U.S. Military Attache in Israel: Ahmadinejad Like ‘Little German Guy With Moustache’


From the looks of it, the job of the U.S. military attache in Tel Aviv is to echo the views of Israel’s leaders, generals and spymasters.  Otherwise, how does one account for the fact that in his farewell interview with the IDF magazine, BaMachaneh, Lt. Col. Rick Burgess likened Iran’s president to Adolph Hitler and claimed that Israel and the world were now facing a time like the 1930s when the Nazis came to power?

Ahmadinejad returns us to a scenario of the little guy with the moustache of the 1930s.

Interestingly, Burgess reassures the reporter that the strained relations between the Obama administration and Israel’s government are like those of “husband and wife,” which would mean, I suppose, that Israel and the U.S. are married.  I would think that there would be either a U.S. law or at least State Department memorandum prohibiting countries from marrying each other.  It seems a highly dubious way of conducting foreign relations, let alone marital relations.

Regarding Wikileaks and its impact on Israel-U.S. relations, Burgess marvels that Israel has turned it into a positive.  Those documents that were leaked concerning Iran:

Confirmed what the U.S. and Israel have been saying [about Iran] for a long time: that there are other nations [in the region] as concerned about it as we are.

According to his appraisal, Iran was the most important subject he faced during his 18-month tenure as military attaché.  He dealt with it from his first day on the job until the day of his interview.  Nothing was more important.  Gee, it makes you wonder what this guy’s priorities were and it also indicates why U.S. policy is so screwed up.  Israel and the U.S. are, in Burgess’ view, in the same boat regarding Iran’s nuclear threat and it’s only natural that they collaborate the danger it poses, as they have in other military matters.  It’s the reason we share intelligence as well, he says, though he won’t go into which material or how much is shared.  To the interviewer’s question whether “our friends in the U.S.” would decide to assist us if we attack Iran or prefer not to open a second front against her, Burgess demurred with the conventional “all options remain open.”  This would include, according to the attaché:

…Active defensive measures on the part of Israel and the U.S.  Israel has the right to defend itself.  And if Israel and the U.S. decide that this is the best way to protect Israel or the region in general, it [Israel] will do so [attack Iran]…It’s a frightening thought that Iran wants to be a world power and leader of the Islamic world and everything it does points in those directions.

Interesting that a discussion of attacking Iran invokes the notion that this somehow contains an element of self-defense  on Israel’s and America’s part.  The notion that Iran seeks to be a world power is laughable though of course it legitimately seeks to play a role in the Islamic world.  But the notion that this is an urge on Iran’s part that must be checked by an assault on that country is passing strange.

Burgess also discusses his conversations with senior Israeli leaders who told him:

Remember the 30s and the little guy with the moustache who said all those things about the Jews?  People said he didn’t mean what he said.  That he wouldn’t do anything,  and look what happened.  At the end of the day, if you take a leader like Ahmadinejad and give his maximal power you will get a return of the 1930s era with the little guy with the moustache.  This is a danger that Israel cannot afford.

To which I reply, the world cannot afford to entertain Israel’s delusions that events from history are repeating themselves.  This is a problem of Israeli psychopathology for which it needs treatment, not the enabling of friends (or “wives”) like the United States and its military attaches.  I for one abhor Israel’s misuse of Jewish history in this fashion.  One tenet of Jewish philosophy I learned in my college Judaica courses was that the Holocaust was sui generis, in other words it was a unique historical event having no parallel.  While subsequent contemporary historical events in Rwanda, Cambodia and elsewhere have proven this claim wrong; what IS true is that there is no historical parallel in modern Jewish life for the Holocaust.  Iran is not Nazi Germany, today in not the 1930s, Ahmadinejad is not Hitler.  And anyone who makes such spurious claims does so for purely partisan political interests and does a grievous injustice to the real suffering of Jewish victims of that era.

