November 17, 2013—SnyderTalk Editorial: Ten Things to Consider Before Launching an Attack against Iran


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Ten Things to Consider Before Launching an Attack against Iran

Sun Tzu, a 6th-century B.C. Chinese general and military strategist and the author of The Art of War, laid out arguably the most comprehensive treatise on strategy ever written.  I referenced his insights frequently in my strategy classes at the University of Virginia, and particularly this kernel of wisdom:

It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

To succeed in war, you must understand your enemy.  With that thought in mind, it is helpful to consider what we know about Iran’s Islamist rulers and their line of attack in previous military engagements.  The best evidence we have comes from the Iran-Iraq War.  Below are some basic facts about that war and ten lessons that political and military leaders today should contemplate before launching an attack against Iran:

  1. The Iran-Iraq War lasted from 1980 to 1988.  Lesson: The Iranians are willing to fight for a very long time.
  2. Saddam Hussein decided to invade Iran because he believed that they were unprepared for war.  They weren’t ready at first, but they got ready in a hurry.  Lesson: Don’t underestimate Iranian resolve.
  3. As Islamic militants rose to positions of power following the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, they pursued an expansionist foreign policy that was a continuation of centuries-old battles between Sunni and Shia Muslims and Persians and Arabs.  Lesson: Don’t ignore tensions that have been suppressed artificially by so-called “diplomatic achievements.”  Those tensions are just as prevalent today as they have ever been.
  4. When he launched the campaign against Iran, Saddam Hussein thought that the Arab minority in Iran would revolt and destabilize the government.  The hoped-for revolt never materialized.  In fact, the Arab minority in Iran joined forces with the Iranians.  Lesson: Make sure that your assumptions are correct.  If you are in doubt, assume the worst, because that’s what is likely to happen.
  5. Copying Israel’s strategy during the 1967 Six-Day War, Saddam’s first significant military mission was aimed at destroying the Iranian air force on the ground.  Although he achieved some success, he didn’t eliminate Iran’s fighter planes because they were “protected in specially strengthened hangars,” and he didn’t incapacitate the runways on Iranian airfields.  Thus, within hours, Iranian jets attacked major military installations inside Iraq.  Lesson: Before launching an attack, make sure that you can get the job done.  If you doubt your ability to complete your mission successfully, delay your attack until you can succeed.
  6. The Iraqi attack enabled Ayatollah Khomeini to recruit about 100,000 volunteers immediately from his so-called “Army of Twenty Million,” or the People’s Militia.  Lesson: Despite internal political squabbles, Iran is capable of attracting large numbers of ideologically committed volunteers from its population of roughly 74 million people.  They will even bring their own burial shrouds with them to the battlefield, hoping for martyrdom.
  7. Iran refused to accept defeat.  Lesson: Never minimize the importance of your enemy’s willingness to fight to the death.  In Western countries, high casualty counts lead to political unrest at home and demands to stop the fighting.  In Iran, large numbers of casualties are regarded as the price of glory.
  8. Iran used World War I battle tactics, including trench warfare and “human wave” assaults.  Iranian military leaders kept sending in troops regardless of the risks involved, and there seemed to be a never-ending supply of new recruits.  Before Iran was forced to accept a United Nations-mandated ceasefire, it is estimated that between 262,000 and 800,000 Iranians were killed.  Although estimates of the number of Iranian deaths during the Iran-Iraq War are not very good, this much is certain: large numbers of Iranians are willing to die for their cause in a protracted campaign.  Lesson: If you are not prepared to fight to the bitter end, don’t even think about engaging Iran in a military campaign.  A pinprick assault will not work.  To be successful, countries considering war with Iran need to deliver a crushing blow quickly and then follow up with an all-out effort to round up, incarcerate, and neutralize Iran’s radical Islamist political, military, and religious leaders — all of them.
  9. During the Iran-Iraq War, Iran’s allies included Syria, Libya, North Korea, and China.  Iran also received covert assistance from the United States.  Lesson: In addition to knowing your enemy, you need to know which countries support your enemy’s cause directly and indirectly.  Failure in this regard can have devastating consequences.
  10. The odds are very good that Islamist militants (sometimes called mujahideen, strivers, or strugglers) who are seeking martyrdom will flood to Iran if she is attacked to fight for the larger cause, which, they believe, is Islam vs. the rest of the world.  It happened in Afghanistan with substantial U.S. support, and you can bet that it will happen again with support from other countries.  Lesson: The real war is between radical Islam and the West.  Iran is just the tip of the sword, a position that Iran’s leaders seem to relish.  Countries considering war with Iran need to take into account the size and scope of the potential enemy.  There may be as many as 12 million or more radical Islamists in the world today.

