Ben Stein writes in the American Spectator:
Continue reading “The fight between civilization and barbarism”
Ben Stein writes in the American Spectator:
Ben Stein writes in the American Spectator:
Continue reading “The fight between civilization and barbarism”
The Honorable Jimmy Carter
The Carter Center
453 Freedom Parkway
Atlanta, Georgia 30307
Dear Mr. President:
I just read the transcript of your interview with the German magazine, Der Spiegel, in which you accuse Israel of launching an “unjustified attack on Lebanon.”
Even after the interviewer reminded you that Israel was the first to get attacked, you charged Israel with lacking “any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon.”
As someone who served in the White House as a spokesman for a President, I am reluctant to criticize another President, but in this instance my conscience compels me to do so.
Mr. President, your words are music to Hezbollah’s ears and your message is a blow to long-term peace.
Just as you underestimated the threat of the Soviet Union in the 1970s, you underestimate the threat of radical Islam today. Your condemnation of Israel, the victim, only encourages Hezbollah, the attacker, to bide its time and attack again.
Ahmed Barakat, a member of Hezbollah’s central council, last week told the Qatari newspaper as-Watan that “Today Arab and Muslim society is reasonably certain that the defeat of Israel is possible and that the countdown to the disappearance of the Zionist entity in the region has begun. The triumph of the resistance is the beginning of the death of the Israeli enemy.”
I was raised a Democrat but I changed parties in 1982 because I believed your policies and the nuclear freeze movement invited increased Soviet militarism and adventurism. President Reagan’s military build-up and credible threat of the use of force helped bring about the demise of Communism and brought freedom and a better life to hundreds of millions in Central and Eastern Europe. It also secured a lasting peace.
I’m sorry to see you articulate about Hezbollah and its aggression the same weak world-view that encouraged Soviet aggression. As Ronald Reagan showed us, peace through strength is the only formulation understood by those bent on destruction.
I understand your longing for peace and your fond hope that Hezbollah can be reasoned with. However, when you call Israel’s defense “an attack”, when you call what is justified “unjustified”, and when you call morality immoral, I conclude that the pro-defense, strong foreign policy lessons of the 70s and 80s remain unacceptable to you. Also, when you criticize Israel for targeting so-called “civilian” areas in Beirut and other areas where Hezbollah hides its operations, the result would be – if Israel listened to you – the creation of safe havens from which more violence and rocket attacks would be planned and launched.
Sadly, Hezbollah today is planning its next war. For the sake of peace, Israel deserves your praise, not your condemnation.
L. Ari Fleischer
We, fighters and commanders at the Spearhead [Hod Hachanit] Brigade, were called up to enlist under an emergency mobilization order [Tzav 8] on July 30, 2006. Our attendance was complete in all battalions.
As we were signing on the battle equipment and weapons, we knew that we were signing for much more. We left behind wives and children, girlfriends and families. We put aside our jobs and livelihoods; we were prepared to carry out our mission under the most difficult of conditions, in heat, thirst or hunger.
At the back of his mind, each and every one of us knew, that for the just cause of protecting the citizens of Israel, we would even put our lives on the line.
But there was one thing we were not and would not be willing to accept: We were unwilling to accept indecisiveness. The war’s aim, which was not defined clearly, was even changed in the course of the fighting.
The indecisiveness manifested itself in inaction, in not carrying out operational plans, and in canceling all the missions we were given during the fighting. This led to prolonged stays in hostile territory, without an operational purpose and out of unprofessional considerations, without seeking to engage in combat with the enemy.
The “cold feet” of the decision-makers were evident everywhere. To us the indecisiveness expressed deep disrespect for our willingness to join the ranks and fight and made us feel as though we had been spat on, since it contradicts the principles and values of warfare upon which we were trained at the Israel Defense Forces.
The heavy feeling that in the echelons above us there is nothing but under-preparation, insincerity, lack of foresight and inability to make rational decisions, leads to the question – were we called up for nothing?
We are now on the day after, and it seems that the immorality and the absence of any shame are the fig-leaves to be used in order to cover up for the blunders. The blunders of the past six years and the under-preparation of the army have been carried on our backs – the backs of the fighters. In order to face the next battle prepared – and this may happen soon – a thorough and fundamental change must take place.
The crisis of confidence between us as fighters and the higher echelons will not be resolved without a thorough and worthy investigative commission under the auspices of the state. When the commission completes its task, conclusions must be drawn both on the level of strategic planning and national security, and on the personal level of the parties involved.
We paid a heavy price in order to fight and come out of the battle victorious, and we feel this has been denied of us. We will all attend calls to enlist in the future for any mission we will be required to complete, but we would like to know that these missions will be part of a clear objective and will be carried out by striving to engage in combat.
As soldiers and citizens we expect a response at your earliest convenience,
We the undersigned
Fighters and officers of the Spearhead Brigade
Israel Defense Forces
When you have a culture whose children are taught from birth that it is better in the afterlife than in this life, you create a people who do not value life, and who seek death as “martyrs.”
