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Initially derided, Israel’s fanstastic Iron Dome Defense struggled to see the light of day

by Speranza ( 112 Comments › )
Filed under Gaza, Hamas, Hezballah, IDF, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Military, Palestinians at November 27th, 2012 - 12:00 pm

President Reagan proposed an anti-missile missile system and that was derided as “Star Wars” by the know-it-alls.

by Charles Levinson and Adam Entous

TEL AVIV—Israel’s Iron Dome rocket-defense system spent the past two weeks successfully blasting Hamas rockets out of the sky—many in dramatic nighttime explosions—helping to end the recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas in just seven days.

The battle to build Iron Dome, however, lasted years and provided fireworks of its own.

The Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system intercepts an incoming rocket on November 14, 2012. Courtesy Associated Press.

Before Wednesday’s cease-fire, Iron Dome knocked down 421 rockets launched from Gaza and bound for Israeli cities, an 84% success rate, according to the Israeli military. The system limited Israeli casualties to six during the seven days of bombardment. As a result, there was markedly less political pressure on Israel’s decision makers to invade Gaza.

“If it was not for Iron Dome, for sure you would have seen a more aggressive action in Gaza by air and ground,” said an Israel general and member of Israel’s joint chiefs of staff.

For Israel’s primary foes Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, their weapon of choice—rockets and missiles—could soon prove nearly obsolete. That could alter the strategic calculation for Israel and its enemies alike. Despite initial Pentagon misgivings, President Barack Obama has given $275 million to the project since 2010 with the aim of reducing the rocket threat and eventually bolstering chances of a peace deal by making Israel feel more secure to agree to territorial concessions.

For years, Pentagon experts dismissed Iron Dome as doomed to fail and urged Israel to instead try a cheaper U.S. approach. Iron Dome faced similar skepticism at home. But an Israeli mathematician-general, along with a labor-organizer-turned-defense-minister, pushed the project through, overcoming the opposition of some of Israel’s most powerful military voices.

In 2004, then-Brig. Gen. Daniel Gold was named director of the Ministry of Defense’s Research and Development department, responsible for overseeing the development of new weapons systems. Mr. Gold, who also has a Ph.D. in mathematics, took up the rocket challenge with a zealot’s gusto, according to people involved in the project.

That August, he put out a call to defense companies for proposed antirocket systems. Few took notice within the defense establishment.

Israel’s Hezbollah foes in Lebanon first turned to short-range rockets in the mid-1990s. The first Hamas-fired Palestinian rocket hit Israel in early 2001. The crude projectiles rarely hit their intended targets, yet over the years they rained down by the thousands—some 4,000 by 2008.

Almost no one in Israel’s military brass believed rocket defense could work. Palestinian rockets from Gaza fly erratically and can hit Israeli communities within seconds. Most are just a few feet long and a few inches wide.

Gen. Gold and his team, deep in the bowels of the Defense Ministry in central Tel Aviv, reviewed the options. They considered lasers and giant shotguns. In March 2005, they agreed on a patched-together concept for the system that would become Iron Dome, drawing on technologies from three Israeli defense companies.

European Pressphoto Agency421: The number of Hamas rockets destroyed in flight by a hotly debated rocket-defense system during the latest skirmish.

He called up Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., an Israeli weapons maker, and asked the company to head the project. A 2008 audit by the Israeli state comptroller, an independent government-oversight office, criticized this step, saying he bypassed required approvals from the military’s general staff, the defense minister and the Israeli government.

That report didn’t lead to formal charges of wrongdoing. But it fueled years of heated political criticism of the project and its backers—showing how close the highly controversial Iron Dome idea came to never happening at all.

Gen. Gold said in an interview that the auditor’s report misrepresented some facts, declining to be more specific. He disputes any allegation that he broke rules, saying he simply sidestepped red tape.

“I just canceled all the unnecessary bureaucracy,” Gen. Gold said. “I left only the most crucial bureaucracy needed for success.”

At the time, according to Gen. Gold as well as to the auditor’s report, he told Rafael’s chairman of the problem that no one in the government had agreed to pay for the project. Rafael’s chairman, Ilan Biran, confirms that account.

[......]

It was no ordinary feat. The project’s specs demanded a system that could continuously scan all of Gaza, detect a rocket the instant it was fired, no matter how big or small, pinpoint its likely strike location, and finally, if it was going to hit a city, blast it out of the sky with a missile. The system needed to do all that within about 15 seconds.

Gen. Gold also said the interceptor missiles would need to cost about one-tenth of what your average air-to-air missile costs, or else Israel’s rocket-flinging foes would be able to bankrupt Israel. And instead of taking 10 years or more to develop, typical for new weapons systems, Iron Dome needed to deploy in half that.

In the summer of 2006, war broke out with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Over the 33 days, Hezbollah fired more than 4,200 rockets into northern Israel, killing 44 Israelis. Suddenly, stopping rockets was a government priority.

So in August 2006, Gen. Gold and his team briefed the man who was then Israel’s minister of defense, Amir Peretz, on Iron Dome. Mr. Peretz had spent most of his career as a labor organizer. As a civilian with little military experience, he had been an unlikely choice as defense minister. He hails from Sderot, a southern Israeli town that borders Gaza and has borne the brunt of Palestinian rocket fire.

[........]

Instead of scaling back the program, Gen. Gold upped the ante. In November 2006, he “directed Rafael to begin full-scale development of the Iron Dome project when Rafael had no order to do so,” according to the Israeli comptroller’s audit report. “The directive was not under his authority,” the report concluded.

“I cannot say that the report is wrong,” said Yossi Drucker, who headed the team at Rafael overseeing the system’s development. “But if you want to achieve something in a very short time…you have sometimes to bypass the bureaucracy.”

The gamble paid off. In early 2007, Mr. Peretz threw his full ministerial weight behind the project, committing another $10 million in Ministry of Defense funds to keep Iron Dome alive. The government’s auditors later found he violated regulations by committing the funds without military or government approval for the project.

But if the government hoped to have enough Iron Dome batteries to provide meaningful protection against rockets, it would need more money than that. Israel’s Defense Ministry approached the U.S. administration of President George W. Bush with a request for hundreds of millions of dollars for the system. The reception at the Pentagon was frosty, according to current and former U.S. defense officials.

