A few days ago, I made a mistake. Not my first nor my last, I assure you.
I responded to someone because something he posted appeared on my Facebook page. His position was that he hopes President Trump wins election for four more years in the Oval Office, together with the Democrats having control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Only then was his seething contempt for our president apparent, as he wished us four long years of stalemated, frustrating non-activity in Washington.
The fact that Americans can ill-afford lack of direction, and most importantly, lack of direction in the year 2020 and beyond, is quite clearly lost on the man, and I decided to leap into his realm of enlightenment. I failed miserably. Logic and facts meant nothing to him, and when I explained that with nuclear-armed combatants such as China, North Korea, Russia, and regrettably, Iran, squaring their shoulders and showing no fear of the United States, we need a leader and direction in the ensuing years, his feathers became abruptly ruffled.
I was challenged by a growing number of Facebook contributors. They seemed to be pouring out from under rocks. “What are you so afraid of?” one demanded. Gee, I don’t know. Here’s a partial list. Perhaps a naval incident with warships of the People’s Republic of China that quickly escalates. Or a bellicose Vladimir Putin pushing the limits of acceptability in Eastern Europe, or North Korea deciding they and we have nuclear parity, so they unleash those thousand long-range artillery pieces in a frontal attack on Seoul. With the largest army on the planet, a North Korean horde streaming south would be nearly impossible to stop.
But my biggest fear is Iran. When I expressed my concern about those in Tehran and 500,000 plus men in uniform, one of my Facebook combatants, an educated and articulate American, stated his position … that the government of Iran has lived in fear for many years that they will be attacked by a nuclear-armed Israel, and that Tehran only desires nuclear weapons as a means of self-defense.
At last, we have been given clarity. Iran seeks nuclear weapons only to defend herself against Israeli aggression. Knowing that, we all must feel a sense of joy and relief.
His position, sadly, is ludicrous, uninformed, and incredibly naïve.
In an article written by Jeffrey Goldberg and published in The Atlantic on March 9th, 2015, Mr. Goldberg does excellent research on this subject.
“The Iranian regime is not populated by Nazis, but it is led by people who do, in fact, seek the physical elimination of the Jewish state and its replacement by a Muslim state. It works toward this end, by sponsoring terrorist groups that regularly kill Jews, both in Israel and elsewhere.
“So, as a reminder to those who argue that Jews should stop worrying so much about people who threaten to kill them, here is some (just some) of what Iran’s leaders, and leaders of its proxy militia, Hezbollah, in Lebanon, have said about Israel:
“Mohammad Khatami, the former president of Iran: “If we abide by real legal laws, we should mobilize the whole Islamic world for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime … if we abide by the Koran, all of us should mobilize to kill.” (2000)
“Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region.” (2001)
“Hassan Nasrallah, a leader of Hezbollah: “If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” (2002)
“Nasrallah: “Israel is our enemy. This is an aggressive, illegal, and illegitimate entity, which has no future in our land. Its destiny is manifested in our motto: ‘Death to Israel.’” (2005)
“Yahya Rahim Safavi, the former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps: “With God’s help the time has come for the Zionist regime’s death sentence.” (2008)
“Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, Khamenei’s representative to the Moustazafan Foundation: “We have manufactured missiles that allow us, when necessary to replace [sic] Israel in its entirety with a big holocaust.” (2010)
“Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of the Basij paramilitary force: “We recommend them [the Zionists] to pack their furniture and return to their countries. And if they insist on staying, they should know that a time will arrive when they will not even have time to pack their suitcases.” (2011)
“Khamenei: “The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed.” (2012)
“Ahmad Alamolhoda, a member of the Assembly of Experts: “The destruction of Israel is the idea of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and is one of the pillars of the Iranian Islamic regime. We cannot claim that we have no intention of going to war with Israel.” (2013)
“Nasrallah: “The elimination of Israel is not only a Palestinian interest. It is the interest of the entire Muslim world and the entire Arab world.” (2013)
“Hojateleslam Alireza Panahian, the advisor to Office of the Supreme Leader in Universities: “The day will come when the Islamic people in the region will destroy Israel and save the world from this Zionist base.” (2013)
“Hojatoleslam Ali Shirazi, Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guard: “The Zionist regime will soon be destroyed, and this generation will be witness to its destruction.” (2013)
