Posts Tagged ‘peace’

School Bus Attacked With Missile In Gaza: Muslims CONTINUE To Target Israel’s Children

April 7, 2011

Please see my previous post here to see that this is no abberation, but a continuance of an incredibly longstanding strategy by Muslims to murder innocent Israeli children:

Missile from Gaza hits Israeli school bus; 2 hurt
By ARON HELLER, Associated Press Aron Heller, Associated Press – 1 hr 53 mins ago

JERUSALEM – An anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip struck a school bus in southern Israel Thursday, wounding two people, one of them critically, and prompting fierce Israeli retaliation that killed five Palestinians.

Israel unleashed airstrikes and tank fire against Hamas targets across the border. It was the heaviest assault on the coastal territory since a broad military offensive two years ago. Besides the dead, more than 30 Palestinians were wounded, said Palestinian health official Adham Abu Salmiya.

He said one of the dead was a 50-year-old civilian who was sitting outside his home when he was struck by tank fire. Three others were militants killed near the southern Gaza town of Rafah. The fifth man was a Hamas policeman.

The sudden outbreak of violence illustrated the fragile situation along the Israel-Gaza border, where small bouts of fighting can quickly escalate into heavy-scale warfare.

After two years of relative calm, tensions have been rising between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza over the past few weeks. For Israel, Thursday’s attack was the most serious of this period.

But it also laid the groundwork for a major strategic breakthrough. The Israeli military activated a new cutting-edge missile-defense system for the first time, saying that the Iron Dome scored a direct hit on an incoming Palestinian rocket.

The escalation has also spilled beyond Israel’s borders.

In the past month, Israel has intercepted a cargo ship that it said was carrying arms bound for Gaza, jailed an alleged Hamas rocket mastermind believed to have been captured in Ukraine and been accused of carrying out a mysterious airstrike that killed two people in Sudan. Israel has not commented on this week’s airstrike, but officials have said they believe Sudan is a transit point for arms bound for Gaza.

Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, ordered the army to respond quickly to the attack on the school bus and said he held the Hamas militant group, which rules Gaza, responsible for the violence.

“We will respond until it will become clear that the Hamas fully understand that we cannot accept and we will not accept such events,” he said at a military base in southern Israel.

Hamas issued a rare claim of responsibility for the bus attack, saying it was in response to the killing of three of its leaders earlier in the week. Usually, smaller militant factions claim responsibility.

Palestinian officials said Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was making calls to leaders in Egypt, Turkey and Qatar appealing for their intervention.

Israeli defense officials said the incident marked a significant moment that would warrant a severe response. But there were no immediate indications that the violence would devolve into all-out war.

Israeli medical services said the bus was nearly empty after dropping off school children and was carrying only the driver and a lone passenger at the time of the attack. A 16-year-old boy with a serious head wound was evacuated from the scene and undergoing surgery at a hospital. The driver was moderately wounded.

TV footage showed a yellow bus with its windows blown out and its rear charred.

Israeli President Shimon Peres condemned the attack from New York, where he was holding meetings at the United Nations.

“This is another example of Gaza becoming a terror state,” he said in a statement. “Hundreds of thousands of mothers and children in southern Israel cannot sleep quietly at night as a result of the rocket fire from Gaza.”

The American and British governments condemned the attack.

Israel usually responds with tough reprisals to Palestinian attacks. It launched an airstrike on a Hamas training facility in northern Gaza.

Later Thursday, Israeli aircraft and tanks attacked Hamas facilities in northern and central Gaza Strip. A tank shell also struck a fuel depot in northern Gaza, sending a plume of smoke above the area.

“Israel will not frighten us and will not terrorize us,” said Hamas spokesman  Ismail Radwan. “We call on the Arab masses and the Arab revolution to stand by the Palestinian people in Gaza and to urge their regimes and their governments to stop this escalation, which aims to create a new pool of blood in Gaza Strip and Israel should be held responsible for the consequences of this.”

The missile attack came hours after Israel carried out airstrikes against tunnels it says are used by militants to smuggle weapons under the Egyptian border and carry out attacks.

Hamas and other Gaza militants have fired thousands of projectiles toward southern Israel in previous years. Israel launched a massive offensive in late 2008 to counter the near-daily barrage.

Israel recently deployed its first system to defend its tanks from anti-tank missiles. As a result, Gaza militants may be turning the weapons on new targets, since the attack on the bus appears to be the first time such a missile has been fired at a civilian Israeli target.

The military said that after the missile attack, about 45 rockets and mortar shells were fired from Gaza toward Israel, including one that struck a home, causing damage but no injuries.

In a separate incident, Israel said it had arrested five Hamas militants in east Jerusalem and charged them in a pipe bomb attack that wounded a sanitation worker last month.

