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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A conspiracy theory for the ages

A new book to be published next month will argue that the Soviet Union instigated the June 1967 Six Day War not accidentally through passing disinformation to the Syrians and Egyptians, but purposely in order to create an opportunity to destroy what it believed to be an Israeli nuclear weapons facility in Dimona.
Having received information about Israel's progress towards nuclear arms, the Soviets aimed to draw Israel into a confrontation in which their counterstrike would include a joint Egyptian-Soviet bombing of the reactor at Dimona. They had also geared up for a naval landing on Israel's beaches.


Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the war, Foxbats over Dimona: The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War, by Remez and Isabella Ginor, is to be published by Yale University Press early next month. The title refers to the Soviets' most advanced fighter plane, the MiG-25 Foxbat, which the authors say flew sorties over Dimona shortly before the Six Day War, both to help bolster the Soviet effort to encourage Israel to launch a war, and to ensure the nuclear target could be effectively destroyed once Israel, branded an aggressor for its preemption, came under joint Arab-Soviet counterattack.

Soviet nuclear-missile submarines were also said to have been poised off Israel's shore, ready to strike back in case Israel already had a nuclear device and sought to use it.

The Soviets' intended central intervention in the war was thwarted, however, by the overwhelming nature of the initial Israeli success, the authors write, as Israel's preemption, far from weakening its international legitimacy and exposing it to devastating counterattack, proved decisive in determining the conflict.

And because the Soviet Union's plan thus proved unworkable, the authors go on, its role in stoking the crisis, and its plans to subsequently remake the Middle East to its advantage, have remained overlooked, undervalued or simply unknown to historians assessing the war over the past 40 years.
This sounds a bit far-fetched to me. More importantly, it sounds far-fetched to historian Michael Oren:
Historian Michael Oren, author of the landmark Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, told the Post Tuesday night that he had not found "any documentary evidence to support" the book's central claims. He noted that he had visited the Soviet archives and that "not a lot has been declassified." Oren said he had found "several reasons why the Soviets helped precipitate the war, and this wasn't among them."
Read it and decide for yourselves.


At 12:57 PM, Blogger Karridine said...

Facts? We don' need no steenken' fax!

If it bleeds, recedes, pleads or screeds, it leads! And that goes for books serving to shift attention FROM the Islamo-fascists TO the Soviets.

Good post.


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