Thursday, August 03, 2006

It's Our War Too

On a tour of Israel in May of 2000, my wife called me from the northern city of Tiberias. Minutes before, I watched reports on the “Newshour” of Hezbollah rocket attacks and I asked her if she’d seen anything. “No,” she said, “but I can hear explosions in the distance.” We have reservations for another trip in October but it’s been postponed to May - too many rockets hitting along the itinerary.

Cowardly Hezbollah terrorists hide rocket launchers among civilians. They don’t wear uniforms and blend into the civilian population as Israel counterattacks. When Israel was attacked openly, it finished off invading armies in short order. In 1967 it took six days. Muslim Arab countries staged four open attacks on Israel - 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973. Each time, their forces were annihilated by tiny Israel. Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Yemen - various combinations of which attacked in each of the four wars - were humiliated. After the fourth consecutive rout they learned Israel would not be defeated in open combat, so they resorted to terrorism and economic blackmail.

Following the 1973 war, the Arab oil embargo caused major damage to our economy. People my age remember gas lines, inflation, and skyrocketing interest rates. Then terrorism increased. Even before Israel became a country in 1948, Jews endured decades of vile attacks on civilian settlements in Palestine. Between the wars, Israel was continuously hit by artillery and rockets from Syria, Lebanon and Egypt and they continued after 1973. During Desert Storm, Saddam Hussein fired Scud missiles into Israel and financed Palestinian suicide attacks for years after, sending $25,000 to the family of each jihadist suicide bomber.

Hatred of Israel is a unifying force for Muslims. Shiites and Sunnis who have been killing each other for centuries will work together to attack Jews. With the rise of Radical Islam they work together to kill Americans as well.

Radical Islam comes in two basic forms:

The Shiite version dates from the return of Ayatollah Khomeini in the 1970s and continues in Iran under the mullahs. To them, we are “The Great Satan.” With their petrodollars, Shiite Iran created Hezbollah in Lebanon and in other countries around the world. They’ve murdered hundreds of Americans as well as Israelis.

The Sunni version takes the form of Wahhabism which originated in Arabia in the mid-1700s and got stronger by its association with the House of Saud and the oil revenues of Saudi Arabia. The Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda are incarnations of Radical Sunni Islam. Shiite and Sunni radicals cooperate in attacks on Israel and the United States, as well as India, Britain, Spain, Indonesia, etc.

Though some of us knew it already, all Americans learned they were targets of Radical Islam on September 11th. Since then, however, the Democrat Party and their mainstream media mouthpieces have persuaded many that only al Qaeda is our enemy - not Hezbollah, not Saddam Hussein, not Iran, not Syria. They couldn’t be more wrong. A parade in Tehran, Iran September 22, 2003 displayed missiles draped with banners proclaiming: “Israel should be wiped off the map” and “We will trample America under our feet,” “Death to America,” and “Death to Israel.”

At a rally last year, Sheik Nasrallah, head of Hezbollah in Lebanon, shouted, “Our motto, which we are not afraid to repeat year after year, is: ‘Death to America!’” Tens of thousands of his followers shouted, “Death to America! Death to America! Death to America! Death to America!”

Osama Bin Laden’s second-in-command appeared on al Jazeera last Saturday. Ayman al-Zawahiri said al Qaeda will not stand idle while Israelis “burn the Muslim brothers in Gaza and in Lebanon.” With a poster of the burning World Trade Center behind him, he continued saying “All the world is a battlefield open in front of us.”

Last week, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow was asked if President Bush believes current fighting between Israel and Lebanon “is as much the United States’ war as it is Israel’s war.”

“No,” he said and my heart sank.

President Bush is going wobbly on us. Immediately following September 11th, he said the United States would go after terrorists and the countries supporting them. Now, Iran and Syria are calling his bluff and he’s folding. Instead of pressing for a cease fire he should let Israel destroy Hezbollah, then give them bunker busters to drop on Assad’s palace in Damascus. If Iran responds openly to that as they threaten to, bring it on. Get it out in the open again.

As the reporter suggested in his question to Snow, it’s as much our war as it is Israel’s. Our only choices are: 1. We fight it over there or over here. 2. We fight a non-nuclear Iran now or a nuclear Iran later.

We can postpone our trip again if necessary, but if I were a young man with a determined commander-in-chief, I’d go there in a uniform with a weapon.


tomax7 said...

Heya, was just surfing blogs with my name "tom mclaughlin" and great to see someone else thinking the same about Israel, it's our war too.

the "other" tom.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Hey Tom. I saw your photo and we look somewhat alike. My great-grandfather came over here around 1900 from County Donegal, just north of Derry. He settled in Boston after working in San Francisco rebuilding the city after the earthquake and fire.

And we agree on the Middle East too? Amazing.