In the West Bank, Israeli troops rounded up dozens of Palestinian women overnight in a massive sweep as part of a search for the killer of five Israelis in a nearby settlement last month.

Residents in Awarta said that between 100 and 200 women were taken into custody and that Israeli troops took their fingerprints and DNA samples from them. By midafternoon, all the women were believed to have been released. 

Israel has been carrying out arrests in Awarta since a young Israeli couple and three of their children were stabbed to death as they slept in their home in the neighboring Jewish settlement of Itamar.

___

Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Dalia Nammari in Ramallah, West Bank, and Ariel David in Tel Aviv contributed to this report.

Tens of thousands of rockets have been fired at Israel by Muslims who would only rejoice if they were to strike a Jewish child.  For the record, 10,237 rockets were fired by Muslims at Israel in just a one month period in 2008.

The LORD (Jehovah), the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Living God, the Lord God Almighty who was, and is and is to come, is protecting Israel.

Islam is a religion of hatred.  That “Islam” means “peace” is a lie of the devil; “Islam” means “submission”; as in submission by force.

Today, we see that the United Nations is immorally siding with the terrorist Muslims against democratic Israel.  One day, the Bible teaches, the entire world will gather their forces in a valley called Armageddon (Rev 16:12-16).  And they will say, “Come and let us wipe them out as a nation. Let the name of Israel be remembered no more” (Psalms 83:4).

And it will be Messiah Jesus, coming again as He promised as King of kings and as Lord of lords (Revelation 19:11-16).

The story that will begin with undying hate will end in unending beauty and glory:

“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10).

God is protecting Israel.  The Jews are His covenant people, the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8).  And one day soon Messiah Jesus will come to His own and this time finally be welcomed.

You touch Jewish children at the peril of your immortal souls, Muslims.  One day soon you will be called upon to account for your evil.

And you stand against Israel at the peril of your souls, you “united” nations that likewise gather against her. 

As for me and my house, we pray every single day for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).  We love and support Israel and we eagerly await the Jews’ embrace of the same Messiah that we also embrace as Savior and as Lord.

Islam And The Crisis Posed By A Religion That Traces Itself To Mohammad

November 10, 2009

The Bible says of Ishmael, the ancestor of the Arab people:

“He shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against every man and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen” (Genesis 16:12).

We are constantly fed a fiction today concerning an issue that is growing larger and larger: Islam is a religion of peace, which a relative few crazed fanatics are trying to subvert.  The problem with this view is that it is a fiction.  The Muslims who support acts of religious violence against infidels (unbelievers) to their religion have a far stronger case to offer from the Koran and from the Hadith than do those Muslims who wish to have peace with the West.

The most terrifying problem of all is that the jihadists/terrorists are interpreting their Korans and their Islamic traditions more accurately than the Muslim contextualizers who are trying to make their religion compatible with Western values.  Why?  Because if the above is true, the problem becomes Islam itself, rather than a “few” (a few who nevertheless amount to tens of millions) “nutjobs.”

It is obvious why we would prefer the “few nutjobs” theory to be true, rather than the theory that Islam is a militant religion bent on conversion and expansion by force.  Who wouldn’t rather the former be true?  And yet it is also obvious why it is important to see the world as it really is, rather than merely as we wish it would be.

We are constantly told that Islam is a religion of peace.  It is not, and never has been; it is a religion of submission.  And problems arise whenever people in the Islamic sphere do not submit:  Women are oppressed.  Religious freedom is totally denied.  Anyone converting from Islam is killed.  We are also constantly told that Mohammad the Prophet of Islam was a man of peace; but history shows the exact opposite.

Mohammad was a man of violence who committed acts of genocide.  Most historians say that Mohammad led at least 27 military campaigns before his death in 632.  Many Muslims claim that the number was actually far higher – as many as 80.  And Mohammad had dozens more military campaigns planned at the time of his death.  Mohammad was a man of violence, a man who seized caravans and killed all the men, and enslaved all the women and children.  The Koran records his words to that effect: “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them. …And slay them wherever ye catch them….”

As you read the above words from Mohammad, realize that the Koran and Islamic tradition are quite clear that the Prophet is the supreme example of behavior for Muslims to follow.

Mohammad’s life can be divided into two phases: the Mecca phase and the Medina phase.  During the Mecca phase, Mohammad was greatly outnumbered and militarily weaker than his opponents.  We see his calls for peace during this phase.  But he left Mecca and subsequently grew strong in Medina – strong enough to ultimately seize Mecca by force.  During this phase, we find the increasingly violent calls to subdue the infidel by any means necessary.  This second and later phase has set the standard for Islam.

You do not find peace in Mohammad, or the religion which he founded.

You DO find it in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth and Christianity as being lived out as Jesus lived.  Unlike the paradigm of Mohammad, no one professing to be a Christian can credibly argue that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, taught violence, or anything that contradicted His precepts that those who live by the sword shall die by the sword (Matthew 26:52).

