Hariri resignation – Israeli attack comes next?


"Hariri’s coalition, which took office last year, grouped nearly all of Lebanon’s main parties, including Hezbollah. It took office in a political deal that made Michel Aoun, a Hezbollah ally, president, and was seen as a victory for Iran.

The resignation risks exacerbating sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shi‘ite Muslims and returning Lebanon to paralysis in government.

It was not immediately clear who might succeed Hariri, Lebanon’s most influential Sunni politician.

The prime minister must be a Sunni in Lebanon’s sectarian system. Aoun must appoint the candidate with most support among MPs, who he is expected to consult in the coming days.

“We are living in a climate similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of martyr Rafik al-Hariri. I have sensed what is being plotted covertly to target my life,” Hariri said."  Reuters


The US, Saudi Arabia and Israel have adamantly opposed the existence of the coalition presently headed by Aoun and Nasrullah.  IMO Hariri's resignation indicates a possible decision to use Israeli military force if necessary to destroy the existing coalition in Lebanon. 

Hariri fled to Saudi Arabia and communicated his resignation to President Aoun from there claiming that the Iranians and Hizbullah have been plotting to assassinate him as the constitutionally appointed Sunni Prime Minister. 

This would serve as a convenient casus belli for an Israeli attack on Hizbullah carried out in frustration over US failure at al-bukamel.

Odds of an Israeli attack?  IMO – 50%.  pl 


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76 Responses to Hariri resignation – Israeli attack comes next?

  1. turcopolier says:

    The Hariris are more Saudi than Lebanese and have always been wholly owned properties of the Saudi royal family. Hariri’s resignation was almost certainly on order from Riyadh. pl

  2. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Alternatively, Velayati read him the riot act and he bolted.

  3. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Likely, per that Saudi official’s boasting of an imminent and spectacular display of sound and fury last week, Iranians sent Velayati to warn every actor in Lebanon.

  4. Imagine says:

    How was the interception handled, must have been slower intermediate-range missile? Does SA have equipment similar to Iron Dome? The interception was apparently effective?
    As a single missile is largely a symbolic act from Yemen designed to send a message, what is that message? Not seeing any way this makes sense yet.

  5. Alaric says:

    “This would serve as a convenient casus belli for an Israeli attack on Hizbullah”
    How would they sell that? Would they claim the need to “stabilize” the situation in Lebanon? Thus far, Israel has shown itself to be extremely hesitant to attack Hezbollah themselves. Might they try to use Lebanon’s Sunnis or the Lebanese army to attack Hezbollah?
    I can’t imagine this will work. The Lebanese have not forgotten 2006 or their civil war.
    I wonder if Syria, Iran or Russia have updated Hezbollah’s mostly non existent air defenses.

  6. blue peacock says:

    Col. Lang
    Do you believe Netanyahu will attempt this takedown of Hezbollah on his own with only the help of the young Saudi king in waiting, or do you think the mukhtar has been roped in with Kelly, Mattis and McMaster providing all the positive reinforcement and the plans?
    My first exposure to your analysis was your brilliant Tabouleh Line write-ups. I was an entry level oil analyst then and your notes really helped me get a more realistic sense of the military action.
    It would seem if this attack happens it will not come as a surprise to Nasrallah and R+6. If rockets rain down on Haifa and Tel Aviv as a consequence of an attack by the IDF, will the mukhtar be left with no choice but to send in the bunker busters? Clearly our MSM and political-governmental establishment will be all hysterical and the tomtoms will be beating hard. What are the odds that Putin sits this one out?

