Sunday, 5 August 2012

Epic Irony

L-R Moshe Dayan, Ariel Sharon and unidentified man, 1973.

This photo popped up recently in a blog about secret collusion and double-dealing in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. I just happened to notice the man standing just behind Ariel Sharon bears a strong resemblance to Leonard Cohen, so I reposted it to a discussion at the Leonard Cohen Forum, in which former Israel Defence Force soldiers and fans of Leonard Cohen were reminiscing about that long-ago conflict, when Leonard came to Israel to entertain the troops. Other photos posted at the Forum catch him mainly in the act of entertaining, but this one seems to show the singer accompanying the two commanders on a tour of the battlefield. Those pine trees in the background suggest they may be somewhere other than the Sinai desert, where most of the fighting happened, although the IDF was also deployed to the Golan Heights, on the Syrian border. Wherever it was taken, it shows three smiling men in military outfits -- which suggests it was taken when the Israelis were winning the war against the Egyptians and Syrians.

Reportedly, Leonard likes to talk about the days he spent in a trench with Ariel Sharon. A poem in Death of a Ladies Man describes his feelings when the fighting got a little more intense than he had bargained for. In that poem, he jokes about "testing the sphincters of my courage" as the bombs flew overhead.

Biographer Ira Nadel states that Leonard arrived in Israel a few days ahead of the actual war, just as he was in Havana two weeks before the Bay of Pigs. It's possible he had advance warning (on both occasions) that a "surprise attack" was coming.

Israeli writer Israel Shamir has suggested the Yom Kippur War was actually a false flag attack, arranged between Washington, Tel Aviv and Cairo to provide Henry Kissinger and the Americans with a pretext for brokering the Camp David accords, which allowed them subsequently to strengthen their foothold in the Middle East.

It's also interesting to note that Henry Kissinger, Ariel Sharon, Moshe Dayan (and even then-Prime Minister Golda Meir) have all been linked to the cult of Sabbatai Zvi.

Henry Kissinger, of course, is connected to all kinds of things, including MKULTRA mind control and Operation Paperclip. But when I think about my former next-door neighbour Leonard Cohen travelling to Israel to support the troops and build up their morale in a phony war which ended up killing thousands, I'm mainly overwhelmed by a sense of "epic irony."

I can't help thinking, what a waste of human energy, not to mention (of course) human blood. An IDF soldier at the Leonard Cohen Forum speaks of the guilt he feels (and will carry with him to the grave) for having killed so many people during a war which he nevertheless believes had to be fought to save Israel.To him, Israel's victory against "overwhelming odds" in the Yom Kippur War is an invincible argument against those anti-war types, you know, the John Lennons of this world (many of whom are no longer with us).

Epic irony.

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