Mary Beth Long, the assistant secretary of defense who oversaw the Iron Dome review process, sent a team of U.S. military engineers to Israel to meet with the developers. After the trip, in a meeting in her office, the team voiced skepticism about the technology, citing poor performance in initial testing, Ms. Long said in an interview.

Rafael’s Mr. Drucker recalls an even harsher U.S. response. He said the U.S. team told them: “This is something that cannot be done.”

Some U.S. military officials argued that Israel should instead consider using a version of the U.S.’s Vulcan Phalanx system, which the Army was deploying in Iraq to try to shoot down incoming rockets, current and former defense officials say. Gen. Gold’s team had already considered and dismissed the Phalanx system.

[.......].

As it became clear that Israel was going to be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on rocket defense, the industry scrambled. Rafael’s rivals lobbied for their proposals to be reconsidered.

Israel’s government auditors began investigating the project and issued a report singling out Gen. Gold for launching a billion-dollar project without the necessary approvals. “Brig. Gen. Gold decided on the development of Iron Dome, determined the timetables and ordered predevelopment and full development before the relevant authorities had approved the project,” the report said.

But Iron Dome was making lightning progress. An all-star team of engineers assembled from across Israeli defense companies worked around the clock. Pensioners were called out of retirement. The contest to design the warhead for the interceptor missile pitted a 25-year-old woman, fresh out of university, against a 30-year veteran of Rafael.

And in 2009, during the first field test, an Iron Dome prototype successfully intercepted an incoming rocket.

Iron Dome got a significant boost soon after President Obama came to office in 2009. Mr. Obama visited Sderot as a presidential candidate and told his aides to find a way to help boost Israel’s defenses from the makeshift rockets, his aides said, although defense officials at the time still doubted Iron Dome was the way.

[........]

In 2009, the peace process topped Mr. Obama’s foreign-policy agenda. But the administration’s call for a freeze in Jewish settlement growth badly strained ties with Israel’s right-wing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Top Obama administration advisers saw supporting Iron Dome as a chance to shore up U.S.-Israel security relations and balance some of the political strains.

At the direction of a White House working group headed by then-National Security Council senior director Dan Shapiro (who today is the U.S. ambassador to Israel), the Pentagon sent a team of missile-defense experts to Israel in September 2009 to re-evaluate Iron Dome. The decision raised eyebrows in some Pentagon circles. Iron Dome was still seen as a rival to the Phalanx system, and previous assessment teams had deemed Iron Dome inferior.

In its final report, presented to the White House in October, the team declared Iron Dome a success, and in many respects, superior to Phalanx. Tests showed it was hitting 80% of the targets, up from the low teens in the earlier U.S. assessment. “They came in and basically said, ‘This looks much more promising…than our system,’ ” said Dennis Ross, who at the time was one of Mr. Obama’s top Middle East advisers.

That summer, Mr. Kahl’s office drafted a policy paper recommending that the administration support the Israeli request for roughly $200 million in Iron Dome funding.

Mr. Ross said the threat posed by Iran was also part of the calculation to invest in Iron Dome. By showing how seriously the U.S. took Israel’s security needs, the administration hoped Israel would “provide us the time and space to see if there was a diplomatic way out of the Iranian issue,” Mr. Ross said.

The system went operational in March 2011. It shot down its first Palestinian rocket on April 7. Within three days it had shot down eight more rockets. But it wasn’t until the recent Gaza flare-up that the system made its mark on the public consciousness.

[.......]

Read the rest – Israel’s Iron Dome Defense Battled to Get off Ground

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112 Responses to “Initially derided, Israel’s fanstastic Iron Dome Defense struggled to see the light of day”
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  1. heysoos
    1 | November 27, 2012 12:14 pm

    shields up! Mr Sulu


  2. lobo91
    2 | November 27, 2012 12:19 pm

    Some U.S. military officials argued that Israel should instead consider using a version of the U.S.’s Vulcan Phalanx system, which the Army was deploying in Iraq to try to shoot down incoming rockets, current and former defense officials say. Gen. Gold’s team had already considered and dismissed the Phalanx system.

    C-RAM (the land-based version of the Phalanx CIWS) and Iron Dome aren’t really comparable systems. Iron Dome is an area defense system, while C-RAM is a short-range point defense system. It literally fires at the last second before a projectile would hit the target. That works for protecting the perimeter of a military installation, but wouldn’t work for urban areas.


  3. lobo91
    3 | November 27, 2012 12:21 pm

    C-RAM test firing.


  4. MikeA
    4 | November 27, 2012 12:28 pm

    From a blog I also read:

    With “Iron Dome” rocket defense batteries deployed at key points along the border and near major population centers (Tel Aviv, Jerusalem), the terrorist rocket campaign was completely ineffective. By some estimates, Iron Dome intercepted between 80 and 90% of the rockets fired at Israel, and the intercept rate actually improved in the latter stages of the conflict, as Israeli operators and system contractors tweaked its performance. Three Israeli civilians died in the latest rocket barrage, a decrease of more than 70% from 2006.

    To be sure, the Tehran government supported some of the political goals outlined previously. But Iran also had military reasons for goading Hamas into a short-term war with Israel, reasons that go well beyond killing innocent civilians and inflicting maximum property damage. In fact, it might be argued that Iran was interested in an operational test of the Iron Dome, to determine the system’s operational capabilities against larger volleys of Palestinian rockets. When it became clear that the defense system was up to the task, Iran had no problem with Hamas running to Egypt (in the best tradition of Arab war-fighting) and asking them to arrange a cease-fire.

    The recent conflict demonstrated that Iron Dome can handle mass volleys of rockets--including the larger Fajr-5--without assistance from other assets. At one point, the Palestinians even tried to refine their “saturation” tactics, concentrating their launches at a single Iron Dome battery. Their scheme failed; the system engaged rockets that threatened populated areas, while ignoring those bound for the open countryside, just as it was designed to do. Not long after that failed “project,” the Palestinians were pressing for a firm cease-fire.


