It is recorded in our history books that when he looked down at the ship full of smiling, victorious faces… faces of his flyers, just having returned from Pearl Harbor, Japanese fleet Admiral Yamamoto was quiet, pensive, even apprehensive. He later wrote in his private diary,
“I fear all I have done is awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.”
As this column is written, it is the second night after the dastardly attacks on the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, and the Pentagon. In that amount of time, I have heard, on the news channels, and on the internet, a phase batted about several times, in various refinements, when discussing these attacks: “Like Pearl Harbor”.
Something in that phrase struck a deeper chord with me. It was, at the same time, unsettling, and reassuring. And about 20 minutes ago, my memory finally coughed up that quote from Yamamoto, and with it, my entire thought process about these events crystallized. In that revelation, it occurred to me I’d already written about what I was feeling.
In that column, I wrote of my worry that our influence on the world stage had suffered seriously, under the weight of Bill Clinton’s international bumbling. Well, Bumbling isn’t the right word. Bullying, is perhaps more accurate, yet still not spot-on.
I said, then:
“From Oslo to Camp David, Clinton has pushed Israel to the bargaining table, and pressured her to give up vital strategic and cultural assets she has no business giving away, if survival is at all on her agenda. Ehud Barak, by his giving into Bill Clinton (who, along with his staff including Jim Carville, did much to put Barak into office), has done little more than demonstrate just how empty the Palestinians’ peace talk really is, and how desperate Clinton was to be seen as a good President, his crimes against his oaths not withstanding.
At Clinton’s insistence, Barak offered Arafat the keys to the kingdom; just about all of the West Bank and Gaza, plus East Jerusalem and even Palestinian sovereignty over the Temple Mount. How do the peace loving Palestinians respond? Yasser Arafat turned it all down, and gave us another few nights of headlines, filled with kids in the street throwing stones, and being shot, occasionally. He also sent his armed forces, (You recall, they’re supposed to be policemen?) to fire at the Israelis, apparently hoping for an excuse to tell the rest of the world how Israel is a war-mongering nation.
Of course that should have been a signal to about anyone with a brain that he didn’t give a damn about peace. All he and his followers are interested in is the destruction of Israel. It should have also been a signal that Clinton’s attempt at a legacy backfired, big time, and more, that it didn’t have a chance to start with…. something that Clinton should have known, did he have any understanding of the
situation at all. You will recall, perhaps that back in 1992 , Clinton more or less bragged he had no understanding of matters of foreign policy. This was never quite so clear as during this monstrosity Mr. Clinton unleashed on the world.
For Israel’s part, all of this has been laid at the feet of Ehud Barak, perhaps unfairly. No, I don’t think he was the man for the job, and clearly was only in the PM’s position because Clinton’s people worked so hard to get him there, apparently hoping to set up Clinton’s brokering a of peace deal. Easy to do when you have the PM of Israel owing you his election. But Barak apparently was under pressures he had no control of, having nothing to do with politics at home, or the Palestinians… both of which were quite out of his control to begin with, in any event.. He was concerned with Israel continuing to get support from the US. In this concern, he saw Israel as being on the controlled end of the puppet’s string… and knowing that if he did not capitulate to Clinton’s demands, that vital US support would wither as quickly as Benjamin Netenyau’s prime ministership did, when it became clear he wasn’t going to buckle to Clinton’s concession demands.
And Barak wasn’t alone, nor was the left in Israel, in this perception of US control versus Israel’s survival. Yitzhak Rabin, hardly a liberal even by American standards and certainly not under Bill Clinton’s extortion based control to the extent that Barak was, saw the same problems. His longtime friends, according reports I’ve seen,
tell us he was deeply troubled over the prospect of losing US support… and therefore bought into the ‘land for peace’ deals being brokered by the liberals in the US. This was something I predicted he wouldn’t have done.
Israeli voters, seeing this happening, and clearly annoyed with the US control over Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians, trounced Barak in the polls. Unless one considers this anger, the election of Ariel Sharon, his replacement, is hard to fathom, since he has never been overly popular, as best I can tell. But perhaps the people of Israel are finally figuring out what the real story is.. that in truth, there is no dealing with the Palestinians, and Arifat.
