Sunday, February 27, 2011
From Hiroshima to Iran
By Alan Caruba
These days it is fashionable to decry the use of not one, but the two atomic bombs that were used to convince the emperor of Japan and his warlords that the United States would destroy its cities if forced to invade. Within days World War Two was over.
America, since December 7, 1941, when it was the victim of a Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, had been fighting in the Pacific theatre as well as in the European one. There was no doubt that, just as Germany had been reduced to rubble to achieve victory, so too would Japan if needed. Expectations of American casualties if an invasion was required were huge.
Long before September 11, 2001, war had been declared on America by Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of al Qaeda. The destruction of the Twin Towers shocked Americans. A decade later, however, they were debating whether Muslims have “a right” to build a mosque within a short walk of Ground Zero. That’s blindingly stupid.
Short memories can lead to big defeats. It is worth reminding Americans that our troops did not lose in Iraq. We went there to depose a psychopathic despot who killed his own people with impunity. We went there to see whether democracy could take root in a region where it never had. (Only a secular Turkey was the exception; its military kept the Islamists at bay, but that too is changing.)
In the midst of the turmoil that has taken much of the Middle East and northern Africa, along with the rest of the world, by surprise, it is worth noting that the only thing keeping Israel from being attacked and utterly destroyed and that is its nuclear arsenal.
A people who lost six million of their families, their brethren, whose motto became “Never again”, will not to fail to use them to defeat what has been grandly called “an existential threat.” There’s nothing existential about it.
The U.S. has developed a sophisticated arsenal of weapons in the years since 1945 and has become the world’s policeman, fighting a Cold War with occasional hot outbreaks in Korea, Vietnam, and elsewhere. We have tolerated a Communist Cuba just off the border of Florida. We have watched Venezuela go Communist.
We have not used our nuclear arsenal and we presently have a President who wants desperately to reduce it in order to appease the Russians who are not our friends.
I have no doubt that Israel will use its nuclear weapons and I can think of no reason why they should not.
It is the barbaric leadership of Iran that is the enemy, not its people. Israel understands that. Thus, attacks would likely target Iran's nuclear and military facilities, not its cities.
Throughout its sixty-two years, Israel been repeatedly attacked by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Despite a cold peace with Egypt and Jordan, both nations find themselves challenged by a largely Islamist movement. Israel watches and waits.
As the first Iranian warships recently passed through the Suez Canal the Iranian puppets, Hamas, celebrated by firing two long-range Iranian-made Grad missiles rockets at Beersheba and Netivot from Gaza . It is a signal of what is to come
Israel, a democracy whose population includes over a million Arabs, has thrived. All around Israel the threat to its existence has continued. In this decade, it has required Israeli military operations against Lebanon’s Hezbollah and, in Gaza, against Hamas. Absolutely nothing Israel has done to secure peace has been successful and yet it is constantly importuned to do more.
Only the fact that it has nuclear weapons and a trained, dedicated defense force has kept its enemies at bay. However, as the Iranians creep toward nuclear parity, it will demand a Hiroshima to thwart another Holocaust.
The Second World War was one of unimaginable carnage, but the allies were able to rebuild and even our former enemy, Germany, was converted to an integral power in Europe. The American occupation of Japan left it a truly democratic nation and an ally. A South Korea under the protection of America is an economic dynamo. We have embassies in Vietnam.
There are the lessons of history that entire new generations of Americans need to learn and need to understand.
The war to protect, restore, and project Western values was worth fighting. A war against an Iran that has declared itself an enemy is one that Israel will have to fight. Just as in 1945, nuclear weapons will restore clarity and peace.
© Alan Caruba, 2011