May 29, 2009

Obama Holds Israeli Helicopters and Weapons Integration Hostage, Benefiting Hamas and Putting Civilians at Risk

In a move that a cynic might note may be designed to save their $900 million investment in Hamas, the Obama Administration has stepped in to block the sale of six Apache helicopters to Israel and also stopped the integration of the Spike missile system with the Apache's millimeter wave radar.

The Obama administration has blocked Israel's request for advanced U.S.-origin attack helicopters.

Government sources said the administration has held up Israel's request for the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter. The sources said the request was undergoing an interagency review to determine whether additional Longbow helicopters would threaten Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

"During the recent war, Israel made considerable use of the Longbow, and there were high civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip," a source close to the administration said.

What a naked, ideologically-driven crock.

Obama's Administration, which apparently has little knowledge of or use for military systems, does not seem to grasp that the use of the Longbow's mast-mounted sensor suite enables it to more carefully select targets that other variants of the Apache, which in and of themselves are a better targeting, surveillance, and attack system than most alternatives.

Nor do they seem to grasp that the close air support function of helicopters with lighter weapons loads is less likely to cause the collateral deaths of civilians than other weapons systems that would have to step into the suppression role that helicopters typically occupy.

Artillery units (in Israel, typically 155mm self-propelled howitzers) fire salvos of "dumb" high explosive or incendiary shells that either burst above the target (spraying shrapnel over a wide area), point detonate on impact, or less frequently, on a time delay that lets them penetrate structures before exploding. But artillery is not designed to be a precision weapon, and Obama's decision could force the Israeli's to use this area weapon, directly putting civilian lives at risk.

The other option for the Israeli's if these Apache's are out of the picture are "fast movers" such as the F-15i and and F16i, fighter-bombers armed with bombs weighing hundreds or thousands of pounds. While they can be armed with precision weapons, the warheads on these munitions are typically larger than those of helicopter mounted weapons. Once again, this creates a situation where the Israeli's are boxed into a less-than-optimal weapons system and put civilians at greater risk of death because of an ignorant decision made by a neophyte's Administration trying to play hardball not with an enemy, but an ally.

The net result is that Obama's short-sightedness and inexperience is potentially leading to a situation that will increase the collateral damage of Israeli strikes, even if the strikes are carried out with the utmost care, because Obama has blocked the sale and integration of the most precise and surgical weapons system available to handle the threat.

Instead of being able to target a Hamas rocket team that has retreated into the garage of an apartment building with a Longbow's precision gunfire or a pinpoint missile strike, Obama's decisions may lead to Israel being boxed into a position where their options are to respond with artillery strikes that run the risk of bringing down the building and spraying everyone nearby with shrapnel, or bombing the building with fighter aircraft armed with bombs large enough to flatten the building and kill everyone inside it.

Obama stupidly thinks that by denying Israel precision-strike capable aircraft and precisions munitions integration that Israel might not fire on the Palestinian terrorists he's provided more money to than anyone but Iran. He thinks he's protecting his investment. Israel, however, does not suffer terrorist rocket attacks on it's neighborhoods and schools, nor should they.

Those innocent Palestinians that may die as a result of this shortsightedness need look no further for a culprit that then man who hides behind the fence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

(h/t Bookworm)

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 29, 2009 11:05 AM

I suppose we should be glad Bush made that massive delivery to the Israelis shortly before Obama took office.

Posted by: john at May 29, 2009 02:50 PM

You sort of make it sound like there are innocent Palestenians. War is about winning and so far the since 1967 is about 4-0 in favor of God's chosen people. Perhaps if we had the good sense to hire Israeli mercenaries to interrogate the Gitmo detaines, we could all sleep better at night. Just a thought.HD

Posted by: Remember 9/11/01 at May 29, 2009 04:22 PM

I wouldn't assume that Obama is blocking this request because they don't understand military systems.

I think they have a very clear understanding of their impact and they are using every tool in their inventory to pressure the Israelis into a deal that would compromise their security.

Do not assume that the current administrations decisions are not driven by an agenda.

Posted by: Honda at May 29, 2009 04:36 PM

You are unfortunately quite astute in your observations, as are those others who made comments. Yet even today, an overwhelming majority of american jews continue to believe this man who I use to feel was just another "empty suited" politician with high aspirations, would ever be a supporter of Israel or its American Jewish citizens. But now, worse then being an empty suit he is a nieve, pompous and arrogant idalogue who has his own new world order. He has and will continue to sell Israel out, tying her hands at every corner and kneeling to the beckoned needs of our poor Palestinian cousins who still believe in the complete destruction of Israel and Judiasm. I really thought for years that the pathetic pictures of a beaten people sheepishly following their masters words and actions as they were herded off the trains at the camps was a piece of history we would never have to live again! I wish you could get this word out to the rest of America's Jewish population. God Bless us, Israel and our people!

