Refusing to Learn from Our Mistakes

June 23, 2008

A symposium entitled The Place of the Surge in the War on Terror was held at the David Horowitz Freedom Center in Santa Barbara from May 30-June 1. It needs to be read by every American, regardless of your current view about the war in Iraq. A transcript, which is 17 pages, is available in the June 19th edition of Front Page Magazine.

In effect, it is a report from a military perspective of the amazing success of the surge that took place in Iraq since last year and the almost totally unreported or non-understood threat we face from the governments we buy our oil from in the Middle East. Caroline Glick, one speaker at the symposium, who has been working as a lecturer at the Israeli War Colleges in tactical warfare for the past five years, grabbed my attention in her first sentence when she said: "Everybody's going to say the same thing, which is that one of the problems with the war in Iraq is that we're treating it as a war, as opposed to a campaign in a larger war."

That is exactly what happened in the 1920s and 1930s when no one wanted to address the real situation facing the world due to Adolf Hitler and his philosophy and goals for Fascism and world domination which he outlined in his 1925 book, Mein Kampf. He wrote that by no means did he believe "in an equality of races, but along with their differences" he recognized "their higher or lesser value" and felt "obligated to promote the victory of the better and stronger, and demand the subordination of the inferior and weaker in accordance with the eternal will that dominates this universe."

Hitler justified the slaughter of Jews, Poles, Slavic races such as Serbs and Russians, and eventually Christians with that philosophy. Today we are currently buying 22% of the oil and gas we use in the USA from Middle Eastern nations with active terrorist campaigns directed against civilians in Israel, the USA and other nations, while the US Congress blocks access to our own vast resources in offshore and ANWAR oil and oil shale in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Think about that as you read the following from the symposium, and contemplate Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with nuclear weapons or check out Rep. Chris Cannon's (R-UT) recently introduced Oil Shale bill, HR 6211.

Caroline Glick: "I'm just going to give my perspective on it (the success of the Surge) from where I'm sitting, which is in Jerusalem, which is in my view, my informed view, the central front of this war, and the one that's been most ignored, and to our detriment -- and just talk for a second about what the situation is in Israel on the eve of the end of the surge in Iraq, which is that Israel is today surrounded by Iranian proxies on its southern and its northern border -- it's northern border both with Lebanon and with Syria.

"Iran itself, of course, is arming itself now with nuclear weapons that the head of Mossad thinks that it will have by next year. And Hezbollah and Syria both have missiles that are capable of reaching every spot in Israel. Syria has chemical weapons and biological weapons. And as we saw from last September, they also were developing nuclear capabilities with North Korean and Iranian assistance. Gaza is run by Hamas, which is also an Iranian proxy. And it's gaining force as well on the West Bank, which is run by the Israeli military.

"So Israel is probably in one of the worst military situations we've seen in recent years. Because of the way that the second Lebanon war in the summer of 2006 ended, Israel effectively lost its deterrent capacity against its enemies. Because it was unable to defeat Hezbollah -- which is simply an Iranian foreign legion in Lebanon -- or to prevent missiles from raining down on Northern Israel for the duration of that war.

"So Israel itself faces a very, very difficult situation. Every single day in Gaza that the Hamas regime is allowed to remain in power, the border between Hamas' Gaza and Egypt in the Sinai is being used as one of the main highways of terror traffic in the world. We see the armament going on inside of Gaza as something that is unprecedented.

"And we also have to remind ourselves that this was going on before Hamas took charge of Gaza, when it was under Fatah terror control until June of last year. Also, the Gaza-Egypt border was an active border for international terrorists and terror material. Hamas itself has built up an army. It has called it the Executive Force, but essentially it's an army to all intents and purposes. It has units that are formed up to -- I think it's now brigade level. And they're organized and trained by Iran, which also arms and finances them.

"So this is a new situation that we hadn't seen before in Gaza. Southern Israel is, as you know, daily attacked with missiles and mortars and rockets from Gaza. And the Israeli government is essentially doing nothing. So that's Israel's strategic situation -- the end of the surge. But to the military situation, you also have to add the diplomatic situation. From a diplomatic perspective, since the Palestinians began their jihad against Israel in September of 2000, Israel has never been in a worse situation diplomatically. We see that not only in Europe, but even here in the United States, you have educated, otherwise intelligent people discussing as a real possibility the prospect of America recognizing Hamas as a legitimate player, and having direct contact with Hamas, and accepting them as a legitimate player in Palestinian politics, such as they are. And this is in the United States.

"And of course in Israel, our radical Left also is saying, Well, since we can't make a deal with Fatah, because they've essentially been rejected by the Palestinians, we should be trying to cut a deal with Hamas. So we have both diplomatically, internationally, Israel is becoming more and more of a pariah state. You hear it accepted that, oh, it's okay to kill Jews, or, well, they just kill Jews, so it's not that big of a deal; they're not going after Americans, they're not going after Europeans, they're not even going after other Arabs. They're just killing Jews, and therefore they're not a terrorist organization.

"The EU, for instance, has never recognized Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and it is in fact a genocidal proxy of Iran, with a stated objective of annihilating the Jews and also calling for the death of the United States. But they're not a terrorist organization. And so we see this diplomatic isolation of Israel. We see this noxious form of anti-Semitism, of demonizing the Jewish state -- and essentially saying that it doesn't have any right to exist, and certainly not to defend itself -- being widely accepted in international circles, and also in widening circles in the United States, and not only on college campuses -- we were discussing this morning with the college kids -- but in general.

"We have demonization of Jews going on in this country, the likes of which I had never imagined could happen, with people not even blinking when they say that the media is controlled by Zionists, or Washington is controlled by Zionists. This is something that was not part of my experience growing up in this country. But it's much more prevalent now, and we all know that neo-conservatism is just another word for Judaism. So this is the situation in Israel and about Israel, regarding Israel, throughout the world.

"And so when I look ahead at where we're going, I'm not optimistic as I would like to be, simply because it never occurred to me that it could get this far along without the people who are in charge in Washington and in Israel and in other places saying to themselves, Gee, this isn't working anymore. And we have to stop pretending that we can attribute genocidal terrorism and ideologies to a lack of Palestinian statehood.

"It never occurred to me that we would be seven years out beyond 9/11, or eight years almost, without any acknowledgement of the central truth. So I think that things are just going to get worse until somebody finally wizens up. I simply hope that we wise up before Iran has a chance to test their nuclear weapon on Tel Aviv."

The world had the same problem in the 1930s when they thought giving Hitler a bit of land here and there that he said he wanted would pacify him. Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.

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Copyright ©2008 Mary Mostert