Sharon to Attack Iraq?

Jay Moore research at
Sun Feb 11 14:12:28 MST 2001

Surprises Up Sharon's Sleeve

Thursday, 8 February 2001, 9:33 am
Column: John Howard

In his first speech outlining plans as Israel's new Prime
Minister, Ariel Sharon said his government would, "work to
achieve true peace" and that peace would require
"painful concessions on both sides."

He declared Israel had "set out on a new path of peace
among its people, unity, striving for security and real

Sharon then turned to Jerusalem, one of the most
sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian talks saying,
"the government I shall establish will concentrate on
strengthening united Jerusalem, the eternal capital of
Israel and the Jewish people."

He then recited a Jewish prayer: "If I forget thee,
Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, let my tongue stick
to my palate."

So what is likely to happen in the immediate future?

The election decided only to replace one tough
ex-general for another. Israel's parliament is unchanged,
and the Knesset can almost be guaranteed to be as
unruly for Sharon as it was Ehud Barak.

Sharon will find it no easier to build a stable governing
majority than Barak - unless he can make a pre-emptive
and successful strike which would have the immediate
effect of uniting all the factions and parties which
make-up Israel's parliament.

Sharon's record shows, and his revealing biography
"Warrior" explains at length, his personal style of war as he waged it from
the 1950's onwards. He is a master of
strategy and military surprise.

And he will surprise - that is the nature of the man. His
surprise will be designed to outflank his enemies and
boost his friends through a bold and dramatic gesture.

What is the most likely bold and dramatic gesture which
would outflank his enemies and win him friends in the
West? The answer seems clear - Iraq.

Sharon will not have forgotten that Saddam Hussein
forced Israeli children into bomb shelters and wear gas
masks during the Gulf War. He will have not forgotten the
terrifying effect on the population of the screeching
air-raid sirens as Iraq launched SCUD missiles into Israel.

In turn, we should not forget that Ariel Sharon was also
part of the 1981 Israeli government when it launched
that daring air-strike which destroyed the Iraqi nuclear
reactor at Osirak just days before its atomic pile went
critical. He was the strongest voice in the government
for that strike.

Saddam Hussein still retains power in Baghdad all but free
of sanctions and controls. He has said he is determined
to build Iraq's capacity to intimidate his neighbours, he
has moved his troops to threatening northern-border
positions and he financially supports some Palestinian
extremist groups.

Western intelligence agencies have been reporting for
some months that Saddam Hussein is trying to rebuild his
weapons of mass destruction - nuclear, chemical and
biological. He will not allow UN weapons inspectors back
into Iraq.

If Sharon takes a strike at Iraq the new US Bush
administration would be ecstatic. The Europeans,
dependent on oil supplies, would be much relieved to
have a disruptive Hussein out of the way. The moderate
Arab leaders, who will now be afraid of their extremist
street-mobs if they even deal remotely with Sharon, will
be massively relieved. And importantly, the Arab
extremists will have lost their strongest ally or seen it

New US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, will be in the
Middle East by the end of this month and he will likely be
urging calm on all sides - publicly at least. But it seems
likely that he also has scores to settle with Saddam

Sharon, and Israel, has only had one defeat in 52 years -
Israel's disastrous 1982 invasion of Lebanon which
became bogged down into a prolonged war. That is not
likely to be repeated by Sharon now that he is Prime
Minister and the world will likely be very grateful if he
specifically demolishes Iraq's weapons sites and perhaps
even Saddam Hussein himself.

Ariel Sharon is also an old student of the Torah (Bible)
and he believes the ancient promise that Zionist
aspirations will not be fulfilled until Israel is fully restored within its
historic boundaries.

Like it or not Israeli's, along with the Bible, have now
given him that mandate. That is something global leaders
will have to fully understand and come to terms with.

What will need watching now is any breakout of
anti-semitism in countries not in the immediate region,
like in Russia in the mid-1950's, because that, God forbid,
could lead to universal war.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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