By Joseph Marx
Over the last year or so, Ron Estes has written articles titled “Israel supporters attack critics not the criticism,” “Romney is still weak on foreign affairs,” “Israel attack on Iran could spark Middle East conflict,” “US cannot afford to lose its Arab allies,” “US vote on Palestine could effect 2012 elections,” “Rejects pro-Israel comments as propaganda” and his latest “Israel attack in Iran would hurt US interests.”
Call me crazy, but I seem to detect a common thread in all of these letters and articles. Israel is the pariah state in this conflict and the US interests would be better served siding with the Arabs, contrary to Obama’s disingenuous declaration to Israel “we have your back.”
I would like to remind the readers of The Record that Israel is the one democracy and the one true and steadfast friend of the U.S. in this conflict. Their values regarding life, liberty, justice and freedom are our values.
I would also like to remind everyone that Israel is a 1 bomb country the size of New Jersey surrounded by half a billion hostiles. In his most recent letter, Mr. Estes makes the statement that “… the U.S. and the western world lived over four decades facing a hostile, belligerent nuclear armed Soviet Union … and the west avoided a nuclear confrontation …
That is all well and good when you are negotiating with an adversary of enormous land mass populated with people who hold life precious. The Soviet Union knew they could never launch enough nukes to remove our retaliation capabilities on a first strike. This scenario does not hold true in the case of Iran vs Israel where just a few warheads could destroy the entire country of Israel on a first strike. It wouldn’t do Israel much good at that point knowing the U.S. had its back because there would be nothing left to defend.
In addition, Israel has become a center of technology innovation for the entire world. Drive thru the cities of Herziliya and Netanya and the large office buildings have names like Motorola, Google, Apple and Microsoft. The product R & D coming out of this area is a vital U.S. interest not to be underestimated and certainly worth safeguarding.
The US has been negotiating with the Middle East in general and Iran in particular since the 1970s with very little effect. We have frittered away over 30 years dealing with this problem ineffectually. If we give Iran any more time, they will possess enough enriched uranium to build multiple bombs and even if they don’t launch a strike against Israel, I have zero confidence that Iran wouldn’t sell some of this material to radical groups to attack “The Great Satan.”
The sand in this hourglass has run out. It is time for the US to draw some well defined lines in the sand and be willing to back them up militarily. Europe and the U.S. tried appeasement and playing for time in the 1930s and when we were forced to fight, it was much bloodier than if we put our collective foot down in the beginning. If we have learned anything from history, we should have learned that you can’t negotiate with leaders who stall and won’t negotiate in good faith.
The time to have Israel’s back is right now. It is in the long term interest of the U.S. to do so.
This column, written by one of my friends from college, was published in the St. Augustine Record, where it may also be read at http://staugustine.com/opinions/2012-09-30/guest-column-time-have-israels-back-right-now#.UGroArRrDGJ. It's posted here with the permission of the author.