July 16, 2009
Sophie's Choice, and Bibi'sBy James Lewis
Benyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu has a fearful choice to make, like Sophie in William Styron's novel Sophie's Choice. The young Sophie of Styron's novel was forced to choose which of her two young children were to be murdered in a Nazi concentration camp. I have known real Sophies in my life, among Holocaust Survivors; they were literally forced to choose which of their toddlers to save from death, and to single out those who would not be saved. The Nazis sent an estimated 1.2 million Jewish children to be killed in concentration camps, along with thousands of Gypsy and handicapped children. Sophie and her children were real. Just ask any Holocaust survivor.
Those sadistic "choices" imposed by some of the cruelest human beings in the world, scarred the Jews who survived for the rest of their lives. The nation of Israel was pushed into independence by all the Sophies and Benyamins of a previous generation, to make sure there would be a real choice if another Hitler arose.
Today, Ahmadinejad with nukes is about as close to Hitler and the worst Nazis as can be imagined. What is astonishing is how many people -- Jews and Christians -- are in denial of that all-too-obvious fact. Liberals have convinced themselves that really sadistic evil ended with Hitler. Let's see -- that means they have understood nothing at all since World War II. In the view of the Left there was no Stalin, no Pol Pot, no Mao Zedong, no Saddam, no Khomeini, no Rwanda, no Sudan, no Tibet, no murderous tyrannies at all. If you are so completely deaf, dumb and blind to history, no wonder you blame the fire brigade and not the fire, as Winston Churchill said it.
The fact is that there have been many Hitlers since World War Two, and many genocides, and that the biggest idols of the Left have committed the biggest mass cruelties since Hitler stuck that Luger in his mouth. The Black Book of Communism, written by French Marxist historians, spells it out in horrific detail. Give that book to your liberal friends who are living in denial. It's all facts, facts, facts from acknowledged Marxists themselves. It's undeniable.
Today the moment for which Israel was founded has arrived. Sophie's choice is here again -- but not as sadistic and cruel as the SS version, because this time there is a genuine choice. Not an easy one, but a choice. Israel has prepared itself for this moment for half a century and more.
Bibi's Choice is almost universally understood by all Israelis across the political spectrum. Labour Defense Minister Ehud Barak may disagree on a hundred questions, but not on this one. Barak's background is almost the same as Bibi's.
Bibi's Choice is either to annihilate the danger from Ahmadinejad and his suicide cult before they get a nuclear bomb, or to hide his head in the sand, in the hope that every screamed threat from Tehran for the last thirty years was a bluff. All that Death to America! Death to Israel! -- they were just mouthing off, ya see. The bluff theory is the huggy Teddy Bear for flabby liberals around the world, including the Obama administration. But their necks are not on the line -- not yet. The United States won't be in range of Iranian missiles for several years.
Liberals are cowardly by nature; they dodge all the hard questions, and love to beat up on real adults who have to face them. They are moral cowards and physical cowards.
When Jimmy Carter allowed Ayatollah Khomeini to take over Iran in 1979, our diplomats in Tehran were taken hostage for almost a year. That humiliation was enough to defeat Jimmy Carter and raise Ronald Reagan to the presidency. In the Iran-Iraq war that followed a million people died. Jimmy Carter still denies responsibility for that calamity, just like he denies responsibility for anything else that happened on his watch. Had Carter supported the pro-American Shah, a million Iranians and Iraqis would still be alive. The Shah was not an angel, but he was a modernist. His job, as he saw it, was to bring Iran into the West. Carter thought different, in his invincible stupidity. He allowed the 7th century reactionaries of Khomeini to take over instead of the Shah -- an incredibly stupid, ignorant, and destructive move on his part.
Presidents constantly have to face such choices. Obama is another lib who will deny any responsibility when the time comes. Because, you see, he means so well.
Americans have never held Jimmy Carter accountable for his disastrous choices. Just the opposite; Jimmy and his decrepit crew are still telling the world how much better off we would be if Carter's wise advice were followed -- about the peace-loving folks in Hamas, for example. Mr. Carter goes around the world telling us all the woulda shoulda couldas if only he were King. Carter is nothing but a big fool. But Americans know more about American Idol than about Iran's Armageddon cult.
That is bound to change.
With the North Koreans exploding a near-Hiroshima-sized nuclear bomb, the American homeland will soon be in reach of rogue regimes with nukes. Before the end of the Obama administration we will be facing the first real danger of nuclear attack since the USSR crumbled -- either by missile, by intercontinental airplanes, or by other means, like some innocent-looking freighter with a nuke on board. The Iranians will have a bomb in one to three years. They already have long-range missiles, which will soon have intercontinental range. North Korea sells nuclear and missile technology to Iran and Syria. Venezuela and Bolivia are selling uranium to Iran. Nuclear proliferation has not been halted. It is accelerating faster as more and more rogues get bigger weapons.