  7. turcopolier says:

    blue peacock
    I don’t know how much Bibi thinks he has obtained US support either moral support or actual physical support. Bibi believes that Trump is unpredictable and unreliable and may think that his action would force Trump’s hand. pl

  8. turcopolier says:

    Lebanese sovereignty would be claimed to be threatened. People do strange things when they think themselves mortally threatened. I did not say that an Israeli attack would achieve anything but a lot of dead people. Beware relying on the rational actor model. pl

  9. The Beaver says:

    Meanwhile there is a house ( correction a kingdom ) cleaning currently going on inside KSA.
    Ministers and Princes being arrested as well as order to Civil Authority to prevent all private & royal planes from taking off to prevent any suspects from fleeing

  10. Tel says:

    Open Israeli attack would tend to unify the Lebanese in defense, and Iran would say, “See why we need to provide weapons to these poor people, to protect their homes!”
    It would backfire against Israel in a big way… these guys are not stupid they wouldn’t do it. Not openly anyhow.
    They might find more subtle ways to undermine Hezbollah, trying to provoke internal Lebanese fighting would be more likely IMHO. Not that it takes much to provoke the Lebanese.

  11. turcopolier says:

    you greatly exaggerate the wisdom and acumen of the Israelis. pl

  12. turcopolier says:

    Ah, the rational actor fallacy again. for the Yemenis symbolic acts are very important especially in the context of the present war. for them t is a bit like the Sioux counting coup on an enemy. pl

  13. FourthAndLong says:

    i hesitate to cite CNN but things seem to be getting rather interesting and quickly. Headline is: Saudi Arabia intercepts ballistic missile over capital.
    Saudi Capital attacked? Claims and counterclaims abound.
    ME Gulf of Tonkin incident?

  14. Bandolero says:

    “Odds of an Israeli attack? IMO – 50%.”
    I agree. The Israelis would like very much like to do an attack on Lebanon to destabilize it.
    But the big problem I see here for the Israelis is how to attack Lebanon.
    The Israelis have the air above Lebanon, so they could air strike Hezbollah strongholds in south Lebsnon and Beirut almost as much as they want. But what would that accomplish? I doubt, Israel can split the population from Hezbollah with air power.
    Besides that Israel could also use ground forces to strike Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon and try to move forward into Lebanon. But would that accomplish any more than Israel accomplished 2006? I doubt it.
    So what else can Israel do against Lebanon, besides the common propaganda and false flag terror, of course? I don’t see much there.

  15. turcopolier says:

    GoT ME? Why? The Hoouthis are capable of doing this. pl

  16. Rd says:

    Imagine said…
    “As a single missile is largely a symbolic act from Yemen designed to send a message, what is that message? .

    sound and fury in Lebanon, backfires in SA.

  17. Barbara Ann says:

    If this is the best casus belli they can come up with, it seems another good indicator of the level of desperation in the Gulf/Israeli coalition.
    As Alastair Crooke says in his excellent piece referenced by @outthere in the previous post, “crunch time” is approaching. I’d agree with Alastair’s assessment that full US involvement is by no means likely, given the trifecta doesn’t want war with Iran and the CIC is otherwise occupied.
    Instead of mass retaliation, what are the odds of Nasrallah going full rational actor and instead choosing restraint in the face of an Israeli onslaught? Denying Bibi his war might now be the smart way to ultimately defeat him (i.e. IFO a less bellicose replacement). Likud is down in the polls and it’s coalition in jeopardy. Bibi himself is threatened with indictment. And Iran’s strategic position grows stronger daily – time is on their side as things stand.
    A further demonstration of Russian statesmanship in Lebanon in helping to avoid a conflagration would also be greatly to their benefit. The coup de grâce would be Putin getting Mr Xi to choose now to act on his CPC National Congress promise to involve China more in international affairs and show a unified front with Russia and it’s allies, for sanity in the ME.
    Time for the grown ups to take over, or wishful thinking?

  18. Grimgrin says:

    My first thought is: “How confident are the Israelis in their US financed missile defence system?” I tend to think that the simple economics of using a $40,000 guided missile to knock down a Grad artillery rocket make the situation basically impossible for the defender. And anti-missile systems have been expensive, unworkable boondoggles every previous time they’ve been tried. Still, the Israelis aren’t actually paying full price, and 10 years is a long time for computer guidance systems, so maybe they’ve cracked it.
    I also recall one of the critiques of ABM is that they’d work well enough to encourage dangerously reckless behaviour, but not well enough to prevent at least a few cities from being incinerated if there ever was a nuclear exchange. Much lower stakes here, but a similar worry.

