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Monday, October 29, 2007

Turning Israel into Czechoslovakia

On several occasions, I have discussed Ariel Sharon's 2001 "Czechoslovakia speech" in which he stated that this is not 1938 and Israel will not play the role of Czechoslovakia and be the sacrifice to appease Islamic terror. It was a speech that greatly annoyed George Bush in the few weeks after 9/11, but I believe that President Bush now gets it. Unfortunately, other people don't.

In The Corner, Michael Ledeen reports on a Newsweek piece by one Michael Hirsh, who seems genuinely willing to sacrifice another six million Jews to attain 'peace in our time.' This is Hirsh:

Let's think about all this for a moment. World War III? Is that really what would result if Iran gained the "knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon"? Not if you listen to one of Bush's former top generals, recently retired CENTCOM commander Gen. John Abizaid. "There are ways to live with a nuclear Iran," Abizaid said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies last month. "I believe nuclear deterrence will work with the Iranians," Abizaid said. "I mean, Iran is not a suicide nation. They may have some people in charge that don't appear to be rational, but I doubt that the Iranians intend to attack us with a nuclear weapon … Let's face it: we lived with a nuclear Soviet Union, we've lived with a nuclear China, and we're living with [other] nuclear powers, as well."

But that's the realist line, and Bush is taking the Israeli line. For the Israelis, angered by Ahmadinejad's lunatic rhetoric about wiping them off the map, an Iranian bomb would seem to portend World War III. And indeed, an Iranian bomb, followed perhaps by several Arab bombs, would put Israel in mortal danger. But the same isn't true of the United States. Even many Israelis know that what Israel needs most to survive is a strong United States, not an overzealous friend in the White House. "Israel benefits when America performs well, when it is respected and succeeds in the world," Uzi Arad, Likudnik Bibi Netanyahu's adviser, told me. "If on the other hand the U.S. is in trouble, is in distress, it is little consolation the president has tremendous sympathies for Israel. President Bush by predisposition is clearly such a man, but the fact that he is in such difficulties is affecting the substance of the relationship."

Here's Ledeen on Hirsh:

If you parse it, you'd conclude that Hirsh doesn't even think that an Iranian bomb would, by itself, be a mortal threat to Israel, which seems nuts to me. But the "realists" don't much care about such details, since the question of Israel's survival is a matter of indifference to them. Like Neville Chamberlain, who wasn't going to let minor matters such as Czechoslovakia's survival get in the way of Peace in Our Time, guys like Hirsh act as if we shouldn't bother with Iran unless the mullahs attack us directly.

Lots of people believe that, and I might even welcome an honest debate with them if only they were willing to look reality in the face. But they don't.

...

To say that Bush is "taking the Israeli line" is false, ignorant and disgraceful, and it reeks of the same stench as the recent writings of senior professors at prestigious American universities, who have also "blamed" American foreign policy on Israel and pro-Israeli American Jews.

It only confirms the wisdom of my policy of generally ignoring such rags as Newsweek.

Ledeen got that one right. We've already seen the results of trying to appease maniacs. They should not be repeated. Appeasement does not work.

2 Comments:

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Steve J. said...

Um, I don't recall that Czechoslobvakia had more Panzer divisions than Germany.

 
At 2:40 PM, Blogger str said...

This also misses the point that there was an actual conflict going on in Czechoslovakia and that the Czech position was not just at all.

 

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