One hundred years after the death of Jesus, Christians were – and had been – dying as martyrs by the hundreds of thousands under some of the cruelest and most vicious persecutions the world has ever seen under the Roman emperors.  They sealed their testimony in their blood, proving their faith in Christ Jesus with their deaths, just as the Apostles had done with their deaths by martyrdom before them.

One hundred years after the death of Mohammad Muslim conquerors had long since set out with the scimitar.  They had poured across Arabia, poured across Africa, with violence in their hearts.  Christian communities in Africa and then Spain were eradicated.  And a vast Muslim army poured all the way across Europe killing and plundering, only to finally be stopped by Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours near Poitiers in France.

Christians are frequently confronted with their crimes during the Crusades.  What is largely ignored are the four centuries of unrelenting Islamic violence that preceded the Crusades, or that the Crusades began when the Christian emperor of the Christian Byzantine Empire at Constantinople called upon the Pope for aid to protect the empire from the threat posed by an attacking Islam.

This is not to say that self-professing Christians didn’t commit many evils during the Crusades, or during other times.  I merely point out that Islam had a long-standing tradition of continual violence that Christendom ultimately had to respond to.  Just as Western civilization needs to respond to the violence posed by Islam today.  Christians today – partly because of the Crusades – realize that there is no “Kingdom of Heaven” on earth; and the Christian’s ultimate kingdom is with Christ in heaven, rather than some geographical location at Jerusalem or any other place on earth.  We were wrong for believing we needed to go to war to claim Jerusalem for Christendom.

Allow me to contrast the Christian view of territory with the Islamic one:

According to the Muslim way of thinking, the world is divided into two areas: Dar al-Islam is the area already conquered by Islam. Dar al-Harb is the area of war, which the Arabs are commanded to conquer until it is turned into Muslim territory. After a certain territory has been conquered by Islam, it is declared as holy Muslim territory, which is forbidden to be relinquished under any circumstances.

[See here for more].

We need to face up to many theological and historical issues within Islam itself in order to come to some understanding as to how to begin to solve the obviously growing problem of violence.

Robert Spencer put it this way:

“If Mohammad taught violence, if Mohammad taught a doctrine of required holy war against infidels, if Mohammad conflated religion and government it will change mujahedin around the world not one bit to pretend otherwise; they will continue to invoke what they believe to be his authentic teachings in order to justify their actions.  The fact that truths are difficult is no reason to choose unreality and ‘polite fictions.'”

I would agree with any Muslim who says that terrorism is not an essential part of Islam.  Of course it isn’t.  As human beings, we are not automatons, we are free-willed human beings who make our own choices – and who are held responsible for the choices we make.

But I would also confront any Muslim who wants to see true peace with the rest of the world to account for the fact that virtually all of the hundreds of thousands of violent terrorist acts in the world resulted from Islamic theology, by men who screamed “Allahu Akbar!” as they murdered.

And I would confront Muslims to quit blaming the existence of Israel for violence and finally look at themselves instead.  Many Muslims demand that the Jews surrender the land that they “stole” from Palestinians.  I disagree that the Jews did any such thing, but let me agree with the premise for the sake of argument.  Fine.  Let every Muslim first surrender every square inch of land that Islam has seized, just to show that they are not hypocrites who demand standards from others that they would never be willing to put upon themselves.

And I would similarly point out that Jews have not been the source of violence and death in the Muslim world.  The fact is rather that:

some 11,000,000 Muslims have been violently killed since 1948, of which 35,000, or 0.3 percent, died during the sixty years of fighting Israel, or just 1 out of every 315 Muslim fatalities. In contrast, over 90 percent of the 11 million who perished were killed by fellow Muslims.”

Today, tens of millions of Muslims live in fear of criticizing their fellow Muslims who are willing to employ violent jihad for fear that they will become the next victims of such Muslim violence.

And herein lies the rub.  If only a few “nutjobs” are “highjacking” (actually a very good word indeed given that we are talking about terrorism) a good and noble and peaceful religion, then let the hundreds of millions of Muslims who do not support the use of terrorism rise up as one man and deal with the clearly-growing crisis of violence that has been growing for decades inside their very own house.  Rather than standing by on the sidelines in fear and apathy, if you moderate Muslims REALLY speak for “true Islam,” then please finally stand up and DO so.  Put your money where your mouth is, so to speak.

Don’t allow armed murderers to hide themselves among you, only to kill and murder before concealing themselves once more among you, and then claim that you aren’t responsible.  You moderate Muslims ARE responsible for what is happening all around you.

Islam is and will continue to be a religion of terrorist violence unless you moderate Muslims stand up and make it something different.

It’s time to take a side between “Islam, the religion of violence,” and “Islam, the religion of peace.”

