It sickens freedom lovers: the money and support Obama is throwing at jihadist regimes while cutting off nascent and established democracies. The US is shtooping Hamas more cash, yet again, while cutting off the oxygen to the Jewish people. No surprise from the Muhammadan president, but he is not an absolute ruler. Call and write your Congressmen. Hold them accountable. It is not difficult to understand why an anti-semitic Administration would seek to diminish Israel’s defensive capability.
If Congress does not reverse the ban on exports of the F-22 Raptor, it will become complicit in furthering the Obama Administration’s commitment to deny Israel the option of defending herself from the Iranian nuclear threat.
To date, the Administration has denied the Israel military’s requests to: Purchase in-flight refueling tankers; fly over Iraqi air-space; install its advanced electronics into the F-35; purchase Apache attack helicopters; and now, purchase F-22 stealth fighters.
For US strategic purposes, we have stationed an advanced early radar system in the Negev at a compound accessible only to US personnel. The system can monitor aircraft or missile activity up to 1,500 miles away. This capability could give Israel an extra 60-70 seconds to react should Iran fire a missile. However, the Administration has denied Israel any direct access to the data collected. Israel will only be fed intelligence second hand, on a need-to-know basis by its American operators. Complained one top official, “It’s like a pair of golden handcuffs on Israel.”
It is difficult to understand why the Administration seeks to diminish Israel’s defensive capability, particularly given the reports that the Air Force has sought to sell the ultra-advanced F-22 Raptor abroad to trusted US allies, “as a way of plussing up the numbers and production”. It initially intended to purchase 300-800 F-22’s, which was cut to 442, then 381, and most recently to just over 180. With F-22 production set to terminate around 2010, and increasing concern over the capability gap between other US fighters, and global competitors like the SU-30 family, MIG-35, et. al., some planners are becoming concerned. They believe that maintaining the F-22 production line through exports extends the USA’s decision options, in sync with former Air Force chief of staff, Gen. McPeak’s plea not to compromise “our future air combat capabilities.”
No discussion of our capabilities can ignore the contribution Israel made in developing US supremacy in the air. Retired Air Force intelligence chief, Gen. George F. Keegan, when discussing Israeli assistance in discovery of Soviet capabilities, new weapons, electronics and jamming devices, said, “I could not have procured the intelligence…with five CIAs.” He maintained during the Cold War that "the ability of the U.S. Air Force in particular, and the Army in general, to defend whatever position it has in NATO owes more to the Israeli intelligence input than it does to any single source of intelligence." Surely the fact that Mossad had convinced an Iraqi pilot to fly the Soviet’s premier fighter, the MIG-21 to an Israeli base, contributed to the General’s observation. At the time (1966) the US had no clue as to how it was built, what its weaknesses were, nor which weapons should be developed against it…that is, until the Israelis loaned her MIG-21 to the US Air Force.
It is also striking, given the millions of unemployed Americans, and the White House’s otherwise strong commitment to bailing out suffering industries, that the Administration is seeking to phase-out production of the F-22. Production would help Lockheed-Martin and its major suppliers retain 25,000 jobs in California, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas, and 95,000 jobs overall in 44 states when subcontractors are included. Thus, should Congress reverse the ban on exports Israel wishes to purchase, it would provide a painless stimulus to the economy, and bolster our “future air combat capabilities” at the same time.
Though the Obama Administration has not courted the vast pro-Israel sentiment of Christians and Jews, Congress is obligated to act on the wishes of the overwhelming millions of Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike, who would not deny Israel the right to defend herself against the threat of extinction.
Formerly Deputy Director of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Jewish Committee
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