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September 13th, 2012
By Dan Miller
The damage done to the United States on September 11, 2001 was horrific. Yet we are able each year to hold somber Nine-Eleven remembrances. Should the greater and more obvious threat now facing Israel not be countered, there may be no one left in Israel to hold similar remembrances.
I had set out to re-blog this article entitled A View From Israel: Learning the lessons. My comments became too extensive. Hence, this article instead. Please do read the linked article. It is frightening and if widely read and considered may help to bring us to our senses.
The linked article deals briefly with some of the warnings the United States had before Nine-Eleven and our failures, in retrospect, to consider and to act upon them with adequate seriousness. Great immediate damage was done to the United States as a whole, including of course the many lives lost when four airliners were hijacked and crashed, two of them into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and one, apparently taken over by valiant passengers before it could crash into the Capitol building, into a field in Pennsylvania. The immediate effects were horrible, almost beyond words. Other effects remain, many of them imposed on us by our own Government. They diminish our own freedoms as citizens. Yet we are still here to hold services of remembrance.
The linked article also examines Israel’s current situation; she faces far worse than the United States experienced on Nine-Eleven. Israel is a small country in land area and population. A single nuclear strike would likely wipe her off the face, not only of the map, but of the Earth — as consistently and frequently promised by Iran’s supreme “cleric,” her President and others; are they joking? I do not think they are. Instead, they are quite likely laughing at us as they string us along with negotiations leading to sanctions. While harmful to the people of Iran, sanctions do not seem seriously to affect her leaders; that is common in the case of sanctions. The isolation of Iran has been among the stated purposes for sanctions. That has not worked, as witness the meeting in Tehran last month of nearly one hundred members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), sixty of them represented by heads of state. The Pakistani Ambassador to Tehran, Khalid Aziz Babar, said
the Non-Aligned Movement summit, which is scheduled to be held in Tehran from August 26 to 31, is indicative of the fact that Iran has good relationship with many countries across the world.
Speaking to the Persian service of the Fars News Agency on Tuesday, Babar described Iran-Pakistan relations as close and emphasized the necessity to cement ties in all spheres. (Emphasis added.)
As noted in my article linked above,
Despite her initial opposition, the United States declined to voice disapproval of the Secretary-General’s attendance after his decision had been made. Iran seems to be delighted that Ban Ki-moon decided to attend in order not to miss an “opportunity.”
The Iranian government is characterizing its hosting of the summit and the attendance of Ban and numerous heads of state as evidence that U.S.-led efforts to isolate Iran have failed miserably.
It has signaled its intention to use the summit of developing nations to circumvent Western sanctions and rally support for its nuclear program, which it insists is peaceful.
Ahmadinejad aide Ebrahim Azizi said Wednesday the summit proved that the “satanic plots” hatched by Israel and “arrogant powers” – that is, the U.S. and Western allies – have been “futile,” the Mehr news agency reported.
“The upcoming NAM summit in Tehran is an invaluable opportunity for Iran to show its diplomatic prowess and demonstrate that it’s impossible for the bullying powers and their stooges to isolate it,” Iranian diplomat Mohammad-Reza Majidi told a press conference late Wednesday. (Emphasis added.)
Iran, a nascent nuclear power, and her allies pose the principal threat to Israel. They also present a threat of (and to) many other nations in the Mid East becoming nuclear powers.
Continuing with A View From Israel: Learning the lessons: rather than the loss of three thousand lives, Israel faces the loss of most of her population. The United States Government evidently feels far less urgency than it would were the United States facing a comparably existential threat. The Israeli Government, quite naturally and properly, feels much the same urgency that the United States would, or should, feel were that threat directed at the United States. Israel also experiences frustration with the “patience” of the United States and her insistence on sanctions that, despite their continuation and increasing severity (often ignored by our allies and others), have done little if anything even to delay Iran’s acquisition of the means to do what she has long promised to do.
[T]oday, when Israel hears the Iranian warnings, sees the Iranian effort to build a weapon that can destroy it, and is reacting with urgency, the West lambastes Israel for attempting to do now what the US admits it should have done before 9/11.
Tension between Jerusalem and Washington over Iran erupted on Tuesday when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that the world tells Israel to wait and that there is still time. “And I say wait for what? Wait until when? Those in the international community who refuse to put deadlines in front of Iran do not have the moral right to put a red light before Israel.”
Nor do they, facing no immediate existential threat themselves, have the moral right to flash a red light at Israel, demanding that she wait until such time, if ever, as they become comfortable with “containing” a nuclear Iran or with what needs to be done to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
Netanyahu’s comments came in the wake of statements by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday, and State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Monday, that the US had no intention of putting either red lines or deadlines in front of the Iranians.
The growing threats posed by Hitler’s Germany in the early and mid 1930′s were similarly taken lightly; in many quarters those who saw, feared and spoke of eliminating them were mocked. Did they think that Herr Hitler was joking? High on drugs? Blowing smoke? In consequences, we and our allies lost far more lives and had a far worse, more deadly, longer and more expensive war than if effective steps had been taken to stop Germany’s rearmament before Germany began her diplomatic and then military accretions of “lebensraum.” Had we done so, World War II might well have been avoided. Following World War II, much of Europe fell to another perverse power, the U.S.S.R. Recovery from that was slow, painful and cost many lives. That recovery now seems in some respects to be falling apart as Russia gains ascendency while that of the United States dribbles away.
Today, Iran is set on its path to dominate the world through Islam and it clearly intends to do so through apocalyptic means. The West’s blindness that existed before 9/11 has returned. If US complacency with regard to the 2009 Iranian elections and the current horrific situation in Syria is any indication, Israel should not rely on the US – or anyone else, for that matter – to stand together with it in the event of an attack. (Emphasis added.)
There were signs which, if given full credence in early 2001, could have led to steps perhaps adequate to avoid or at least to minimize the effects of the Nine-Eleven disaster. Those signs were far less concrete than those now pointing to the destruction of Israel. Yet our Government seeks to calm Israel and demands that no military action be taken until after our November election. It seems that United States electoral politics trump sanity. That is hardly new, but in this case seems likely to produce far worse results for Israel, the Middle East and ultimately even for the United States than in the past.
Will we awaken before Israel ceases to exist, or will we simply continue to doze blissfully under our “Smart Policy” comforter? It’s warm down there and sleep comes easily. As we doze, perhaps having dreams or nightmares about who will win our November elections, dangerous things continue to happen. Will there be enough people left in Israel following a nuclear attack to hold solemn remembrances for years thereafter?
Or will it be up to us and others throughout what remains of the free world to hold solemn remembrances on their behalf, remembrances drenched with regret for what we should have done but failed to do while time remained to do it?
NOTE: Here is an article by Barry Rubin on a matter that is perhaps collateral, but perhaps closely related to the above. Either way, it points to our failures in Libya and elsewhere during and following the Arab Spring, the waters flowing from which have become toxic.
(This article was also posted at Dan Miller’s Blog.)
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