Christians, Jews, and Muslims actually can stand in agreement on a great many things.  While we clearly disagree on the nature of God and His revelation, we nevertheless are people who believe in God and believe in divine revelation.  And therefore we agree that there are objective transcendent moral values.  There are a great many things we could agree upon, if we put our minds and our hearts to it.

Selected passages from the Koran detailing the fundamental intolerance and violence endemic to Islam:

Quran 9:5 “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”
9:112 “The Believers fight in Allah’s cause; they slay and are slain, kill and are killed.”
8:39 “So fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief [non-Muslims]) and all submit to the religion of Allah alone (in the whole world).”
8:65 “O Prophet, urge the faithful to fight. If there are twenty among you with determination they will vanquish two hundred; if there are a hundred then they will slaughter a thousand unbelievers, for the infidels are a people devoid of understanding.”
61:2 “O Muslims, why say one thing and do another? Grievously odious and hateful is it in the sight of Allah that you say that which you do not. Truly Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in a battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure.”
9:38 “Believers, what is the matter with you, that when you are asked to go forth and fight in Allah’s Cause you cling to the earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? Unless you go forth, He will afflict and punish you with a painful doom, and put others in your place.”
47:4 “When you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in battle (fighting Jihad in Allah’s Cause), smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them) captives. Thereafter either generosity or ransom (them based upon what benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam.”

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Musharraf Resigns, Leaving Comprimise As Pakistan’s Official Policy On Terrorism

August 18, 2008

The most strategically critical American ally in the war on global terrorism is gone, having announced his resignation today.

Coming on the heels of the Russian invasion of Georgia – and the resulting reawakening of tensions between former superpower rivals, this news further escalates the awareness of the stark realities of the 21st century. And it will all-too shortly be followed by Iran – protected by Russia from international sanctions – developing a nuclear arsenal.

It might be a good development for Pakistan, but I believe time will prove that it is a bad one for the United States and for those who would fight to defeat the rising threat of Islamic terror.

The Associated Press story by Zarar Khan at least presents some of the key issues:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced Monday that he will resign, just days ahead of impeachment in parliament over attempts by the U.S.-backed leader to impose authoritarian rule on his turbulent nation.

An emotional Musharraf said he wanted to spare the nation from a perilous impeachment battle and that he was satisfied that all he had done “was for the people and for the country.”

“I hope the nation and the people will forgive my mistakes,” Musharraf said in a televised address, much of which was devoted to defending his record and refuting criticisms.

Musharraf dominated Pakistan for years after seizing power in a 1999 military coup, making the country a key strategic ally of the U.S. by supporting the war on terror. But his popularity at home sank over the years.

While political exit robs the West of a stalwart ally, Musharraf’s influence has faded since he stepped down as army chief last year. Washington and European capitals will hope his removal will let the civilian government focus on terrorism and the country’s economic woes.

Many Pakistanis blame the rising militant violence in their country on Musharraf’s alliance with the U.S. His reputation suffered blows in 2007 when he ousted dozens of judges and imposed emergency rule. His rivals won February parliamentary elections and have since sought his ouster, announcing impeachment plans earlier this month.

As Dinah Lord put it:

Protesters took to the streets of Lahore to denounce President Pervez Musharraf over the wave of jihadi suicide attacks, labelling him a “dog” and a “pimp” for his policies against the militants that have provoked the violence.

And now the Pakistani government is free to continue its new policy of compromise and appeasement with terrorism unabated.

Some articles essentially present a sterilized, optimistic account of how this new policy of “negotiation” will alleviate the terror threat.

But Hot Air is already showing just how full of, well, hot air such views really are. Citing a new sharia-based edict from the Taliban that all men grow their beards or face “harsh punishment,” Ed Morrissey goes on to write:

Not surprisingly, the Taliban and its leaders feel freer to issue — and enforce — such strictures in the area that Pakistan has all but conceded to them. Nor has it bought any peace for the residents of Waziristan and NWFP. AFP reports that “activities” against hair salons and music stores have increased since the military has stopped its operations against the Taliban.

Sovereignty requires a government to exercise its authority over that of militias and renegades. The abdication of those responsibilities in Waziristan and NWFP calls into question whether these territories can actual be considered Pakistani. That was one of the underlying principles of the Bush Doctrine after 9/11, and why Pervez Musharraf always understood that he had to at least give some effort in fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda in these regions. Otherwise, the US could consider Pakistan as having withdrawn from the area and our hot-pursuit needs would then take precedence.

The new Pakistani government has obviously not learned much of the lessons of appeasement since the 1930s. If they continue to refuse to recognize the danger of their policy and allow these lunatics loose in the frontier regions, the US has to make clear that we do not consider ourselves bound by that decision.

And that is precisely true. If these terrorists are not killed or defeated, and if they do not disband or renounce their extremists views, then how can anyone believe that they will somehow go away?