  19. charly says:

    Its interception was so successful that it landed on the airport. Iron dome is against short range rockets and artillery but Saudi Arabia has patriots who shot more rockets down.
    The message is don’t blow up civilians. (SA attacked a market or something like that a few days ago) It is IMHO purely political but that is often highly effective military.

  20. charly says:

    Iran now make their own manpads and SAMs. They didn’t in 2006

  21. JJackson says:

    How much of Hizb’s strength is in south Lebanon and how much on R+6 duty far away. Might Israel think they are depleted and vulnerable?

  22. mike says:

    FourthAndLong –
    CNN and the rest of the press must have been asleep at the wheel back in July when the Houthis used the same type missile to attack a Saudi refinery in Yanbu.
    There have been many others also. In May it is said they tried to take out Trump when he visited Riyadh, or at least give him a welcome.

  23. Stumpy says:

    FourthAndLong, fellow outposters,
    I noticed the coverage on CNN had not only mentioned the missile attack, but went on to provide background/commentary on the US-Saudi arms deal in connection with humanitarian conditions on the ground. A US domestic counter-Saudi seems to be set in motion. The notion that the CNN puppeteers will try to hang the horrors in Yemen on the Trump admin’s deal with the house of Saud is an interesting dynamic. Sen. Chris Murphy of CT says in an interview that the US is an indispensable partner to Saudi bombardment. He is moving to have Congress block further arms deliveries to the Saudi Air Force. And social media puts a face on Yemen, in the form of a young girl bombing victim who can’t open her eyes without using her fingers, hashtag #buthaina.
    Is this relevant to the Israel-Lebanon topic? Perhaps indirectly, yet the events of the day as noted in this thread all seem to converge on Saudi regional influence.
    And yes, this is the most CNN I have watched in years.

  24. J says:

    There’s been a purge by the Saudi heir-apparent. Rooted out were those who are considered soft on Iran. The Saudi heir’s next targets are the radicals in the Mosques who he suspects are working with Iran.
    Those purged are
    Waleed Bin Talal
    Prince Mitaab bin Abdullah
    Prince Turki bin Abdullah
    Prince Turki bin Nasser
    Waleed Ibrahim
    Khaled Al-Turwaijri
    Adel Faquih
    Omer Dabbagh
    Saleh Kamel
    Saud Al-Tobaishi
    Ibrahim Al-Assaf
    Bakr Bin Ladin
    Saud Al-Dawish
    Khaled Al-Mulhem

  25. ToivoS says:

    I have wondered about that as well. First Hezbollah have relatively few troops in R+6. But if those are their elite troops then the forces in Lebanon could be seriously weakened. However, if those troops in Syria are rotated often then it could mean that Hezbollah is now stronger than before given the defenders in Lebanon will have had combat experience and are battle hardened. If Israel attacks they will be with either green troops or those who are only conditioned to terrorize Palestinian civilians who can’t shoot back.

  26. turcopolier says:

    It seems that you don’t agree with me about the current strength of Hizbullah’s military forces. I suggest you read the wiki on Hizbullah’s military strength to catch up on the subject. The author of that article demonstrates how much stronger Hizbullah is now than it was in 2006. He states that he thinks Hizbullah has probably lost 2,000 dead in Syria with most being in the Battle of Aleppo, but he understands that recruitment of motivated youth from large Shia families plus the combat experienced veterans who have fought in Syria make for a force that is a lot stronger than it was in 2006. pl

  27. FourthAndLong says:

    Testament to my ignorance. Thank you.

