Experienced and Inexperienced Mediocrity
Prof. Paul Eidelberg
Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin may lose the November election unless they speak like real mavericks and distinguish their political positions more sharply from those of their mediocre opponents. They are trailing in the polls for several reasons. The most decisive reason is their own mediocre performance. They are preoccupied too much with bread-and-butter issues on which they cannot score many points. Most significant, however, is their avoidance of the paramount issue confronting America, an issue that transcends the present economic crisis but which can arouse and inspire most Americans.
America is at war. To win this war we need to understand ourselves as well as the enemy. This is a two-fold task that McCain and Palin have failed to address in a serious way.
The enemy is not Islamic extremists that have hijacked Islam. Brave women such as Dr. Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Brigitte Gabriel, born and raised respectively in Syria, Somalia, and Lebanon, have shown that the enemy is simply Islam, a bellicose religion whose disciples have slaughtered 270 million “infidels” since the time of Muhammad.
Without mentioning this horrible fact, it needs to said that the principle of Jihad or murderous hatred of non-Muslims is diametrically opposed to the principles of the American Declaration of Independence, for example: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Of the many issues that need to be clarified in the campaign, none is more crucial that Iran. No one should underestimate the dangerous ambition of Iran, a nation of 70 million people whose mullahs are driven by a 1,400-year tradition of Islamic imperialism. Here are some facts that McCain and Palin need to convey:
1. It is not enough to say, as Senators Obama and Biden say, that a nuclear-armed Iran would constitute a grave threat to Israel’s existence. Iran has more than 1,000 Shahib missiles, which can reach not only all of Israel but also all of Europe. In this era of weapons of mass killing, no country, let alone minuscule Israel, can afford to absorb a first nuclear strike. One nuclear-tipped missile would be enough to terminate the Jewish state, which means another Holocaust. (It should be pointed out that Iran’s a population of 70 million is ten times that of Israel. And whereas Iran’s area is 629,000 square miles, Israel’s, including Judea and Samaria, is only 8,257 square miles.)
2. Preemption or anticipatory self-defense is a moral and military necessity justified by international law, whose first principle is national self-preservation. For Senator Biden to renounce preemption for “prevention” indicates that he is not living in the real world and that he does not understand the nature of the enemy.
3. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has threatened to wipe Israel off the map—an old threat in the Middle East. Israel has been erased from Egypt’s tourist maps as well as from the maps of the PLO-Palestinian Authority for many decades! Ahmadinejad has added the United States to this genocidal mania by proclaiming “death to America,”
4. These threats violate the UN Charter and international law. McCain and Palin should make this crystal clear. In perhaps less than one year, Ahmadinejad’s threat to wipe Israel off the map may be followed by his adopting Obama’s slogan, “YES WE CAN.”
5. Armed with nuclear weapons, Iran would dominate the Middle East. The combination of Iran’s long-range missiles and Iranian control of Persian Gulf oil would cow Europe. Without Europe, America’s economy would utterly collapse. The Iranian threat, pooh-poohed by Obama, should be asserted by McCain.
6. To speak of negotiating with Iran—to come hat in hand to Ahmadinejad—without preconditions is inane if not insane. You do not negotiate with despots committed to your destruction. What would there be to negotiate about? The date of your destruction? Do Senators Obama and Biden seriously believe that Iran, with its Hiz-b-allah proxies in Lebanon and Gaza and sleeper cells in the United States will forego its religiously animated global ambitions for potage? But if a precondition is to be specified, how about Ahmadinejad’s public renunciation of Jihad, which makes genuine and abiding peace impossible?
To conclude: Ahmadinejad is not a Johnnie-come-lately politician. He is not a liberal or a humanitarian. He is supported by mullahs who, in Iran’s war with Iraq during the 1980s, saw nothing wrong with sending thousands of Iranian children to explode minefields to facilitate the forward movement of Iranian soldiers. We are dealing with an enemy that has no respect for human life, even of its own people.
This should be made clear by McCain and Palin. They should say, “Just as we would refuse to sit down and negotiate with Hitler, so we refuse to hobnob with his successor in Tehran, who denies the Holocaust but promises another.”
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