This is the cruel manipulation of children. It is abusive to teach children to believe that they should prefer death over life.
Judeo-Christian societies are taught that God tells us to “Choose life.”
Do you wonder what the future of these beautiful children could be, versus what it most certainly will be? Do you wonder about the health of a culture that will sacrifice its children in pursuit of world domination? How does such a sick culture with 7th Century ideology persist in the 21st Century? These are questions we all will have to address at some point.
Writing in Townhall.com, Douglas MacKinnon says that the Lieberman loss in Connecticut, the attempted Al-Quaida plot to blow up airplanes, and other, so far foiled, terrorist plots should send a message to candidates intending to run for President in 2008. He writes:
For a number of people in the business of preventing terrorism, it says the 2008 presidential election has to be about electing the candidate most qualified to ensure the national security of our country. It says that ignorance is far from bliss, and potentially suicidal.
Having an indecisive or weak leader, as unfortunately Israel has today can be a disaster in a crisis. This article and this one are illustrative of the unwillingness of the Prime Minister of Israel to let the IDF(Israel Defense Forces) execute its plan to finish the war with Hezbollah in 10-14 days. He was more concerned about what the international community thought about Israel’s actions than about what it took to succeed. As a result, Hezbollah and the other jihadists in the Middle East no longer consider the IDF to be invincible. This is sure to lead to other attempts to defeat Israel, which would not be the case if Israel had moved to an early ground war, as proposed by the IDF.
MacKinnon’s article is worth reading. Another excerpt:
various discussions I’ve had with friends in the military and intelligence services, one point and worry keeps being repeated. Those in the business of protecting America, whether they agree with all of his policies or not, are grateful to have George W. Bush as president.
Their point in expressing such gratitude is that — like him or not — since Sept. 11, 2001, Bush has committed to hunting down and destroying cowardly terrorists who have not only hijacked a religion but, as we have seen in Lebanon, hijacked whole countries in the name of killing the innocent.
These members of the military and our intelligence services know that, in concert with a number of allies including the United Kingdom, Israel and a few Arab nations, the “Bush Doctrine” is to exterminate the threat before it can once again reach our shores.
While the ACLU and some politicians and members of the media on the left may strongly disagree with a number of the tactics employed, they get to live, thrive and complain under the very blanket of that critically important policy.
With the latest plot exposed to blow up these airliners, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) put out the predictable statement that, “We once again urge law enforcement authorities and elected officials to caution against stereotyping entire religious or ethnic groups based on the alleged actions of individuals.”
It is not stereotyping if these growing threats continue to come from only one source — a minuscule, twisted segment of the Muslim community. It is a fact that law enforcement has to take into consideration.
With this obviously growing threat in mind, the worry of those entrusted to ensure our safety is this: What if the next president of the United States, for political or “moral” reasons, finds the tactics employed by Bush to be abhorrent or uncivilized.
What if the next president, because of his or her own beliefs, or the beliefs of supporters and others in the administration, deems it unseemly or illegal to hunt down and destroy those who mean to decimate our nation.
Republican or Democrat. Liberal or Conservative. Man or woman. The next president of the United States has to carry on the Bush doctrine against terrorism or all of us could pay an unimagined price.
I asked a bright young Israel defense Forces military officer what he thought of the growing international condemnation of Israeli efforts to defend against relentless rocket attacks raining down on his country — some 200 a day now, well over 5000 murderous assaults in a month from both Lebanon and Gaza.
Definition of Barbarism: Rockets filled with ball bearings meant to inflict widespread terror and the purposeful and indiscriminate maiming of men, women and children. 1 million Israelis have left their homes or hide in shelters day after day.
By the way, Israelis take in their brothers, and so you do not hear about their refugees, and many of the victims of Hezbollah rockets include Israeli Arab Christians and Moslems.
Also, visiting injured soldiers and civilians in Israeli hospitals reveals American-style top medical care— both deeply compassionate and highly technologically advanced.
The USA initiated 2 Just Wars, thousands of miles away, in response to terrorism on our shores, and the threat of more terrorism, and I shared my belief (hope) that if even a few missiles harmed US citizens from across our borders, well, then, pity anyone in the path of our guaranteed complete annihilation of terrorists and their harborers or sponsors.
We spoke together about deterrence, and the notion that citizens are only safe if their leaders project and provide such overwhelming response to aggression that enemies choose not to start the fight.
He thoughtfully shared that although Israelis are unified and determined, and doing well against Hezbollah,and Hamas, if it were not for the USA, and the leadership of President Bush, Israelis themselves might begin to lose heart and feel vulnerably alone in the defensive war against radical Islam.
He then turned the question on me, though, and wondered and worried about both growing left-wing pacifism in the West as well as rising global anti- Semitism (assaults on Jewish communities from Austalia to Paris to Seattle).
Acknowledging his concerns, I agreed that Israel, western civilization, and the USA suffer now from moral relativism and deceit in our media, some university professors who have done more than village communists to promote socialism and pacifism, and occasional drunken bravado, or much worse, from the blame the Zionists crowd. We do need more Braveheart, and less anti-Semitism, that is for sure.
