As I keep reading all the myriad responses to Netanyahu’s speech, from one side or the other, a few things keep poking me in my mind.
1. I don’t care who invited him, when, or who was notified. I think the whole “I’m offended” thing is ridiculous. Boehner says he notified the White House. I have no idea if he really did or not, but Obama’s reaction blew a tiny molehill into a huge mountain, for no good reason.
2. Whether you think Netanyahu is an asshole, a blowhard, or a visionary, I can’t think of anything he said that is untrue. Iran IS pursuing nuclear weapons, I don’t think anyone disagrees with that statement. Iran IS threatening to wipe Israel off the map. Iran IS the premier supporter of terror activities around the world, both financially, ideologically, and constitutes a serious threat to most of the countries in the Middle East.
3. In support of #2 above, consider that Iran now essentially has control, through it’s proxies, of Lebanon (Hezbollah), Syria (Assad), Yemen (Houthis), Gaza (Hamas/Islamic Jihad), and parts of Iraq through various militias. They certainly have strong ties to groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and are active in Libya, as well. In short, their expansionist aims are staggeringly ambitious, and they are achieving them.
4. The details of the deal that have emerged, to date, indicate that at most, Iran would be limited to a ten year window before being “allowed” to do whatever they want with nuclear development. Ten years is certainly a long enough period for Obama, since he’ll be out of office in two. But ten years is NOTHING in the greater scheme of Islamic hegemony and Iran’s plans. They are definitely planning “long term”. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons now, a year from now, five years from now, or ten years from now, functionally, there isn’t a whole lot of difference. Of course, Israel might have much better defenses against ICBM’s and other missiles coming from Iran by then, but essentially, Obama is saying “It’s ok if Iran gets nuclear weapons within ten years”. Is that acceptable? I don’t think so.
5. Obama and Pelosi et al have said that Netanyahu didn’t propose any concrete alternatives to the “bad deal” in progress with Iran, but clearly, he did. He suggested that if a “good deal” can’t be reached, with proper supervision, oversight, and guarantees, then “no deal”, meaning strong sanctions, threats of military action, etc. would have to be used as a “stick”.
In any negotiation, you bargain based on your leverage. The only leverage Obama has, really, is economic or military. If he is unable or unwilling to use these as leverage, there really is no reason for Iran to do anything but flout his demands and tell him to fuck off, which is basically what they have been doing for several years now. Obama’s desperation to have a deal, any deal, in order to solidify his partisan claims to have “done something”, shines through clearly, and the Middle East is no place to be bargaining out of desperation. They are VERY good at bargaining. Clearly, Obama isn’t, and they are eating his lunch….
In countless conversations with anti-Zionist, anti-Israel supporters of Palestine and Gaza, I am constantly taken aback at their lack of knowledge of history, and the extent to which they believe the revisionist versions of “history” they glean from a multitude of pro-Palestinian websites and blogs.
Even a cursory glance at historical facts would normally be enough to show that the “facts” in which they believe have sprung into existence in the last several years, yet, they cannot be bothered to examine that history.
During this and each previous armed conflict between Israel and Gaza, Israel has been accused of a non-proportional response to Hamas’ rockets and mortars.
This is usually “proven” by lopsided “body counts” in which Israel suffers minimal casualty numbers, while Hamas and Gaza suffer much larger losses.
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A Few Pesky Questions
JOHN PORIS August 15, 2014, 8:54 am
Throughout the course of the most recent conflagration between Israel and Hamas (and their “associates”), we have heard any number of times that Israel should do “more” to reduce civilian casualties
Read more: A Few Pesky Questions | John Poris | The Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/a-few-pesky-questions/#ixzz3ATZyH4cJ
These are the inane, incredible arguments I hear, over and over again. Not just from the “useful idiots” in general, but from people who should know better.
The other night, I watched as Jake Tapper of CNN interviewed Mark Regev, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s spokesman, and essentially badgered him about Israel’s “disproportional” response to what Tapper thought was a minor inconvenience, clearly.
“How”, he asked, “could Israel justify the deaths of so many Palestinians in Gaza, when so few Israelis have been killed by the rockets?”.
