20 April 2004

Never Again!

Monday, April 19th was Holocaust Memorial Day. This is the day where we remember the 6 million Jews that were murdered by the Nazis, of which 1.5 million were children. This is the day we repeat the mantra, “Never Again”. Never again will we be hunted down and killed. Never again will we live in fear. Never again, never again.

The world too repeats the mantra “Never Again”. Never again will we appease dictators. Never again will we allow innocent millions to be murdered. Never again, never again.

“Never again” is a wonderful mantra. It ranks right up there with “we won’t negotiate with terrorists”. Of course we know that words mean nothing. Only action counts.

Adolf Hitler was elected into power in 1933, and began the persecution of German Jewry. In 1938, an international conference, made up of delegates from 32 countries (including the U.S. and Britain) was held in Evian, France to discuss the problem of Jewish refugees from Germany trying to escape. Somehow there was no solution that could be found and German Jews were left to suffer. The extermination of a third of the Jewish People began in earnest in 1941.

The United States knew about the Nazi plans as early as 1942, but chose to do nothing.

Germans living through the time claim that they did not know what was happening to the Jewish population of the country. No doubt. It’s hard to see what is happening when your eyes are closed.

So we return to “Never Again.” Looking at the international community, the same community that couldn’t find a place for those Jews in trouble only 60 years ago. This week the Arab League asked for a special meeting of the Security Council, in order to discuss Israel’s action over the last three weeks killing two Hamas leaders who were responsible for hundreds of innocent deaths. Of course, we would never see the Arab League asking for a meeting to discuss the lack of human rights, or help in tracking down terrorists in their own countries. Certainly not, since they are the ones funding terrorists in the first place. Except for the United States, every delegate from around the world condemned Israel. It is good to see the international community doing what it does best...cowering before terrorism.

Does this surprise anyone? The international community is good and ready to role over and die. Former Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam has called on the United States and Britain to begin negotiations with Osama bin Laden. What a brilliant thought, maybe we can convince a mass murderer that he really wants to be a Boy Scout when he grows up.

60 years ago, the British accomplished “peace in our time” with Herr Adolf Hitler by handing him the Sudetenland on a silver platter in order to avoid war. A wonderful idea which landed them in World War II. Appeasement is a fancy word for blackmail. I won’t shoot you if you give me what I want. Spain has already rolled over, is there anyone else who would like to join them?

“Never Again” is a waste of breath. The world has forgotten the realities of war. The world has forgotten that appeasement does not work. The world has forgotten that dictators and terrorists feed off weakness.

Holocaust Memorial Day should not be a day only spent in remembrance. It should stand as a lesson to every single person on how to confront evil. It must be wiped out without apology.

16 April 2004

"Fervently" Orthodox

Just a thought to pass along from a good friend:

Why is it that we are now calling Orthodox Jews "fervently" Orthodox? It makes us look like we're over the top - a bit on the crazy side of things. Why is it that it's okay to call the Orthodox "fervently" Jewish but it would be terrible to call Conservative or Reform Jews "unfervently" Jewish? Why this one-sidedness?

09 April 2004

The “What If” Game

Let’s play the “what if” game. What if Adolf Hitler invaded Poland, stayed there and didn’t bother anybody? What if Hitler decided that going to war with America was a bad idea and was perfectly happy being the new Polish dictator? What if the United States had said, “What a great idea, we don’t have to go to war in Europe and have our good men killed?” What if America closed its eyes and hoped that the mustache-wearing Adolf would just disappear? What if...

Keep dreaming. World War II didn’t happen that way. Hitler went on from Poland to walk through and conquer the rest of Europe, was within an arms length of destroying Great Britain, and went on to invade the Soviet Union. The question must be asked, who stopped Hitler? It was the United States of America.

If it were not for the United States’s involvement in the Second World War, the world today would look drastically different than it currently does. The Third Reich would replace todays European Union, and Her Royal Majesty’s citizens would be speaking German.

The United States could have stayed out of World War II, but didn’t. We saw a threat and believed that the threat needed to be stopped by all means necessary. This involvement and ultimate victory over evil cost the United States 292,000 men (not including the wounded), and 2,896.3 billion dollars (in 2002 money) equal to 130% of the United States’s annual GDP.

Approximately a total of 17.2 million Allied soldiers died stopping them, with the Soviet Union, the United States, and Great Britain losing the most men in battle. In addition, there were also 27.3 million more civilian casualties. Was this a pretty war? No. Was it necessary to have so many die in the defense of freedom? Absolutely. We owe these Allied soldiers our liberties and freedom that we take for granted every day.

Let us look at the reconstruction of Europe after the war by the United States. The U.S. decided to put Europe on a solid economic footing so dictators like Hitler would not be able to take advantage of a bad situation and drag the world back into war. The United States looked at the big picture and invested even more money under the Marshall Plan into Europe in order to avoid a possible war in the future.

Turning to today’s War on Terror. We are faced with an enemy that is harder to identify than yesterday’s Nazi but yet has the same goal of world domination. Islamic terrorists have called for Muslims around the world to take up arms against Americans. These terrorists are unafraid to die in their campaign against us. What do we do? Do we play “what if”? What if terrorists hadn’t flown two planes into the World Trade Center? What if the terrorist training camps in Afghanistan didn’t exist? What if Saddam Hussein hadn’t supported terrorism around the world? Let’s close our eyes and hope that he disappears into thin air. Saddam’s only torturing his own people, why should we care? If the Trade Center collapsed and no one saw 3,000 people die...did they really die? We then can assume that the 200 Spaniards who died in the Madrid train attack aren’t dead either.

60 years ago our Allies did not recognize the Nazi threat until Hitler marched his troops through their front door. Today, history repeats itself. Once again our Allies do not realize the danger they are in. They too are on a hit list. They choose to close their eyes and hope that terrorism will go away. They are waiting to see terrorism on their front porch before they open their eyes and move to defend themselves. Again, the United States is at the forefront of the war.

This is a war that is costing lives; both military and civilian. This war will cost the U.S. and the world billions if not trillions of dollars. We won the war against the Nazis. Will we win the war against terrorism? I don’t believe so. When we see our soldiers being killed in Iraq, and civilians being murdered around the world, we lose our perspective. We assume that if we click our heels together and chant, “there’s no place like home”, terrorism will cease. Nonsense. Winning the war against the Nazis took four long years with millions dead, and billions spent. Billions more were spent reconstructing Europe. Americans once had patience and forethought. Today Americans only see their dead in front of them and nothing more. Do we expect to win this new world war on terrorism? We will only win if we open our eyes and stop playing “What If”.