  5. heysoos
    5 | November 27, 2012 12:32 pm

    80-90% failure….
    victory!


  6. lobo91
    6 | November 27, 2012 12:33 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    80-90% failure….
    victory!

    Well, you are talking about people who consider blowing themselves up in order to kill random civilians a great military victory.


  7. 7 | November 27, 2012 12:43 pm

    lobo91 wrote:

    Well, you are talking about people who consider blowing themselves up in order to kill random civilians a great military victory.

    They also consider it the way to get great group sex in Heaven. We aren’t talking about deep thinkers here. Or even shallow thinkers. Thinking has ever been one of their selling points…


  8. Speranza
    8 | November 27, 2012 12:50 pm

    I wish Israel had sent thousands of rockets into Gaza.


  9. song_and_dance_man
    9 | November 27, 2012 12:53 pm

    Looks like the Chair actually did one constructive thing with his office.


  10. 10 | November 27, 2012 12:58 pm

    @ Speranza:

    Line up the bulldozers, and scrape Gaza off into the sea. It is going to have to be done eventually. There will never be peace as long as Gaza is occupied by the Enemy.


  11. Storagemanager
    11 | November 27, 2012 1:01 pm

    GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte After Meeting With Susan Rice: She Said “Absolutely” The Information She Gave Was Wrong…

    Paging Joe Klein.
    http://weaselzippers.us/2012/11/27/gop-sen-kelly-ayotte-after-meeting-with-susan-rice-she-said-absolutely-the-information-she-gave-was-wrong/


  12. John Difool
    12 | November 27, 2012 1:03 pm

    The whole reason the iron dome system was developed in the first place was because after the first Gulf War the Israeli’s wanted a way more effective system than relying on Raytheon’s Patriot system & decided to develop their own.

    From drawing board to implementation the iron dome system only took a few years. Thanks to crippling red-tape, bureaucracy, & palm-greasing something like that would take over a decade or more here.

    And in a twist of irony, Raytheon is now in talks with the Israeli’s to license & manufacture their own version of iron dome.


  13. MikeA
    13 | November 27, 2012 1:04 pm

    @ Iron Fist:

    Not only that but you will have sex with all your relatives there with you. Well, all the male relatives who were pious enough. Just what you want, an eternal orgy with your dad, grandad, brothers and cousins all hanging out with you. The female relatives don’t get squat. Makes me wonder how a female could believe this crap


  14. John Difool
    14 | November 27, 2012 1:04 pm

    Storagemanager wrote:

    GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte After Meeting With Susan Rice: She Said “Absolutely” The Information She Gave Was Wrong…
    Paging Joe Klein.
    http://weaselzippers.us/2012/11/27/gop-sen-kelly-ayotte-after-meeting-with-susan-rice-she-said-absolutely-the-information-she-gave-was-wrong/

    These are not the droids you are looking for.


  15. Storagemanager
    15 | November 27, 2012 1:04 pm

    Hey, how about Bill Clinton for Secretary of State? http://hotair.com/


  16. buzzsawmonkey
    16 | November 27, 2012 1:08 pm

    John Difool wrote:

    GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte After Meeting With Susan Rice: She Said “Absolutely” The Information She Gave Was Wrong…

    ‘Fess Up, Little Susie.


  17. waldensianspirit
    17 | November 27, 2012 1:10 pm

    In an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program on Monday, Mr. Cantor repeated his insistence that Republicans in the House “weren’t elected to raise taxes.” But he also played down the pledge as something that wouldn’t necessarily bind his caucus in the House.

    “A lot has been said about this pledge and I will tell you when I go to the constituents that re-elected me, it is not about that pledge, it really is about trying to solve problems,” Mr. Cantor said.

    And yer all concerned about Santorum


  18. Storagemanager
    18 | November 27, 2012 1:13 pm

    @ waldensianspirit:
    None of them care about America…just themselves..


  19. 19 | November 27, 2012 1:17 pm

    @ Storagemanager:

    That is absolutely true. Even Romney didn’t run as though he believed that this was the most important election since 1864. None of the Republican Leadership behaved as if it were any more significant than who got to pick the place settings at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. Which, maybe, to them is more important than tackling the Federal Debt. After all, the Debt will take care of itself in about 10-15 years… :roll:


  20. Storagemanager
    20 | November 27, 2012 1:17 pm

    NEW YORK (TheBlaze/AP) — Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham is off the air — at least temporarily.

    She said Tuesday that she’s leaving her distributor, Talk Radio Network, after more than nine years because her contract is up. Ingraham said she is in discussions with other distributors about her show, which currently airs on 325 stations nationally.

    Talkers magazine says the conservative Ingraham is the most-listened to woman on radio, with an estimated 5.75 million listeners a week. Talkers said that ranks her among the top eight radio hosts overall.

    In the meantime, she said she’ll keep her opinions flowing on her website, on Twitter, and during Fox News Channel appearances
    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/report-laura-ingraham-to-leave-radio/


  21. John Difool
    21 | November 27, 2012 1:19 pm

    waldensianspirit wrote:

    In an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program on Monday, Mr. Cantor repeated his insistence that Republicans in the House “weren’t elected to raise taxes.” But he also played down the pledge as something that wouldn’t necessarily bind his caucus in the House.
    “A lot has been said about this pledge and I will tell you when I go to the constituents that re-elected me, it is not about that pledge, it really is about trying to solve problems,” Mr. Cantor said.
    And yer all concerned about Santorum

    Cantor is a millionaire several times over, was way before he was even elected. Guy owns gobs of expensive of real-estate all over central Va. I’m not disparaging wealth, but he’s a part of the problem not the solution. We all know when it comes to taxing the rich who they are really talking about….us.

    If Eric Cantor & Warren Buffet believe there should be higher taxes, fine, let them start paying them, there is nothing stopping them from cutting those checks.

    Better yet, maybe they should start selling off their assets for charity to the U.S. government.


  22. waldensianspirit
    22 | November 27, 2012 1:38 pm

    Squirming RINOs


  23. 23 | November 27, 2012 1:43 pm

    John Difool wrote:

    We all know when it comes to taxing the rich who they are really talking about….us.

