Second Holocaust: M.A.D. vs Madness

Watching the Israeli-Hamas War in the Gaza - which is at best ‘suspended pending further hostilities’, we need to ask a basic question: can the Arab countries ever accept Israel as their neighbor? Or will they continue to work toward the day when they can “drive Israel into the sea,” to use Yasser Arafat’s memorable words?

Pat Buchanan tells a revealing story that helps clarify where we might be headed: in the summer of 1967 just as the Six Day War - between Israel and Syria, Jordan and Egypt - had ended, former Vice President Richard Nixon and Pat Buchanan were traveling through the region and arrived at an Israeli medical tent in the Sinai desert. Israeli doctors were treating the wounded, including captured Egyptian soldiers. An Israeli doctor asked an Egyptian soldier he was patching up, “Look, we fought in 1948 and we won...then in ‘56 and we won...and now we have again won...why do you keep fighting us?”

The wounded Egyptian fighter replied, “Because you may defeat us 12 times but we will win the 13th time we fight.”

And, of course, that is the point: Israel is always on the verge of defeat by their neighbors (especially Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas) - and their neighbors’ sponsor (Iran).

Israel - created out of the painful memory of the Holocaust - has always vowed to “Never Again” allow itself or its people to be “exterminated.” So they have created not only a strong and vibrant economy out of an arid desert, but they also built a juggernaut of a military force - to act as a deterrent against any and all enemies who might try anything.

In the 60 years of Israel’s existence, their economy - coupled with huge amounts of US military aid - has allowed Israeli to develop a cutting-edge military force which includes nuclear weapons, although that has never been publicly acknowledged. The IDF - Israeli Defense Force - has won every war since 1948; it did struggle in 2006 with the invasion of southern Lebanon to stop similar rocket attacks to those lobbed in recently by Hamas; many view the Olmert Government’s response and preparedness as weak and soft.

But Israel’s clear military superiority over their enemies - separate or combined - has allowed Israel to survive in a difficult neighborhood for 60 years.

However we are now in a new era when the day is approaching when Israel’s enemies will acquire nuclear devices. Whether Iran develops its own, or oil-rich Arab potentates buy some on the black market, or Islamic radicals overthrow the Pakistani government and harness their already-operational nuclear arsenal - the Muslim enemies of Israel will soon have access to these weapons.

This should worry us all.

Most of us have lived our whole lives in the Nuclear Age; growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, we drilled for a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Bomb shelters were built all over the US; we all prepped for nuclear attack.

But a prevailing doctrine has so far prevented either side - the USSR or the USA - or China - or Pakistan and India - from attacking each other with the Big One. That is the doctrine known as Mutual Assured Destruction (M.A.D.). Simply put, this was the logical, rational understanding by both sides that if either side launched a pre-emptive nuclear strike, the other side would quickly retaliate with a nuclear counter-strike which would kill hundreds of thousands of people. Thus the damage to both sides would be so huge that such a war was, in fact, not ‘winnable.’

Of course M.A.D. is predicated on rational thinking by the leaders of nuclear-armed nations. As ‘evil’ as the USSR was during the decades of the Cold War, Soviet leaders were rational enough to realize they could bluster and bully, but any first-strike nuclear attack meant such massive Soviet death and destruction that they could not win such a war.

In that sense - believe it or not - nuclear weapons have actually prevented wars or kept smaller wars from escalating. For example, these weapons may have kept the Soviets from invading Western Europe in the 1950's. And maybe the Red Chinese backed off invading South Korea because of our ‘nuclear tripwire’ there.

Now comes the key Mideast question: can M.A.D. work in the Arab-Muslim dispute? The Israelis are rational thinkers who do not want to incinerate their Arab neighbors. If they wanted to, they could do it at any time; and they could have done it for the four decades they have possessed these weapons while their enemies have not had them.

Muslim fanatics however are a different case. Their call to martyrdom counteracts the M.A.D. rationality argument.

Indeed, these radical Jew-haters can be classified as madmen who have no regard for human life, including the lives of their own people.

Thus the M.A.D. doctrine may run afoul of these crazed madmen who view their ticket to heaven as coming from killing as many Jews and Christians as possible.

Israel faces an uncertain and un-stable future. If the anti-Israeli faction gets their hands on nukes, they may use them against Israel regardless of the consequences to their own population. That is why we all must keep trying to prevent these nations from getting their mitts on nuclear devices.