“Khamenei: “This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated.” (2014)
“Hossein Salami, the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guard: “We will chase you [Israelis] house to house and will take revenge for every drop of blood of our martyrs in Palestine, and this is the beginning point of Islamic nations awakening for your defeat.” (2014)
“Salami: “Today we are aware of how the Zionist regime is slowly being erased from the world, and indeed, soon, there will be no such thing as the Zionist regime on Planet Earth.” (2014)
“Hossein Sheikholeslam, the secretary-general of the Committee for Support for the Palestinian Intifada: “The issue of Israel’s destruction is important, no matter the method. We will obviously implement the strategy of the Imam Khomeini and the Leader [Khamenei] on the issue of destroying the Zionists. The region will not be quiet so long as Israel exists in it …” (2014)
“Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guard: “The Revolutionary Guards will fight to the end of the Zionist regime … We will not rest easy until this epitome of vice is totally deleted from the region’s geopolitics.” (2015)”
But enough of this. Telling those who read this newspaper that Iran, and in particular, a nuclear Iran, poses a serious threat to Israel is clearly preaching to the choir. Jews everywhere, although I dare not speak for us all, presumably understand the Jihadist ambitions of fanatics, and that’s not what concerns me here. The educated man who put forth, in all sincerity, the concept that Iran merely seeks nuclear weapons as a protection against Israeli aggression, is not a Jew, and his inability to view things through Jewish eyes is disturbing. He is disinterested in the powder keg that is the Middle East, and his concerns are purely internal American issues rather than international ones. I am fearful that he is not a man alone on that island. I am concerned that many other Americans have a similar lack of interest in the Middle East, and to support that thesis, we did push forward the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015. It is, at best, a plan of IN-action, in that the United States is clearly willing to allow Iran to purchase or build nuclear weapons in a few short years. Perhaps, from President Obama on down through the rank and file, there is a strong belief summarized well by the gentleman with whom I sparred on Facebook. Perhaps tens of thousands or even millions of Americans think that way, or perhaps, and even worse, they simply do not care. After all, Washington, DC is more than 5,800 miles from Tel Aviv, so any issues between Iran and Israel might as well be on another planet. And it strikes me that President Trump’s bold statements might be more smoke and mirrors than actual statements of support, mere sleight of hand movements to ease the pressures pushed upon him by a relentless Congress and a press corps that leans heavily to the left. And clearly, releasing billions of dollars to Iran as an integral part of the Plan of Inaction now allows that nation to embark on its desired nuclear ambitions.
We Americans like to wear those big, white ten-gallon hats. Our heroes are astride white horses, as well. We save the damsels in distress, and we often come to the aid of those in need. But our foreign policies leave much to be desired. To “Stop the worldwide spread of Communism”, for example, is not a policy, for it is purely reactionary in nature. “Oh, you guys are fighting a Communist faction, so here’s a bunch of money and guns” creates strange and unfortunate bedfellows. Like the Shah of Iran. And Manuel Noriega, Francisco Franco, or Emilio Medici of Brazil. And while we quickly move on and forget our missteps, because we have no firm doctrine, the world remembers. In our shallow way, having supported the Shah of Iran, we have helped cement a Jihadist government in Tehran consistent in its pursuit of their stated and undeniably flagrant mission … to destroy the State of Israel. If our arrogance, in that we may choose to believe Iran possessing nuclear weapons is not a crisis, leads to catastrophe and nuclear attacks not just on Israel, but on the United States as well, we can only blame ourselves for short-sightedness and stupidity. But the American way is to engage in the extraordinary art of Plausible Deniability, and if those tragic times occur, we will have scapegoats firmly in place.
The United States must remain true and loyal to our unwavering allies … Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and Israel. I’ve left many nations off that list, for the Art of War has changed. Warfare is no longer two bodies of brave men boldly clashing, face to face on open plains. It is no longer a column of well-trained soldiers advancing through enemy territories to seize an objective, not when a wing of drones can unleash neutron weapons and kill all the soldiers in that column in seconds. The next great global conflict will be instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and her allies, and that’s the statement Americans need to see, hear, and take to heart.