There should be no doubt that Iran’s leaders are at war with Israel and the United States.  Threatening to “wipe Israel off the map” and to close the Strait of Hormuz to U.S. military vessels is evidence of that fact.  It’s also clear that Iran is trying desperately to achieve hegemony over the Middle East.  Her leaders’ efforts during the Arab Spring to bolster Islamist elements in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, for example, lend credence to that assertion.  Iran’s continuing effort to develop weapons-grade plutonium provides further proof that her leaders have something else in mind for their nuclear reactors besides producing electricity.  Sanctions haven’t worked thus far, and judging by Iran’s belligerent reaction to said sanctions, they won’t work ever — so a war with Iran may be inevitable.

Therefore, laying the proper groundwork for a war with Iran is essential.  It should involve the European Union because European countries have become dependent on Iranian oil.  Although Western nations may not be able to win China’s and Russia’s support, those countries should be consulted as well since they are Iran’s allies.  We should also coordinate/consult with Iran’s Arab neighbors because they will be involved whether they like it or not.  Finally, under no circumstances should Israel be called upon to go it alone against Iran.  This is our struggle at least as much as it is theirs.

Note: I wrote this article almost 2 years ago and published it in American Thinker.  It remains as relevant today as it was then.



9--Jerusalem Post


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Erekat: Israel is trying to sabotage the peace process

3 yeshiva students arrested after J’lem neighborhood dispute ends in bloodshed



10--Arutz Sheva


U.S. Official: Deal with Iran is ‘Close’

Netanyahu Urges France to Maintain Tough Stance on Iran

Report: Murderer Enlisted Hazan to Smuggle Drugs

Libya: At Least 16 Dead in Militia Shooting

IDF: Hamas Continues to Grow Stronger

Video: IDF Delegation Arrives in the Philippines 

Teen Terrorist: I Intended to Stab a Soldier

Mount Scopus Park Project Approved

Syria: Islamists Seize Kurdish Village 

Hamas Tells Fatah to ‘Prepare for War’








[Syrian jihadist Islamic] Militants ask for ‘understanding and forgiveness’ after publicly decapitating fellow fighter and putting his head on display

Threat of Syrian chemical attack on Israel all but over

Netanyahu to France: Don’t waver on Iran

Iran deal may be inked as soon as next week

German men sentenced for smuggling nuclear components to Iran

US: Deal would offer Iran ‘minor’ sanctions relief

Anti-Semitic serial killer to be put to death

The current Israel-US rift was only a matter of time

Anti-Israel votes are indeed ‘a little weird’

What’s hiding in the Gurlitt art trove



12--Other News


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Israeli Minister Erdan ‘Astounded’ by Kerry Remarks

Is Kerry aiming for an Israeli coalition crisis?

Israel files UN complaint over Palestinian Authority incitement

Poll shows Jews in Europe don’t report anti-Semitic events

Majority of Israelis believe solo strike on Iran can succeed

A rare moment of truth at the UN, caught on microphone

Between Washington and Jerusalem

Anatomy of a crisis

Ben-Gurion’s legacy: Defiance of US pressure






13--Perspectives 2


Dan Margalit: Losing faith in Uncle Sam— The results of today’s Israel Hayom survey can be read in two ways: On the one hand, an overwhelming majority of Israelis clearly support the government’s policy on Iran and want their leader to continue conducting that policy in the same vein. On the other hand, it seems that the average Israeli — regardless of age, status, education or gender — has a grievance with the U.S. on this issue. By implication, we no longer trust the U.S., and that is cause for alarm. Until recently, many Israelis were receptive to Shimon Peres’ view that we can rely on the United States to stop Iran from going nuclear. But this optimism is in retreat, as evidenced by John Kerry and Wendy Sherman’s briefing to the Senate Banking Committee that one shouldn’t believe Israel when it comes to Iran.

