This is an absolutely brutal essay by Phillip Stephens in the Financial Times. Mr. Stephens points out why European militaries are so unprepared to get the “hand off” from President Obama for responsibility in Libya:
The French have a serious point in arguing that political oversight of this mission should reach beyond the western nations represented in Nato. But theological objections to vesting military command and control in Nato have shown the childish side of French diplomacy.
Above all, however, the Libyan venture has betrayed the paucity of Europe’s military capability. Britain has sent a dozen or so fighter aircraft, a couple of frigates and a submarine, and its military chiefs say that is about as much as it can do. It has nothing left if some new crisis were to emerge in, say, the Gulf. Everything is committed elsewhere, mostly to Afghanistan.
France has assembled a more impressive force – it still has an aircraft carrier – but it too is looking overstretched. Both countries have been cutting their defence budgets.
The uncomfortable facts were set out by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Nato secretary-general, at last month’s Munich security conference. A decade ago, Mr Rasmussen said, the US accounted for about half of the defence spending of all Nato countries. That share is now closer to 75 per cent. During the past two years, spending by the European members of the alliance had shrunk by $45bn, equivalent to the entire German defence budget.
The Europeans, in other words, have been pretending that history did indeed end in 1989. The Arab uprisings have reminded them otherwise. The lesson of the Suez debacle was that Britain and France could not defy American power; the message of the Libyan campaign is that they cannot take it for granted.
Do you think someone mentioned the paucity of NATO assets to the president before he decided to hand off command to the Europeans? As many analysts have been saying since this adventure started, the only way it is going to succeed is if America, as always, does most of the heavy lifting. We have the quantitative and qualitative military assets to make the operation work. But Obama wants to pull American assets out of the fight and have us in a “support” role.
This is not going to work and I’m sure the Europeans, at some point, will let the president know this. In the end, we will probably have American combat aircraft and other assets under the command of NATO and no one will believe that it isn’t an American operation.
That’s the price Obama will pay for sticking his head in the sand.
It’s Time for Nick Clegg to Scrape this Foul Tonge – Spinning Jenny the Lib Dem Peer Slurs Israel Yet AgainNovember 14, 2010
13 November ’10
Jenny Tonge – who sits in the House of Lords on the Lib Dem benches as Baroness Tonge, having been given a life peerage in 2005 after several years as an MP – is a veteran detester and demoniser of the world’s only Jewish State, and as a result has earned the epithet “Jihad Jenny”. In 2004 the then Lib Dem leader, Charles Kennedy, sacked her as a party spokesperson after she had refused to apologise for saying of Palestinian suicide bombers: “If I had to live in that situation – and I say that advisedly – I might just consider becoming one myself.”
In 2006 Tonge made headlines when she announced: “The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they’ve probably got a grip on our party.” Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell – himself no great friend of Israel – called her remarks “unacceptable” and possessing “clear antisemitic connotations”.
An all-party group of members of the House of Lords led by former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey noted that her comments “evoked a classic anti-Jewish conspiracy theory”. She retorted that Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer’s article “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” that appeared in the 23 March 2006 issue of The London Review of Books – whose “as-a-Jew” editor Mary-Kay Wilmers is on record, incidentally, as describing herself as “unambiguously hostile to Israel” – bore out her contention that the “‘Israel lobby’ had a disproportionate voice in Anglo-American foreign policy”.
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Stacey is Jewish, a single mother. Her home is in Dagenham, where she lives with her divorced mother and her son, Zachary. Her parents’ marriage broke up when she was seven. She has an elder sister and a younger brother. At 17, while at college, Stacey unexpectedly became pregnant by her long-term boyfriend Dean Cox and gave birth.
Her family arrived in Britain from Eastern Europe almost a century ago. Her late grandmother Matilda Solomon was a widow who raised her children alone, as did her widowed mother before her.
She attended the King Solomon High School in Ilford, Essex, but left at the age of 16 in the summer of 2005.
And now, after making some £100,000 away since her participation on the The X Factor show, she may be eating cockroaches.
Is that a nice way for a Jewish to spend her time in the jungle?
The most insidious example used in the report is the Channel Four Dispatches program “Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby” screened last year, in which presenter Peter Oborne said he had not identified any conspiracies while making the program.
“We haven’t found anything even faintly resembling a conspiracy, but we found a worrying lack of transparency, and the influence of a pro-Israel lobby continues to be felt,” Oborne said at the time.
Channel Four’s website alluded to what the report sums up as “shady characters, with financial influence, underhand tactics and treacherous goals.”
This message was repeated, the report shows, in The Guardian’s news story about the program – titled “Pro-Israel lobby group bankrolling Conservatives, film claims.”
