By Alan Caruba
An ignorance of history can leave an entire generation vulnerable to
threats they may otherwise dismiss as bombast.
Most who lived during the 1930s rise of the Nazi’s Third Reich are dead
and all that’s left are the images on the History Channel. That’s why the
sight of goose-stepping Iranian soldiers is eerily redolent of
goose-stepping German storm troopers.
In an even more bizarre reflection of the German regime that emerged in
the 1930s is the obsessive rhetoric blaming the Jews for the troubles of
the Middle East and the threats to wipe Israel off the map. In the midst
of WWII, the Nazis diverted important resources to round up and kill six
million European Jews, along with five million Christians, Gypsies,
homosexuals, and others they deemed “sub-human” or political enemies.
We know that in America, Spain and England, being an “infidel” is
sufficient to get you killed as you commute to work or prepare for another
day in the office.
We know that Europe hesitated to confront Adolf Hitler and paid a terrible
price for it. We know, too, that those Jews who fled Europe were the
fortunate few survivors and those who immigrated to Israel after the war
had no place else to go. Would you want to go “home” to live next door to
a neighbor who betrayed you to the death camps?
Barely one percent of the entire landmass of the Middle East and
surrounded by twenty-two nations that still daily deplore its existence,
Israel remains the victim of terrorist bombings of its civilian
population, along with the rockets and mortars of the Palestinians to the
north and south of its borders.
Rather than invading Gaza, Israel has withdrawn from it. Rather than
remaining in southern Lebanon, it has withdrawn from it. Rather than
retain sections of the West Bank, it plans to withdraw from parts of it.
This is not the picture of a militant, occupying force intent on retaining
its gains in the 1967 war waged against it. This is a people who have
opted to build a long, high wall to fence itself off from a totally toxic
population on the other side.
The Palestinians are people who use boys to penetrate the wall in order to
murder Israelis with an act of suicide.
At some point, the Israelis are going to want their leaders to do unto the
Iranians that which the Iranians are threatening to do to them, only
first. Unless, of course, the United States decides that diplomacy is
inadequate to the job of dealing with homicidal ayatollahs and their
History reveals that the desperate diplomacy of the 1930s was merely a
prelude to World War II. It is likely to be the same for WW III if
everyone waits around for the new Iranian Hitler’s to fulfill their
Few paid attention to Winston Churchill, out of power in England, when he
raised warnings about the intentions of the Nazi government. Comparable
warnings being raised today regarding the Iranians are also being ignored.
Worse, Americans who have grown weary of the struggle in Iraq are in no
mood to consider an extended field of battle that would include Iran.
There are, however, some stubborn facts that cannot be ignored. The
Iranian leadership has spent twenty years and billions of dollars to
achieve nuclear parity with the world. While President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
was celebrating the enriching of uranium at Nathanz, the real threat was
at Neyshabour in Khorassan, a place guarded day and night by the
Revolutionary Guard Corps, the elite Ansar al-Mahdi unit. This site will
have three times the capacity of Nathanz to enrich the material the
Iranians need to build nuclear bombs. You can thank the Russians for
making that happen.
Little wonder the Pentagon has pulled the maps of Iran off the shelf and
begun to upgrade plans for invasion or, at the very least, a deterrent
bombing of nuclear facilities.
You may think the year is 2006 and it is, but the year is also any one of
those leading up to 1939 when the Nazis invaded Poland. They felt safe in
doing so. After all, they had signed a secret non-aggression pact with the
Russians. And the Russians believed them. Right up to the day and hour
when the Germans invaded Russia.
Then, for the duration of WW II, the Russians became our allies. When WW
II ended, they went right back to their own mad dreams of imposing
communism on the world.
Iran is hardly isolated. There are the Russians and Chinese who are
reluctant to permit the United Nations to impose any sanctions. It has
friends in Turkey, a formerly secular nation that is embracing its own
Islamic revolution, reversing decades of democracy. It has friends in
Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories.
Goose-stepping Iranians are on the march. Ignoring them will not change
their minds. Threatening them will not change their minds. History has a
nasty way of repeating itself and it is doing so now in the Middle East.
Alan Caruba writes a weekly commentary, “Warning Signs”, posted on the
Internet site of The National Anxiety Center,
Â© 2006, Alan Caruba