This question makes me want to scream and yell. I hear it frequently. It is the new rallying cry of the Israel-bashers.
They somehow believe that, if not “enough” Israelis are killed, Israel should not respond with the force necessary to stop the rockets. That they are only a “nuisance” and not really dangerous, since Israel has the Iron Dome, Bomb Shelters, warning systems, etc., and the rockets are not really that dangerous, not much more than firecrackers.
What infuriates me is that, without any doubt, these same people would be screaming for their governments to do “something” to stop rockets raining on their towns, and in all likelihood, would be peeing their pants in fear every time a rocket flew overhead.
The hypocrisy and vileness of this attitude is beyond galling.
My personal view is that “proportionality” in war is a mistake. The object of war, which should always be a last resort, is to stop the threat against you. When you are attacked, you should respond with the MAXIMUM force available to you in order to stop the threat.
Clearly, that doesn’t mean that if there is a cross border shooting every two years, you invade the country from which the shooting originated. But, if there is shooting every day, a country is certainly entitled to do whatever is necessary to make it stop. THAT is proportionality.
In the case of Israel and Gaza, clearly, Israel’s response has not been “proportional”. What they have done is NOT ENOUGH, as it has not caused a cessation of rocket and mortar fire. Israel would certainly be justified in doing a tremendous amount “more”, but not to protect civilians in Gaza, as the world demands, but “more” to make the rockets stop.
Frankly, the idea that ANY country in the world would sit back and allow a neighbor to fire over 12,000 rockets between 2001 and 2014 (now over 15,000 rockets, including the latest war) without a major response, regardless of how many are killed or injured by those rockets.
And, to be clear. Even ONE Israeli killed or injured by rockets launched deliberately and indiscriminately against Israeli civilians is too many, and is justification for massive retaliation.
While watching the movie “Pearl Harbor” this evening, the thought occurred to me that it has been a long time since we, the USA, have been in a “declared” war with a clearly defined enemy, or enemies.
In WWII, the “Axis” was very clear. They attacked us, were discrete national identities, and swore to conquer us. We were attacked, we declared war, we mobilized the population, we fought like tigers, and we won the war, eventually, at a very heavy cost. Along the way, we killed many, many enemy civilians in far-off places like Japan and Germany, because we understood that the only way to prosecute and win the war was to break the enemy’s spirit completely, and cause him to surrender unconditionally.
Now, we see the forces of “Radical” Islam attacking all over the world. They attacked us in 2001, on 9/11, killing more Americans than were killed at Pearl Harbor (look it up, if you don’t believe me).
We were gung-ho to go after Al-Quaida, since we identified them as the perpetrators, and along the way, became bogged down in “actions” in Afghanistan, Iraq, and to a degree, Pakistan. We’ve had skirmishes in other places, as well.
But, the Islamist forces are hard at work to conquer many places around the world. They are represented by “armies” that call themselves Hamas, Al-Quaida, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, ISIS, Boko Haram, and many, many more. They are supported by states like Iran, Qatar, Syria, and others, and have as their goal the spread of their brand of Islam to the rest of the world.
This week, we saw ISIS declare that, Insha’allah, their flag will fly over the White House.
Israel faces attacks on their Northern border from Hezbollah, and from Gaza from Hamas, all with the stated goal of driving the Jews into the sea, of exterminating them.
We see mobs all over the world rioting over cartoons they deem offensive, over “genocide” when Israel goes after “fighters” embedded in civilian areas, and generally, over anything they deem offensive to Islam, which is pretty much any aspect of our Western civilization that doesn’t conform to Sharia law.
Under these circumstances, and given the broad scope of the wars raging all around the globe, is it incorrect to posit that we are actually, already in the midst of World War Three, even though we haven’t yet “declared” it or decided we have to fight it?
Iran is working hard to gain nuclear weapons, which they threaten to use against Israel. Israel, as a Western-style democracy in the midst of hundreds of millions of Arabs, most Muslims, in the Middle East, is truly an outpost of the West, yet many in the West are ready to sacrifice Israel in the name of appeasement. “Maybe, if we let that ‘shitty little country’ go under, the Islamists will be satisfied and forget about the rest of us.”.
