An article on CASMII’s website reported that:
U.S. establishes permanent radar site in Israel to watch Iran by Matthew Fisher (source: Canwest News)
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
JERUSALEM – The Yanks have landed in Israel.
For the first time in the Jewish state’s 60-year history, the U.S. has established a permanent military presence here, according to Defense News.
About 120 American troops have arrived in the Negev Desert to set up an early warning radar that will track missiles launched in Iran, the authoritative U.S.-based weekly says in its current issue. [/blockquote]
The news item explains that the radar was flown into Israel last week from US bases in Europe, and will upgrade Israel’s radar to the point that it can track a baseball 4,700 km distant. It will coordinate with data from US satellites and Israeli weapons systems “designed to shoot down ballistic missiles.”
The purpose is to ” help answer the country’s grave concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambition,” a theme that has been constant among some elements of Israel’s right wing as well as US neoconservatives, but which also evokes conflicting responses from many Israelis. One example of the flipfloppery is Ephraim Sneh, who started the anti-Iran drumbeat some 16 years ago but who said recently, “Iran’s nukes are not the problem; the problem is Iran’s regime.
Similarly, some Israelis are wary of a US military presence on their soil. Haaretz reported that
While the new radar would improve Israeli anti-missile defences, its would limit Israel’s ability to take “independent action against Iran, which the U.S. has made clear in recent months it opposes,” the daily warned. The newspaper reasoned that it was likely to “restrain Israel, which would be wary about launching an attack that would endanger U.S. personnel.”
In a newly released book,The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower, ex-CIA operative Robert Baer argues that, primarily through its successful activities in Lebanon, Iran has mastered asymmetrical warfare tactics as well as methods and strategies of influencing broad swathes of Middle Eastern populations and government leaders, posing a strong counterforce to US dominance in the Middle East. Baer concludes that the US is not in a position to successfully fight Iran, but that our best option is to deal with Iran. Baer writes,
If the United States were to go by the standard of what the Iranians do rather than what they say, there’s no evidence they’ll start World War III. With all the weapons Iran has brought into Lebanon, it could have done that a long time ago. What America needs to do is ask for a truce with Iran, deal with it as an equal, reach a settlement one issue at a time, and continue along the same course until Iran is ready for detente — and maybe more.
Baer’s book starts out in maddening fashion, repeating many of the propaganda points that seem to have created the reality of Iran for many Americans. But his conclusion allays fears that he has failed to find the essential and unique Iranian character — Baer gets it, he gets it that today’s Iranian national character is shaped by its ancient history and by Zoroaster, the belief system religion scholar Bart Ehrmann has called “the prototype” for the Axial Age religions, for Judaism’s core ethical doctrines, and for much of Christianity’s essential beliefs.
Let’s hope that Baer’s thesis and understanding of the essential Iranian character makes it to the forefront of the American consciousness before a baseball is intercepted by an American radar attached to an Israeli missile in the Negev, that is targeted on Iran.