Monday, May 30, 2011

President Obama's New "Peace" Policy and Israel's Very Existence

I was deeply distressed to hear President Obama’s recent remarks calling for Israel to return to its 1967 borders as a “starting place for peace negotiations” with the Palestinians.  It has been the policy of the United States of America to defend Israel’s right to exist and to allow it to maintain a country which it is able to defend by NOT returning to the 1967 borders.  Indeed, as recently as 2005 President Bush promised Israel once again that, in exchange for other concessions, the United States would continue to NOT ever press Israel to return to those indefensible borders.  President Obama broke that pledge and dramatically changed U.S. policy in the process with his foolish and ill-considered announcement a week and half ago for Israel to return those captured lands which it won while defending its very existence against multiple Arab armies, yet again, during the 6-Day War in 1967.

The irony of all of this, and what many that disparage the “evil Jew Zionists” will repeatedly fail to acknowledge, is the fact that directly after the Six Day War the Israeli government did indeed offer to return the Golan Heights to Syria, despite the canon emplacements that Israel’s enemies placed there which look down on the Galilee and Tiberius.  Israel also offered to return the strategic Sinai peninsula to Egypt (Something that did come into being when President Carter finally brokered peace between Egypt and Israel in 1979).  Finally, Israel also offered to return the West Bank to Jordan. 

What did Israel want in exchange for the return of these captured lands?  All they asked for was an acknowledgement of Israel’s right to exist and to have peace.  At that time, all of the surrounding Arab nations responded to Israel’s offer by declaring that there was to be no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with them, and certainly no peace.  Israel kept these territories accordingly.  To return these lands to the surrounding hostile nations would return Israel to a nation where its international airport is only three miles away from the pre-1967 borders and the nation itself would be only eight miles wide at it narrowest point. 

For Israel, a nation that most of its neighbors does not even acknowledge as a rightful nation to this very day, and a country which leaders such as Iran’s President Ahmadinejad have vowed to “wipe off the face of the map” and “drive the Jews into the sea”, one can perhaps begin to understand the Jew’s hesitancy in wanting to sign their death warrants by returning these buffer lands that allow them the tenuous ability to defend their nation, and indeed their very existence.

The Palestinians have spent the last 64 years portraying themselves as the victims of the Jews.  These “refugees” have not been cared for by their Arab brothers.  The other Arab nations will not allow the Palestinian people to immigrate to their nations.  Indeed, the Arabs would rather have their Palestinian brothers live in poverty and squalor so that they can use them as a political club with which to beat the Israelis over the head with in world opinion. The Palestinian leadership has been corrupt and incompetent.  Indeed, today the Palestinian government has aligned itself with Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization whose only purpose is the destruction of Israel and the extermination of the Jewish people.
The United States financial support for the Palestinian people continues despite this, as we prop up a Palestinian people who wish us, “the Great Satan”, no good will either.  Indeed, many Palestinians were seen to be cheering in the streets during the horrific attacks on America on 9/11.  Further, billions of dollars that the U.S. has given in aid for the Palestinian people over the decades has been diverted to private bank accounts, particularly that of the now departed and Nobel-Peace-Prize winning terrorist Yasser Arafat’s reign.
The Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular, point to how Israel treats them, and yet as Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out recently, over one million Arab citizens of Israel have been enjoying the same rights and freedoms that all Israeli people have enjoyed for decades.  The only difference is that the Arab-Israeli citizens are not required to serve a term in the Israeli armed forces, unlike their Jewish fellow-citizens.  They enjoy all of the other same freedoms otherwise.

Indeed, in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before congress a week ago, after President Obama’s deplorable announcement, Netanyahu put things in to proper perspective when he said, Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, only Israel's Arab citizens enjoy real democratic rights. I want you to stop for a second and think about that.  Of those 300 million Arabs, less than one-half of one-percent are truly free, and they're all citizens of Israel!”

There are a few other passages in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech that bear repeating.  He drew a very clear picture of Israel’s dire situation when he stated, Now the threat to my country cannot be overstated. Those who dismiss it are sticking their heads in the sand. Less than seven decades after six million Jews were murdered, Iran's leaders deny the Holocaust of the Jewish people, while calling for the annihilation of the Jewish state.

Leaders who spew such venom, should be banned from every respectable forum on the planet. But there is something that makes the outrage even greater: The lack of outrage.  In much of the international community, the calls for our destruction are met with utter silence.   It is even worse because there are many who rush to condemn Israel for defending itself against Iran's terror proxies.”

Netanyahu continued,So peace must be anchored in security. In recent years, Israel withdrew from South Lebanon and Gaza.  But we didn't get peace.  Instead, we got 12,000 thousand rockets fired from those areas on our cities, on our children, by Hezbollah and Hamas.  The UN peacekeepers in Lebanon failed to prevent the smuggling of this weaponry.  The European observers in Gaza evaporated  overnight. So if Israel simply walked out of the territories, the flow of weapons into a future Palestinian state would be unchecked.  Missiles fired from it could reach virtually every home in Israel in less than a minute.”

