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ALAN BURKHART
PAUL HOLLRAH
RAYMOND S. KRAFT
FRANK SALVATO
JOAN SWIRSKY
J.B. WILLIAMS
EDITOR
Israel on the Brink, Again
by J. R. Dieckmann - Editor

God must be laughing at the practical joke He’s played on humanity. Or maybe it’s one of those situations where He doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Maybe it’s just His way of testing His creation to see if it’s capable of surviving in both His world and in ours. Whatever the case, we’re stuck with it and must try to make the best of it.

So what’s the joke? Simply that God gave the western world the intelligence, skills, ingenuity, and resources to develop a modern, electromechanical, civilized society where we have made the most of it to improve our lives and make ourselves more comfortable. But then God gave the fuel that powers our society to an uncivilized, 6th century, religiously radical culture in the Middle East; a people who wouldn’t have the slightest idea of what to do with it were it not for us. They still don’t, so they sell it to us and we have come to depend on those sales.

But there are conflicts in both culture and politics that come into play because of it. We, as a democratic nation, are trying to do business with a region that is not democratic, but rather rules by the force of warlords and dictators who see democracy as a threat to their power. It is a people who are constantly at war with each other and as divided between radical and moderate as America is divided between liberal and conservative.

The Middle East is not a safe or comfortable place for Americans, so why can’t we just leave and let them fight among themselves? There are three basic reasons. Oil is one of them. The other two are Terrorism and Israel. If we leave, radical terrorists such as al Qaeda and Iran will take over with greater resources and a larger platform from which to attack the free world. We can’t let that happen.

A more immediate problem right now may be with Israel. Since 1948 when Israel was reestablished, we, and the other NATO countries, have been sworn to protect and defend Israel, our only real ally in the Middle East. It hasn’t been easy. The powers that be couldn’t have found a worse place to put Israel in 1948 but only because it was once the Jewish homeland was it reestablished there. Of course in those days, the Mideast was a much different place than it is today - it seemed like a good idea at the time.

____________________________________

Last summer we saw a bungled war between Israel and Hezbollah that ended in a stalemate, which is not what Israel intended when it began. Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert sounded like he meant business when he declared that Hezbollah would be driven out of Lebanon. But Israel made the same mistake as we continue to make in Iraq. We are allowing too much concern for civilian casualties to interfere with winning the war. This is a mistake that neither Israel nor the US has learned to avoid, I'm sorry to say.

To make things worse, Olmert gave the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians as a “peace offering.” He should have known better and we can only hope that he learned a lesson from it. Today, Gaza is now a threat to Israel’s very survival and any responsible leader should have seen this coming. Anything you give to Palestinians, they will take but instead of saying “thank you” they only demand more. Sound familiar?

Things were kind of ok there for a while as long as President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party was holding the guns and could control the militias. But the rivalry between Abbas and the democratically elected representatives of Hamas continued to heat up ever since the election in January, 2006.

Hamas is not a political party. It is a terrorist organization which pretended to be a political party for the election. But let’s make one thing clear. Fatah party members are just as responsible for terrorism on Israel as is Hamas, if not more. It’s hard to know which is worse, but Fatah is considered a little more moderate and willing to work for peace. Hamas, on the other hand, has but one goal - the obliteration of Israel. Neither one is a friend to the US or Israel.

In Gaza, over the past couple of weeks, fighting between Fatah and Hamas militias has reached the boiling point. Fatah soldiers have been killed or driven out of Gaza, leaving the entire region in the hands of Hamas. During the takeover, stockpiles of American weapons supplied to Fatah were seized by Hamas as were critical CIA records covering CIA activities in the Middle East and tactics to defeat the radicals.

This Friday, Abbas dissolved the Palestinian government, kicked Hamas out of Parliament, and appointed a new Prime Minister who is currently without a cabinet. Fatah is the old Yasir Arafat P.L.O. party.

