1969 was the height of the Vietnam war, and one thing it brought the U.S. – aside from 58,209 killed, 153,303 wounded and 2489 (MIA) missing in action – was an entirely new type of music.
Many singers and bands jumped on the “anti-war” wagon and many of those songs are classics today.
One song from 1969 that comes to mind is by Edwin Starr, “WAR”. His name may not be familiar, but I know the song is. Here are some of the lyrics;
War, huh, yeah. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
Listen to me, Ohhh, war, I despise. Because it means destruction.
Of innocent lives, war means tears, to thousands of mother’s eyes.
When their sons go to fight, and lose their lives.
War, it ain’t nothing but a heartbreaker. War, it’s got one friend. That’s the undertaker.
The song “War” is just that, a song, but every word throughout that song holds true. War means destruction, tears and lost lives.
With all the reports of the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran, when will they attack, how will they attack, wanting to attack, one thing has been overshadowed. Israel does not want war.
One thing I can state emphatically, without a doubt having grown up in Israel, is that no Israeli, soldier or civilian wants war. Israel has seen more than its share of wars since it became a nation in 1948.
The list of wars that Israel has had to wage shows it is not only at a constant state of war, but that it has never truly known peace.
The War of Independence 1947-1949.
The Sinai Campaign (Operation Kadesh – 1956)
The Six day War – 1967
The War of attrition – 1968-1970
The Yom Kippur War – 1973
The Lebanon War (Operation Peace for Galilee) – 1982
The Gulf War – 1991
The Second Lebanon war – 2006
According to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel Government Press Office and the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces), 22,876 men and women have died defending Israel. These are just the casualties from war and remember we are talking about a nation that, although it now has a population of 7.8 million, it has grown from just under one million in 1948.
The deaths that Israel has suffered do not come just from its wars; the constant terror attacks have taken a massive toll on this little country the size of the State of New Jersey. There have been over 3000 Israelis killed and over 25,000 wounded in terror attacks since 1948 according to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Adding the deaths and injuries of only terrorist attacks to proportion with the population of America, it would be the equivalent of over 150,000 killed and over 1,200,000 wounded. So, no, Israel does not want any more of this.
Having said that, Israel will do whatever is necessary to protect its people and its country. Last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated it simply during his speech at AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee):
“The Jewish state will not allow those who seek our destruction to possess the means to achieve that goal.”
He continued by explaining that no leader of any country should play a guessing game with a regime like Iran:
“Responsible leaders should not bet the security of their countries on the belief that the world’s most dangerous regimes won’t use the world’s most dangerous weapons.”
“And I promise you that as Prime Minister, I will never gamble with the security of the State of Israel.”
He put into perspective what the world is dealing with when it comes to Iran:
“From the beginning, the Ayatollah regime has broken every international rule and flouted every norm. It has seized embassies, targeted diplomats. It sends its own children through mine fields; it hangs gays and stones women; it supports Assad’s brutal slaughter of the Syrian people; it is the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism: It sponsors Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and terrorists throughout the Middle East, Africa, even South America.”
“Iran’s proxies have dispatched hundreds of suicide bombers, planted thousands of roadside bombs, and they fired over twenty thousand missiles at civilians.”
“Through terror from the skies and terror on the ground, Iran is responsible for the murder of hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans.”
“In 1983, Iran’s proxy Hezbollah blew up the Marine barracks in Lebanon, killing 240 US Marines. In the last decade, it’s been responsible for murdering and maiming American soldiers in Afghanistan and in Iraq.”
Just a few months ago, it tried to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the US in a restaurant just a few blocks from here. The assassins didn’t care that several Senators and members of Congress would have been murdered in the process.”
He reminded us that Iran does not just deny the Holocaust, but that America was responsible for 9/11:
“Iran accuses the American government of orchestrating 9/11, and that’s as brazen as denying the Holocaust, and they do…”
One of the important statements of his speech was the simple question of the cost:
“There’s been plenty of talk recently about the costs of stopping Iran. I think it’s time we started talking about the costs of not stopping Iran.”
Israel wants nothing more than peace and Netanyahu spoke about that desire as well:
“Of course, the best outcome would be if Iran decided to abandon its nuclear weapons program peacefully. No one would be happier than me and the people of Israel if Iran dismantled its program.”
But as he pointed out in his next statement, “so far, that hasn’t happened.”
He spoke about World War II and how the arguments then are the same ones we are hearing today. He held up the letters and read them aloud to make a stunning point. A letter from 1944 that the Jewish World Congress had written to the U.S. War Department,
“The year was 1944. The World Jewish Congress implored the American government to bomb Auschwitz. The reply came five days later. I want to read it to you.”
“Such an operation could be executed only by diverting considerable air support essential to the success of our forces elsewhere…”
“and in any case, it would be of such doubtful efficacy that it would not warrant the use of our resources…”
“And, my friends, here’s the most remarkable sentence of all, and I quote:”
“Such an effort might provoke even more vindictive action by the Germans.”
“Think about that – “even more vindictive action” — than the Holocaust.”
Yes, the same things we hear the so-called experts saying today, that somehow, trying to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is more dangerous and more costly than just allowing it and then trying to contain it.
But as Netanyahu pointed out, this is not 1944:
“Today we have a state of our own. And the purpose of the Jewish state is to defend Jewish lives and to secure the Jewish future.”
Then he spoke the words every Jew knows, has heard and has stated. Never again!
“Never again will we not be masters of the fate of our very survival. Never again.”
“That is why Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat.”
“We deeply appreciate the great alliance between our two countries. But when it comes to Israel’s survival, we must always remain the masters of our fate.”
War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. But sometimes it is inevitable either way and one has to look at the outcome, the overall cost of not waging that war first.
I often talk about being proactive rather than reactive when it comes to terrorism and there is no more perfect example than Iran and nuclear weapons.
It’s not just the words of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; it’s the threats by the Ayatollahs as well. The Ayatollah Khomeini is quoted in an 11th grade Iranian schoolbook,
“I am decisively announcing to the whole world that if the world-devourers [the infidel powers] wish to stand against our religion, we will stand against the whole world and will not cease until the annihilation of all of them. Either we all become free, or we will go to the greater freedom, which is martyrdom. Either we shake one another’s hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours.”
According to a report by Iran’s own press service, The Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the fourth President of Iran (just prior to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) and currently the Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran stated nuclear weapons should be used against Israel:
“One of Iran’s most influential ruling clerics called Friday on the Muslim states to use nuclear weapon against Israel, assuring them that while such an attack would annihilate Israel, it would cost them ‘damages only’”.
“If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in [its] possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world.”
Plain English; if Iran has nuclear weapons and used them against Israel, Iran would suffer some casualties, but Israel would cease to exist.
War is hell and Israel knows this better than most, but it also knows the consequences of hate.
Allowing those who hate you and have vowed your destruction to have the means to annihilate you is something Israel will not allow, even if it means more casualties. It is better than the alternative.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7 children were killed. Since returning to the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures to law enforcement agencies as well as high schools and colleges. He can be heard every Thursday night at 8PM est. on his own radio show “America Akbar” on Blog Talk Radio. He can be reached through his website gadiadelman.com.