He summarized his remarks before our congress by stating,You see, our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state. It has always been about the existence of the Jewish state. This is what this conflict is about. 

The Prime Minister is right.  Further, with the current and seeming perpetual mindset of the Palestinians and most Arab peoples towards Israel and the Jews, a true and lasting peace will NEVER be established.  See the link for our good friend Free’s blog, John Galt for President, for the video of how this mindset is inculcated into the children of the Arabs and Palestinians.  How is peace ever to be brought forth when the Palestinian children are taught that Jews are swine and dogs, basically subhuman? 

I strongly suspect that the only peace that Israel will EVER find, the only peace that the Palestinian and Arab people will ultimately respect and honor, will come when America fully supports Israel’s right to protect itself by retaliating in a war in which they unequivocally and unconditionally destroy the surrounding Arab armies; when they do not negotiate with those they have unquestionably vanquished in war; when Israel dictates from that position of strength and power what the terms of surrender for the Arab and Palestinian people will be. 

Attempts at negotiation and Israel returning land for peace have not worked and indeed have only encouraged more terrorist attacks upon itself.  Such actions are not seen as tokens of mercy or goodwill by the typical Middle Eastern Arab.  Indeed these acts are seen as signs of weakness; a weakness that can be pressed and exploited.  Only through the horrible conclusion of an overwhelming war can Israel achieve a final lasting peace.  To continue on the path of the status quo is entirely fruitless and ultimately puts Israel’s very existence in jeopardy.

 The former Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir, said it well, "There will be no peace until they love their children more than they hate us."  She was right.

HT to Carrie for providing much of the research material for this article.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Memorial Day Tribute

A friend sent me this story and I thought it to be very appropriate for Memorial Day Weekend.  (Thanks Carrie!)

My friend Kevin and I are volunteers at a national cemetery in Oklahoma and put in a few days a month in a "slightly larger" uniform.

Today had been a long, long day and I just wanted to get the day over with and go down to Smokey's and have a cold one. Sneaking a look at my watch, I saw the time, 16:55. Five minutes to go before the cemetery gates are closed for the day. Full dress was hot in the August sun.  Oklahoma summertime was as bad as ever--the heat and humidity at the same level--both too high.

I saw the car pull into the drive, '69 or '70 model Cadillac Deville, looked factory-new. It pulled into the parking lot at a snail's pace.  An old woman got out so slowly I thought she was paralyzed; she had a cane and a sheaf of flowers--about four or five bunches as best I could tell.

I couldn't help myself. The thought came unwanted, and left a slightly bitter taste: "She's going to spend an hour, and for this old Marine, my hip hurts like hell and I'm ready to get out of here right now!" But for this day, my duty was to assist anyone coming in.

Kevin would lock the 'In' gate and if I could hurry the old biddy along, we might make it to Smokey's in time.

I broke post attention. My hip made gritty noises when I took the first step and the pain went up a notch. I must have made a real military sight: middle-aged man with a small pot gut and half a limp, in Marine full-dress uniform, which had lost its razor crease about thirty minutes after I began the watch at the cemetery.

I stopped in front of her, halfway up the walk. She looked up at me with an old woman's squint.

"Ma'am, may I assist you in any way?"

She took long enough to answer.

"Yes, son. Can you carry these flowers? I seem to be moving a tad slow these days."

"My pleasure, ma'am." (Well, it wasn't too much of a lie.)

She looked again. "Marine, where were you stationed?:

"Vietnam, ma'am.. Ground-pounder. '69 to '71."

She looked at me closer. "Wounded in action, I see. Well done, Marine.  I'll be as quick as I can."

I lied a little bigger: "No hurry, ma'am.:

She smiled and winked at me. "Son, I'm 85-years-old and I can tell a lie from a long way off. Let's get this done. Might be the last time I can do this. My name's Joanne Wieserman, and I've a few Marines I'd like to see one more time."

"Yes, ma 'am. At your service."

She headed for the World War I section, stopping at a stone. She picked one of the flower bunches out of my arm and laid it on top of the stone. She murmured something I couldn't quite make out. The name on the marble was Donald S. Davidson, USMC: France 1918.

She turned away and made a straight line for the World War II section, stopping at one stone. I saw a tear slowly tracking its way down her cheek. She put a bunch on a stone; the name was Stephen X.Davidson,
USMC, 1943.

She went up the row a ways and laid another bunch on a stone, Stanley J. Wieserman, USMC, 1944.

She paused for a second and more tears flowed. "Two more, son, and we'll be done."

I almost didn't say anything, but, "Yes, ma'am. Take your time."

She looked confused, "Where's the Vietnam section, son? I seem to have lost my way."

I pointed with my chin. "That way, ma'am."

"Oh!" she chuckled quietly. "Son, me and old age ain't too friendly."

She headed down the walk I'd pointed at. She stopped at a couple of stones before she found the ones she wanted. She placed a bunch on Larry Wieserman, USMC, 1968, and the last on Darrel Wieserman, USMC, 1970 . She stood there and murmured a few words I still couldn't make out and more tears flowed.