Posted by: js at May 29, 2009 05:03 PM

Honda said: "Do not assume that the current administrations decisions are not driven by an agenda."

Precisely! Could it be that Obama is indeed a Muslim, and that his first loyalties lie with the Arab world which certainly include the Palestinians? If this is the case than our countries allies are not the same allies as our very own President.

Long live America, and her allies.

Posted by: James at May 29, 2009 05:14 PM

Let's not forget that Hamas proudly campaigned for Obama. Maybe some political payback?

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at May 30, 2009 03:54 AM

This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 5/30/2009, at The Unreligious Right

Posted by: UNRR at May 30, 2009 07:52 AM

Think about this small conspiracy theory: The Zero stopped the shipment in order to force Israel to use the 155s in their next engagement exactly because it will cause colateral damage. This can then be used to put even more pressure on Israel to support The Zero's agenda.

Posted by: TimothyJ at May 30, 2009 02:23 PM

We are now faced with one of the more bizarre realities we've ever seen. On one side are the Palestinians who are essentially two gangs of murderous thugs who not only delight in murdering each other, but whose primary reason for existence is a second Holocaust. Not only do they say it, they've put it in writing in their foundational documents, such as they are. Their pre-negotiation demands (apart from the utter extinction of Israel and all Jews), are, well, anything and everything that would lead to the utter extinction of Israel and all Jews, sooner or later.

On the other side are the Israelis who would be more than happy to live in peace. Their pre-negotiation demands are that everyone stop shooting at them, and, as long as they're going to be negotiating for peace, recognize that Israel and its inhabitants have a right not to be rendered extinct, sooner or later. In the meantime, they have the temerity to try to keep their "neighbors" from trying to exterminate them.

On one side, we will kill you. We exist only to kill you. Give us everything we want and then we'll kill you anyway. On the other, quit trying to kill us, agree not to kill us in the future, and we'll give you land, money, everything necessary to live and thrive as a society, and we'll all live in peace.

And the President of the United States sides with "we'll kill you."
Are we living in a bad episode of "The Twilight Zone?" Don't Americans appreciate democracy, decency, civilization? Don't we side with people who genuinely want peace?

If the Arabs laid down their weapons and stopped trying to exterminate Israel, what would happen? Peace. If Israel laid down its weapons, what would happen? Holocaust. Well of course. Now I can see why President Obama opposes Israel...

Posted by: Mike at May 30, 2009 09:08 PM


I think you have hit on the real goal. When Israel is forced to use less discriminate weapons, there will be more human shields (aka "innocents") killed. The manufactured outcry will allow Obama and his merry gang of Hamas-lovers to cut back further on support for Israel, partly by denying even more weapon systems for our ally. Which will force Israel to use even less-discriminate weapons...and so forth. Until the point is reached that Israel is alone and the surrounding Arabs and others might finally be able to extinguish Israel and instigate another Holocaust.

Will the USA be safer without an Israel in the ME? Of course not. But too many believe that the USA has no legitimate interest in preserving Israel, so I tend to doubt that the USA will be much of a long-term ally for the country.

Posted by: iconoclast at May 31, 2009 05:55 PM

I hope, indeed suspect, the headline and emphasis on "civilian" casualties is misplaced. The application has been held up, yes, but under some of the other circumstances noted in the article, it actually seems normal:

1. The Israelis want electronics made by them to be installed at the factory here. Unusual to say the least, and testing will be necessary - costing time and money.

2. Israel also wants a different set of weapons on the helicopters. Again, these weapons have not previously been used on these vehicles. Extensive, expensive, and time-consuming testing will be necessary. In this case however, it may be that our own military will subsidize the tests in view of installing the weapons upgrade on our own fleet of `copters.

These requests are [relatively] new, and obviously affect scheduling.

OTOH, I am mindful that in 1967 the Israeli Air Force was flying the French Mirage fighter - because the US, like the USSR, had an arms embargo in place against Israel.

Posted by: teqjack at May 31, 2009 08:43 PM

Good post, much better journalism than the media crowd. While the WH may have a hostile agenda, it appears they are as weapons system ignorant as you are thinking as well. They may be diabolical, but they have repeatedly demonstrated the ineptitude of MacNamarra's "best & brightest". These arrogant ignorant fools will cause a disaster.

Posted by: EdGi at June 1, 2009 01:21 AM

No way baby ...

President Obama: "The danger is when any country thinks it can impose values on another country"

Posted by: Neo at June 1, 2009 11:35 PM