Otherwise we may witness a second Holocaust.

Predictions - 2009

Well, the holidays are over and New Year has begun so let’s get back down to business. Here are the 2009 predictions - in no particular order:

• The economy has not yet reached rock bottom. More dislocations will occur in 2009; more bubbles will burst; credit cards and further home mortgage problems come to mind; and more scandalous behavior will be revealed - from Wall Street to Washington DC.

• The world economy will follow our’s and plummet to the worst degree since the 1930s.

• We may not begin the long climb back upward for several years to come.

• Politically the economy is everything in 2009 - and will be the main focus of the Obama Administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress; all other legislative activity will be put on the Back Burner until there is an up-tick in the national economy;

• President Obama will prove to be boringly staid when it comes to bold economic initiatives such as suspending the capital gains tax for 3-5 years; instead he will opt for traditional Democratic spending measures, i.e. “Infrastructure” repair and new roads and bridges; these measures will do nothing to juice an ailing economy or to hire people - especially in the short-run;

• Obama will also expand the federal Government’s payroll - as if that is a cure for what ails the American economy; his team will boast of new “jobs” but that is a false statistic; the real stat is new private sector jobs - and we are hemorrhaging those jobs monthly right now;

• Obama will not be blamed for the continuing - or worsening - economy for his first year in office. But by the end of 2009 the economy becomes his - for better or worse;

• He will have a substantial honeymoon; there will be a world-wide collective sigh of relief once G.W. Bush is out of office; in fact, once Bush leaves DC, we will not see or hear from him for several months. He will not be able to sell his memoirs either. His lecture appearances will be few and far between.

• It will be Jeb Bush who will be the Bush most in the news in 2009 as he contemplates a US Senate run in 2010; and Jeb’s presence - yet another Bush! - will bedevil the GOP for years to come;

• If Jeb then tries to run for President in 2012 or 2016, it will divide the GOP; true conservatives will never again accept another Bush - so the conservatives will fight it out to settle on one candidate to stop the Bushes from yet again seizing control of the GOP;

• There will be more of the usual political scandals in DC - and in Cook County - but none will even touch Barack Obama;

• Instead, what will take Obama down a notch will be a combination of his heretofore un-reported personal hubris and his total inexperience in national and international affairs;

• His collection of his own Team of Rivals is a sign of his personal acknowledgment that he really is unprepared to be President - so he hired everyone else who ran for the job, figuring that all he has to do is to manage these people and some how, some way their will find the right answers;

• Hillary will be a loyal soldier - for a while; but before the first year is over she and/or her husband will be revealed to be out for themselves; so what else is new? Believe this: they still have their eyes on returning to the White House;

• Blago will not go down easily; he will be governor for at least another 5 months; and he may not go even then; and if and when he is forced to leave, he will try to take some Big Names down with him as negotiating leverage;

• Harry Reid will be seen as a total dope, a fool and an idiot;

• Caroline Kennedy - despite a myriad of reasons not to be appointed to Hillary’s Senate seat - including the fact that she cannot string three words together without inserting a “You know” and an “um” and that she has never shown any interest in matters of state nor has she donated money or even bothered to vote in half the elections over the past 20 years - will in fact be named by Governor David Paterson as soon as Hillary resigns her seat. This will be a disgraceful appointment - if made - and will undermine Paterson’s heretofore ‘independent’ image; in other words, the fix is in;

• Charles O’Byrne, the defrocked gay Catholic priest who didn’t file his taxes for 5 years and who has been an intimate of both the Kennedys and David Paterson, is the key intermediary - and after the appointment is made this connection will again be revealed;

• Bernard Madoff will try some sort of insanity/mental illness defense. And it won’t work.

• More than the reported $50 Billion will be the final total in this Madoff Ponzi scheme.

• And others were in the “know.”

• And some more Big Names will yet surface as victims - they are desperately trying to hide as it is embarrassing to reveal how stupid these supposedly-smart investors were;

• As for Wall Street, we have not heard the end of their malfeasance and incompetence; more revelations are to come about disgusting financial remunerations even after the massive taxpayer funded bailouts;

• The New York Giants will - for the second year in a row - win the Super Bowl;

• A prominent cable TV host will be revealed as having an ongoing affair.

• 2009 will be some year!