Is this how Armageddon begins — with the snatching of an Israeli soldier by Hamas, and of two by Hezbollah?
Israel has responded by retaliating against the kidnappers’ privileged sanctuaries in Gaza and Lebanon. Hamas and Hezbollah play by their own dread rules, and work out of compounds in civilian areas — in effect hiding behind civilians and using them as shields. Citing high civilian casualties, the European Union, the Arab League, the United Nations and anti-Semites everywhere are begging Israel to call off the dogs of war.
“What there needs to be now is a cessation of hostilities,” says a U.N. deputy secretary general, adding: “The Middle East is littered with the results of people believing there are military solutions to political problems in the region. . . . (Civilians are) very unfairly bearing the greatest brunt of the conflict.”
As if all this were Israel’s fault. As if prior to hostilities — indeed, since Israel’s 1948 creation in the aftermath of the Holocaust — Israel somehow had offended in ways other than just, well, being.
Truth is. Variations on it are either half-truths or lies.
Among the many truths regarding what is going on in the Mideast are these....
Iran is the principal culprit. It detests the West — notably as represented in Israel and the United States. Iran funds Hamas and, through Syria, makes Hezbollah possible. The raison d’etre of both Hamas and Hezbollah is to destroy both Israel and the U.S.
Islamofascist Hezbollah began building its power base in Lebanon with the 1976 Syrian incursion into Lebanon — where Syrian expeditionary forces remained until last year. (Israel went into southern Lebanon in 1982 and remained until 2000.) Syrian and Hezbollah influence in Lebanon runs high. Hezbollah controls 20 percent of the seats in the Lebanese parliament and three cabinet posts. Syria, even without its troops, wields extensive political power — and Syria’s Assad regime probably arranged or carried out the assassination of pro-Western Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Prior to 9/11, Hezbollah caused the death of more Americans than any other terror group. Now al-Qaida holds that enviable distinction. Hamas and its sister goon groups have targeted and killed more Israelis than any other. All — Hezbollah, al-Qaida, Hamas, et al. — are of the same malign ilk. To begin what may be Armageddon, Hezbollah launched at or into Israel (1) Russian-made Katyusha rockets (oddly, Russia does not define Hezbollah as a terrorist entity), (2) Iranian C-802 missiles and (3) missiles of Syrian manufacture.
Referencing Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran, Hezbollah has boasted enlisting 2,000 to commit terror in “every corner of the world to jeopardize Israel and America’s interests. We are only waiting for the supreme leader’s green light to take action. If America wants to ignite World War III, we welcome it.”
Against this Arab/Islamist monolithism, how should America proceed?
(a) Resist joining the jackal pack demanding Israel’s hide. Israel has no choice — never has had any other choice — but to retaliate 100-fold against invasion or heinous provocation. It is dealing with Hamas in Gaza; it needs time to deal with Hezbollah in Lebanon — to destroy Hezbollah’s infrastructure, bases and missile caches. Israel cannot afford to remain long in Lebanon. But it should remain certainly long enough to cripple Hezbollah and to establish a larger security area in southern Lebanon to protect northern Israel from further Lebanese-based missile attack. And
(b) Go to the nexus of the terror web — the mother lode — and demolish Iran’s advancing nuclear capability. Now. Luminaries and deep-thinkers are calling for a ceasefire (notably on the part of Israel). But, asks U.N. Ambassador John Bolton: “How do you get a ceasefire with a terrorist organization?” Good question. You get it by going to its sources — of money, training and malignant thinking. If Iran is the principal source, the principal culprit, then Iran ought to be our principal target.
If this is intended as the beginning of Armageddon, then how better to end it before it fully develops than to crush Iran’s inchoate nuclear capability?
O. Henry said famously, “It is a rat trap, and you — madam and sir and all of us — are in it.” If this is war and we are in it, then our clear preference should be to fight it against such proxies as Hamas, al-Qaida, or Hezbollah not sustained by an Iran sitting on a pile of nuclear arms.