Burgess also uses a strange analogy to describe broadening U.S. relations with Lebanon.  Speaking in the metaphor of the telenovela, it’s as if Israel is the lover the U.S. knows but Lebanon is the “hot new babe.”  He is speaking of the $400 million in military armaments the U.S. provided to strengthen the Lebanese army.  Naturally, the IDF worries that this materiel will end up strengthening Hezbollah in its fight against Israel.

When asked about how the disagreement over Israel’s refusal to lengthen its settlement freeze affected U.S. relations he turns to another analogy:

There may be decisions that are made on the political level that diminish military coöperation, but it’s like relations between a husband and wife: relations remain stable, but this doesn’t mean that we agree on everything.  Like, for example the issue of how to raise the children…

And to top all this nonsense off he adds an impossibly trite comparison between Israelis and Americans:

Israelis truly are sabras [cactuses], inside they are warm and open.  That’s what I love about Israel.  It’s truthful and real.  In America there is a tendency to be quite superficial [keep in mind this dude lives in Nevada!].  In Israel someone might call you an idiot and cut you off on the road, but here there is more depth, more truthfulness.

What can only wonder what this guy’s been smokin,’ or given that he’s a military officer, drinking.

To prove that Burgess does have some ability to understand the inadequacies of Israeli policy, after a conversation in which he railed about Israeli driving and poor parking habits he liken Israel’s government to a bad driver:

Israel too parks its car in the middle of the roadway at times, but not because it understands [that this is wrong], but rather because it feels that this is the right thing to do.  Israel  has an attitude: “I will do whatever is necessary to protect myself.”  As for consequences, it will worry about those later.

This article was published at Tikun Olam and is reprinted here with the author’s permission

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

2 thoughts on “U.S. Military Attache in Israel: Ahmadinejad Like ‘Little German Guy With Moustache’

  • December 26, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Archeological excavations and historical data is the best proof Israel belongs to the Jewish Nation and non-other.

    All the Arabs in Israel and surrounding areas are from the various Arab nations, such as Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and other Arab nations.

    Transfer all Arabs from Israel to Jewish Land and Homes confiscated by Arab Countries.

    Prominent PLO Arab says there are no ‘Palestinians’ and no “Palestine”

    PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein admitted in a March 31, 1977 interview with a Dutch newspaper Trouw.

    “The Palestinian people do not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism. ”

    The Qur’an 17:104 – states the land belongs to the Jewish people

    If the historic documents, comments written by eyewitnesses and declarations by the most authoritative Arab scholars are still not enough, let us quote the most important source for Muslim Arabs:
    “And thereafter we [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd’.”.
    YUSUFALI: And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, “Dwell securely in the land (of promise)”: but when the second of the warnings came to pass, We gathered you together in a mingled crowd.
    PICKTHAL: And We said unto the Children of Israel after him: Dwell in the land; but when the promise of the Hereafter cometh to pass We shall bring you as a crowd gathered out of various nations.
    SHAKIR: And We said to the Israelites after him: Dwell in the land: and when the promise of the next life shall come to pass, we will bring you both together in judgment.
    – Qur’an 17:104 –
    Any sincere Muslim must recognize the Land they call “Palestine” as the Jewish Homeland, according to the book considered by Muslims to be the most sacred word and Allah’s ultimate revelation.

    Any building of housing in The Greater Israel is the right and duty of the Israeli government. There is no such a thing as occupied territory. It is the land of Israel for over 4,000 years.

    Sequence of historical events, agreements and a non-broken series of treaties and resolutions, as laid out by the San Remo Resolution, the League of Nations and the United Nations, gives the Jewish People title to the city of Jerusalem and the rest of Israel totaling approximately 45,000 square miles, as mandated by the League of Nations in July of 1922. The process began at San Remo, Italy, when the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I – Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan – agreed to create a Jewish national home in what is now the Land of Israel. (You might as well break apart Syria which was mandated at the same time).

    YJ Draiman.

    20 Years of Research Reveals Jerusalem Belongs to Jews

    (IsraelNN.com) Jacques Gauthier, a non-Jewish Canadian lawyer who spent 20 years researching the legal status of Jerusalem, has concluded: “Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, by international law.”.

