In the United States the public is being slowly traumatized by the horrors slowly coming to light as the putrefied onion that is Benghazi, Libya is slowly peeled one rotting later after another while in Israel there is the escalation by the terror governance in Gaza of rockets being hurled across the border at civilians and often timed to strike while children are transiting to or from school thus traumatizing the millions within the ever increasing range of these explosive projectiles. In both countries the government in general and the leadership in particular; President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, United Nations Ambassador Rice and others in the Administration in America and Prime Minister Netanyahu and the military and coalition leadership in Israel; are dodging responsibility and avoiding directly addressing the truth in a futile hope that neither problem will have any defining affect upon the upcoming elections. The similarities in both of these horrid and tragic instances go further than simply the attempt to wish them away by each nation’s leaders, they also have similar solutions which are based on honestly admitting some painful truths, taking responsibility for protecting the people and interests of the nation, giving an honest and complete assessment of the realities each nation faces, admission of mistakes and shortcomings committed by those in the positions of leadership and decision making, and finally refusal to take bold steps that would protect those in harm’s way and use necessary military steps that would prevent any further damages and show an understanding and consideration for protecting those who stand vulnerable from these threats.
The United States leadership needs to admit that it is very possible and even likely that the changes brought on by the so-called Arab Spring are more likely to result in situations less favorable to the West, freedom, liberties and even the economies of the nations where the Muslim Brotherhood or other Islamist entities have taken over the governance and are going to resemble an Arab Winter and relations are going to turn colder, not warmer. This places our personnel in the embassies, consulates, and other assets in greater threats of danger either directly from the new governance or from other terror-like threats acting with the permission of the governments if not directly being organized by these governments. It will not only be unwise to allow for security to be provided by the governments of the countries in which there are personnel and must insist on having United States Marines on duty guarding these people or should let it be known that American personnel will be pulled if forced to do so as well as financial and other consequences. Niceties cannot be extended if they will result in the death or threats of violence to American personnel. There are times when niceties must be put aside and putting forth a steel gloved hand becomes necessary instead of a white silk glove that President Obama appears to believe will solve everything. Reality is often not as pretty and in this case is extremely unseemly and ugly, but the truth is the truth.
Meanwhile, in southern Israel there have been close to one hundred rockets, mortars, bombs and other attacks originating from the Gaza Strip in less than one week. While the Iron Dome system protecting the city of Ashkelon has been of adequate success by intercepting at least eight rockets fired in its theater, there are simply not sufficient Iron Dome systems to protect all of the communities. There have been mounting casualties and an even larger number of people suffering stress and other nervous attacks and disorders as a result of this seeming declaration of war. If this many explosive rockets and mortars had been fired across a border into any country in the world other than Israel, the United Nations would be holding emergency sessions and there would be world-wide concern and denunciations against the senseless violence and provocations. Of course, since these attacks are against Israel there will be no fury of concern, hand-wringing and denouncements unless and until Israel should retaliate with any appropriate force which will be labeled as disproportionate as is the custom of the world in its current state of affairs. But just because the rest of the world will likely get their panties in a wad should Israel launch a ground attack that is carefully planned and executed sweeping through the entire length and breadth of the Gaza Strip searching every single building, shed, hospital, and mosque for rockets, mortars, rocket launchers, mortar launch tubes and any other such equipment of war and confiscate and destroy every single piece found does not preclude the possible necessity for just such an action. There should also be arrests of every leading terrorist and the rocket, mortar, bomb and explosive expert should be arrested or taken as prisoners of war to be released once all violence originating from the Gaza Strip has ceased for twelve straight months and a treaty negotiated. It may even have reached the point in time where returning IDF forces into the Gaza Strip to patrol the area and keep the peace has become a desirable and necessary option. Simply promising to reinforce the homes, businesses, hospitals, schools, malls, and other buildings to make them better able to withstand the rocket attacks is insufficient, irresponsible and completely inadequate. Election or no election in the offing, protecting the people of Israel is job one Mr. Netanyahu, not the strengthening of your coalition in the Knesset. What may not be obvious to you is that by assuring the safety and security of the people you also assure the size and loyalty of your coalition in the Knesset.
In both the United States and Israel there will be elections within a few months. The United States will have their election within fourteen days and may very well end up a referendum not only on President Obama’s performance in his first term, Obama Care, the economy, or any of the other items the American people have been fed for the whole election year thus far, it may well be a referendum on Benghazi and who will most likely keep the American people safe and the United States strong and respected with a sufficient dose of feared that nobody would ever consider attacking Americans anywhere in the world. In Israel the election might be a referendum on the authenticity of a return as an innocent man into politics by Ehud Olmert, or the return of Tzipi Livni. What should be the issues are a leader who will put the final nails to seal the coffin where the Oslo accords have been laid for some time by Mahmoud Abbas and his refusal to compromise or even discuss compromise, protection of the citizens living under constant threat in southern Israel from the rockets, mortars and other attacks originating from the Gaza Strip under the direction of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and related terror groups, the acceptance and application of the Levy Report along with all it implies, and stand firm before the hatreds and bigotries of too much of this world and establish that Israel is entitled to every millimeter of lands guaranteed under the numerous agreements including but not limited to the Peel Commission, San Remo Conference, Churchill White Papers, and Article 80 of the United Nations. The other way in which the United States and Israel are facing a similar situation is the possibility that the upcoming election in each country could have an effect on the entirety of each country’s future beyond what anyone can anticipate. Act One in two weeks and Act Two scheduled for late January of next year. The time between these two important dates should prove interesting, especially on how the results of the first could have influences on the second. These surely are interesting times but as such, are these a good thing or a curse as the Chinese believe.
Beyond the Cusp