Now the western media is naively asking “How is Hamas going to govern in Gaza when they don’t have access to government money and resources?” Do they really think Hamas took Gaza so they could “govern” it? Hamas’s only concern for governing consists of giving free stuff to the poor, just like the American Democrat Party does, for the purpose of holding their support. They have renamed Gaza to “Hamasistan”.

Hamas doesn’t care about Gaza but it does put them in a valuable strategic position to attack Israel from the south. I’m sure they won’t have any trouble getting money from Iran and Syria which is where they get their weapons, except of course, the ones they just got from America. The media is calling this a “civil war” but I think it’s much more than that, just as Iraq is much more than a civil war.

Now that they have Gaza, Hamas intends to take the West Bank as well which, will put them within shooting range of Tel Aviv. The Bush Administration is sending reinforcements to Fatah troops in the West Bank which so far have been holding off Hamas fighters. The question to be asked is should the US be taking sides and sending more arms to either Palestinian side? Considering what happened with them in Gaza, I don’t think so. A second shipment is under consideration.

A little further north, Syrian troops have been gathering on the border in the Golan Heights and conducting war games to pass the time while they wait - for what? Just to their west in Lebanon, Hezbollah has recovered from last year’s war. They have rebuilt their tunnels along the northern Israeli border and stocked them with from 20,000 to 25,000 Russian made Kasam, Katusha and “tank buster” rockets. And all of this was done right under the watchful eyes of the UN peacekeepers planted there last year for the expressed purpose of preventing it. Is there really any question about whose side the UN is on?

To the north of Hezbollah lies Beirut where pro Syrian assassins just assassinated their fourth anti Syrian victim in Parliament, narrowing the pro-west majority down to only three. When those three are dead, Syria can once again control Lebanon and the Lebanese Army. Further north, Hamas affiliate “Fatah al Islam” has seized the port town of Tripoli after a month of fighting with the Lebanese Army.

What is notable here is that all of this has taken place over the past few weeks. The fighting between Palestinian Fatah and Hamas called a “civil war” is only a part of a much larger picture that shows an aggressive military buildup around Israel and Lebanon.

Israel is being surrounded by it’s enemies. Israelis should be worried, very worried. Israel is seriously talking about war with Iran, and joint maneuvers between US and Israeli war planes have been going on along with Israel launching their first spy satellite this week. Can Ehud Olmert handle it after his dismal failure to defeat Hezbollah last year? I doubt it. Israel has but one hope.

Olmert is due to retire in about 4 months. Benjamin Netanyahu is considering a run for Israeli Prime Minister. If that process can be speeded up and occur before the war breaks out, Israel will have a good chance of winning. If Olmert leads his country into war, it will likely fail which could mark the end of Israel. Most Israelis hate Olmert for the way he handled the 2006 war. Netanyahu has the ability and the will to do whatever is needed to assure the survival of Israel. I hope he gets the chance to prove it.

Olmert has asked President Bush for an additional $2.4 Billion a year in defense aid for Israel. How long would that continue? We’re spending a billion dollars a day for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have no problem with defense spending. What I have a problem with is fighting a “limited” war where those expenses just go on forever as they did in Vietnam and victory is never achieved.

Israel won a war against Palestine, Egypt, and Syria in 6 days in 1967. They fought to win, not to put on a show and spare civilian lives. Israel and the US should consider the entire Islamic region the enemy with the exception of Kuwait, UAE, Jordan, and Lebanon.

When you come right down to it, the terrorists we kill are also civilians. Have you ever heard of a terrorist that wasn’t a civilian? Civilian casualties are a necessary part of war, and it’s time the west relearned that lesson. I don’t want to be paying for war for the rest of my life and our children’s lives when we have the ability to end it quickly. It’s only liberal politics and psuedo-diplomacy that prevent us from doing so.

For 18 years, al Qaeda was at war with the United States but we failed to recognize it until the twin towers fell.  Iran is the central command of all that is happening in and around Israel right now.  Iran is behind much of the violence and killings in Iraq and is supplying weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan as well.  How long will it be before we recognize that Iran has already declared war on the United States and Israel?  It's just no longer done with formal documents as it once was.  All we have to do is listen to Ahmadinejad's own words to know this is true.