    Gauthier has written a doctoral dissertation on the topic of Jerusalem and its legal history, based on international treaties and resolutions of the past 90 years. The dissertation runs some 1,300 pages, with 3,000 footnotes. Gauthier had to present his thesis to a world-famous Jewish historian and two leading international lawyers – the Jewish one of whom has represented the Palestinian Authority on numerous occasions.
    Gauthier’s main point, as summarized by Israpundit editor Ted Belman, is that a non-broken series of treaties and resolutions, as laid out by the San Remo Resolution, the League of Nations and the United Nations, gives the Jewish People title to the city of Jerusalem. The process began at San Remo, Italy, when the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I – Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan – agreed to create a Jewish national home in what is now the Land of Israel.

    We must unleash the wrath of G-D against the enemies of Israel and those collaborating with the enemy.
    End the Unjust Arab Occupation of Jewish Land

    Bible, Zechariah 1:14 Thus says the L-RD of hosts, “I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion.” Jerusalem is mentioned hundreds of times in the Jewish Bible, NOT once in the Koran. Psalm 135:12 “He gave their land as a heritage to Israel His people.” Thousands of years ago, G-D foretold in Bible the present-day murderous hate for Israel. Psalm 83 They have said, “Come and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more. For they have conspired together with one mind; against You they make a covenant”. The Bible makes it clear that the war is against G-D.

    An interesting questionnaire for Palestinian Advocates

    If you are so sure “Palestine, the country, goes back through most of recorded history,” I expect you to be able to answer a basic questions about that country of Palestine:
    1. When was it founded and by whom?
    2. What were its borders?
    3. What was its capital?
    4. What were its major cities?
    5. What constituted the basis of its economy?
    6. What was its form of government?
    7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?
    8. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
    9. What was the language of the country of Palestine ?
    10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine ?
    11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese Yuan on that date.
    12. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?
    You are lamenting the “low sinking” of a “once proud” nation.
    Please tell me, when exactly was that “nation” proud and what was it so proud of?

  • January 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    The Survival of Humankind, and Improving the World, Society, and Yourself!

    Yet who can the world trust to be idealistic and moral enough to help all of humanity and the environment, and at the same time, be practical enough to make extremely difficult decisions that can and will harm a great deal of people?

    Humanitism is a philosophy for the continued survival and perpetuation of the human race. Humanitists (people who believe in humanitism) do not have the luxury of trying again after failing. Humanitists must be more vigilant than environmentalists, because we will not have a second chance at survival.

    The survival of humanity is more important than the well being of our environment; however the environment is necessary for humanity to survive. That does not give the right for big businesses to continue doing whatever they want with only minimal or no consideration for the environment, so long as our surroundings support human life. We need to protect the environment for the continued survival and future well being of humanity. Keep in mind that without the human race, there would be no one and no need to protect the environment. Therefore, humanitism is more important than environmentalism.

    It seems that in the past 50 years the human race has pursued the money train, that such desire for financial gain has caused society to ignore and abandon honesty, values, morality and candidness etc.

    The race to financial gain has caused our leaders and the executives of the corporate world to disregard laws, ethics and the caring for each other and humanity as a whole. Deception, fraud and outright theft are their new motto all for the sake of financial gain, personal ego, fame and success.

    It seems that for the sake of success and profit people will step on anybody, family friends, co-workers and anyone who stands in their way or take advantage of anyone that could help them achieve what they want.

    That is not to say that honest and compassionate people who care do not exist, where honesty and integrity is a way of life for them, but they are a very small minority.

    As we begin the year 2011, we should all look at the past and decide with determination that everyone will from now on contribute to the betterment of humanity, society and mankind.

    We should all learn to live with each other and respect each other for the sustainability of mankind. Humanity should strive for harmony, tranquility and peace

    by: YJ Draiman, Energy/Utility/Telecom, Auditor – 12/31/2010

    The human survival instinct prods us to outlast afflictions and, if circumstances permit, to reach old age. Nothing, of course, could be more quintessentially natural than aging.


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