...writing in The Sunday Times, former Conservative MP Michael Portillo told his British countrymen that their hostility for Israel and the US aside, "The bloody truth is that Israel's war is our war." Portillo went on to argue that given the threat that Iran and Hizbullah pose to Britain itself, "for us to turn against Israel and America would be perverse and potentially suicidal."
....THE CURRENT campaign in northern Israel and Lebanon has brought into sharp focus the major pathologies and strengths of the West in fighting the Iranian-led jihadist axis. The British government's push for a cease-fire, together with the enthusiasm of the UN and France for sending their own troops to Lebanon to protect the Lebanese from the "disproportionate" Israelis; the demand of Israel's radical Left that a deal be made with Syria; and the demands of leftist ideologues in the US that an artificial deadline be set for the conclusion of Israel's operations in Lebanon all point to a similar pathology.
As a group, the ideological Left rejects the notion of victory in war for Western forces (although it is fine for jihadists); rejects the notion that there are enemies that are impossible to appease; and specifically rejects the idea that Israel has a right to defend itself against its enemies, let alone vanquish its foes.
LET US BE clear. The European foreign ministers and UN envoys who are tripping over one another on their way to Jerusalem are the same European foreign ministers and UN officials who brought about the misguided American decision to throw out 27 years of US practice and officially engage the mullahs in Teheran. That is, the same European governments now jockeying for a place in an international force that will protect Hizbullah from destruction are the ones who have been stymieing American attempts to take concerted action against Iran's nuclear weapons programs for the past three years.
This is the pathology of the West. For if one takes the ideology of appeasing unappeasable foes to its logical conclusion, appeasing states will eventually join forces with their enemies against themselves, or, as Portillo put it, they will become suicidal.
- AND SO, Britain's Department of Trade and Industry can give export licenses to dirty bomb components en route to Iran.
- And so American columnists named Cohen can tell the world that Israel's existence is a mistake.
- And so, Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, can refuse to acknowledge that Hizbullah is an Iranian-run terrorist organization dedicated to Islamic world domination even as its supporters throughout Europe hold mass demonstrations where they hold signs calling for Europe's destruction at the hands of Hizbullah and Iran in the name of Islam.
- And so Yossi Beilin can say that Israel doesn't need to worry about the repercussions of standing down while a fifth of its population sits in bomb shelters, because Hizbullah is just a measly terrorist organization that poses no real threat to the country.
On the other hand, events of the past two weeks have also shown some of the West's greatest strengths in fighting the war so many of its powerful citizens and statesmen refuse to acknowledge.
First of all, the IDF has discarded its dangerous delusions that it will be possible to win this war by remote control. Today it fights like an army that knows it is both at war, and at war with an enemy that needs to be destroyed, whatever the price may be.
SEVERAL supporters of Israel were quick to write off the IDF in the wake of unsupported statements by Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz and his generals last week, in which they announced - based perhaps on the tonnage of ordnance IAF jets dropped on Lebanon - that Israel had destroyed up to fifty percent of Hizbullah's capacities. "Israel is losing this war," these commentators moaned, not recognizing that the IDF is capable of learning from its mistakes. "Israel's intelligence services fell asleep on their watch," it was said.
But these eagerly defeatist voices do not recognize that the failure was not one of intelligence, but of politics. Mesmerized by the dovish ideologies propounded by three consecutive governments, it took the General Staff a week to understand that Israel was at war.
BUT NOW they know. And now the IDF is fighting well, boldly and effectively on the ground. Halutz initiated a rolling mobilization of the reserves, and the IAF has pulled back to its proper supportive role.
As well, it is impossible not to recognize the Bush administration's centrality in the current campaign. Not only is the US rearming the IAF with bunker buster bombs, it is making certain that its own public and the international community recognize that what is at stake here is far greater than the well-being of Israel's citizens.
As President George W. Bush has made clear, this is not just Israel's war. This is a campaign of the Iranian-led axis of jihad that seeks to dominate the entire free world. And echoing Bush are voices like Portillo's that are heard from Beirut to Sydney.
Moreover...the entire Israeli public is setting an example for its army, its government and the world to follow.... standing strong in their demand for victory....