They will continue to remain in their strongholds, continue to fester like the cancers on humanity they are, and will continue to grow in strength until the weak, corrupt national governments are no longer able to contain them. As Morrissey points out, most of these “negotiations” are already completely empty.

The increasing unrest in Afghanistan is not the failure of American troops; it is the failure of Pakistan to effectively deal with the Taliban forces infesting the border regions.  Musharraf had to negotiate with them when he was weakened by domestic political turmoil; and now a “Democratic” government that is split between rival factions will be in an even more weakened position.  The Taliban will undoubtedly take this opportunity to spread their ideology both within Pakistan and into Afghanistan.

Perez Musharraf was a tough leader, even a dictator. But it takes a violent man to deal with violent people, and too often we are seeing that Islam represents the deification of violence.

Giving bad people the right to vote doesn’t lead to good consequences simply because they are part of a “democracy” now. They are merely free to exercise their power to choose and support evil policies. We’ve already seen that in the Palestinian territories, which used their “democracy” to elect hard-core terrorist organization Hamas.

John Quincy Adams knew what he was talking about when he said, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Another statement, generally attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville, builds on this foundation: “America is great because she is good, and If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

The founder of Christianity was Jesus of Nazareth. He told his followers to put away their swords. The founder of Islam is Mohammad. He taught his followers to take up their scimitars. The literal-historical exegesis of the Bible leads to peace; the literal-historical exegesis of the Qu’ran leads to submission by any means necessary. Mohammad was involved in dozens of military campaigns, during which he ordered acts of great violence. He had over twenty more such campaigns planned at the time of hid death.

Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi builds a case based on study of history, the Qu’ran, and the Ahadith to demonstrate that Mohammad progressed through four stages on violence, beginning with when his followers were few and weak and progressing as they became more numerous and more strong.

Stage One: No Retaliation
Stage Two: Defensive Fighting is Permitted
Stage Three: Defensive fighting is Commanded
Stage Four: Offensive War is Commanded Against the Pagans, Christians and Jews.

The Muslims of today are clearly increasingly progressing toward their “highest” stage.

The terrifying truth is that as Muslims are becoming more “Muslim,” they are becoming more violent.

How does compromise with people who are determined to kill you and destroy your freedoms and your very way of life work?

I end with this: Dinah Lord’s blog had a counter. Islamic terrorists have carried out more than 11671 deadly terror attacks since 9/11.

The American way of life has often been stated as “Live free or die!” Islamic terrorists are only too happy to grant us the second condition if we attempt to pursue the first.

Democratic Debate: Promising Armageddon

April 18, 2008

As a conservative, I obviously found difficulties in a number of issues and statements raised in the Democratic debate last night (April 16). But the candidates response to the issue of the war in Iraq – particularly framed as it was against the even greater issues of a looming nuclear Iran and the threat of a nuclear arms race in the most violent, terrifying, and paranoid region in the world – was downright disturbing.

As I listened to the Democratic candidates, I had a dizzying moment of “deja vu all over again” as I recalled the historic lessons of the disasterous liberal failures that enabled World War II. And I could not help but remember the biblical narratives prohecying that total future apocalypse commonly known as “armageddon.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/16/us/politics/16text-debate.html?pagewanted=13.

MANDY GARBER of Pittsburgh asked the following question: “So, the real question is, I mean, do the candidates have a real plan to get us out of Iraq or is it just real campaign propaganda? And you know, it’s really unclear. They keep saying we want to bring the troops back, but considering what’s happening on the ground, how is that going to happen?

CHARLES GIBSON followed up: “Let me just add a little bit to that question, because your communications director in your campaign, Howard Wolfson on a conference call recently was asked, “Is Senator Clinton going to stick to her announced plan of bringing one or two brigades out of Iraq every month whatever the realities on the ground?” And Wolfson said, “I’m giving you a one-word answer so we can be clear about it, the answer is yes.”

So if the military commanders in Iraq came to you on day one and said this kind of withdrawal would destabilize Iraq, it would set back all of the gains that we have made, no matter what, you’re going to order those troops to come home?

SENATOR CLINTON replied: “Yes, I am, Charlie. And here’s why: You know, thankfully we have a system in our country of civilian control of the military. And our professional military are the best in the world. They give their best advice and then they execute the policies of the president. I have watched this president as he has continued to change the rationale and move the goalposts when it comes to Iraq.

And I am convinced that it is in America’s best interest, it is in the best interest of our military, and I even believe it is in the best interest of Iraq, that upon taking office, I will ask the secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and my security advisers to immediately put together for me a plan so that I can begin to withdraw within 60 days. I will make it very clear that we will do so in a responsible and careful manner, because obviously, withdrawing troops and equipment is dangerous.