David M. Weinberg: American Jewry, where is your voice?— The Forward’s J. J. Goldberg complained in a column this week that Prime Minister Netanyahu “scared” Diaspora Jewish leaders at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Jerusalem with “exaggerated” depictions of the threats Israel faces from the impending Geneva nuclear deal between the West and Iran. “Netanyahu’s evident intention,” Goldberg laments and mocks, “was to get Jewish activists to put pressure on Washington to harden its terms in advance of renewed talks with Iran later this month.” Goldberg goes on to disparagingly explain to his readers that “Israeli leaders have a long tradition of plying American Jewish activists with extreme, often exaggerated depictions of the threats Israel faces in order to maximize the pressure the alarmed activists will then exert on Washington on Israel’s behalf. It’s usually done more subtly, though, and in closer adherence to the truth.”

Enemies of Zion: Bilaam in modern clothes— Why Bilaam? Unable to defeat Israel in battle, the king of Moab paid his prophet to destroy the enemy by word of mouth. The plot failed, spectacularly. Thanks to Divine providence and his donkey’s powers, the hired prophet heaped not curses on Israel but profuse blessings and praises.  Plots and characters in the bible are said to portend what history will have in store for the Jewish people. If so the Great Author, via the Bilaam narrative, foretold the anti-Zionist plot: if war could not bring Israel down then cursing would. Hence in their varied guises and shades of extremism, enemies of Zion embarked on their plan to curse the Jews out of existence. By levelling all manner of crimes, and trusting that a few would stick, they set out to paralyze Israel to the point where it stands alone and vulnerable among the nations, a meek prey for waiting wolves.

Dror Eydar: The rules of the bazaar— 1. The emperor has no clothes. Last weekend, American Secretary of State John Kerry threatened us with a third intifada if we did not hurry up and agree to the suicidal peace plan that his government has cooked up for us. Unbelievable as it was, Kerry’s implicit message to the Arabs of the region was that if they began a campaign of terrorism against us, the United States would show understanding behind the scenes even if it issued a public condemnation. What does Kerry know about our region that we don’t? Nothing at all. But his efforts are bearing fruit. This week, I also heard an Arab Knesset member threaten: “Just wait. Just you wait.” We are waiting. A third intifada, another installment of the constant rampaging (with time-outs) against the Jews’ return to their homeland that has been going on for the past hundred years, will ruin the Palestinians just like it did the previous times.

Steven Emerson: ‘Muslim exception to the First Amendment’?— Arguments that terror prosecutions are criminalizing protected speech took another hit Wednesday, when the First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld terror-support convictions against Tarek Mehanna. Mehanna is serving 17 1/2 years in prison after a Boston jury convicted him in 2011 of conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaida, conspiracy to commit murder abroad, providing material support to terrorists and lying to federal investigators.

Ephraim Asculai: The IAEA-Iran Agreement: A Placebo?— The agreement between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran, announced on November 11, 2013, is a culmination of sorts of many years of disagreement between these two parties. The IAEA has long sought the right to inspect all nuclear-related facilities and sites in Iran, including the right to search for undeclared facilities. More specifically, the IAEA wanted Iran to reinstate IAEA rights under the Additional Protocol, which permits intrusive inspections, and to address the many questions regarding the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program. Yet while the new agreement is “nice to have,” it does not have much more than a placebo effect, where the patient, in this case the world, believes that it is receiving a true palliative. Unfortunately, this is not the case here.

Eric Edelman and Ray Takeyh: In talks with Iran, France stood on principle— France has long established itself as the guardian of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and its disarmament mandates. A republic capable of much cynicism, France has nonetheless defended the integrity of the treaty and protected its much battered norms. This was the case last week in Geneva when France resisted an agreement with Iran that it deemed insufficiently robust. For now, Washington has conceded to Paris, provoking a chorus of criticism from those who seek an accord at any price. Contrary to the critics’ claims, the United States’ greatest diplomatic successes have come about when it proved sensitive to the concerns of its allies and not just the imperatives of its adversaries.

