For $12 billion, hire Israel as an
Commentary by PAT MURPHY
Israel wants a fourfold increase in U.S.
aid—from $3 billion a year to $12 billion, larger than last year’s entire U.S.
foreign aid of $11.6 billion for all countries.
While Israel asks for an eye-bulging
increase in funds, including help for its economy, President Bush tells
governors pleading for a hand with their killer state budgets now $80 billion
short, sorry, the cupboard is bare.
So, in return for record aid, why not ask
Israel for something big in return for a change.
Let’s make a deal: like hiring Israel’s
Mossad, the world’s acknowledged master in black bag jobs, to take out Saddam
Hussein for the $12 billion.
This idea shouldn’t shock anyone.
Bush revived assassination as a tool of
statecraft. The CIA also says it would take out Saddam, except it can’t figure
how any better than it could get Cuba’s Castro.
Mossad has assassinated terrorists not
just in Israel’s back yard but across the globe. Time magazine a few years back
profiled an Israeli stealth hit team identified as the "Tigers" that took out
terrorists hiding in other countries.
Realistically, Israel is perfectly
equipped for the job. Israeli agents can pass for Arabs. They speak Arabic. They
know the neighborhood and culture, and could easily blend into Iraq’s teeming
As for Arabs being outraged by an Israeli
assassination of Saddam, Israel already is detested throughout Islam. The United
States isn’t much better off because of its support of Israel. In time, however,
Arab states threatened by Iraq would be grateful for Saddam’s demise, if it
could be pulled off.
Israel has the benefit of not being
especially concerned by world opinion or international law.
It shrugged off as a "tragic accident" its
1967 air and sea attack on the spy ship USS Liberty in international
Mediterranean waters that killed 34 American seamen, notwithstanding findings to
the contrary. Israel defied international law when its jets preemptively
destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, much to private U.S. relief and
unspoken satisfaction of nearby Arab states.
Israel told the United Nations to get lost
when it wanted to investigate whether Israeli forces were committing genocide of
Palestinians, and freely uses U.S. weaponry on civilian targets that would draw
White House rebukes if other nations did the same.
It refuses any inspection of its nuclear
weapons program, which U.S. intelligence suspects includes nuclear fuels stolen
from American sources.
Israel periodically pleads for freedom of
Jonathan Pollard, the imprisoned spy it recruited inside U.S. naval
intelligence. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon continues expanding Jewish
settlements despite protests and U.N. resolutions.
Arguments for an Israeli assassin team in
Iraq are irresistible.
If Saddam were assassinated, widespread
bloodshed from a full-scale military attack would be avoided and hundreds of
billions of dollars in war costs and reconstruction of Iraq would be spared.
Whereupon $12 billion in aid to Israel
would seem like a bargain.