I don’t think that’s true. The Islamists have very long-range plans. They are very patient, and are willing to die for their cause.
I do think that we, the West, are in a war for the very survival of our way of life.
Defeat is not imminent, yet, but make no mistake. Our enemy is very clearly “Radical Islam”, and they ARE out to get us.
It is going to be a long war, and it will become increasingly grim as time goes on.
If we do not wake up to the fact that we are at war, and then summon the determination to decisively and conclusively defeat this enemy, our future generations will be praying to Allah. I fear that we are too unwilling to recognize the threat in time to mobilize and work together with other nations to overcome and preserve our freedom and heritage. I fear that we are too caught up in the rush to make the world “politically correct”, and to avoid any civilian casualties because fighting back would make us “war criminals”. We have bought in to the lie that war can be “clean”, without casualties, and that “proportionality” is the over-arching goal, rather than decisively and conclusively defeating our enemy that we may live free.
Make no mistake, this is a world war, only we, as a Western Civilization, are unwilling to recognize it as such. That could well be our downfall.
Who here remembers 9/11?
I was at work, at Visteon, in Dearborn, Michigan, and watched the second tower fall, live on TV in the lobby of our building, then saw the Pentagon hit.
When it became clear that it was a terror attack, we were sent home because no one knew if it was one of many pending attacks, or if it was a single event.
People all over the country rushed to pick up their kids from school, businesses sent their employees home, and we, as a nation, called for retaliation and for the utmost force to be employed against the perpetrators to prevent any future, similar occurrence(s).
We, here in the US, have forgotten, for the most part, the emotions we felt when the towers fell, and have forgotten how we swore we would do whatever it takes to “get” Osama Bin Laden and his friends, and how we would do whatever it takes to make sure 9/11 never happened again.
Fast forward a few years.
Israel has been enduring rockets on its population on an ongoing basis, from Gaza. While the death toll has not been as high as the apologists for Hamas think it should be, in order to justify any kind of response, there have been deaths and injuries, property damage, and millions of Israelis running to bomb shelters with less than a minute warning.
This has been going on for NINE YEARS. NINE YEARS.
Why would ANY American not understand that Israel cannot endure rockets and terror attacks on its civilians?
There are many who justify the attacks, and apologize for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, Al Qassam Brigades, etc., as if the “occupation” justifies acts of terror against a civilian population. They ignore the degradation and terror these groups inflict on their own people. They chant things like “We are Hamas”. “We are Hamas”? Really? Misogynistic, racist, fanatical, intolerant, murderous terrorists? That is who they want to identify with?
If you lived in Israel, what would YOU want the government to do in the face of constant attack?
Would you ask them to unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank, immediately? Would you ask them to turn Gaza into a parking lot? Would you tell Netanyahu that he should “do more” to avoid civilian casualties at the expense of Israeli casualties? What would YOU do?
I know what the answer would have been in 2001, following 9/11. The fact that 9/11 seems so distant to us, now, does not mean that it should be. The forces that perpetrated it are still around, as are their “friends”, which include Hamas.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to reach peace with Hamas. They have proven that over and over again. At this point, Israel’s only option is to beat them into a position where they cannot continue to attack Israel.
War is a terrible, horrendous, awful, heartbreaking thing. It is heartwrenching to think of children in Gaza hearing bombs, seeing the dead all around them, being killed and maimed. It is truly outrageous.
Yet, what alternative has Hamas (and their proxies) left Israel? To continue to endure the unendurable attacks, simply turning the other cheek? To capitulate? To pack up and move all the Israelis “back” to where they came from, in Europe, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, etc.? Somehow, I don’t think that’s workable.
Hamas and the Gazans don’t have to love or like Israel or Jews. But, they DO have to be “civil” neighbors, or suffer the consequences. What we are seeing now are “the consequences”.
There is a way out – lay down their arms, stop firing rockets, and work to build a Gaza that the world can be proud of, that is a good neighbor to the world, including Israel, and to give their children a chance to grow up as decent human beings.