Friday, August 24, 2012

Avoiding another Hiroshima while Obama keeps supporting the Muslim Brotherhood

In his COUNTDOWN series on Iran,  Ari Shavit this week interviews Ephraim Sneh, former  Deputy Minister of Defense, in a piece titled Avoiding another Hiroshima

“I’ve been in all the dialogues on the Iran issue,” he replies. “I’ve been at all the discussions and heard all arguments: It will be like the Cold War, like the U.S - U.S.S.R., like India-Pakistan. And I say: Nonsense. Total nonsense. Where there is no symmetry, there is no mutual deterrence. And between us and the Iranians there is no symmetry. In two dimensions at least, relations between us are completely asymmetrical. The first is vulnerability. Iran’s territory is 70 times larger than Israel’s – 70 times. So there is no comparison when it comes to vulnerability. What do we have here, all in all? Three power stations, two seaports, one international airport. The Weizmann Institute, Tel Aviv University, the Technion, the high-tech cities. So the temptation to strike us is enormous. Even if a single atomic bomb cannot destroy the entire country, it can certainly wipe us out economically and intellectually.”

“The second dimension is that of values. The mental chasm between us and the Iranians is much deeper than people are ready to grasp. We sanctify life, while Shiism sanctifies death. We have a democratic ethos, while  they have an ethos of sacrifice. During their war with Iraq, the ayatollahs had no problem sending Iranian children off to use their bodies to clear minefields. In the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah killed Muslim Arabs in the Galilee and just declared them to be shahids [martyrs]. So it is certainly possible that the supreme leadership in Teheran will decide one day that it’s fine to sacrifice the lives of five million or 10 million Iranians in order to destroy the Zionist entity. In their view of things, this could definitely be considered a reasonable equation.”

“What saved the world at the time of the Cuba crisis was the fact that John Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev were of the same culture.* They were bitter ideological enemies, but both acted responsibly because both sanctified human life. This is not the situation with Khamenei. No one can know what he envisions in the middle of the night. Pragmatism for his regime is pragmatism that serves crazy objectives. So there will be no symmetry between us and the Iranians and no mutual deterrence. Therefore, Iranian nuclear weaponry is not something that can be accepted. The possibility of living with an Iranian nuclear bomb just doesn’t exist. 

*Excluding Castro who wanted to destroy the US no mater what, according to released documents after the Cold War ended .

A surprisingly realistic assessment. However, Sneh’s recommendations are less so:

“We are very close to the moment of truth,” answers Ephraim Sneh. “but we still have a few months left. I would prefer to be with the Americans in the spring rather than against Americans in the fall. If we’d had responsible leadership in the past few years, it would have reached an understanding with the Unites States that Israel will be flexible with the Palestinian issue and America will be tough on the Iranian issue. Together we would have built a strong regional front versus Teheran and stood strong against the steady Islamization process that is shaking up the region. But Netanyhau and Defense Minister Ehud] Barak did the exact opposite. They brought U.S. Israeli relations to an all-time low”  

Netanyahu and Barak brought U.S. Israeli relations to an all-time low? Wow!  A question for Mr Sneh: How do you stand strong against the steady Islamization process that is shaking up the region when Obama supports the Muslim Brotherhood?  

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy:

    • The State Department has an emissary in Egypt who trains operatives of the Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations in democracy procedures. We’re helping them get elected.
    • The State Department announced that the Obama administration would be “satisfied” with the election of a Muslim Brotherhood–dominated government in Egypt.
    • The State Department has collaborated with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of governments heavily influenced by the Brotherhood, in seeking to restrict American free-speech rights in deference to sharia prohibitions against examination and negative criticism of Islam.
    • The State Department has excluded Israel, the world’s leading target of terrorism, from its “Global Counterterrorism Forum,” a group that brings the United States together with several Islamist governments, prominently including its co-chair, Turkey. By the way, the Erdogan regime in Turkey now finances the terrorist organization Hamas, which is the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch. At the forum’s kickoff, Secretary Clinton decried various terrorist attacks and terrorist groups; but she did not mention Hamas or attacks against Israel. Transparently, this was in deference to the Islamist governments the administration has chosen to partner with — to the exclusion of Israel. Those government’s adhere to the Muslim Brotherhood’s position that Hamas is not a terrorist organization and that attacks against Israel are not terrorism.
    • The State Department and the Obama administration waived congressional restrictions in order to transfer about $1.5 billion dollars in aid to Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood’s victory in the parliamentary elections.
    • The State Department and the Obama administration waived congressional restrictions in order to transfer millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian territories notwithstanding that Gaza is ruled by the Hamas, which is a designated terrorist organization under American law — meaning that to provide it with material support is a serious federal crime.
    • The State Department and the administration recently hosted a contingent from Egypt’s newly elected parliament that included not only Muslim Brotherhood members but a member of the Islamic Group (Gama’at al Islamia). The Islamic Group is the jihadist organization headed by the Blind Sheikh (Omar Abdel Rahman), who is serving a life sentence for his leading role in a terrorist campaign against the United States in the early Nineties. Like Hamas, the Islamic Group is a designated as a terrorist organization to which it is illegal to provide material support.
    • On a just-completed trip to Egypt, Secretary Clinton pressured the ruling military junta to hand over power to the newly elected parliament, which is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and to the newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, who is a top Brotherhood official. Secretary Clinton later met with Morsi, who has also been extended the honor of an invitation to visit the White House in September.
All this, despite the Muslim Brotherhood’s extensive record of hostility toward the United States, and despite the fact that Morsi, in his first public statement after being elected president, announced that one of his top priorities is to pressure the United States for the release of the Blind Sheikh.

A final comment: When will Ari Shavit start interviewing scholars of Islam?