But, I added, do not be concerned. The American heartland, mostly Christian, understands that Israel, a loyal ally, is in the right, and is appreciated for never asking for direct US military intervention in her battles against terrorism. Israel and the US have each others backs, and both are sharing intelligence while battling shared enemies on different fronts.
So where do American Jews fit in, he wondered?
Recent polls of American citizens show a sharp distinction between Republicans and Democrats in support of Israel, both generally, and in its defensive efforts to debilitate Iranian supplied terrorist strongholds and preserve a sense of deterrence on both its Southern border with Gaza and its Northern border with Lebanon.
Recent reports in the LA Times, Miami Herald, and Washington Post among others indicate a continuing sea change in Jewish political identification, towards the GOP, among the Orthodox, those who care about Israel, and the young. One example: leftist campus activism is pushing Jews into the arms of College Republicans and other genuine supporters of rational comprehension of and action against Jihadists.
As World War III develops, Jews have certainly noticed pronounced Arabism in Europe, such as the craven governments who supplied and supported Saddam, a vicious anti-American and Anti-Semitic gang at the UN, and leftists like President Chavez in Venezuela who cozy up to an Iranian dictator who seeks to wipe Israel off the map and calls for Death to America.
By now, most honest Jewish observers have made up their minds about biased and leftist global mainstrea media, weak-kneed European socialists, and the depravity and barbarism of Islamic terrorists who violate all notions of human rights and the rules of warfare.
They also recognize that Republicans, far more than Democrats, applaud an Israel that warns civilians and does not target them, while battling Hezbollah and Hamas who purposefully target innocents.
Finally, Jews know that the Islamist suicide/homicide bomber whose backpack was filled with rat poison- laced explosives to cause maximum brain damage on the streets of Jerusalem has now morphed into a Terrorist Inc. warrior who is now backed by a coalition of terror states, and who seeks not just to kill Jews but to destroy the Jewish state. And the United States, too.
Unless soundly defeated, Iran and Syria will not stop until the West is economically, politically, and militarily challenged and injured far beyond what has been predicted.
What is left to learn by American Jews about the need to stand and defend, to grow up, and to leave behind decades of soft utopianianism and painfully wrongheaded policies that promoted, for example, dangerously doomed and naive negotiations with Yasir Arafat, the godfather of this modern terrorism?
What is left to say to American Jewish Democrats, who just saw their brightest light, US Senator and former national Vice Presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman, tossed out of his job by a neophyte preppie whose campaign slogans come from the anti- Israel far left?
Seven words, actually. Thank you America and thank you GOP.
Everywhere I have been in Israel, from the Southern front where Israelis continue to be hit by Islamic resistance fighters, to the Northern cities and towns under a constant barrage of rockets (imagine your town under missile attack hour after hour….) I heard the voices of confident unity about Israeli military capabitility and purpose and a shared dedication to standing up to existential assault.
I also clearly heard respect and admiration for an American President who rejected Arafat for good after the Karine A terrorist ship was caught red handed, and a resolute Republican Congress which consistently passes legislation supporting Israel (with many more Democrat dissents than Republican, the record reflects).
I further heard about US Ambassador John Bolton, who has repeatedly stood against the corrupt gangsters that make up the UN general assembly, and who has battled for Western values and interests with stunning dignity and dedication.
Mr. Bolton, by the way, has been harshly opposed by Jewish Senators Schumer, Boxer, Feinstein, Feingold, Wyden, et al. They will bare this shameful treatment of a hero of America and a hero of the Jewish people as the defining example of their ingratitude and moral decadence.
I finally and gratefully heard a growing admiration for American Christians, who have repeatedly had to overcome suspicious animosity for their honorable and sincere efforts to stand by Israel, according to their reading of scripture that (Gen. 12.3): I will Bless Those that Bless You, and Curse Those that Curse You. (It is deeply rewarding to see Jews begin to shed their wrong-headed beliefs that Christians are motivated by impure motives in this regard).
So, Israelis know what American Jews are, thankfully, finally understanding in increasing numbers.
Indeed, it is high time to stop voting for FDR (who applauded Neville Chamberlain’s ignominious handshake with Hitler, by the way), and time to support the party of liberty.
Lincoln freed the slaves. Ronald Reagan taught us peace through strength, and promoted the rescue of Jews and Christians from behind the Iron Curtain. Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) has revealed the corruption and decadence of the United Nations. And President Bush and the GOP Congress today have continued the tradition of liberation and resolute response to massive evil.
One more note to ponder: Democrats who threaten to take over House Committees do not exactly inspire respect as friends of Israel or American leadership against tyranny and radical Islam.
The GOP case for Jewish support is clear and more and more American Jews are finally standing with the United States and Israel, and for defense against Jihad, by thanking America and moving to the GOP._____________________________________________
Larry Greenfield is the California Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a statewide Co-Chair of Californians for Schwarzenegger. He has served in the Armed Forces of the United States in Naval Intelligence Reserves. Please join with me in praying for Larry’s safety as he continues on this dangerous trip.