    Exactly. When they talk about raising taxes on the “wealthy”, they aren’t talking about people of Barack Obama’s not-so-modest means. Obama, specifically, really means small business. The Republicans have failed to make this case repeatedly. I really don’t understand this. Half the people in the United States work in small businesses. Telling these people that Obama could cost them their job would have resonated, but the Republicans fall on the sword of defending the wealthy. It is most frustrating. We should be able to expect better from our political leadership. That these people have risen to the top doesn’t speak well of democracy as a system of government, and, of course, democracy (even a Republic) is a terrible form of government. It is just that everything else that has been tried is worse.


  24. waldensianspirit
    24 | November 27, 2012 1:45 pm

    GOP lawmakers float immigration reform plan
    [*spit*]


  25. Speranza
    25 | November 27, 2012 1:46 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    Line up the bulldozers, and scrape Gaza off into the sea. It is going to have to be done eventually. There will never be peace as long as Gaza is occupied by the Enemy.

    Gaza needs to be figuratively purified of the stench of Islam.


  26. Speranza
    26 | November 27, 2012 1:47 pm

    Storagemanager wrote:

    Hey, how about Bill Clinton for Secretary of State? http://hotair.com/

    Good grief that guy will never go away.


  27. 27 | November 27, 2012 1:47 pm

    @ waldensianspirit:

    Yes, this will win the Latino vote, just as the Reagan Amnesty won the Latino vote for a Generation. Or, for that matter, freeing the slaves won the black vote perpetually for the Republicans, though when they could vote the actual slaves that were freed did vote Republican. Their decendants, not so much.


  28. 28 | November 27, 2012 1:50 pm

    @ Storagemanager:

    As I said over at Weasel Zippers -- it’s intriguing to me that that party of the supposed “War on Women” often finds it’s backbone accompanied by a XX chromosome.


  29. 29 | November 27, 2012 1:55 pm

    @ Speranza:

    Hamas shoots rockets into Israel and when Israel fires back cries like a five-year-old and asks the U.N. and Brother Barry to make the big bully that defended itself cease and desist.

    What was different this time (at least as far as I can see) is that Hamas was not seeing any support for its action outside the Muzzie world. Even those traditionally not pro-Israel seemed to be saying this go-round that Israel had an absolute right to defend itself and Hamas was not going to get the usual “poor Palis” sympathy they’d had in the past.


  30. 30 | November 27, 2012 1:57 pm

    @ Speranza:

    Obama will be wanting to scrape the Clintons off the Democrat front page -- he wants to be the face of the party -- I imagine it irked him no end that he had to call in Clinton to “help” him.

    My question is -- why did Clinton do it? I doubt there’s any love lost between Barry and Bill (and frankly, I think the latter is as bigoted as it gets despite his protestations to the contrary).


  31. John Difool
    31 | November 27, 2012 1:58 pm

    @ Iron Fist:

    That these people have risen to the top doesn’t speak well of democracy as a system of government,

    What infuriates me the most is these are the folks who have no skin in the game. They aren’t living paycheck to paycheck, hand to mouth.
    The ones who aren’t already millionaires several times over just made themselves millionaires later on as supposed public servants like Harry Reid & Nancy Pelosi. This is a travesty.

    Whats losing a million or three when you already have 30, 40 or 50 million & will tons more just because you have a (D) or an (R) in front of your name & can use political influence insted of actual skill & hardwork ?

    So now the #2 RINO in the House doesn’t care whats popular with his constituents? I would hope that would be enough for the folks in the West End to throw that bum out of office but they should have done that back in ’10 after he decided to hold townhalls with that idiot Bobby Scott on national healthcare to offer up compromises.

    Eric Cantor is the very definition of a Vitchy Conservative & should be sent packing.


  32. 32 | November 27, 2012 2:00 pm

    @ Carolina Girl:

    They could hardly call for a “proportional” response in this case. If Israel responded proportionally, she’d randomly shell Gaza. What were they going to do? Complain that Israel’s missiles were too accurate? While that would sell to the Muzz, it won’t sell outside of that arena. What worries me about all this is that both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood come out of this stronger. Israel is negiotiating with terrorists. The first rule of dealing with terrorists is that you don’t negiotiate with them. I think the reason Hamas squealed for a hudna was that they were running out of rockets. Now Iran will help them stock back up, and in a year or two we’ll be playing this game again.


  33. lobo91
    33 | November 27, 2012 2:04 pm

    @ Iron Fist:

    What were they going to do? Complain that Israel’s missiles were too accurate?

    That, and that it’s “unfair” that Israel was able to shoot down 80% of their rockets before they killed anyone.


  34. John Difool
    34 | November 27, 2012 2:04 pm

    Carolina Girl wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    Hamas shoots rockets into Israel and when Israel fires back cries like a five-year-old and asks the U.N. and Brother Barry to make the big bully that defended itself cease and desist.
    What was different this time (at least as far as I can see) is that Hamas was not seeing any support for its action outside the Muzzie world. Even those traditionally not pro-Israel seemed to be saying this go-round that Israel had an absolute right to defend itself and Hamas was not going to get the usual “poor Palis” sympathy they’d had in the past.

    Thats because even the anti-Israel Europeans are getting tired of the muzz problem in their own countries that have come to the forefront over the past decade & are aching for a way to deal with it. This isn’t 2001 anymore when Sharon was obliterating Gaza & all of Europe was wailing & gnashing their teeth.

    The other thing is with economic collapse imminent without deep cuts & austerity measures implemented, Europe has bigger fish to fry & greater things to worry about like their own people taking to the streets & burning shit down.


  35. 35 | November 27, 2012 2:05 pm

    @ lobo91:

    Yeah, that’ll sell to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and half of Obama’s cabinet, but it isn’t a position even Chrissy Matthews would take on American television. It’d be professional suicide.


  36. buzzsawmonkey
    36 | November 27, 2012 2:06 pm

    Carolina Girl wrote:

    I imagine it irked him no end that he had to call in Clinton to “help” him.

    My question is — why did Clinton do it?

    Perhaps to keep Hillary from being thrown to the wolves over Benghazi, since Benghazi happened shortly after the convention, and she had to know about the consulate there being a gunrunning operation long before.


