Benghazi vs. Reykjavik
As in the days of the Soviet Empire, the world faces a dark, totalitarian threat. The forces of Sharia domination are trying to extort Western appeasement in military planning, law enforcement, civil liberties and personal freedom.
This weekend marks the thirty-third anniversary of the 1979 Iranian Embassy hostage crisis; there is much about the current Benghazi debacle reminiscent of what happened in Teheran all those years ago.
As a response to both events, the world's superpower acted surprised and then confused. Next, it dithered and mumbled. Historians say that the lack of decisive response to the Iranian hostage crisis led to a subsequent series of tests of American will -- the attacks on the Marine Barracks in Lebanon, the USS Cole, and the Khobar Towers, and the first 1993 Word Trade Center bombing, among others -- and ultimately to the Al Qaeda attacks of 9-11. The Benghazi 9-11 slaughter is just the latest entry on the list.
When leaders have similarly been tested during the history of Western societies, one prevailing leadership quality has always made the difference between chaos – and a respected response: resolve. It was resolve that steeled President Reagan at Reykjavik, that spurred Winston Churchill when he was a lonely voice warning of Hitler's plans, and that hardened Abraham Lincoln's will to win a moral and righteous war.
Resolve -- encompassing the critical leadership traits of willpower, boldness and courage -- is constituted from a reservoir of conviction that a cause is just and that commitment to the cause overrides personal political risks. When a leader is left with an array of less than ideal options, resolve enables focus on the choice that best protects core American interests.
Leaders, acting from a core of resolve, have altered the course of human events. As Mikhail Gorbachev admitted to George Schultz, President Ronald Reagan set in motion the events that would end the Cold War when he refused to negotiate on his Strategic Defense Initiative at Reykjavik. Although the media, scholars, and pundits declared the Reykjavik Summit a failure for Reagan personally, and complained that the United States had lost a historic opportunity to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles, history vindicated Reagan's instinct to just say No.
It is a rare politician who would pass on the opportunity to land a nuclear weapons deal that could be billed as ending Mutually Assured Destruction. Yet President Reagan stood on the principle that weapons reductions needed an insurance policy, and he believed that pursuing the Strategic Defense Initiative would provide just that. While pundits rolled their eyes, a New York Times–CBS poll taken the week after Reykjavík showed an 11-point jump (to 72%) in the percentage of Americans who thought that Reagan was successfully handling relations with the Soviet Union.
Presidential candidates today sound as if every phrase has been processed through filter after filter to produce the most politically prudent tones. Once phrases such as "resurgent religious extremists" are uttered, they are gutted of meaning and devoid of accountability.
Cautious advisors and diplomats tried to modify both Reagan's Evil Empire and Brandenburg Gate speeches. When President Reagan ignored instructions to re-word his challenge to Gorbachev to "tear down this wall" between East and West Berlin, he set in motion a monumental chain of events.
Peter Robinson, Reagan speechwriter, tells that Yuri Yarim-Agaev, an exiled Soviet dissident scientist who monitored Soviet compliance with human-rights agreements, characterized the moment as one where "the most powerful man of the world spoke the most powerful words he could have spoken." For Yarim-Agaev and his friends, "Reagan had challenged the empire" and, to them "that meant everything." Dissidents and freedom fighters sensed that "after that speech, everything was in play."
Words matter, and words spoken by the leader of the greatest nation on earth in times of distress matter more: they reveal resolve and leadership -- or the lack of it. As in the days of the Soviet Empire, the world faces a dark, oppressive, backward, totalitarian threat. Forces of Sharia domination are trying to extort Western appeasement in military planning, law enforcement, civil liberties and personal freedom. This crisis demands from the free world a deep sense of defiance. The next American president must have the courage to clearly define the current threat and meet it head on.
American leaders can learn from history's most stubborn defenders of Western liberty. As Winston Churchill challenged us in his Iron Curtain speech:
Opportunity is here and now. To reject it or ignore it or fritter it away will bring upon us all the long reproaches of the after-time. It is necessary that the constancy of mind, persistency of purpose, and the grand simplicity of decision shall rule and guide the conduct of the English-speaking peoples in peace as they did in war. We must, and I believe we shall, prove ourselves equal to this severe requirement.
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|Knowledge [125 words]||BL@KBIRD||Nov 1, 2012 20:05|
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by Khaled Abu Toameh
To understand what drives a young Palestinian to carry out such a deadly attack, one needs to look at the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders during the past few weeks.
The anti-Israel campaign of incitement reached its peak with Abbas's speech at the UN a few weeks ago, when he accused Israel of waging a "war of genocide" in the Gaza Strip. Abbas made no reference to Hamas's crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians.
Whatever his motives, it is clear that the man who carried out the most recent attack, was influenced by the messages that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership have been sending their people.
by Richard Kemp
Would General Allen -- or any other general today -- recommend contracting out his country's defenses if it were his country at stake? Of course not.
The Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them.
There can be no two-state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank.
Fatah leaders ally themselves with the terrorists of Hamas, and, like Hamas, they continue to reject the every existence of the State of Israel.
If Western leaders actually want to help, they should use all diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel.
by Louis René Beres
The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
by Timon Dias
It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.
A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents "anti-Europe."
by Alan M. Dershowitz