In the dreary years of Depression and drift leading up to World War II, there was always a difference of perception between Britain and France about the Hitler threat. France wanted to strike Hitler when he marched into the Rhineland in 1936. This was a direct violation of the Treaty of Versailles and France felt its very life was threatened by a re-militarized Rhineland on her border. The French premier was invited to London by Prime Minister Baldwin--for talks. Four years later, France fell under the Nazi boot.
Britain always had the advantage of distance from Germany. Britain had a 22-mile anti-tank trench called the English Channel. France naturally resented Britain's talking, talking, talking while Hitler moved.
This is useful history as we view the situation in Israel today. The Iranian mullahs are motivated by the same anti-Jewish hatred that poisoned Hitler. They are developing a nuclear weapon, while claiming only to want nuclear energy for "peaceful purposes." Why a country like Iran that is sitting on a sea of oil needs a nuclear power program is left for the credulous of the world to consider. The mullahs want the bomb.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming to the U.S. to attend a UN meeting in New York. President Obama does not have time to meet with him. The President was able to squeeze a rap DJ known as "the pimp with the limp" into his busy schedule, but Israel's elected leader will have to meet with Sec. of State Hillary Clinton in New York, instead.
Sec. Clinton has responded to the latest increase of Mideast tensions with soothing bromides. "We're convinced that we have more time to focus on these [economic] sanctions to do everything we can to bring Iran to a good faith negotiation." She actually means it. Iran's mullahs are the men who invented suicide bombing. They sent their cat's paws into Beirut, Lebanon in 1983 to murder 241 U.S. Marines and Navy Corpsmen as they slept in their barracks. These are the men whom Madame Secretary thinks can be induced to give us their "good faith negotiation."
Nothing in the past four years of talking has slowed Iran's lunge for nuclear weapons. Not President Obama's "open hand instead of a clenched fist." Not his New Year's greetings to Iranians and their leaders. Not the Obama administration's desire to avoid "meddling" when thousands of Iranian students cried out in the streets of Tehran for democracy--and were shot down by order of a fraudulently re-elected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Prime Minister Netanyahu pleaded for the West to give Iran "red lines," to show them our determination to act if they went beyond certain well-marked points in their nuclear program. Sec. Clinton publicly rebuffed Netanyahu's plea. No red lines. No deadlines. Just talk. And hope.
The Obama administration's Iran policy has been all hope and no change. The U.S. has bunker buster bombs that reportedly could destroy Iran's nuclear facilities as they take them deep underground. But would a re-elected Peace Prize winner ever use those bunker busters? Or, would he rely, as he is being daily urged to rely, on deterrence.
Columnist Charles Krauthammer has shown why deterrence with a regime like Iran's will not work. In addition to Dr. Krauthammer's powerful case, there has to be something else for an adversary to consider:
Will the U.S. actually use the weapons it has? Under the invertebrate Jimmy Carter, Ambassador Malcolm Toon--Carter's handpicked envoy to Moscow--said he feared for the U.S. for the first time in his 30-year career. That was because he saw how contemptuous the Soviets were of Carter's weakness.
When we permit Ahmadinejad (and Qaddafi before him) to visit New York and spew anti-Semitic hatred from the podium of the UN General Assembly, we may think we are showing admirable patience and forbearance; we may think we are demonstrating our liberal values to these dictatorial regimes. But they view this as a sign of our weakness. They are not deterred by weak-willed acquiescence.
Hitler was genuinely surprised when Britain and France declared war on him in 1939 following his invasion of Poland. He had met Prime Minister Chamberlain and Premier Daladier at Munich and had taken their measure. He thought they would never carry out their threats.
Nothing in the conduct of this administration's policy toward Iran has given the mullahs the slightest indication that President Obama and Sec. Clinton will actually use overwhelming force to stop their nuclear arms race. If the fact that the U.S. has 5,113 nuclear warheads of its own (which this administration unconscionably told the world) does not deter them, why should anything else prevent them from achieving the goal for which they live?
The mullahs see nuclear weapons as a way of annihilating the hated "Zionist entity." If they destroy Israel, then they will have the upper hand in the playing out of their millennial rivalry with opponents within Islam. They can claim that Shiites, not Sunnis, did this great thing.
No red lines, no deadlines, no sanctions, or UN resolutions can deter them. Someone must stop them. All the dithering and drift from the Obama administration is sending a powerful message to Israel: We're not in this together: You're on your own. President Obama is forcing Israel's hand.
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