"OK, son, I'm finished. Get me back to my car and you can go home."

"Yes, ma'am. If I may ask, were those your kinfolk?"

She paused. "Yes, Donald Davidson was my father, Stephen was my uncle, Stanley was my husband, Larry and Darrel were our sons. All killed in action... all Marines."

She stopped! Whether she had finished, or couldn't finish, I don't know. She made her way to her car, slowly and painfully.  I waited for a polite distance to come between us and then double-timed it over to Kevin, waiting by the car.

"Get to the 'Out' gate quick. I have something I've got to do."

Kevin started to say something, but saw the look I gave him. He broke the rules to get us there down the service road fast. We beat her. She hadn't made it around the rotunda yet.

"Kevin, stand at attention next to the gatepost. Follow my lead." I humped it across the drive to the other post.

When the Cadillac came puttering around from the hedges and began the short straight traverse to the gate, I called in my best gunny's voice, "TehenHut! Present Haaaarms!"

I have to hand it to Kevin; he never blinked an eye--full dress attention and a salute that would make his DI proud.  She drove through that gate with two old worn-out Marines giving her a send-off she deserved, for service rendered to her country, and for knowing duty, honor and sacrifice far beyond the realm of most.

I am not sure, but I think I saw a salute returned from that Cadillac.

Instead of 'The End,' just think of 'Taps.'

Happy Memorial Day to all of those who have had a loved one or friend pay the ultimate price for America... for freedom... for us.  And although it sounds so woefully inadequate, my sincere and heartfelt thanks to you and especially to your loved one!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

One Congressional District Receives 20% of Latest Health Care Law Waivers

Last month, April 2011, the federal government issued 204 additional new waivers to President Obama’s signature piece of legislation that was misnamed the Affordable Care Act; more commonly known as Obamacare.  That makes over 1700 waivers that have been granted thus far to various labor union chapters, large corporations, financial firms, and local governments to excuse them from having to comply with this new law, like the rest of the nation will have to do. 

What is particularly unusual is that in this last batch of 204 waivers, nearly forty of them all went to one congressional district.  In other words, one congressional district out of 435 received nearly 20 percent of the waivers issued in this last round.  Who is the congresswoman for this district, you ask?  Well, it is none other than the former Speaker of the House and current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Ms. Pelosi maintains that this is simply a coincidence and that she had nothing to do with this seemingly disproportionate awarding of waivers to businesses and friends within her own congressional district.  What is further striking is that many of these waivers went to expensive top-notch restaurants, nightclubs, and hotels in Pelosi’s district.  

This is quite a departure from the typical businesses that were awarded waivers in the past.  Indeed, restaurants such as McDonald's now have something in common with such upscale places as Boboquivari’s in San Francisco, which advertises $59 porterhouse steaks, $39 filet mignons, and $35 crab dinners.  Both businesses now are exempt from having to abide by the dictates of the Affordable Care Act. Now aside from the fact that this supposedly well-intentioned and yet un-constitutional health care law was designed to fix all of our health care issues and provide coverage for all of those yet un-insured folks, whether they really wanted coverage or not, one has to ask why is it even necessary to grant waivers, let alone so danged many of them, if this is such a fantastic law? 

The fact that local governments and some unions are the biggest beneficiaries of these waivers, and thus will not be lawfully obligated to abide by the very law that so many of their members fought and argued for, strikes me as inconsistent at best and perniciously hypocritical at worst.  I guess we can add the friends of Nancy to this list of now-waivered hypocrites.  After all, laws are only meant for those of us without political clout and connections which would allow us to otherwise skirt these nuisance laws.  It’s just one more bit of hope and change to believe in, I suppose.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Contrasting the Speeches of Bush on Saddam vs. Obama on bin Laden

Excerpt from George W. Bush’s speech after the capture of Saddam Hussein:

The success of yesterday's mission is a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq.  The operation was based on the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator's footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting forceOur servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers in the hunt for members of the fallen regime, and in their effort to bring hope and freedom to the Iraqi people. Their work continues, and so do the risks. Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate 'em.

Excerpt from Barack Obama’s speech after the killing of Osama bin Laden:

...And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. 

And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and I authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

I really don't think the stark differences between the two speeches requires any additional commentary from me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ben Stein on the "Arab Spring in the Middle East"

The always brilliant Ben Stein lays out his concerns and fears that the "Arab Spring" uprisings that are occurring throughout the Middle East is not a movement that is favorable to democracy, freedom, and the United States. 

He echoes what I have also feared, that Iran is a large and ever more influential player in this vital region of the world.  Their increased power and hegemony throughout the Middle East will only serve to further endanger our ally Israel and indeed our own world interests in the very near future if such "democratic uprisings" continue unabated when al Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood are often found at the root of such events. 

Our apparent ignorance regarding the significance of these events is to our own great peril.  As Mr. Stein says, our help of these uprisings will amount to the equivalent of when the Shah of Iran was overthrown by the Ayatollah Khomeini, because that worked out well for the United States, not to mention the good people of Iran.