  37. lobo91
    37 | November 27, 2012 2:09 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ lobo91:

    Yeah, that’ll sell to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and half of Obama’s cabinet, but it isn’t a position even Chrissy Matthews would take on American television. It’d be professional suicide.

    It’s pretty much the standard line from the far left. The Palestinians “have no choice” but to murder random Israelis, since they don’t have tanks or F-16s.


  38. lobo91
    38 | November 27, 2012 2:20 pm

    Michael Reagan is on with Megyn Kelly right now, saying the same thing I did: This is just like what happened with his dad and the spending cuts that never materialized.

    The lesson here for Republicans is that the Democrats will never follow through with their promises, and can’t be trusted.

    Unfortunately, I doubt that the current Republican leadership got it.


  39. yenta-fada
    39 | November 27, 2012 2:23 pm

    Melanie Phillips summarizes the massive falsehoods regarding “negotiation”

    “Meanwhile, Khaled abu Toameh suggests that Mahmoud Abbas may be about to enter into an alliance with Hamas. If that does happen, you might think that would make it difficult for western leaders to keep up the pretence that the Holocaust-denier Abbas — who says he will never accept Israel as a Jewish state; who is committed to unlimited Palestinian immigration to Israel to destroy it as a Jewish state; whose regime promotes the inculcation of its children into murderous hatred of Jews and Israel; whose flags and insignia obliterate Israel from the map; and whose party’s military wing, the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, commits terrorist atrocities against Israelis — really is a moderate and a statesman-in-waiting.

    If you did think it would make it difficult, you would be wrong. For in the event of such a pact between Fatah and Hamas, western leaders would undoubtedly conclude that Hamas was indeed moderate and a worthy interlocutor for peace -- just like they have convinced themselves that, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Fatah’s aim is a Palestinian state living peacefully alongside Israel.

    After all, the alternative would be that there would be no-one to negotiate with. And for our arrogant, ignorant, self-interested, solipsistic western leaders, that would not only be unthinkable. It would be simply impossible”


  40. heysoos
    40 | November 27, 2012 2:23 pm

    @ lobo91:
    current GOP leadership will do whatever gives them the best chance for re-election….solving problems is secondary, maybe even thirdondary


  41. MikeA
    41 | November 27, 2012 2:23 pm

    @ lobo91:

    So give them 3 F-16′s that are sitting in Davis-Monthan, then bomb the crap out of them. :)


  42. 42 | November 27, 2012 2:26 pm

    @ lobo91:

    I’d say at best Obama doesn’t care if they get a deal or not. He’ll take a deal if the Republicans will give him everything he wants out of it (higher taxes, no meaningful cuts except to defense), but he’ll go off the Cliff gleefully if they don’t, content in th eknowledge that the voting public will blame the Republicans for the resulting Recession. He may even plan on that, hoping to stoke anger at the recession into defeating the Republicans in the House in 2014. Worse still, that could work.


  43. yenta-fada
    43 | November 27, 2012 2:27 pm

    @ John Difool:

    Yep. The poor widdle Palestinians won’t be the cause du jour for people when food prices zoom up or they get a bank run. Blaming Jooooish bankers will be BIG though.


  44. 44 | November 27, 2012 2:27 pm

    @ yenta-fada:

    All I am saying, is give war a chance…


  45. yenta-fada
    45 | November 27, 2012 2:32 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ yenta-fada:

    All I am saying, is give war a chance…

    I know, IF. I know. :-( There are a good number of reasons why nobody wants to light the first match, figuratively speaking. (even while matches are being lit all the time already)


  46. buzzsawmonkey
    46 | November 27, 2012 2:32 pm

    Obama wants to force Israel into binding Arab attrition…


  47. yenta-fada
    47 | November 27, 2012 2:34 pm

    @ Iron Fist:

    btw, I still think your timetable is too far in the future. Events are moving very quickly while people get more numb to the news.


  48. John Difool
    48 | November 27, 2012 2:35 pm

    yenta-fada wrote:

    @ John Difool:
    Yep. The poor widdle Palestinians won’t be the cause du jour for people when food prices zoom up or they get a bank run. Blaming Jooooish bankers will be BIG though.

    Any particular reason why Gaza just doesn’t become part of Egypt again? I mean, outside of the fact that it’s the center of Pallywood & favorite propaganda piece for all-left wing media, it’s not like the folks running Egypt have anything to worry about from them like Mubarek did since they are practically two peas in a pod now.

    Not to mention they are both aligned with Iran & not the Sauds.


  49. yenta-fada
    49 | November 27, 2012 2:36 pm

    buzzsawmonkey wrote:

    Obama wants to force Israel into binding Arab attrition…

    So, all of these puns are in the public domain, right? :-)


  50. Speranza
    50 | November 27, 2012 2:36 pm

    yenta-fada wrote:

    @ John Difool:
    Yep. The poor widdle Palestinians won’t be the cause du jour for people when food prices zoom up or they get a bank run. Blaming Jooooish bankers will be BIG though.

    I loved it last week when the IDF/AF bombed the Hamas bank in Gaza.


  51. Speranza
    51 | November 27, 2012 2:37 pm

    Carolina Girl wrote:

    What was different this time (at least as far as I can see) is that Hamas was not seeing any support for its action outside the Muzzie world. Even those traditionally not pro-Israel seemed to be saying this go-round that Israel had an absolute right to defend itself and Hamas was not going to get the usual “poor Palis” sympathy they’d had in the past.

    I guess even the Eurotrash is getting tired of the Palis.


  52. yenta-fada
    52 | November 27, 2012 2:37 pm

    @ John Difool:

    I do believe that the Gaza/Palestinian brand is fully entrenched in the minds of the ignorati.


  53. John Difool
    53 | November 27, 2012 2:37 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    yenta-fada wrote:
    @ John Difool:
    Yep. The poor widdle Palestinians won’t be the cause du jour for people when food prices zoom up or they get a bank run. Blaming Jooooish bankers will be BIG though.

    I loved it last week when the IDF/AF bombed the Hamas bank in Gaza.

    They were just making a deposit….

