Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Six Day War

Today is the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Six Day War, forced on Israel by a coalition of Arab states. In retrospect, the war was decided in its first hours by Operation Focus (Moked), the dramatic destruction of the Egyptian Air Force, caught on the ground by the Israeli Air Force. I woke up this morning with the ambition of doing a Six Day War post: spent some of last night with my books out getting ready. But after reading the inimitable Ralph Peter's piece on that conflict in the New York Post this morning, I'll simply refer you to Lieut. Col. Peters, because his piece cannot be improved on.
Forty years on, the Israelis still have every right to be pleased with their splendid victory over Egypt, Syria and Jordan, which bought the Israelis a period of relative peace, at least at home. The Six Day War in some ways resembles (rather ironically) Germany's great victory over France in 1940: a sudden and rapid blow; resulting in the surprising (from the outside), collapse of a seemingly powerful adversary. The Israelis managed to do somewhat better in coping with the changed strategic landscape their victory produced than the Germans did with their success in France, but the last chapter has not yet been written.

3 comments:

louielouie said...

last night the PBS affiliate in oklahoma had a two hour segment on the '67 war. i was going to make one of my too numerous to mention, off topic comments, in a previous EJM I comment.
instead, i'll simply off the following.........
the joooos were described as religious zealots waging jihad.
one thing i did not understand about the PBS piece, was that prior to the out break of hostilities every army in the region had signed over command to nassar. that meant that an egyptian general had command of hussein's forces pushing into jerusalem. the segment protrayed hussein as initially hesitant on "throwing in" with his arab brothers. but in the end, arab pressure, more likely palestinian pressure, forced his hand.
it was interesting to see our eternal friends, even then, sounding off about exterminating the jooos.
the PBS segment also went into some detail regarding the USSR painting their jets with egyptian markings and preparing to send them into the fray.
in the end, it is as always, the same example of the failed arab/muslim culture. they would rather remain lodged in the 7th century with a loser of a leader, than to improve their way of life, simply because that leader wants to fight the joooos.
......oh my, i can't believe i said something as polically incorrect about our sensitive arab brothers........
oh yes i can.

El Jefe Maximo said...

LL,

Perhaps you'd be interested in Lieut. Col. Norvell DeAtkine's article "Why Arabs Lose Wars".

I'd point out that the scale of the current insurrection in Iraq, involving small units and groups of people at levels smaller than the company -- avoids many of the difficulties Arab armies have with trust and organization discussed by Col. DeAtkine.

louielouie said...

i have read that before.
the reason i recognized it, is the "information as power" section. it describes in detail the guy i used to work for.