Revealed: Alexander Haig only cabinet member to defend Israel after Osirak bombing
At a ceremony commemorating the life of Rav Menachem Mendel Schneerson zt"l (May the Memory of the Righteous be a Blessing), whose yahrtzeit (anniversary of the date of his death) is this coming Tuesday, Sherwood "Woody" Goldberg, who was Alexander Haig's Chief of Staff, discloses that Haig was the only Reagan cabinet member to defend Israel
after it destroyed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor (32 years ago today on the Gregorian calendar).
a surprise raid On June 7, 1981 -- 32 years ago today -- Israeli F-16s
and F-15s bombed and destroyed a nascent nuclear reactor in Saddam
Goldberg told it, President Reagan and his staff were furious at
Israel. Not only did she attack Iraq without consulting Washington,
seek permission nor give any warning about the attack - but Israel used
American fighter jets to get the job done.
the Americans learned of the strike, Reagan called an emergency cabinet
meeting the next day to determine how the administration would respond.
related that, one-by-one, President Reagan polled Vice President George
H.W. Bush and his cabinet. To a man, the reaction was harsh: "Crush
Israel!" was the response from the President's men.
That is, until it was Haig's turn to weigh-in.
day you will get down on your knees and thank Israel for doing that,"
Haig said according to Goldberg, making him the lone dissenter.
to say, America did not "crush" Israel although there were tensions in
the immediate aftermath. Less than 10 years later America was at war
with Iraq to defend Kuwait in the Gulf War, a k a "Operation Desert
we may never know if President Reagan ever did kneel in gratitude to
Israel, a nuclear-armed Iraq may have deterred America from that
obligation to our ally or cost a great many more American lives.
Yes, time proved Haig prescient.
Labels: Binyamin Netanyahu, Dick Cheney, First Gulf War, Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, Lubavitch, Menachem Begin, Osirak, Ronald Reagan