    *rimshot*


  54. Speranza
    54 | November 27, 2012 2:38 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ yenta-fada:
    All I am saying, is give war a chance…

    Sometimes war is the moral choice.


  55. lobo91
    55 | November 27, 2012 2:38 pm

    @ John Difool:

    Any particular reason why Gaza just doesn’t become part of Egypt again?

    Because then they couldn’t claim to be “refugees” anymore, and would just be Egyptians.

    Where’s the fun in that?
    //


  56. Speranza
    56 | November 27, 2012 2:38 pm

    John Difool wrote:

    They were just making a deposit….

    *rimshot*

    It must kill the Palis that they have to use Israeli currency.


  57. 57 | November 27, 2012 2:39 pm

    @ Speranza:

    Especially since their Muzzi brethren are trying to take over their countries.


  58. John Difool
    58 | November 27, 2012 2:39 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    Carolina Girl wrote:
    What was different this time (at least as far as I can see) is that Hamas was not seeing any support for its action outside the Muzzie world. Even those traditionally not pro-Israel seemed to be saying this go-round that Israel had an absolute right to defend itself and Hamas was not going to get the usual “poor Palis” sympathy they’d had in the past.
    I guess even the Eurotrash is getting tired of the Palis.

    It’s because of their own festering muzzie problem they are starting to sober up to.

    Sometimes familiarity does indeed breed contempt.


  59. lobo91
    59 | November 27, 2012 2:42 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ yenta-fada:
    All I am saying, is give war a chance…

    Sometimes war is the moral choice.

    So when do we get to attack the blue states?
    //


  60. John Difool
    60 | November 27, 2012 2:42 pm

    lobo91 wrote:

    @ John Difool:
    Any particular reason why Gaza just doesn’t become part of Egypt again?
    Because then they couldn’t claim to be “refugees” anymore, and would just be Egyptians.
    Where’s the fun in that?
    //

    True, even the very countries they were once a part of didn’t want anything to do with repatriating them because they were viewed as too bat-shit crazy & destabilizing, only good for being useful idiots for propaganda against the Jews.

    However, the leadership in Egypt is just as bat-shit crazy as they are now.


  61. heysoos
    61 | November 27, 2012 2:44 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    Iron Fist wrote:
    @ yenta-fada:
    All I am saying, is give war a chance…

    Sometimes war is the moral choice.

    back during operation Cast Lead in early 08, I suggested that Israel indeed had a moral obligation to occupy Gaza or the safety of Israelis and Gazans….the idea didn’t fly


  62. buzzsawmonkey
    62 | November 27, 2012 2:45 pm

    yenta-fada wrote:

    So, all of these puns are in the public domain, right?

    Sadly, yes.


  63. lobo91
    63 | November 27, 2012 2:46 pm

    @ John Difool:

    Even the Palestinian leadership is planning to play games with who gets to be a citizen. When they were talking about issuing their unilateral declaration of statehood last fall, Abbas was asked about what the practical effect would be, he said that they had no plans to issue passports or anything to the majority of the people living in what would be their new “state.” They were still going to be considered “refugees” from Israel.


  64. yenta-fada
    64 | November 27, 2012 2:49 pm

    @ Speranza:

    There’s a KREMLIN news station called “Russia Today” that runs out of New York, London, Gaza, and I don’t know where else. They were interviewing an Israeli spokesman over the bombing of their propaganda arm in Gaza. The Israeli made it quite clear they were aiming at the antenna, not the reporters. The former was extremely apologetic. It was a peek into the extent of the demonization of Israelis daring to defend themselves.


  65. yenta-fada
    65 | November 27, 2012 2:50 pm

    buzzsawmonkey wrote:

    yenta-fada wrote:

    So, all of these puns are in the public domain, right?

    Sadly, yes.

    You need to use your vast creativity to get a paying gig for your humor. Seriously.


  66. lobo91
    66 | November 27, 2012 2:51 pm

    @ yenta-fada:

    They’re carried by Dish Network, too.


  67. yenta-fada
    67 | November 27, 2012 2:52 pm

    lobo91 wrote:

    Speranza wrote:

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ yenta-fada:
    All I am saying, is give war a chance…

    Sometimes war is the moral choice.

    So when do we get to attack the blue states?
    //

    Behave! lol


  68. yenta-fada
    68 | November 27, 2012 2:53 pm

    lobo91 wrote:

    @ yenta-fada:

    They’re carried by Dish Network, too.

    RT is a huge hit on youtube regarding financial matters. They are closer to accuracy in reporting economic realities than the MSM. Except for the blame America for everything part…


  69. 69 | November 27, 2012 2:54 pm

    @ yenta-fada:

    Russia Today were the first ones to expose who was really behind the Arab Spring. They pointed out it wass the Muslim Brotherhood.


  70. 70 | November 27, 2012 2:56 pm

    @ yenta-fada:

    They are hit opr miss. Sometimes they are spot on, other times they are just out there. They are Pro UFO conspiracy.


  71. John Difool
    71 | November 27, 2012 2:56 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ yenta-fada:
    All I am saying, is give war a chance…

    The ME will soon be in flames. Egypt will move to take Libyan oil & Sudanese water & agriculture.

    The MB in Egypt right now is engaged in a battle of survival against the Salafists & secular socialists. (I hope they all win & at the same time all lose)

    Assad is on borrowed time & once his regime is deposed, then the civil war for jockeying of power. Later on the settling of scores with Hezbollah for their support of Assad & Iran with Sunnis in Syria allied with the Sunnis in Lebanon.

    I probably missed a lot, but we should just stand back and watch all of this shit go down & enjoy the popcorn.

    (but we won’t)


  72. yenta-fada
    72 | November 27, 2012 2:58 pm

    Rodan wrote:

    @ yenta-fada:

    They are hit opr miss. Sometimes they are spot on, other times they are just out there. They are Pro UFO conspiracy.

    It takes a sophisticated listener to separate the wheat from the chaff. RT or the NYT? hmmmmmm


  73. 73 | November 27, 2012 2:58 pm

    @ Iron Fist:

    This ceasefire makes Israel look weak. The Muslim Brotherhood Block now has bragging rights. They got the US to force Israel to back off.