Bibi's Choice is coming closer.
In the Nazi concentration camp Sophie was given a "choice" that was no choice at all: to kill one child or another. Israel declared independence in 1948 to make sure there would a genuine choice in the future, a realistic chance to choose life and not death. But such choices are never easy. They are never free of risk. They only exist for morally responsible people who will not escape into denial.
Bibi Netanyahu is a morally serious person, unlike most politicians in the world -- especially our own. He has had to face Sophie's Choice in his own life. Netanyahu's older brother Yonatan was killed in 1976 while leading the Entebbe rescue raid by Israeli Special Forces, after more than 100 civilians were kidnapped by German and Palestinian terrorists and held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Yonatan Netanyahu was the only rescuer killed, because in the Israeli Army field officers lead from the front.
So Bibi Netanyahu is the child who survived, while his brother Yonatan died. If that doesn't make you morally serious nothing will.
Today Americans are confronted with a choice as well. Historians a century from now may tear out their gray hairs trying to figure out why our voters have just elected an American Idol guy as president of the United States -- at a time of greater danger than we have faced since Stalin exploded his first nuke in 1949. The Obama election has to be the most ignorant and grossly irresponsible one in history. Voters are also morally responsible for their choices.
Barack Obama is not a morally serious person. He's an ego-tripping, preening, grandiose, self-indulgent, fiscally wild-spending Chicago pol, who's been able to have it both ways all his life. Obama is pretending to shut down Guantanamo prison, and at the same time keeping it open. He campaigns for abortion and yet wants credit for being nice to the Pope. He plays footsie with huge political corruption in Illinois and Washington, DC and yet wants to look pure as the driven snow. Obama's the darlin' of the liberal suck-up media, who are no better than he is; and so far they have covered for him. He has never in his life had to make moral choices like Sophie or Bibi -- or like so many black slaves had to do before the Civil War. Like Carter and Clinton, Obama's biggest talent is dodging responsibility.
With the media running interference, Obama can get away with every kind of dodge. Almost. Until Americans start to pay attention. With agonizing slowness, more and more Americans are beginning to wonder about these clowns in DC. It will take them years to figure it out unless the economy hits them hard. A lousy economy does wake people up to their own folly.
Last week, Chairman of Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen called an Iranian nuclear bomb "calamitous." A'jad and Khamenei got away with killing, beating, and intimidating election fraud protesters in Tehran. The West has stood by and done nothing. We may come to regret our self-imposed helplessness toward the Iranian people.
A lot of Americans are still snoring in front of the TV. Our liberal media have gone all-out to lull the public into a false feeling of security since 9/11. That is why Obama was elected, as the man to help us avoid reality. A nation at war would have elected John McCain, in spite of his white hairs. McCain has been there. Obama hasn't even come close. That's how he can get away with apologizing for all the courageous actions Americans took since World War Two in defense of freedom. If Obama has his way he is bound to apologize for FDR at some point. Maybe in Japan or Germany?
Can you hear the clock ticking? We are in another race between understanding and catastrophe.
If you can't see danger looming you're just not paying attention. Netanyahu doesn't have that luxury. Within a year he will have to decide whether to strike at A'jad's terror regime. It will have to be a different kind of strike, because Iran's nuclear factories are scattered widely, and the Israel Air Force is widely considered to be capable of making only one knock-out strike. That means Israel will have to be aided by Iran's neighbors, the Saudis, the Gulf States, maybe Iraq and Afghanistan, Turkey and Kurdistan. And by the American Navy, which may deny it for public consumption. Fortunately, Admiral Mullen, the Chair of JCS, has been warning people over and over again. Obama may be deaf, dumb and blind, but the US military are not.
In a decapitation strike Israel will have to follow the old advice: If you go to kill the king, don't miss! If A'jad and Khamenei survive they will become more dangerous. That is why it is essential to conduct a massive decapitation strike before the Iranians have nuclear bombs.
Additional moves are possible, like degrading vulnerable civilian infrastructure, like Iran's gasoline refining plant. Israel has had three decades to plan and build and plant spies in the Iranian nuclear program. Missile defenses will have to be in top shape to block Iranian retaliation against any strike. US Aegis cruisers can help to defend against Iranian missiles fired over the Persian Gulf and toward the Med.
One-shot decapitation strikes rarely work. As a backup, Israel will have to be ready for multiple strikes. It will extraordinarily difficult, but it can be done. I believe it will be done.
The alternative is Sophie's Choice -- which is no choice at all.