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Friday, May 18, 2012

Above and beyond?

A vile article in the Washington Post by Walter Pincus (a former aide to anti-Semitic Arkansas Democrat JW Fulbright) argues that by financing Iron Dome, the United States is putting solving Israel's budget problems ahead of its own.
Ehud Barak, Israel’s defense minister, will meet Thursday in Washington with Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta to finalize a deal in which the United States will provide an additional $680 million to Israel over three years. The money is meant to help pay for procuring three or four new batteries and interceptors for Israel’s Iron Dome short-range rocket defense program. The funds may also be used for the systems after their deployment, according to the report of the House Armed Services Committee on the fiscal 2013 Defense Authorization bill.

The Iron Dome funds, already in legislation before Congress, will be on top of the $3.1 billion in military aid grants being provided to Israel in 2013 and every year thereafter through 2017. That deal is part of a 10-year memorandum of understanding agreed to in 2007 during the George W. Bush presidency.

“Those funds are already committed to existing large-ticket purchases, such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, C-130J transport planes and other items,” according to George Little, spokesman for Panetta. He also said the Israelis had increased their own spending on Iron Dome this year and the U.S. funds are to “augment” their funding.


Iron Dome was developed and built by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., an Israeli government-owned, profit-making company that, since 2004, has been headed by retired Vice Adm. Yedidia Yaari, the former commander in chief of the Israel Navy. Rafael’s board chairman is retired Maj. Gen. Ilan Biran, former general director of the Ministry of Defense. In August, Rafael joined Raytheon Co. to market the Iron Dome system worldwide. The two are already partners in one of the other anti-missile systems that is being jointly run by Israel and the Pentagon.

The House committee report noted that the United States will have put $900 million into the Iron Dome system if the full $680 million is used on the program “yet the United States has no rights to the technology involved.”

It added that Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Patrick J. O’Reilly should explore opportunities to enter into a joint production arrangement with Israel for future Iron Dome batteries “in light of the significant investment in this system.”

So here is the United States, having added to its own deficit by spending funds that it must borrow, helping to procure a missile defense system for Israel, which faces the threat but supposedly can’t pay for it alone.

To add insult to injury, Pentagon officials must ask the Israeli government-owned company that is profiting from the weapons sales — including Iron Dome — if the United States can have a piece of the action.
Read the whole thing.

This is misleading on so many levels, it simply must be answered.

First, the biggest fan of Iron Dome happens to be the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama. Obama believes that if Israel has Iron Dome, it can afford to give up territory to his beloved 'Palestinians' because no missiles will be able to hit Israel. The Obama administration has pushed Israel to continue to develop and deploy Iron Dome, because the alternative is an Israeli invasion of Gaza that Obama really doesn't want. Never mind that Iron Dome means that Jews still have to be wary of rocket fire at all times.

Second, the reason this has to be done as a separate budget item outside the foreign aid bill is that the $3.1 billion that Israel gets from the United States can only be spent in... the United States. That means that all that money is essentially being shifted from one American pocket to another, providing jobs for Americans, and particularly for United States defense industries, while allowing the United States to battle test their weapons (fortunately, Iron dome has not been needed along the Mexican border yet). Keep in mind that Iron Dome may one day be protecting American bases around the world.

Third, Pincus looks at aid to Israel in a vacuum. But the United States is also providing more than $1.5 billion in aid to an Egyptian government that is a joint venture between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian army. What's the United States getting out of that aid? At least Israel votes with the US at the UN. Egypt never does. The same goes for other aid recipients like the 'Palestinian Authority,' Jordan and Lebanon. In fact, the United States has even disguised foreign aid as tax credits to ARAMCO (the big Saudi oil company).

Pincus seems to complain about Israel purchasing the F-35. How many other US allies are purchasing the F-35? Every country that purchases the F-35 keeps the production lines going and keeps Americans working. I wouldn't complain too much about that if I were an American resident.

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that Pincus was formerly an aide to Arkansas Senator JW Fulbright, who was notoriously anti-Israel. Consider this:
In 1962 Fulbright launched an investigation of foreign lobbyists in Washington, attempting to force AIPAC to register as an agent of Israel rather than a domestic American lobby. His chief investigator was a journalist named Walter Pincus. (Today, Pincus, The Washington Post's veteran national security reporter, helps cover the Jane Harman story and the Rosen-Weissman trial.) "Israel controls the United States Senate," Fulbright told Face the Nation in 1973. "Around 80 percent are completely in support of Israel; anything Israel wants it gets. Jewish influence in the House of Representatives is even greater."
And you thought it started with Walt and Mearsheimer, didn't you?

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