We’re all going to die. Yup, it’s true. And before we die, we’re going to pay taxes. Those realities haven’t changed since Benjamin Franklin pointed them out more than two centuries ago. We’re all going to die of something, but it probably won’t be swine flu, or H1N1, or whatever you want to call it. And it won’t be global warming, or climate change, or whatever Al Gore or the New York Times are calling it lately either. The only uncertainties about dying are the when and the how. I don’t want to know those things for myself, any more than I wanted to know the sex of my children before they were born. I can wait. Given my druthers though, I’d prefer to eat a well-prepared dinner, drink good wine, make love, go to sleep, and then wake up dead when I’m in my 80s and in otherwise good shape. If that kind of demise isn’t fated for me, then I’d just hope to live my own way – do and say whatever I believe to be right until the day comes. Then I want to die defiantly. Meanwhile, I want to see, smell, hear, feel, taste, and try to understand why everything is the way it is. I never will, of course, but it’s great when I get a clue here and there.
One clue I’m getting is that there are genuine threats out there, but it baffles me that we instead become obsessed about nebulous ones like avian flu, swine flu, and global warming.
The two most glaring examples of real threats would have to be Radical Muslims and nuclear weapons. The two are about to come together in both Pakistan and Iran. If they’re not stopped, their first targets are likely to be Israel, the U.S., Europe, or India. Only the U.S. would be out of missile range, but that our enemies could smuggle a nuclear weapon into one of our cities and detonate it is a distinct possibility – a likelihood even – according to former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former UN Ambassador John Bolton. Even if most of us here in the United States are oblivious to these threats, the citizens of Israel are anything but.
Real threats of mass death are quite real to them, and have been for millennia. Israel’s re-creation as a nation-state in 1948 is direct result of the biggest mass murder in recorded history. I’m speaking of the Holocaust, of course. Recognizing this, Iran is doing everything it can to de-legitimize Israel as a country before destroying it. Hence, the conferences sponsored by President Ahmadinejad inviting anti-Semites from around the world to argue that the Holocaust never happened.
After several years with the wussy Ehud Olmert, Israel just elected a Prime Minister with fortitude. Benjamin Netanyahu understands clearly that Iran will destroy his country and kill its citizens if he doesn’t strike first, so he will. For years, his country has been pelted with rockets nearly every day by Iran-sponsored terrorists. To Israel’s north, there’s Hezbollah in Lebanon. To the southwest, there’s Hamas in Gaza. Former Prime Minister Olmert made half-hearted attempts to deal with those threats during his tenure, but he lacked the resolve to do what Israel must do if it’s going to survive – directly attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The Muslim countries around it want Israel gone. They’ve invaded three times in Israel’s 60-year history and President Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said that he will wipe Israel off the map. The lessons of history are not lost on Israel. It exists as a nation so it can field a military capable of defending itself against those who would destroy it and Adolph Hitler taught them they must take such threatening rhetoric seriously.
Iran said it will block the Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf if either the U.S. or Israel strikes. If we think the world economy is in bad shape now, wait until the Persian Gulf is shut down for even a few months. Four-dollar-a-gallon gasoline will seem cheap. Those of us who remember the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s know that, at times, it won’t be available at any price. Would that precipitate a world depression? Indeed, but even that would the least of our difficulties. A wider war in the Middle East with mushroom clouds is the worst case scenario.
Meanwhile, back in the USA, we wring our hands about carbon emissions and gay “marriage,” believing our smooth-talking president will diffuse it all by schmoozing Radical Muslim dictators the way he did the American electorate. Israelis, however, know better. If there’s to be another Holocaust with mushroom clouds, they’re not going to go as lambs to the slaughter like they did in the first one.
No. They’ll go defiantly this time.
Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Tom McLaughlin. Tom is a history teacher and a regular weekly columnist for newspapers in Maine and New Hampshire. He writes about political and social issues, history, family, education and Radical Islam.
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