  74. yenta-fada
    74 | November 27, 2012 2:59 pm

    Rodan wrote:

    @ yenta-fada:

    Russia Today were the first ones to expose who was really behind the Arab Spring. They pointed out it wass the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Exactly. Yet they share the Anti-Americanism.


  75. 75 | November 27, 2012 2:59 pm

    @ yenta-fada:

    RT, they are hit or miss.


  76. 76 | November 27, 2012 2:59 pm

    Of course, if you wait long enough, the Demoncraps will give evidence of their own hypocrisy. Harry Reid now want to change the filibuster rules. This is what he said when it was proposed in 2005 and he was Senate minority leader (H/T Weasel Zippers):

    Rather than changing the Senate rules, shouldn’t we be concerned about the largest deficits in the history of the world?” Reid asked,while speaking at a March 15, 2005 event entitled “Rally to Save the Courts.” “Rather than changing the Senate rules, shouldn’t we be concerned about the energy policy of this country? Yes

    I’m always reminded at times like this about Barry Obummer
    s oration over the irresponsibility of raising the debt ceiling back when he was a Senator and George Bush was requesting it (Bush was wrong then, too, by the way, and Obummer was right -- but once again -- Demoncrap hypocrisy folks!)


  77. yenta-fada
    77 | November 27, 2012 3:00 pm

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Iron Fist:

    This ceasefire makes Israel look weak. The Muslim Brotherhood Block now has bragging rights. They got the US to force Israel to back off.

    It doesn’t help that Hillary has a ‘body woman’ who is connected to the Muslim Brother/Sisterhood, does it?


  78. MikeA
    78 | November 27, 2012 3:02 pm

    @ Rodan:

    Ya got to admit. Aliens from Jupiter would explain a lot of things. Either that or people really are that stupid…


  79. 79 | November 27, 2012 3:02 pm

    @ yenta-fada:

    Oh yeah, they blame the US for everything. Don’t get me wrong, I agreed with them that theUS is allied with Islamists, but the UFO anti-American stuff was just over the top! :lol:


  80. yenta-fada
    80 | November 27, 2012 3:03 pm

    @ Carolina Girl:

    I don’t believe the debt ceiling is anything but another phony financial construct. *Ministry of Making Sh!t Up*


  81. 81 | November 27, 2012 3:03 pm

    @ yenta-fada:

    It doesn’t help that Hillary has a ‘body woman’ who is connected to the Muslim Brother/Sisterhood, does it?

    That explains alot. Plus Obama said he would stand with the Muslims. he did not lie.


  82. yenta-fada
    82 | November 27, 2012 3:03 pm

    Rodan wrote:

    @ yenta-fada:

    Oh yeah, they blame the US for everything. Don’t get me wrong, I agreed with them that theUS is allied with Islamists, but the UFO anti-American stuff was just over the top!

    I am too old to spend time on UFO material EVER. lol


  83. 83 | November 27, 2012 3:03 pm

    @ lobo91:

    I wouldn’t spend on edrop of American blood to keep the Blue States in the Union. The question is, how do we get them to leave?


  84. 84 | November 27, 2012 3:04 pm

    MikeA wrote:

    @ Rodan:
    Ya got to admit. Aliens from Jupiter would explain a lot of things. Either that or people really are that stupid…

    maybe a combo of both! :wink:


  85. John Difool
    85 | November 27, 2012 3:05 pm

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Iron Fist:
    This ceasefire makes Israel look weak. The Muslim Brotherhood Block now has bragging rights. They got the US to force Israel to back off.

    Yea, but all of that goodwill went down the pot when Morsi declared himself dictator. He only got to play that card once before he burnt it.

    What I found curious is when Israel was kicking Gazan ass you didn’t hear a peep from the Sauds or the Jordanians.


  86. yenta-fada
    86 | November 27, 2012 3:05 pm

    Rodan wrote:

    @ yenta-fada:

    It doesn’t help that Hillary has a ‘body woman’ who is connected to the Muslim Brother/Sisterhood, does it?

    That explains alot. Plus Obama said he would stand with the Muslims. he did not lie.

    Nope. It’s just that nobody wanted to hear it or believe it. He could say it again and it wouldn’t matter.


  87. lobo91
    87 | November 27, 2012 3:06 pm

    @ Carolina Girl:

    Obama also said that we shouldn’t raise taxes on anyone while the economy is bad.

    I must have missed the part where things have gotten better…


  88. 88 | November 27, 2012 3:06 pm

    @ yenta-fada:

    It isn’t much of a ceiling if they raise it every time they get close to it. The real debt ceiling comes when our creditors will no longer loan money to us for effectively 0% interest. Even a small up-tick in interest rates would be massive when you look at the amount of money we borrow…


  89. 89 | November 27, 2012 3:06 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ lobo91:
    I wouldn’t spend on edrop of American blood to keep the Blue States in the Union. The question is, how do we get them to leave?

    Oh oh, there you go again! :wink:

    :lol:


  90. yenta-fada
    90 | November 27, 2012 3:07 pm

    @ John Difool:

    The Jordanians are too vulnerable to say anything. The Saudis are busy planning how to get out of Dodge, imo. They will wait to see who wins and then side with them.


  91. 91 | November 27, 2012 3:07 pm

    @ lobo91:

    I must have missed the part where things have gotten better…

    This is the greatest economic boom in history. That is what the media says.


  92. lobo91
    92 | November 27, 2012 3:08 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ lobo91:

    I wouldn’t spend on edrop of American blood to keep the Blue States in the Union. The question is, how do we get them to leave?

    I used to have a sign in my office that said “Very few of life’s problems can’t be solved with the proper application of high explosives.”


  93. yenta-fada
    93 | November 27, 2012 3:08 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ yenta-fada:

    It isn’t much of a ceiling if they raise it every time they get close to it. The real debt ceiling comes when our creditors will no longer loan money to us for effectively 0% interest. Even a small up-tick in interest rates would be massive when you look at the amount of money we borrow…

    I don’t have the stat at the moment, but the U.S. is already buying over 90% of its own Treasury Bills.