  28. Adrestia says:

    In 2006 the Israeli attack was stopped by the Hezbollah militias. The full-timers were not involved in this.
    IMO Hezbollah uses an integrated approach to disseminate knowledge through their organization. Both (specialist) training and experience (through rotation or detachment to other (including foreign) units) are done according to the capabilities and ambitions of the individuals. IMO HB as an organizations is creative, intelligent and able to learn (adapt to changing conditions and learning from its mistakes)
    Paired with tough, resilient people that are not afraid to die if necessary makes HB a formidable opponent.

  29. mike says:

    Not yours. But it does show the shallowness of sound-bite journalism.

  30. Morongobill says:

    If there is another war, I am of the opinion that a paper tiger is about to be exposed and this time the tiger may be taught a lesson that it will never forget.

  31. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Rather doubtful, in 2006 the Christians were reported to be drinking to the health of IDF pilots in East Beirut bars.

  32. Will2.71828 says:

    As good an explanation as any why Saad H was summoned back to the medieval Kingdom of Wahhabi Barbaria and ordered to resign as PM of Lebanon due to “foreign influence’ in Leb. and fear of assasination.

  33. Been saying for some time now that with the plan to destroy Syria’s military by the US and NATO a la Libya being put on hold due to the Russian intervention, Israel is becoming desperate over the plan to start a war with Iran which the US will prosecute for Israel.
    The recent Congressional sanctions on Hizballah and the uptick in talk against Hizballah indicated to me that Israel may be trying to get the US to attack Hizballah itself or at least directly support an Israeli attack on Lebanon.
    I hadn’t anticipated the excuse of “protecting Lebanon from Hizballah and/or another civil war – by bombing Lebanon”… 🙂 Israel can come up with some doozies…
    Today I also read the following which is precisely along the same lines:
    Israel Threatens Intervention After Nusra Bomb Kills Nine in Syrian Druze Village
    In other words, Israel wants to “protect” the Druze by bombing the crap out of Syria. Same-same “protect Lebanon” by bombing the crap out of Lebanon.
    I am more confident than the Colonel that somehow Israel will find an excuse to attack Hizballah in Lebanon within, say, the next year, if not sooner. I suggest a 75% probability.
    As for Hizballah’s ability to withstand that attack, there is little doubt that they are significantly stronger now than they were in 2006. Which is one reason Israel is much more desperate and its attack on Lebanon will be even more brutal than 2006. It’s also one reason why Israel will be trying to get the US on board to join in.

  34. outthere says:

    Adama Garrie on Hariri resignation & Saudi purge, detailed analysis:
    “In all of this, it is implied that Hariri had little choice in the matter. He was merely given an offer he could not refuse by MBS and he took it. Perhaps this is why Hariri is out of power but not under arrest. Were he to resist Saudi attempts to ‘guide’ his future, he may have found that fortune would have not smiled on him in the way that it apparently has done.”
    2 radically different interpretations of Saudi’s ‘great purge’ and Lebanese PM Hariri’s ‘resignation’
    Each scenario must be explored in order to better understand what is happening in Saudi, Lebanon and beyond.

  35. turcopolier says:

    I am concerned that Bibi is working hard to get the US to directly participate in a war against Hizbullah. pl

  36. outthere says:

