Monday, October 1, 2012

The Yom Kippur War and the Kissinger Plot

Original Hebrew version (23 September 2012):

US State Department documents that were declassified over a year ago prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Henry Kissinger took deliberate action to cause the outbreak in 1973 of a war that would cause Israel to make concessions on the one hand, and move Egypt into the embrace of the US on the other.

On 13 October 1973, in the middle of the Yom Kippur war, Kissinger said:
We had two objectives in the war: to maintain contact with both sides. For this the best outcome would be an Israeli victory but it would come at a high price, so we could insist that they ensure their security through negotiations, not through military power. Second, we attempted to produce a situation where the Arabs would conclude the only way to peace was through us. But during the war we had to show the Israelis they had to depend on us to win and couldn't win if we were to recalcitrant.”
  [It should probably read: "and couldn't win if they were too recalcitrant” -se]
This is an important statement in which Kissinger outlined the objectives of the Yom Kippur War for the US. He was not only considering what advantages were likely to accrue to the US from the war; his words unequivocally indicate that those objectives had been determined before the outbreak of hostilities. Otherwise how can the contrast between the formulation “[b]ut during the war” and what was said previously be explained? In other words: all the words stated in the first part of the above-quoted paragraph related to objectives that had been set by Kissinger before the beginning of the war on 6 October!
If for all that there remains a shadow of a doubt about the validity of this interpretation, it must surely evaporate upon examination of two other documents that have been declassified by the State Department.
On 7 October Kissinger received a message from Hafiz Ismail, Egyptian President Sadat’s national security advisor. Among other things, Ismail stated the following in that message:
Allow me to make it clear once more:
“5. Our basic objective remains as always, the achievement of peace in the Middle East and not to achieve partial settlements.
 “6. We do not intend to deepen the engagements or widen the confrontation.”
A few hours later, Kissinger said, in an internal discussion: “They [the Arabs -se] have done pretty well. Implacement won’t be complete until tomorrow. Then Ismail sent me a message suggesting possible framework for negotiations. Not yet adequate.”
Why was it not yet adequate for Kissinger? The clearly obvious answer, taking into account his words of 13 October quoted above, is: on 7 October the conditions that would satisfy the objectives of the American Secretary of State had not yet been created. That was because on the one hand, Israel had not yet “taken it on the chin” enough, so the American Secretary of State did not think that Israel would be willing to make sufficient concessions; and on the other hand, and no less importantly, the Egyptians had not yet suffered so much that they would beg Kissinger to come to their rescue and break their ties to the USSR. What we have here is a plot by Kissinger, which explains why he opposed Sadat’s efforts back in the beginning of 1973 to reach an interim agreement between Israel and Egypt (as the Israeli Plotrast yresearchers Professor Uri Bar-Yosef and Professor Yigal Kipnis claim without giving adequate answers to his motives). And the existence of such a plot would also explain the evidence that the American intelligence community had received an order from above – that is, from Kissinger – to ignore the many indications that war was coming.
In his review of Bar-Yosef’s book, "The Angel: Ashraf Marwan, the Mossad and the Surprise of the Yom Kippur War"  Yigal Kipnis of writes in Ha'aretz:
For example, transcripts received after the war by Matti Golan, then a political correspondent for Haaretz, show that U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told Meir that the Yom Kippur War could have been prevented through diplomacy. He was talking about Washington's support for Israel's efforts to preserve diplomatic paralysis in response to a peace plan proposed by Sadat, which called for an agreement with Israel provided it return the Egyptian territory captured in 1967. The following excerpt of Hebrew notes refers to Kissinger's meetings with Sadat's adviser Hafez Ismail:
‘I don't want to blame anyone, but during 1973 it was possible to prevent the war. Do you remember when I reported on my meetings with Hafez Ismail? What did I do in those meetings? I spoke with him about the weather and every other topic in the world, just so we didn't touch on the main subject of an agreement ... I attempted to gain time and postpone the serious stage another month, another year ... To what extent did we really desire talks? I would say that the effort we made was very small. In effect we waved these talks around to calm Sadat, to give him a reason to sit back quietly.’ (translation by Haaretz).
In February 1973, Ismail presented Kissinger with a new political initiative; this is a matter of public knowledge. Its proposals, one of which was a schedule for political talks that would end by September 1973, are less well known. After the war, reaching an Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement required all of the talent, standing, will and energy that a statesman like Kissinger could muster, but the outcome looked a lot like what Sadat had sought before the war.”
There were definitely few, if any, parties to this plan of Kissinger’s who knew the whole secret. Certainly neither Sadat nor the government of Israel were aware of Kissinger’s goals, since they were its objects/victims. Kissinger had no need for Israeli partners, or even Egyptian ones. It was enough for him to apply strong pressure on Israel not to mobilize the reserves and/or to launch a preventive strike, regardless of the large amount of information about the approaching war, while sabotaging Sadat’s efforts to open negotiations with Israel.
There is no doubt that the American Secretary of State concealed his plan from President Richard Nixon and his successor Gerald Ford. Amir Oren, the military affairs expert for Haaretz, quotes a conversation between Ford and Kissinger:
It is 9 A.M. on August 12. Not today, but 1974. The place is the White House. Gerald Ford is in the Oval Office in just his fourth day as president. With him is his mentor, Dr. Henry Kissinger, U.S. secretary of state and national security adviser.
“Kissinger, the hero of the peace process following the Yom Kippur War, is briefing the neophyte Ford.
“Kissinger: ‘After 1967 I [I!] operated on the basis of the historical illusion that the Arabs were militarily impotent, and U.S. support was firm. [Yitzhak] Rabin told me, 'We never had it so good' ... Before the October War, we tried to create such frustrations that the Arabs would leave the Soviet Union and come to us... We didn't expect the October War.’”
“Ford: ‘But wasn't it helpful?’”
“Kissinger: ‘We couldn't have done better if we had set the scenario.’
“Ford: ‘Even the heavy Israeli losses helped, didn't they?’”
There is no doubt that Kissinger is concealing more than he is revealing here, in that he did not tell the whole truth. Indeed he did admit that he had placed barriers before the Arabs and prevented an agreement, but he was not ready to admit that he had definitely anticipated the October War. His jest that “[w]e couldn't have done better if we had set the scenario” should not be taken literally; rather the words and their order should be changed as follows: “the success was above and beyond our expectations, and completely fulfilled the scenario that we had set.
There can be no reasonable doubt that Kissinger played God, for which many paid with their health and their lives. He was not satisfied with a “mere” agreement that would have prevented the war. He had to compel the Arabs to abandon the USSR. Would Sadat not have done that without war, if the US had applied sufficient pressure on Israel, pressure on a scale similar to that which was applied to prevent the mobilization of the reserves?

Translated from Hebrew by George Malent

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