Efraim Halevy was the director of Israel's security service, Mossad, from 1998 to 2002. He's a firm believer that we are in the midst of a new world war, which you can read more about in the second part of this post.
Halevy was in Canada recently, promoting the release of his meoir, and he held forth on the Israel Vs Hizbullah war and the future of Israel and the Middle East.
Here's the key quotes and notes from this article :
What he's talking about is Israel's well-used and very effective tactic of turning it's enemies against each other and encouraging, or provoking, violent conflict between these enemies.
“All threats today (to Israel), including Islamic radicalism, will be overcome.”
“I’m not sure either side (Israel or Hizbullah) understood what it was getting into. Both sides slipped into it by accident. It was not premeditated, and both sides made a mistake of assessment....Israel has reached some kind of stalemate with Hezbollah.”
According to Halevy, Syria, with its antiquated army, fears a war with Israel. Even if Syria fires missiles at Israel, Israeli artillery can shell Damascus at will.
Asked whether Israel should resume peace talks with Syria or engage Hamas in negotiations, Halevy replied that the Israeli government should keep all options open.
Although Iran considers Israel an enemy worthy of destruction, Israel should try to open channels of communication with Tehran, Halevy said.
“If we play it right, we can find a way to talk to Iran."
Halevy noted that Hamas and Al Qaeda look upon each other as adversaries, despite their common Islamic radical outlook, and that rivalry should be exploited.
As he put it, “There is a potential for gain here.”
The idea is to get your enemies to fight each other. They kill each other off in the fighting, and hopefully deplete the overall number of enemies you then may face in the future. It's a variation of the old mantra : "My enemy's enemy is my friend."
Halevy's version of that matra would thus be : "My enemy's enemy is my proxy army."
EX-MOSSAD CHIEF ON THE NEW WORLD WAR
After the London bombings of July 7, 2005, Halevy was one of the first well-informed opinion makers to get out a column on the terrorist attacks.
He must have worked fast, because he managed to get a piece published online in the Jerusalem Post within four or so hours of the attacks being officially confirmed by UK police as terrorist attacks.
Halevy was also the first person, anywhere in the world, to publicly state the three explosions on the London Underground were co-ordinated and occured within the space of only a few minutes.
Presumably he was briefed by Mossad sources in London.
Here's some key quotes from Halevy's extremely influential JPost.com opinion piece written on July 7, 2005 :
We are in the throes of a world war, raging over the entire globe and characterized by the absence of lines of conflict and an easily identifiable enemy. There are sometimes long pauses between one attack and another, consequently creating the wrong impression that the battle is all over, or at least in the process of being won.Halevy's words have been adopted by Bush Co. enthusiastically. Speeches that President Bush is now giving in the week leading up to the fifth anniversary of September 11 draw heavily from Halevy's mantra.
Generally speaking, the populations at large are not involved in the conflict, and by and large play the role of bystanders. But once in a while, these innocents are caught up in the maelstrom and suffer the most cruel and wicked of punishments meted out by those who are not bound by any rules of conduct or any norms of structured society.
For a while, too short a while, we are engrossed with the sheer horror of what we see and hear, but, with the passage of time, our memories fade and we return to our daily lives, forgetting that the war is still raging out there and more strikes are sure to follow.
It cannot be said that seven years after this war broke out in east Africa, we can see its conclusion. We are in for the long haul and we must brace ourselves for more that will follow. The 'Great Wars' of the 20th century lasted less than this war has already lasted, and the end is nowhere in sight.
There will be supreme tests of leadership in this unique situation and people will have to trust the wisdom and good judgment of those chosen to govern them.
The executives must be empowered to act resolutely and to take every measure necessary to protect the citizens of their country and to carry the combat into whatever territory the perpetrators and their temporal and spiritual leaders are inhabiting.
The aim of the enemy is not to defeat western civilization but to destroy its sources of power and existence, and to render it a relic of the past. It does not seek a territorial victory or a regime change; it wants to turn western civilization into history and will stop at nothing less than that.
It will show no mercy or compassion and no appreciation for these noble values when practiced by us. This does not mean that we can or should assume the norms of our adversaries, nor that we should act indiscriminately. It does mean that the only way to ensure our safety and security will be to obtain the destruction, the complete destruction, of the enemy.
President Bush no longer defines any distinction between the very obvious differences between terrorists waging war in different parts of the world. They are all Islamic Fascists, even when a number of terrorist attacks are being carried out by Hindus or Christian Zionists or anonymous secret service operatives aiming to discredit people power movements or resistance groups.
The only terrorists Bush Co, and the War On Terror allies are concerned about and want to highlight are those who appear to be Islamists, regardless of whether they are launching attacks in Palestine, Iraq, Chechnya or Kurdish Turkey.
This is where Bush Co.'s attempt to paint terrorists as the New Nazis falls over in a confused heap. The idea that Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizbullah and Indonesian Muslim radicals are all tied together in a coherent network, or party membership (like the Nazis) is absurd, and unnecessary.
It is the easiest route, then, for Bush Co. to simply echo the words of Halevy and determine that Islamist Fascists are the root case of the world's terrorist related miseries, regardless of how much such a strategy infuriates the Saudis, and those pushing for democratic reform in Iran, Syria and across the Middle East.
That there is some mega-huge, ultra-secret group stretched across the world and planning to overthrow Western society as we know it is a ridiculous conspiracy theory of the worst kind, and belongs in the realm of bad Tom Clancy thrillers, not as the backbone of internationalist policy.
But it sure is easy to sell to the masses, or so Bush Co. believes right now. They may find the masses are a little more well-informed and nuanced in their opinions and beliefs than previously believed.
Read the whole Halevy opinion piece here.
Note, the JPost.com site has apparently removed the original story from its archive. This link is to the exact same story I kept in my own archive and printed out on July 7, 2005.