    The Fall and the Fall of Hariri
    by Ghassan Kadi
    > To add insult to injury, with the down turn of the Saudi economy, Hariri’s main Saudi company (Oger) was under severe financial stress, and instead of being given the Saudi government subsidy and huge railway contract it was promised, it received zilch and it was forced into bankruptcy under the deliberate watchful eye of MBS.
    > The Saudi-Hariri impasse was only strengthened by the Lebanese presidential elections. Saudi Arabia was adamant to block the election of Michel Aoun; a staunch supporter of Hezbollah, and as his election was becoming more imminent, in an act of dismay, Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador in Lebanon. To add insult to injury, Hariri had to engage in a deal with the new president, his former foe, and be his prime minister. At that point, one could argue that the Saudi-Hariri relationship was totally and irrevocably severed.
    > As a matter of fact, when Hariri was given the appointment as prime minister almost exactly a year ago, he had already lost not only his strong and powerful Saudi allies, but also his fortune and many of his Lebanese power brokers and street support.
    > So what made Hariri go to Riyadh and announce his resignation, as the prime minister of Lebanon, from the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh?
    > Whatever the details of the newly-founded Saudi-Hariri alliance are, they do not have much chance of success. The battle was lost in Syria, and for Hariri to be able to pick up the pieces and reverse the situation from within Lebanon, he does not have much chance of success; especially that Hezbollah now is stronger than ever, both militarily and politically. Only an Israeli military gamble in Lebanon can potentially change the balance in favour of Hariri and Saudi Arabia. Having said that, any such gamble will most likely backfire, just like previous gambles. If Israel and Hezbollah have another showdown, and this is probably a question of when not if, the timing and location may not be of Israel’s choosing.
    > MBS and Hariri are more likely to achieve nothing at all with their new alliance. Apart from getting media coverage and analysis reports like this one, the most they can affectively achieve is more street riots and acts of sabotage. This time, the Lebanese security forces and Hezbollah will be on full alert and preparedness to deal with them, after all, with the “War on Syria” coming to its end and the Syrian-Lebanese borders secured already, Lebanon and Hezbollah do not need to watch their back.

  37. turcopolier says:

    Do you have any thoughts of your own or will you just post links? pl

  38. JJackson says:

    I watched a recent WINEP lecture by Gen. Golan on Israel’s defense policy and the gist was Iran is the primary enemy and Hizbullah are a secondary problem. He was of the opinion that Israel could deal with Hizb, without help, but not Iran – which was for the US to deal with.

  39. Adrestia says:

    Last month (at least 4 of the 6 on order) new Super Tucano ground attack aircraft were delivered to the Lebanese Air Force by Sierra Nevada Corporation (owned by Turkish-Americans Ozmen)
    SNC is also in the business of ISR. Gorgon Stare. Wide Aerea Airborne Surveillance.
    In the last month there has also been the transfer of a AC208 ISR aircraft (which has been in Lebanon for some time) which IMO has Gorgon Stare-capable equipment on board and Hellfire missiles. Supplier (and possibly also operator) is Orbital ATK which was also involved in arms transfers to jihadists in Syria. Not sure if the other 2 AC208 in the inventory have the same equipment.

  40. Adrestia says:

    How did Saad Hariri leave to SA? Was it from/via Sidon last thursday?

  41. justdroppingin says:

    Paraphrasing Nasrallah’s speech today, which was broadcast on Al Jazeera for the first time since 2011:
    Nasrallah did not take the Saudi bait and their attempts at escalation in sectarian strife in Lebanon. More relevant to American audiences is his call for calm in the face of rumors about imminent attacks by Israel and Saudi Arabia:
    “The second rumor that has caused worries – is that the resignation of PM Hariri is the beginning of an Israeli attack on Lebanon. Israel does not work for Saudi; Israel works for US and works for its own interests. An Israeli attack on Lebanon are based on Israeli interests and Israeli calculations, and there is an agreement since 2006 by all Israelis that Israel will not begin a war on Lebanon unless it is short and quick and winnable, and with few financial costs. From 2006 until now, notice the language of Israel: they threaten in retaliation. I do not want to deny any threats from Israel – but it will not impact Israeli decisions for an attack on Lebanon if there is a gov’t in Lebanon or not, or who the PM will be or won’t be. Today, more than ever, the Israeli calculations of any attack on Lebanon also take into consideration regional and global analysis, which are vastly different than how it was in 2006. (3) The third rumor is that one tv channel that the Saudi called for a meeting with its military allies of some 30 or 40 countries and that Saudi is planning for a vast war against Lebanon. It is not clear that such a meeting has taken place, although some in Lebanon may have wanted such a call. Saudi will bring allies and launch a war on Lebanon. I am one of those people who don’t believe such a rumor. Yes, launching a war of its allies against Yemen; Yemen is a neighbor. But they want to attack Lebanon from – Syria, where they failed, or from Occupied Palestine, or from the sea? From a simple military analysis, this rumor has no foundation or logic. If such military analysis can be of use to the Saudi regime – let him use them against Yemen, where they have failed. Every day there is a Saudi massacre in Yemen! Before we even talk about a Saudi plan in Lebanon, let us wait what to see where Saudi Arabia itself is going — particularly when we see the size and names of those arrested and those whose moneys have been seized.
    As we await to see – I call on all Lebanese and on all who live in Lebanon – to be calm and to be reassured.”

