hopperbach


Israeli air force collects new sky miles

Look to the skies Ahmadinejad, your nuke program may soon be up in smoke. Israel recently conducted some eye-opening combat exercises:

American military officials say Israel launched a major military exercise aimed in part at demonstrating its ability to stage an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Israel’s military refuses to confirm or deny whether the exercise was a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack.

But two Pentagon officials said Israel sent dozens of aircraft on the large-scale mission in the eastern Mediterranean in early June.

One defense official said the exercise could be taken as a show of force to Iran and a demonstration to the world that Israel is serious about the need to challenge the country’s nuclear program — and could be prepared to do so militarily.

“They have been conducting some large-scale exercises — they live in a tough neighborhood,” one U.S. official said, though he offered no other recent examples.

So what’s the big deal? With such cranky neighbors wanting to push their people into the sea and all, Israel pretty much has to keep it’s military muscles toned, right?  Well… you see these particular operations were a little different in that they involved Israeli fighter jets traveling 900 miles from their home base. This is the distance they would have to travel to get to the uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz, folks. Get the message now?

Others do:

“They wanted us to know, they wanted the Europeans to know, and they wanted the Iranians to know,” the Pentagon official said to the Times. “There’s a lot of signaling going on at different levels.”

That’s the AP version. But it’s always fun to explore the DEBKAfile version:

DEBKAfile’s military sources add that only on Tuesday, June 17, the chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazy commented to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee: “Beside the actions and sanctions against Iran, it is important we remain ready for any options.”

Those sources interpreted the Ashkenazy’s typically understated remark as a hint that Israel must be ready for a possible war with Iran in the near future. This conflict could erupt on three additional fronts, Syria, Hizballah and Hamas. Those sources suggest that the scenario he hinted at would silence the many domestic critics of the ceasefire with Hamas and the Israeli military’s passivity in the face of Hizballah’s massive rocket buildup and Hamas’ escalating aggression.

So beyond Iran, the broader message Israel may be sending is that they still have the ability to kick some major extremist ass if need be.  They did it before in the Six Day War and they can do it again. Nothing wrong with a little reminder of what could happen if these jihad junkies and rogue regimes continue to act up. War can claim many lives but little history lesson never hurt anyone…

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