  94. 94 | November 27, 2012 3:08 pm

    @ John Difool:

    I’d say both the Saudis and the Jordanians are so scared they could shit blue. Secretly, they both probably wish Israel would slaughter the Palestinians and throw the Muslim Brotherhood in as a parting gift, but neither of them dares to say it.


  95. 95 | November 27, 2012 3:09 pm

    New Thread.


  96. heysoos
    96 | November 27, 2012 3:09 pm

    Rodan wrote:

    Iron Fist wrote:
    @ lobo91:
    I wouldn’t spend on edrop of American blood to keep the Blue States in the Union. The question is, how do we get them to leave?
    Oh oh, there you go again!

    when CA comes crawling to the feds…offer them this deal…
    their legislature step down, and turn over the entire state economy to a few grad students at Kansas State….in 5 years they will make CA money hand over fist


  97. 97 | November 27, 2012 3:10 pm

    @ yenta-fada:

    Yeah, the day the bond markets go squirrelly on us may not be that far in the future. A couple of years ago I went to a thing Bob Corker put on at a local community college, and he said then that he thought we had about three years before that happens. Like I said, that was about two years ago…


  98. yenta-fada
    98 | November 27, 2012 3:10 pm

    lobo91 wrote:

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ lobo91:

    I wouldn’t spend on edrop of American blood to keep the Blue States in the Union. The question is, how do we get them to leave?

    I used to have a sign in my office that said “Very few of life’s problems can’t be solved with the proper application of high explosives.”

    That’s not even close to a true statement. Sometimes money is better. Sometimes that doesn’t work either.


  99. yenta-fada
    99 | November 27, 2012 3:11 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ yenta-fada:

    Yeah, the day the bond markets go squirrelly on us may not be that far in the future. A couple of years ago I went to a thing Bob Corker put on at a local community college, and he said then that he thought we had about three years before that happens. Like I said, that was about two years ago…

    Most people don’t realize how much larger the bond markets are than all of the stock markets.


  100. bluliner10
    100 | November 27, 2012 3:14 pm

    @ Iron Fist:
    I’d rather the blue states stay and then close the door to immigration


  101. John Difool
    101 | November 27, 2012 3:14 pm

    yenta-fada wrote:

    @ John Difool:
    The Jordanians are too vulnerable to say anything. The Saudis are busy planning how to get out of Dodge, imo. They will wait to see who wins and then side with them.

    @ Iron Fist:

    No accident Morsi declared himself dictator just a day or two after Obama in Asia said he wished he could go around Congress.

    I believe Morsi was emboldened by that statement.

    Just heard Sheppie say crowds in Cairo even larger than the ones calling for Mubarek’s head & that there are reports Morsi has called in the military.

    Hows that Arab Spring going ?


  102. lobo91
    102 | November 27, 2012 3:14 pm

    @ yenta-fada:

    That’s not even close to a true statement. Sometimes money is better. Sometimes that doesn’t work either.

    Explosives may not be the best solution to every problem, but they do work.


  103. yenta-fada
    103 | November 27, 2012 3:18 pm

    lobo91 wrote:

    @ yenta-fada:

    That’s not even close to a true statement. Sometimes money is better. Sometimes that doesn’t work either.

    Explosives may not be the best solution to every problem, but they do work.

    I take your word for it!


  104. 104 | November 27, 2012 3:19 pm

    @ yenta-fada:

    Or how risky. Sure, the US may never default (I’ll bet certain Blue States do, though, in the not too distant future), but they’ll redeem the bonds in worthless paper after they print $20 trillion of it.


  105. 105 | November 27, 2012 3:23 pm

    @ bluliner10:

    That would work, but it isn’t likely to happen. I used to work with a Russian Immigrant, and it was amazing the hoops he had to jump through to stay here and he had a Master’s degree in Computer Science and had been here legally since he was in high school. OTOH, go down to Arizona, jump the border and get yourself to a Sanctuary City, and you are golden. It is a wonder that we even have legal immigrants.


  106. waldensianspirit
    106 | November 27, 2012 3:23 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ lobo91:
    I wouldn’t spend on edrop of American blood to keep the Blue States in the Union. The question is, how do we get them to leave?

    Some places we really need the blue cities and their burbs to connect with blue seceding states on the way out. Give Philly to Camden for example


  107. 107 | November 27, 2012 3:23 pm

    @ John Difool:

    Arab Spring®! Smells like… Oppression! 8O


  108. Guggi
    108 | November 27, 2012 3:31 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    I guess even the Eurotrash is getting tired of the Palis.

    Sadly but no.


  109. Guggi
    109 | November 27, 2012 3:40 pm

    Why Republicans should have won the election (and why they didn’t)

    (…)

    Here’s Bolger’s argument in a nutshell (and here’s Austin Powers in a nutshell): If the electorate had looked like 2004, Romney would have won — and perhaps won easily. But, it didn’t. And, it won’t in the future.

    (…)


  110. 110 | November 27, 2012 5:34 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ bluliner10:
    That would work, but it isn’t likely to happen. I used to work with a Russian Immigrant, and it was amazing the hoops he had to jump through to stay here and he had a Master’s degree in Computer Science and had been here legally since he was in high school. OTOH, go down to Arizona, jump the border and get yourself to a Sanctuary City, and you are golden. It is a wonder that we even have legal immigrants.

    The federal government does NOT like Orthodox Christian immigrants, and they work hardest of all to keep out Orthodox Slavs. Had he been Muslim, he wouldn’t have had any problem.


  111. 111 | November 27, 2012 5:36 pm

    yenta-fada wrote:

    Rodan wrote:

    @ yenta-fada:
    Oh yeah, they blame the US for everything. Don’t get me wrong, I agreed with them that theUS is allied with Islamists, but the UFO anti-American stuff was just over the top!
    I am too old to spend time on UFO material EVER. lol

    Me too, but if you can pick through the obvious silliness, you can find a great deal of valid material that they run before anyone else gets it.


  112. Alberta Oil Peon
    112 | November 27, 2012 5:43 pm

    @ heysoos:
    Hell with that. Turn the management of California over to Halliburton. Buy popcorn, and sit back and watch moonbat heads explode.


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