  42. fanto says:

    An unprovoked attack by Israel on HB on Lebanon´s soil would require for Israel to have a “Gleiwitz” moment – what could that be? A simple layman´s rocket falling on empty field would not be enough, seems to me.

  43. Tel says:

    Reported… by people familiar with the matter… who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak in public (and yet seemed strangely anxious to speak anyway, despite being told not to do that).

  44. Barbara Ann says:

    If Babak is right in his World Balkans analogy it will be of little historical interest who fired the first shot, or why. Major loss of life in Israel will surely bring the US in.

  45. JJackson says:

    Great speech, I wish we had politicians who made as such sense.

  46. J says:

    Nasrullah on Iranian TV has said that the resignation was dictated by the Saudis.

  47. LondonBob says:

    Hariri was a distraction from the purge. I don’t think this signals any change from the current proxy war.
    Netanyahu was interviewed on British television on Sunday morning. Same old blustering lying indicating ethnic cleansing of Palestinians will continue, trying to get the Sunni Arabs to fight Iran and no he doesn’t really trust Trump.

  48. Adrestia says:

    Today Blue Flag 2017 exercise starts in Israel at Eilat (not in S-400 range) for the next 2 weeks. So lots of activity in Israeli airspace.
    Lots of foreign participants.
    5x Italian Tornado FGA
    5x French Mirage 2000s
    5x Polish F16s
    6x German Eurofighters
    1x Indian C130 SO
    (5x?) Greek F16s
    (5+5?) US F15E and F16s
    Also several AEW/ECM aircraft as well as IDF/AF participants.
    When I’m very conspiratorial, this would be a good time for a Hezbollah (‘terrorist’) attack to manufacture European and US (public) support. Especially when they are involved too.

  49. The Beaver says:

    What was Jared doing in Riyadh?
    As usual Ignatius likes to stretch things but Jared left on a commercial plane on a Wednesday and came back on a Saturday to celebrate his wife birthday. He did not go to Israel and his two compères Dina Powell and Greenblatt.

  50. The Beaver says:

    @ J
    His speech :
    plus on the right hand side tab: Live News , you have all the key points as he was speaking ( you have to scroll down) .

  51. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I wish all these non-Muslim foreign powers had not decided to participate in this display of “I will kill you if you attack Israel” exercise.
    Did India really need to send a message to the Muslim world that she is on the side of Israel?
    Did Greece?
    And all these European states; do are they willing to bomb Syria, Iran, Iraq on behalf of Israel and face retaliation and a prolong war?

  52. Adrestia says:

    The exercise and the participants was planned much earlier. From march 2017:
    biennial, two-week drill aimed at honing the type of planning, targeting and coordinated command and control demanded by coalitions operating in high-threat theaters.

    Of the seven confirmed participants, four have never before actively participated in Blue Flag, which began in 2013 and continued in 2015 as a four-way exercise involving Israel, the U.S., Greece and Poland. This year, however, four new nations are participating, along with officers and attaches from nearly 40 countries who are expected to attend as observers.
    “Everybody wants to engage and cooperate with the IAF. It’s a privilege,” said Hecht, who spent four years on the Israel Defense Forces’ J5 planning staff, primarily coordinating bilateral issues between the U.S. and Israel.

    I’m curious who the 40 countries are? Probably most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Canada? Any other suggestions?
    A nice Gulf of Tonkin-like incident would be useful for Bibi and compatriots, but maybe this is a bit too obvious. But assuming rational actors may indeed be an error.

