Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The Present Threats to Israel
By Alan Caruba
If you take a look at the map of the Middle East and read the daily headlines, you have to wonder what it must be like to be an Israeli—a nation the size of New Jersey—surrounded by Arabs driven insane by Islam, by a succession of brutal dictators, and by the never-ending hate-filled fulminations in the mosques and media against Zionism, Israel, and Jews.
The UN nuclear watchdog released a report last week stating that Iran has installed advanced technology at Natanz, its main site for uranium enhancement. Iran that has relentlessly sought to make its own nuclear weapons and the missiles with which to deliver them. In 2009, Dore Gold, Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations—a hotbed of anti-Zionism—and the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, authored “The Rise of Nuclear Iran: How Iran Defies the West.”
“It can be reasonably asserted that Iran perceives itself as a natural hegemonic power in its region,” wrote Dore. With roughly one-tenth of the world’s supply of oil and natural gas, Iran had the financial capacity to acquire the military strength it needed to realize its historical ambitions.” The various sanctions that have been applied to it have wreaked havoc on its economy, but have no deterred its intentions.
“Given that the Islamic Republic was the first to systematically employ suicide bombing attacks in the present era, it could very well be immune to deterrence and the threat of full scale retaliation should it employ nuclear weapons,” wrote Dore.
Writing more recently in The Washington Times, columnist Jeffrey T. Kuhner, addressed the “Consequences of a Nuclear Iran.” He reiterated the history of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s many threats to Israel and its denial of the Holocaust, the deliberate murder of six million of Europe’s Jews during World War II. “What if Mr. Ahmadinejad is not lying” about Iran already being a nuclear power?” asked Kuhner. “Then the West—and especially the United States—faces a major crisis. It means the West’s policies of sanctions and diplomatic engagement have failed.”
It means that President Obama’s efforts, as executed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, throughout his first term have failed. It does not bode well that the new Secretary of State, John Kerry, in his first major foreign policy speech on February 20, believes that the real threat is climate change, not Iran and the other known enemies of the nation.
Kerry is delusional. He blathered on about “an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate.” The seas are not dramatically rising, large storms have occurred throughout our history, as have droughts. It is as if Iran, the Middle East, Africa, North Korea, China and Russia aren’t even a problem.
The designate for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, is, if it is possible, an even worse choice so far as Israel is concerned. He is on record repeatedly displaying his antipathy—and worse—towards Israel. Demonstrably incompetent for the job, Hagel will reflect Obama’s reluctance for any combat short of the antiseptic use of drones.
The President has repeatedly stated that he will not accept a nuclear-armed Iran, but the President has spent years saying things that turned out to be empty promises and outright lies. His ties to anti-Semites and stated sympathy for Islam make anything he says suspect.
Kuhner warned that “An attack (on Iran) would have disastrous consequences. Iran is not Iraq. It is a much larger and more populous nation. It has proxies across the region—including Hezbollah, Hamas, and Syria’s besieged regime.”
The Israelis know this in ways we never can. It recently had to take military action against Hamas in Gaza to slow the continued rocketing of his towns in its south. It has fought numerous ways since its founding in 1948, and it is threatened on all of its borders with Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinian enclaves in the West Bank and Gaza.
The change of power with Egypt, now in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood, poses a threat to its peace treaty with Egypt. The civil war that has been raging in Syria for two years poses a present and future threat on its border. Jordan, which has been a stable monarchy and friend, is being challenged by Islamists.
The President is scheduled to visit Israel in March, the first visit since having been elected in 2008. His relations with Israeli Premier Benyamin Netanyahu are chilly at best. Everything he says—and does not say—will be examined. The U.S. has provided a lot of military aid to Israel, but one wonders if that isn’t part of a larger policy to maintain a balance of power in the region.
The Israelis have been a major source of intelligence to the U.S. Even so, one suspects that the Israelis have deep reservations about President Obama and a lack of confidence given his past statements about its borders and settlements.
The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq says everything you need to know about the failure of its military involvement in both nations and its failed effort at “nation building.” When you add in the U.S. reduction of naval power in the Persian Gulf, you might imagine that the current Iranian regime believes it is triumphing over “the Great Satan” as it pursues its quest to “wipe Israel off the map.”
Dore stated a fundamental truth that continues to be ignored by the Obama regime. “If the West has a choice between negotiating yet again with the regime in Iran or undercutting it further, it should clearly seek to promote a process that leads to its collapse and replacement. Engagement was tried in the past and doesn’t work.”
Meanwhile, our new Secretary of State is wedded to negotiations and to the notion that climate change is the real threat to the West.
© Alan Caruba, 2013