The report also highlights how a medieval accusation, claiming that Jews steal children in order to use their blood, was also revived and frequently used last year in accusations that Jews and Israelis steal body parts. The London-based but Iranian-run Press TV revived the blood libel charge, according to the CST document.
One of the Press TV stories begins with the sentence: “An international Jewish conspiracy to kidnap children and harvest their organs is gathering momentum as another shock story divulges Israeli plot to harvest organs from Algerian children.”
British media watchdogs, like Adam Levick of CiF Watch, praised the report for bringing to the surface rampant bias against Jews in daily publications.
“The CST report is a shocking indictment of how so-called progressive news outlets such as The Guardian are mainstreaming the type of anti-Jewish hate speech that was once the province of the far-right,” said Levick, whose organization particularly monitors The Guardian’s “Comment is Free” blog.
CST is the only organization in the UK that collects, analyzes and publishes statistics and incidents relating to anti- Semitism, including an annual Anti-Semitic Incidents Report.
CST’s publishes an annual Anti-Semitic Incidents Report. The 2009 report, published in February, showed a record high number of incidents in one year since records began in 1984.
these media outlets are not underground. the hate is hidden within professional slick graphics and shrouded in pretension of integrity.
Some of this coverage surely amounts to incitement to racial hatred. Douglas Murray draws attention here to the astonishing suggestion broadcast on BBC Radio Four’s PM programme that
up to one million Jews worldwide might be on hand to assist Mossad in executions
a claim which turns every Jew in the diaspora into a potential suspected killer and thus a target for hatred and violence. In my view this claim should be brought to the attention of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
If the Dubai hit was a Mossad operation, it would appear at first blush to have been remarkably incompetent; since the Mossad would obviously have realised that their every move was being recorded on Dubai’s omnipresent security cameras, to have laid a trail to lead straight back to Israel like this appears bafflingly sloppy. And to use the identities of people now living as immigrants in Israel is perplexing.
On the other hand, the Jerusalem Post reports that Israel had very good reason for wanting Mabhouh dead, so much so that it may have factored in the all-too likely repercussions:
A diplomatic fallout with London, caused by the use of forged UK passports, seems a very real possibility if UK authorities officially blame Israeli intelligence for the Dubai slaying. But such a development would surely have been factored into any decision to take Mabhouh out. The diplomatic friction now building up would have been deemed bearable before any go-ahead was given for the killing….According to reports, Mabhouh oversaw the smuggling of Iranian long-range rockets into Gaza, enabling Hamas to threaten the densely populated Gush Dan region, home to more than three million Israelis and the scene of the country’s financial hub.
Only in Britain could the eradication of someone who was planning to murder untold numbers of innocents (Tom Gross reports he was apparently en route to procure Iranian missiles capable of hitting Tel Aviv from Gaza) be deemed worthy of censure by western hypocrites. If, apart from eradicating a terrorist before he could further assist mass murder, the operation was intended to give a message to bad guys everywhere that they will be successfully hunted down, it was a striking success for whoever carried it out – so much so that if Israel was not behind this, it would undoubtedly want its enemies to think that it was. As for the British and Irish passport-holders whose identities were purloined for the hit:
… the olim [immigrants] who found their names on the Dubai police’s wanted list will not encounter great difficulties in clearing their names, since most of the details in the forged documents were changed from the originals. The assassins apparently went to great lengths to ensure that the olim could distance themselves from the incident, changing passport numbers, inserting bogus middle names and altering dates of birth.
… The Gulf state, keen to preserve its name as a neutral financial haven, free from the violent woes that afflict other parts of the Middle East, has gone out of its way to try and embarrass the assassins and those who sent them. Such efforts, presumably, would have been foreseen by the mission’s planners as a possible outcome, and deemed acceptable.
Certainly, Dubai seems to have gone to great lengths to incriminate Israel. Why, after all, did it publish the passport details like this? If it wanted to catch the real agents, this was hardly going to advance this aim for which it obviously needed merely to go through the usual channels of inter-state police and intelligence agencies. Dubai is now going out of its way to point the finger at Israel, with its police chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim calling upon Interpol to issue a ‘Red Notice’ to arrest the head of Mossad.
There are many unanswered questions arising from Dubai’s claims. It is possible that Israel was responsible alone for this operation; it is possible that it was not involved and it is being set up; it is possible that Mossad was one of a number of state actors which are now setting up Israel alone to take the rap. Who knows?
Only the British media, it seems, for whom Israel is always guilty of bad deeds.
BBC, the British Broadcasting Corporation, is one of the world’s largest media institutions, disseminating news via television, radio and the Web. The BBC provides information in English, as well as 42 other languages, and has a global network of correspondents.