  53. Rd says:

    Babak Makkinejad said in reply to Adrestia…
    “And all these European states; do are they willing to bomb Syria, Iran, Iraq on behalf of Israel and face retaliation and a prolong war?
    Apparently, the genes of dark ages still persists in ‘western world”. Despite the very many contribution of the ‘western world’ since the renaissance, it seems the ‘west’ does need a renaissance 2.0, to cleanse themselves of those dark ages mind set!

  54. Philippe T. says:

    An important Israelian air forces exercice, with participation of US, French, German, Italian, Polish and Indian planes, have started on November 5th.
    “Cette année, 7 pays participent à ces manoeuvres, organisées tous les deux ans depuis 2013. Outre la France, l’Allemagne a envoyé des Eurofighter tandis que l’Italie a mobilisé des Panavia Tornado. Des F-16 américains, grecs et polonais sont également présents. L’Inde, dont c’est la première participation, a déployé un avion de transport C-130J Hercules.”
    To my knowledge, it’s the first time that French fighters are participating to an Israelian exercice in Israel (Ouvda AF Base, in Neguev).
    Source : Opex 360 Zone Militaire :

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    une ensemble contre l’Islam; vraiment.

  56. turcopolier says:

    Qui? L’ulema wahhabite? pl

  57. Babak Makkinejad says:

    ceux qui participent aux manœuvres aériennes la bas

  58. Barbara Ann says:

    But that’s just it; it’s merely a display. Haven’t the French and Indians, for example, got blue helmeted missile magnets stationed south of the Litani? Not forgetting that the cheese-eating surrender monkeys have a fine record in politely declining invitations to Borg wars. Even the reliable British (pas invité?) now have a weak leader and an force of 500,000+ bona fide fee-paying anti-Zionsist ‘Corbynistas’ – a number far exceeding the ranks of their ever-diminishing armed forces.
    Displays cost little (maybe a little treasure). Volunteer numbers for the real thing would be diminishingly small IMO.

  59. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Display to what purpose?
    They are also in the Persian Gulf, upholding the rationalitic principles of Enlightenment against the retrograde and crazed Muslims of Iran.

  60. mike says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    Four of the seven are Greece, Poland, Italy and France. Hmmm? Where does that leave your “the-protestant-countries-are-the-ones-that-hate-Iran” theory? Never mind, don’t bother with an answer, the question was rhetorical.
    They do this exercise every two years. It has nothing to do with the current situation in the ME and has nothing to do with attacking Iran. The exercise is defensive in nature, not offensive. I expect that the non-Israeli participants want to learn from the Israeli experience flying close to Russian made radar systems and EW. Probably also checking comms and interoperability. Nothing to get excited about. R+6 does the same.
    Having said that, my personal position is that the US should NOT be participating. We have no formal treaty with Israel – only Reagan’s Strategic Cooperation Agreement, which was never blessed by the Senate. We have been handcuffed by Reagan’s idiocy ever since. But nowadays I suppose the Senate has been bought by AIPAC and would probably go along with it.

  61. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Stop being the pendant, Northern Protestants are setting this agenda and now a few boot-lickers like India have joined.
    No, they are defending Israel against the Martians, for sure.
    AIPAC, Neo-cons, etc are akin to the SS, the alibi of an entire continent. I, however, see religious sentiment in all of this.

  62. Barbara Ann says:

    A display of loyalty to US/Israeli/Gulf interests in the Great Taking of Sides; boot-licking, as you say.

  63. mike says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    “…and now a few boot-lickers like India have joined.”
    As you are surely well aware of, India has had a military and intelligence relationship with Israel since the 1980s. Israel is the second-largest source of defense equipment for India, after Russia. Which is probably why they have attended the Blue Flag exercise in Israel. And they established informal diplomatic relations with Israel in 1950. Relations probably got a lot stronger after the IRGC Delhi bomb attack in 2012.
    So adding India to Greece, Poland, Italy, and France means that five of the seven were not part of your ‘eevil’ protestant cabal.

