knew all that anyway. It's pretty obvious Bush isn't interfering with the Gaza nightmare anyway... the Beeb was suggesting last night the Israelis had started using white phosphorus

it just beggars belief.

When was that interview?? Today??
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PostSubject: Re: Black September - Newly released documents - The Build Up to War in the Middle East   Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:24 am

expat girl wrote:
Interesting... mind you, we knew all that anyway. It's pretty obvious Bush isn't interfering with the Gaza nightmare anyway... the Beeb was suggesting last night the Israelis had started using white phosphorus

it just beggars belief.

When was that interview?? Today??

Sorry I don't have the date of that Ron Paul interview.

The US supplied the weaponry for Gaza, by ship last November. Was just reading that there is tension between the US and Israel over Israeli arms sales and relationship with China. Could it be that the US has spawned a military monster that is getting less dependent than up to now?

The US funds the Israeli army 2 billion a year but they have a big arms industry themselves and of course a good stock of nuclear weapons.

The white phosphorus shells have been visible in the tv news coverage for the last week or more. Also phosphorus burns on injured people - they are distinctive.

A medical account of why people die from quite small phosphorus burns:

IN 1966 sporadic, word-of-mouth reports
began to appear from hospitals in Vietnam
concerning sudden, early, unexpected
death of patients burned by white phosphorus
(WP). In some patients, involvement
was as little as 10 to 15%/o of body
surface area. The infrequency of this occurrence
and the rapidity of death which
often occurred only hours after the burn
injury left clinicians with few clues as to
the mechanism of death. Early death following
accidental or suicidal ingestion of
WP with intervening vascular collapse and
central nervous system, hepatic, renal andmyocardial toxicity has been reported by
several authors."' 3 10. 13

However, a search
of the English language literature revealed
that early death after minimal WP burns
had not been mentioned previously and
no experimental animal study dealing with
WP burns was found. The present study
was initiated to provide information relevant
to this puzzling and distressing clinical

Submitted for publication October 5, 1970.
* Chief Resident, General Surgery Service, Department
of Surgery, US Army Tripler General
Hospital, Honolulu, Hawaii.
* Presently Special Assistant to The Surgeon
General for Medical Corps Affairs, Office of The
Surgeon General, Department of the Army, Washington,
D. C. Formerly Chief, Department of Surgery,
US Army Tripler General Hospital, Honolulu,
* Chief, Department of Surgery, US Army
Tripler General Hospital, Honolulu, Hawaii.
This material has been reviewed by the office
of The Surgeon General, Department of the Army,
and there is no objection to its presentation and/or
publication. This review does not imply any indorsement
of the opinions advanced or any recommendation
of such produicts as miay be named.
Request reprints: T. E. Bowen, M.D., Walter
Reed Army General Hospital, Washington, D. C.

This is a report on weapons used by Israel in the Lebanon - cluster bombs, depleted uranium bombs and shells, white phosphorus and unknown new weapons.

Baby - Lebanon War - depleted uranium weapons

phosphorus burns
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