I will also make it clear to the Iraqis that they no longer have a blank check from the president of the United States, because I believe that it will be only through our commitment to withdraw that the Iraqis will begin to do what they have failed to do for all of these years.

I will also begin an intensive diplomatic effort, both within the region and internationally, to begin to try to get other countries to understand the stakes that we all face when it comes to the future of Iraq.

But I have been convinced and very clear that I will begin to withdraw troops within 60 days. And we’ve had other instances in our history where some military commanders have been very publicly opposed to what a president was proposing to do.

But I think it’s important that this decision be made, and I intend to make it.”

CHARLES GIBSON addressed Senator Obama with the same question: “And Senator Obama, your campaign manager, David Plouffe, said, when he is — this is talking about you — when he is elected president, we will be out of Iraq in 16 months at the most; there should be no confusion about that.

So you’d give the same rock-hard pledge, that no matter what the military commanders said, you would give the order: Bring them home.

SENATOR OBAMA: “Because the commander in chief sets the mission, Charlie. That’s not the role of the generals. And one of the things that’s been interesting about the president’s approach lately has been to say, well, I’m just taking cues from General Petraeus.

Well, the president sets the mission. The general and our troops carry out that mission. And unfortunately we have had a bad mission, set by our civilian leadership, which our military has performed brilliantly. But it is time for us to set a strategy that is going to make the American people safer.

Now, I will always listen to our commanders on the ground with respect to tactics. Once I’ve given them a new mission, that we are going to proceed deliberately in an orderly fashion out of Iraq and we are going to have our combat troops out, we will not have permanent bases there, once I’ve provided that mission, if they come to me and want to adjust tactics, then I will certainly take their recommendations into consideration; but ultimately the buck stops with me as the commander in chief.

And what I have to look at is not just the situation in Iraq, but the fact that we continue to see al Qaeda getting stronger in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, we continue to see anti-American sentiment fanned all cross the Middle East, we are overstretched in a way — we do not have a strategic reserve at this point. If there was another crisis that was taking place, we would not have a brigade that we could send to deal with that crisis that isn’t already scheduled to be deployed in Iraq. That is not sustainable. That’s not smart national security policy, and it’s going to change when I’m president.”

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS then turned attention to the issue of Iran and the threat it represented to the region: “Senator Obama, let’s stay in the region. Iran continues to pursue a nuclear option. Those weapons, if they got them, would probably pose the greatest threat to Israel. During the Cold War, it was the United States policy to extend deterrence to our NATO allies. An attack on Great Britain would be treated as if it were an attack on the United States. Should it be U.S. policy now to treat an Iranian attack on Israel as if it were an attack on the United States?

SENATOR OBAMA responded: Well, our first step should be to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Iranians, and that has to be one of our top priorities. And I will make it one of our top priorities when I’m president of the United States.

I have said I will do whatever is required to prevent the Iranians from obtaining nuclear weapons. I believe that that includes direct talks with the Iranians where we are laying out very clearly for them, here are the issues that we find unacceptable, not only development of nuclear weapons but also funding terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as their anti-Israel rhetoric and threats towards Israel. I believe that we can offer them carrots and sticks, but we’ve got to directly engage and make absolutely clear to them what our posture is.

Now, my belief is that they should also know that I will take no options off the table when it comes to preventing them from using nuclear weapons or obtaining nuclear weapons, and that would include any threats directed at Israel or any of our allies in the region.”

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: “So you would extend our deterrent to Israel?

SENATOR OBAMA: “As I’ve said before, I think it is very important that Iran understands that an attack on Israel is an attack on our strongest ally in the region, one that we — one whose security we consider paramount, and that — that would be an act of aggression that we — that I would — that I would consider an attack that is unacceptable, and the United States would take appropriate action.”

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: “Senator Clinton, would you?

SENATOR CLINTON: “Well, in fact, George, I think that we should be looking to create an umbrella of deterrence that goes much further than just Israel. Of course I would make it clear to the Iranians that an attack on Israel would incur massive retaliation from the United States, but I would do the same with other countries in the region.

You know, we are at a very dangerous point with Iran. The Bush policy has failed. Iran has not been deterred. They continue to try to not only obtain the fissile material for nuclear weapons but they are intent upon and using their efforts to intimidate the region and to have their way when it comes to the support of terrorism in Lebanon and elsewhere.

And I think that this is an opportunity, with skillful diplomacy, for the United States to go to the region and enlist the region in a security agreement vis-a-vis Iran. It would give us three tools we don’t now have.

Number one, we’ve got to begin diplomatic engagement with Iran, and we want the region and the world to understand how serious we are about it. And I would begin those discussions at a low level. I certainly would not meet with Ahmadinejad, because even again today he made light of 9/11 and said he’s not even sure it happened and that people actually died. He’s not someone who would have an opportunity to meet with me in the White House. But I would have a diplomatic process that would engage him.