  64. Babak Makkinejad says:

    For France, it is a matter of emotion – just like World War I – they are still fighting the Shoah…

  65. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Let us not kid ourselves here; only an anti-Muslim Hindu Nationalist Government would so blatantly take sides in this religious war.
    As for my comments about Northern Protestantism and its effect on these states, I stand by what I wrote.
    Poor Greece which no longer is a sovereign state and Italy, a weak state, have to follow the diktats of their betters in Berlin, Paris, London, and Washington.
    I agree that they could, in principle, follow Islamic Republic of Iran, show their proverbial fingers at the Borg, and walk out of this alliance that is perennially seeking a new war to justify itself.
    But they do not have it in themselves.
    Earlier, I had challenged the commentator Castellio on this forum before in this regard, I ask you:
    “What do the secular republics called USA and France have in common with that theocracy called State of Israel?”
    I know it is difficult, having grown in this social milieu that denies the significance of religious sentiment, to admit that one is a religious war with no end in sight.
    Nevertheless, try.

  66. mike says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    “What do the secular republics called USA and France have in common with that theocracy called State of Israel?”
    Nothing! And yet we still support her. Why? AIPAC money and influence in congress and the press is my answer. You seem to think we are all Muslim haters. You should examine your own conscience in this matter and expurgate your own religious preconceptions.

  67. The Beaver says:

    @ Babak
    Quand Priti Patel deviendra la ministre de la Défense Britannique, le Royaume Uni particepera aussi. Elle est comme Nikki Haley – pro-Bibi.

  68. LeaNder says:

    Yes, sometimes Babak’s theories/hypotheses take over, or emotions seem to get the upper hand.
    Strictly, more arbitrarily, the Israeli-Greek military bilateral cooperation seem to have started much earlier then the larger annual Blue Flag events.
    Babak: follow[ing] the diktats of their betters in Berlin, Paris, London, and Washington? Who knows, mike. Maybe he knows something, we don’t?

  69. fanto says:

    I think you attribute too much weight to religious aspect of european people “standing by” Israel against the Muslim countries. IMHO, you need to separate the governing elites from the common people. The governing elites and media are under control of money and media. The constant moral club of Shoah is a powerful tool, which is used skillfully. People in Europe, be it protestant or otherwise have no deep satisfaction in the ´judeo-christian´ mantra, nor deep hatred of the Muslim world. I see the europeans as fairly equal opportunity judges of history and they see the mayhem which Greater Israel is now causing.

  70. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Those Elites stand for elections, do they not?

  71. Babak Makkinejad says:

    It is not I who is emotional, it is you.

  72. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Back again with the usual suspects already?
    You need to address yourself to the Protestant Churches and ask them: “What price Israel?”

  73. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Ah, la guerre contre le Roi Akbar encore

  74. fanto says:

    Do they need money and media for elections??

  75. fanto says:

    my answer above to Babak is in full agreement with your comment – I may add that in Europe, especially in Germany, there is a tight control of media in regard to the education of public in matters of Shoah; also – it seems to me that there is a proscribed quota of pro-jewish/pro-Israel articles in media (for example the Frankfurter Allgemeine regularly features articles about German/Israeli Jews, be it in “Kultur”, or in administrative jobs, and in other key positions; just pick up any given issue and you will see what I see.)The control of the USG seems to be more “open”, as seen by the standing ovations for Bibi in both chambers of Congress. In Germany, it is done in way of ‘we are such good friends now, that you ought to donate us another of your submarines’ and ‘you ought to put our people in this or that position’, and ‘if you continue to talk about the crimes of Michel Fridman – we will call you an anti-Semite, so – give him the TV platform back again’.

  76. Adrestia says:

    Rania Masri: The prime minister, Saad al-Hariri, was called very suddenly to Saudi Arabia. He cancelled all his appointments and went on Thursday.
    Thursday it was.

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