Is this what political correctness has done to the US;  made us afraid to respond for fear of what Europe might think; made us afraid of what Mexico might think?  Or are we afraid of what Iran's allies, Russia and China, might think or do?  We can either face the situation head on, or we can lie down and cower in defeat while Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sits proud and smugly laughing at us.

Make no mistake about it, the war has already begun. There is no way to stop it with diplomacy or a “limited war” as we’ve become accustomed to using. To end a war you must defeat the will and the ability of the enemy to fight. A ground war with Iran is out of the question, we don’t have the troops for it. We do have technology to replace the use of troops today and we should use it.

It is highly unlikely that we can defeat Iran using only conventional weapons. And let’s face it, Iran is primarily responsible for all the trouble I’ve been discussing in this article. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants Israel wiped off the map and he wants it done this year. What better way to do that than to have his proxies provoke Israel into a war, then claim he is merely coming to the defense of his allies. Could his nuclear program be further advanced than anyone thinks, or has he bought nukes from outside his country? No one really knows.

Some writers are deathly afraid to mention the word “nuclear,” I am not. It’s something that should never be taken off the table if the US is ever again to be taken seriously. It’s what you use when you want to end a war instead of what our ridiculous Congress is trying to do. We proved that in Japan. A message must be sent to the world that if you attack us, or our allies, you will be destroyed once and for all. Only an overwhelming response will send the message to the Middle East. Don’t mess with us or you won’t live long enough to regret it.

Some argue that a nuke would contaminate the ground for thousands of years. Not so. Today’s nukes are much cleaner than the ones used on Japan, but even Japan didn’t have a problem with contaminated ground. Right after the war, they went to work rebuilding Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Today they are both healthy, thriving cities just 60 years later.

I don’t make this suggestion lightly. It should be used only as a last resort when all else has failed. And by “all else,” I don’t mean a sustained ground war. Conventional bombing won’t stop Iran either unless it’s done with hundreds of B-52s the way we did with Germany. That just wouldn’t be practical and just one step better than a ground war.

For one thing, we can’t destroy all of Iran’s nuclear labs with conventional weapons because of their depth underground. Anyway, we don’t even know where all of them are. For another, there is no guarantee that we would get all of Iran’s radical leaders. We would be left with no other option than to send in ground troops, which would meet with resistance from remaining Iranian troops.

Young Iranians are not going to “greet us as liberators”, as we thought would happen in Iraq. Some did, many didn’t. They will rally to the defense of their country and culture. They may not like the current rulers, but they will like us even less. They are Islamics with 1400 years of Islamic culture. They don’t think as we do, and we had better hurry up and learn that, because no amount of negotiations, bribes, or sanctions is going to deprive Ahmadinejad of the war he so desperately wants. The question we must ask is how many American lives do we want to sacrifice to stop him?

There are no civilians in war, especially this one. Everyone in enemy territory must be considered enemy until they prove themselves otherwise. We are asking our soldiers in Iraq to accept just the opposite. “Consider them civilians until they prove otherwise”. This is not acceptable. When they prove themselves otherwise, some of our guys are usually dead. Why do we insist on taking casualties when we don’t have to? Do we really think it’s going to make them like us any better?

The enemy fights dirty, we also need to fight dirty. Meet them on their terms, but with superior weapons. We can do that and without taking a lot of casualties. Let the enemy take the casualties, that’s what war is all about. As General Patton once said “No one ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other guy die for his.” Truer words were never said. That’s what war is all about.

Do you hear that, President Bush and your liberal friends in Congress? We’re getting pretty fed up with your screwing around with war. Don’t start it if you’re not willing to win it. Europe isn’t going to like us no matter what we do unless we loose. Our national pride and security depend on you learning how to fight a real war, because that is what we have to do for the survival of America.