"Not to be confused with Facts"
Regional Unrest Benefiting Iran
Israeli military leaders have issued a stark assessment warning that the escalating political turbulence rocking the Middle East and North Africa this year has been aiding the radical regime in Iran in its ongoing attempts to transform the country into a regional superpower. In particular, the IDF officials point out that higher world oil prices following in the wake of the upheaval in Libya, Bahrain and elsewhere in the troubled area is pouring much needed money into Iranian government coffers. This money flow may allow the Shiite country to dodge the economic bullets resulting from international sanctions imposed on the regime in an attempt to get it to halt its threatening uranium enrichment nuclear program.
The assessment came as controversial Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a cheering throng in the southeast of the country that a “new Middle East will emerge in the near future without the presence of the United States and the Zionist regime, and their allies.” He maintained that Washington and Jerusalem — which he termed the “global arrogance” — are attempting to spark an Iranian military showdown with regional Sunni-Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia.
By Dr. Mitchell Bard
MYTH: The Targeted Assassination of Terrorist Leaders
Is a Counterproductive Military Strategy
FACT: While Israel has routinely been criticized for the targeted killing of terrorists, the United States has actively engaged in a policy of assassinating al-Qaeda operatives since 9/11, culminating in the announcement on May 1, 2011, that Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. special operations forces. Like Israel, the United States believes that killing the planners and perpetrators of terror attacks is vital to its national security. This strategy prevents attacks, sends a message to would-be terrorists that there is a price to pay for terror and makes the planning of attacks more difficult by keeping the terrorists on the run.
Killing bin Laden was part of a broader strategy of eliminating the leadership of al-Qaeda. Israel has successfully pursued a similar approach in targeting the leadership of Hamas. Pinpoint Israeli strikes killed Mahmoud Adani (2001), Salah Shahade (2002), Ahmed Yassin (2004) and Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi (2004). The death of its leaders temporarily crippled Hamas and compelled the organization to call for a protracted cease-fire with Israel in December 2004. After Hamas recommenced rocket attacks into southern Israel in 2011, Israel resumed targeting the terrorists and the group again called for a truce.
As President Obama remarked in his address to the nation, "the death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al-Qaeda ... on nights like this we can say: Justice has been done." Bin Laden's death does not constitute a final victory over terrorism, but the United States has struck an important blow and sent a message, echoed by Israeli policy, that terrorists will not evade justice.
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