Dovid Efune: Zionists of America Arise— When Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu publicly called out President Obama in a terse and direct statement last Friday, he did so only out of a deep sense of desperation and betrayal. The Prime Minister criticized the proposed deal between Iran and Western powers over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. “This is a bad deal – a very, very bad deal,” he said. Throwing etiquette to the wind, Netanyahu’s public rebuke was a diplomatic last resort, perhaps the verbal equivalent of a military strike on Iran.

Brandon Marlon: Helpless in the Homeland: Israel Has Effectively Surrendered— An IDF soldier is murdered by his Arab coworker, and his body is dumped in a village well. Another soldier is shot dead by a sniper in Hebron. A young girl is shot in her backyard in Judea and Samaria. A husband is murdered by a pair of Arab assailants, and the man turns out to be a family friend of Netanyahu himself. Yet another soldier is stabbed to death while sleeping on a bus. Hundreds of bloodstained Arab terrorists are released as a goodwill gesture to stimulate “peace” talks. These are the recent headlines from Israel, and they all point to the same problem: Israel is being dismantled piecemeal by its enemies, who recognize that Israel has lost the will to defend itself on a day-to-day basis. Lives are being brutally snuffed out on a weekly schedule, with little to nothing being done about it.

Gonen Ginat: The power of prayer— Quote: “In recordings in the police’s possession, your client [Yehuda Glick] is seen and heard praying … and reciting the prayer for the welfare of the State of Israel and for the welfare of IDF soldiers. … A criminal file has been opened against your client. … Signed: Superintendent Shimi Marciano.” I do not know Yehuda Glick personally. But his name is familiar to anyone who keeps up with the news: He is one of the people who works to encourage Jews to visit the Temple Mount. The State of Israel and its judiciary have never deemed this activity as illegal. On the contrary: The High Court of Justice has ruled time and again that Jews are permitted to pray on the Temple Mount — providing, of course, that public order is preserved.

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4--Scripture of the Day USE THIS ONE

The scripture below is from the New American Standard Bible, and the hyperlinks associated with each word are from Strong’s Concordance for the New American Standard Bible.

Jonah 2: 4-6

So I said, “I have been expelled from Your sight. Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy temple. Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, weeds were wrapped around my head. I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars [was] around me forever, but You have brought up my life from the pit, O Yahweh my God.”


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His Name is Yahweh explains why the Name of God, Yahweh, is so important.  It’s available in eBook format and in paperback.  It’s also available for free in PDF format.

  • God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This [Yahweh] is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” (Exodus 3: 15)
  • “Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—this time I will make them know My power and My might; and they shall know that My name is Yahweh.” (Jeremiah 16: 21)
  • “Behold, the days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.  In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘Yahweh our righteousness.’” (Jeremiah 23: 5-6)
  • Yeshua said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” (John 8: 58)


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The Messiah’s Name is Yahweh.

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14--Blessings from Revelation 2

Blessings in the Book of Revelation is a book that you need to read, especially now.  There are blessings throughout the Scriptures but Revelation is the only book in the Bible actually containing a specific blessing for reading it. It’s repeated twice, once at the beginning and again at the end. This is the reason that I believe Revelation should be the first step toward studying biblical prophecy. Though not easy to do, Revelation can be broken down and understood by anyone, not just the academic elite. So, Revelation’s blessings are for everyone.  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.


Other Books by Neil Snyder

  • Stand! is a suspense novel that exposes the lies, corruption, and greed underlying the theory that man-made CO2 emissions are responsible for global warming.  Professor Wes Carlyle and Karen Sterling, his research collaborator, carefully scan the audience for their would-be attacker—a member of the enviro-gestapo who has been following them for days.  Wes spots his man in the back of the room leaning against the wall.  Suddenly, another man in the audience steps forward and moves toward Karen at a menacing pace.  With a vicious stroke, he swings a billy club at her head.  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.
  • What Will You Do with the Rest of Your Life? deals with a question that every Christian has to consider: what should I do with my life?  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.
  • Falsely Accused is a true story about a young woman who was accused of committing a double homicide.  It’s about a travesty of justice, and it reveals Yahweh intervening in the life of a believer to rescue her from danger in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.  Everyone will enjoy the book, but young people in particular need to read it because the mistakes made that led to the problem could have been avoided.  They were the kinds of mistakes that young people are prone to make.  As they say, forewarned is forearmed.  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.

15--Concentric Circles 2

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