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Jewish World Review
Sept. 1, 2006
/ 8 Elul, 5766
Preserve our country's values while not jeopardizing its very existence
Why do so many Americans refuse to face the fact that our
country is at war with international terrorism?
The leading terrorist group, al-Qaeda, is fighting us on the
ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Both Iran and North Korea are
threatening nuclear war. And yet many Americans, including some
Congressional Democrats, denounce President Bush, and in so doing,
weaken our country's ability to resist Islamic fascism. One
Congressional Democrat, John Conyers of Michigan, announced his
intention to impeach the President when Republicans lose control of both
Houses of Congress.
There is something terribly wrong with people seeking to demean
and weaken the president in war time, thereby strengthening our
country's enemies. As a result of the language and tactics of those
opposed to our presence in Iraq, our enemies have been emboldened,
believing the American public to be sharply divided on the war, and in
fact at war with itself. To other countries, Americans appear pitted
against one another not in an election, but in a verbal bloodbath,
convincing the world we are impotent -- a paper tiger.
The tyrannical forces in Iran led by its president, Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, make clear that if they can destroy us, they will.
Ahmadinejad has said about the U.S., "...Is it possible for us to
witness a world without America and Zionism?...you had best know that
this slogan and this goal are attainable, and surely can be achieved..."
Ahmadinejad has also stated his goal of destroying the state of Israel
several times, saying, "...Israel must be wiped off the map."
If a sovereign nation makes such threats, do those who are
threatened have to wait until the missiles are in the air before taking
action? Or may threatened states defend themselves with preemptive
The U.N. Security Council has demanded that Iran stop developing
nuclear technology leading to the creation of a nuclear bomb. Iran has
refused, notwithstanding threatened sanctions. Iran's conventional
missiles can already reach Europe and Israel. Must Israel wait until
the world knows exactly when Iran's bomb has been built? Experts
estimate that it may take years or as little as six months. No one
knows with certainty when the cobra will be able to strike. Iran has
lied to the U.N. about its nuclear development efforts before. Is there
anyone who believes it is not prepared to lie in the future or is
Many of those who attack the president, hoping to make him
ineffective and bring him down, are opposed to our alliance with Israel.
You can verify that and the signs of anti-Semitism by looking at the
banners and listening to the anti-Israel invective in the speeches in
the street demonstrations and marches against the war in Iraq and
President Bush. Regrettably, many of those marchers are blind to the
terrorism that faces the Western civilization, sympathize with it, or
fear it less than they despise the governmental leaders of the U.S.
Recently, Scotland Yard arrested 25 British-born Muslims in the
midst of plotting to blow up over the Atlantic Ocean ten U.S.-bound
airplanes filled with approximately 4,000 people. The British
authorities have indicted 14 and continue with its investigation of 11
more, having released several suspects. In a recent poll of British
Muslims by NOP Research, broadcast by British Channel 4-TV on August 7,
"Forty-five percent say 9/11 was a conspiracy by the American and
Israeli governments. This figure is more than twice as high as those who
say it was not a conspiracy. Tragically, almost one in four British
Muslims believe that last year's 7/7 attacks on London were justified
because of British support for the U.S.-led war on terror."
I know of no comparable poll taken in the American Muslim
community, which numbers 2 to 6 million. There are certainly enough
Muslims here to poll. Are we afraid to learn the results?
When the government engages in racial and ethnic profiling at
our airports, there is an outcry among those who call themselves civil
libertarians. They seek to shame us, citing the actions taken in World
War II against Japanese-American citizens. The difference is that no
Japanese-American engaged in a single hostile act against the U.S. in
World War II.
We know today that the 19 terrorists who brought the World Trade
Center towers down were Muslims. We know that Muslims planned and
implemented the attacks on our embassies in Africa, the U.S.S. Cole in
Yemen and the army barracks in Saudi Arabia. So when our counter
intelligence investigates alleged terrorist groups, shouldn't suspected
Muslim groups be first on the list?
At airports, shouldn't those who speak Arabic or are identified
by trained inspectors by clothing, actions, appearance or information as
Muslims receive special attention? Most will undoubtedly be innocent,
and understandably affronted and inconvenienced. Nevertheless, it is
the rational measure to take when we are at war.
Protecting the nation does not mean silence in the face of
criminality on the part of the U.S. military forces or improper
government action. It means exercising restraint, responsibility, good
faith and respect for other people. It means not seeking political gain
at the expense of the nation's security in war time. Knowing what to do
can be likened to Mr. Justice Potter Stewart's statement in a
pornography case. Said he, "I know it when I see it." We should not
say "My country right or wrong," as Commander Stephen Decatur did, but
we should preserve our country's values while not jeopardizing its very
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© 2006, Ed Koch