And secondly, we’ve got to deter other countries from feeling that they have to acquire nuclear weapons. You can’t go to the Saudis or the Kuwaitis or UAE and others who have a legitimate concern about Iran and say: Well, don’t acquire these weapons to defend yourself unless you’re also willing to say we will provide a deterrent backup and we will let the Iranians know that, yes, an attack on Israel would trigger massive retaliation, but so would an attack on those countries that are willing to go under this security umbrella and forswear their own nuclear ambitions.”

Now, I am glad that both candidates want to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, want to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons in the region, and want to promise to protect our allies in the region. I believe these are all very good things.

But I want to focus attention on the fact that withdrawing from Iraq will actually have the very opposite effects from these goals, and will virtually guarantee that none of these goals would be attainable. If the United States abandons Iraq, it will put us on a trajectory toward disaster.

In an earlier article, I attempted to draw some of the parallels between our abandonment of Vietnam between 1973 and 1975, with what would almost certainly happen were we to similarly abandon Iraq. In short, the United States pulled its forces out due to domestic protest after it had painstakingly attained a stable military situation. The 1968 Tet offensive had been a military disaster for the Communist North, and the Viet Cong guerrillas had been annihilated in the American counteroffensive. But the domestic protests, and the scandal that undermined the Nixon presidency, forced the United States to negotiate with the North. Nixon claimed a “Peace with honor,” but the Democratic-controlled Congress refused to honor the American commitment to South Vietnam. Military aid ceased; funds were cut off. And when North Vietnamese tanks rolled on Saigon, the Republic of South Vietnam had nothing to stop them with. A bloodbath of massive proportions followed that spread from Vietnam to Cambodia to Laos. Three million died after the war, and untold numbers of refugee “boat people” perished at sea.

American prestige was terribly undermined as our enemies realized we truly could be defeated, and our allies realized that we would not necessarily keep our promises. The United States soon withdrew its commitments elsewhere, including its backing of the Shah of Iran, who had been the closest American ally in the region. To this very day, our enemies believe that the United States can not stand a prolonged war with casualties, and that we will withdraw – “cut and run” – from our allies and our interests if they can pile up enough bodies.

I think about these things. And I greatly mourn that we may very well be in the process of repeating our same mistakes in nearly exactly the same manner. Only this time the stakes are much, much higher, and the disaster that will surely follow will be much, much worse.

As a student of history, I remember the abject failure of the Western allies to grasp the growing threat of their enemies throughout the 1930s. I remember the refusal of the liberal governments of the Allied powers to comprehend what are now known to have been fundamental realities of naked aggression and looming war. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain abandoned his country’s commitment to Czechoslovakia with a promise from Hitler of peace. The liberal, “anti-war” Chamberlain returned home saying, “I believe it is peace in our time!” Chamberlain saw Britain’s policy as a willingness to compromise and a desire for peace. But Hitler saw only weakness, hesitation, and cowardice, and became emboldened for total war. Again and again, the West had had an opportunity to demonstrate its genuine resolve to Hitler, and again and again the West had failed to stand.

In our present day, the Democratic Party has demonstrated a shocking degree of treachery in regard to Iraq. It is their war as much as it is Republicans’ war – because it should be America’s war.

In his 1998 State of the Union Address before the United States Congress, President Clinton told the world, “I say to Saddam Hussein: You cannot deny the will of the world. You have used weapons of mass destruction before. We are determined to deny you the capacity to use them again.” A week later, President Clinton said, “I will say again, one way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.”

On 31 October 1998, President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act into law, saying, “It should be the policy of the United States to seek to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace the regime.”

After the horror of the 9/11 attacks, the full horror of Islamic terrorists murderous intent was nakedly revealed to a shocked United States. Military and civilian national security authorities alike immediately realized that the attacks would have been far, far worse if the terrorists had been able to obtain WMD capability. And they knew that major terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda were determined to obtain WMD.

President Bush confronted Saddam Hussein over his country’s weapons program, but the Iraqi dictator refused to give the United States a clear picture of his capability. The United States Senate voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq in 2002; the United States House of Representatives approved the resolution, 296-133. The vote wasn’t even close. The resolution actually passed by wider margins than the 1991 resolution that had empowered President George H.W. Bush to go to war to expel Iraq from Kuwait. That 1991 measure passed 250-183 in the House and 52-47 in the Senate. Furthermore, a clear majority of Democrats in the Senate supported the October 2002 war resolution: 29 Democratic Senators voted “aye” and only 21 “nay.”

On 17 March 2003, Senator Hillary Clinton said on the eve of war, “Tonight, the President gave Saddam Hussein one last chance to avoid war, and the world hopes that Saddam Hussein will finally hear this ultimatum, understand the severity of those words, and act accordingly. While we wish there were more international support for the effort to disarm Saddam Hussein, at this critical juncture it is important for all of us to come together in support of our troops and pray that, if war does occur, this mission is accomplished swiftly and decisively with minimum loss of life and civilian casualties.

Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on 15 December 2003 after celebrating the capture of Saddam Hussein, she declared, “I was one who supported giving President Bush the authority, if necessary, to use force against Saddam Hussein. I believe that that was the right vote” and was one that “I stand by.” The speech she gave that evening is noteworthy given the abject treachery she would come to show in repudiating everything she said that evening.

http://www.cfr.org/publication/6600/remarks_by_senator_hillary_rodham_clinton_transcript.html

Democrats can’t just walk away from a commitment to a war that this nation elected to undertake, can they? But that is exactly what they did. To paraphrase the famous John Kerry flip flop of his failed 2004 presidential campaign, “I voted for that war before I voted against it.” We were at war, but the Democrats turned and ran on Republicans the moment the fighting got fierce. And for simple political opportunism they have spent the five years since talking about Republican war-mongering rather than their own moral cowardice.

UPI reported on story titled, “Negative U.S. media linked to increased insurgent attacks.” The article begins: “Researchers at Harvard say that publicly voiced doubts about the U.S. occupation of Iraq have a measurable “emboldenment effect” on insurgents there. ‘We find that in periods immediately after a spike in anti-resolve statements, the level of insurgent attacks increases,’ says the study, published earlier this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a leading U.S. nonprofit economic research organization.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080324/FOREIGN/259963993/1003

Can anyone believe that when major Democrats say things such as, “The war is lost” (Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid) that this doesn’t embolden our enemies to stay in the fight?

Somehow, both Democratic presidential candidates as well as the very nearly the entire Democratic political apparatus believes that they have absolutely no responsibility for the war, or to the people of Iraq. They believe they can simply blame it all on Bush and the Republicans and count on an ignorant and increasingly amoral America to go along with their revision of history.

But when they abandon the commitment to Iraq that better and more honorable Americans made to that country, they will be undermining the future of America.

Democrats will be mouthing the mantra, “I believe it is peace in our time!” Even as they set the stage for total Armageddon. Iran – just as Nazi Germany – will see what the Democrats view as high-minded liberal foreign policy as weakness, hesitation, and cowardice. And the next Democratic president will either see that Armageddon arise during his/her own administration, or else he or she will set it up for the next presidential administration just as Jimmy Carter set up the modern state of Iran by betraying the Shah and enabling the Ayatollahs to take over in his stead.

Both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama agreed that we must not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. But how will the Democrats – who now universally and roundly condemn President Bush’s decision to attack Iraq without total proof of WMD when he had used WMD repeatedly on his enemies – arrive at the threshhold of certainty? The fact is, we can never be certain what is going on iside a totalitarian state such as Iran (or Iraq). Further, when the Democrats have spent the last five years proclaiming that the war in Iraq was a mistake, how are they now going to be able to say with a straight face, “And we’re willing to make the same mistake with you” to Iran?

Iran will know that 1) all they have to do is continue to develop their nukes in some degree of murkiness, because Democrats can’t go in unless they are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN Iran has such weapons. So we won’t ever be able to go in there under a Democratic administration. And 2) Iran will know that even if Democrats DID go in (Which they won’t!), they wouldn’t stay the course if the fighting got tough (which it most certainly would). All Iran has to do is keep piling up bodies – even if its just the bodies of their own – and Democrats will turn and run. It is what they do. More than anything else in our generation, cutting and running defines the Democratic Party.

Clinton and Obama also let it be known that Sunni countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt will trust them when they pledge to defend them from Iran, making their own nuclear programs unneccessary. The problem of a nuclear Iran goes beyond a nuclear Iran: it creates an imbalance of power that will force Sunni nations such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt to develop their own nuclear programs to balance the Shiite Iranians. Think of a nuclear arms race going on in the most radical, terrifying, murderous, and paranoid region in the world. And Sunnis – who we know DON’T get along real well with Shiites, will trust the United States to stick by them through thick and thin? Yeah, right; the Democrats who have spent five years vowing to cut and run from staying in Iraq will now stand by their word to help you, Saudi Arabia and Egypt? (“But we really mean it this time!”).

Allow me to guarantee you that a Democratic administration will see a nuclear Iran. Given their policy on Iraq, it becomes an implicit campaign promise. And it will see a nuclearized Middle East. Democrats have spent forty years proving that they are cowards who will not stand by their allies, and their actions will come home to roost.

A Republican president can say to the Iranians, “We went in to Iran when we thought they might attack us, Iran. And I promise that will do the same to you if you continue your weapons program.” And no one can question that. A Republican president can say to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt, “We stayed with Iraq and defended them even when it was difficult, and we’ll do the same for you.” and no one can question that.


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