Does U.S. have the fortitude to protect Israel against Iran?by richard colman
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If Iran develops atomic bombs and, using guided missiles, unleashes a nuclear attack against Israel, the Jewish state could be obliterated within seconds. Given extra time, Iran could do the same thing to the United States.
Annihilation of Jews occurred during the Hitler era. Is a second annihilation about to happen?
Iran, according to the American and Israeli intelligence communities, may be just weeks or months away from having an atomic bomb, possibly as soon as Jan. 1.
President Barack Obama threatened a military strike against Syria if it used chemical weapons against its people, but the president did not order an attack on Syria. Mr. Obama also has said Washington would not tolerate Iran’s development of nuclear capability. How credible is the president’s comment in view of his failure to act against Syria?
The world has seen appeasement of dictatorial regimes before.
An enthusiastic, cheering audience greeted British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain 75 years ago (Sept. 30, 1938) when he stepped off an airplane near London and told the world that he had negotiated in Munich, “peace for our time.”
The prime minister waved a piece of paper in the air. The document was an agreement worked out with German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, Italian leader Benito Mussolini and French Prime Minister Edouard Daladier. The agreement gave Hitler the Sudetenland, a German-speaking part of Czechoslovakia. In exchange, Chamberlain got a promise of peace between Germany and Britain.
Chamberlain’s policy of ceding part of Czechoslovakia to Germany became known as “appeasement.”
On Oct. 5, 1938, a member of the British House of Commons made a speech deeply critical of the Munich Agreement. He said: “And do not suppose that this [agreement] is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, we arise again and take our stand for freedom.” The speaker was Winston Churchill.
About six weeks after Chamberlain’s agreement with Hitler, Nazi thugs in Germany and part of Austria began Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass). On the evenings of Nov. 9 and 10, 1938, synagogues and Jewish-owned stores were attacked. About 100 Jews died, and 30,000 were arrested.
By September 1939, Britain and Germany were at war.
The question, 75 years after Munich, is this: Does the United States have the moral health and martial vigor to oppose Iran’s quest to build a nuclear bomb?
Islamic nations do not have political stability. Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran have, in the last 70 years, experienced civil wars, violent overthrows of established governments or assassinations of political leaders. This history is unlikely to change.
Iran already has threatened to destroy Israel. A previous Iranian president said in 2005 that he would “wipe Israel off the map.”
Arab (and Islamic) hatred of Israel is nothing new. Ever since its founding in 1948, Israel has had to defend itself from Arab attacks in 1948, 1967, 1973 and at other times.
Only the United States has the power to protect Israel. But is America willing to use that power? President Obama’s actions suggest ambivalence.
On Sept. 27, Mr. Obama telephoned the president of Iran. Does Mr. Obama really believe that he can trust a nation that has threatened to annihilate Israel and has called the United States “the Great Satan”?
If Israel is destroyed, would America be the next victim? The attack on America by Islamic radicals on Sept. 11 was only 12 years ago. Perhaps the next attack on the United States will not come from airplanes crashing into buildings but will feature Iranian nuclear-tipped missiles eviscerating the world’s best hope of democracy, America itself.
Americans soon will know if their president is a Neville Chamberlain or a Winston Churchill.
Will Mr. Obama make a Nixon-to-China like visit to Iran, sign a peace treaty while there, and come back to American saying, “Peace for our time”?
Richard Colman is the founder and president of Biomed Inc., a biotechnology and publishing company. He lives in Orinda.
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