One hopes that they’ve not been too late in coming to this conclusion. If they are, world war seems fairly certain to me… possibly nuclear in nature.”
When I re-read that, I knew I’d found what I’d been feeling, and why the Yamamoto quote had been nagging at me. I was feeling a deep anger. Justifiable, deep and abiding anger. Anger not only at the terrorists who arranged and executed the events of September 11th, but anger at the policies which here at home led us to this pass.
I said, back in February:
“Others learned the lessons, painful as they tended to be. Chaimberlin’s England, for example,along with the remainder of the free world, learned about appeasement of a mortal enemy the hard way. The American left, apparently not having leaned the lesson taught by the infamous socialist, Hitler, was taught the lesson again, by another band of socialists, as Soviet tanks rolled into Afghanistan 40 or so years later. “
What’s this leading up to?
Well, dear reader; the conclusion that we are now paying the price for Clinton’s presidency. One can only hope we have paid the full price…. But I doubt it.
A rash statement, say you? I think not. Consider the timing of this attack on the US.
Clinton, far from being firm with the Arabs, was giving them just what they wanted, following the World Trade Canter bombing in 1993; legitimacy, to use as a tool against us. Ironic; he’s supposed to be representing US. And to boot, we were ripping Israel apart for them.
I have stated several times, that Clinton’s sole purpose here was to save his legacy. But how to achieve his goal? By bowing to Arab terrorists, and bullying Israel into giving in. So, while that’s going on, everything is sweetness and light. America decides to elect George W Bush, who will (rightly) support Israel and the Arabs aren’t too happy.
And since Clinton also decimated our military, you ability to mount a credible defense is so laughable as to encourage attack…
Likely 20 thousand people dead, and as many injured, all in one afternoon, along with the likelihood of many more to follow.
Oh, I hear you squirming already… particularly those on the left… those who have always defended Clinton before, regardless of any fact. I hear you saying:
“Shouldn’t we be concerned with catching, and dealing with the people
who ordered and financed all this? And as Americans, shouldn’t we be
Oh, certainly. String them up. Cut off all relations with the Palestinians, and do it now. No question. And Military action isn’t out of the question, either.
And yes, I think we all as Americans should stand together in times like these. And, no, I’m not trying to gain political points, here… this problem affects every one of us.
Logic dictates that actually solving a problem, necessarily includes that both the problem, and the causes of that problem which can be controlled, be identified, so that action can be taken to ensure that such problems cease to exist.
Now, like it or not, we can’t do much about extremist causes. But we CAN control them to the point where they don’t cause us nearly the concern, by not acceding to their demands, as Chaimberlin did, and as Clinton did. We can support our longtime friends in the world. Clinton ran fast and loose with that requirement, in an effort to be remembered for something better than the long list of shady dealings and downright criminal acts, and what happened to be running down his leg at any given moment.
Trouble was, and remains, that Clinton was dealing with Yassir Arifat. Arifat’s comments, following the attack, as compared to the reactions of his people, (dancing in the streets at our losses) show him to be a liar of the first order, or that the Palestinian people are not under his control, or both. As a result, Arifat’s commitments were useless to us, and yet useful to the Arabs who wish and work for the destruction of America,her citizens and her friends.
Would it not have been simpler, would it have not cost less life, I ask, to elect a president who can keep his pants on, rather than get us into international trouble because of half-baked efforts at obscuring his own history? Something we should consider at the next election. As I said in February; Our future, assumng we have one, depends on it.
In any event;
My heart and my prayers go out for the persons lost, the persons yet trapped, and their families and loved ones.
My great respects go out to those rescue workers, paid and otherwise, who carry on the fight that all will not be lost. Your wounds from this, I fear, will be greater than the wounds on those you struggle to save, because it is a cold fact that you will not succeed in saving all of them, and you know it going in. To you falls the task from which no sane person could walk away unaffected… and yet you go in, willingly. And that is a wonder to all Americans, and most people in the rest of the world.
My respects also go out to the many law enforcement and military officials who are working to gather information toward the capture of those who ordered and executed this attack… at times risking THEIR lives.
We each, all of us, need to take out own kind of action in times of crisis. We feel we have the need to accomplish something to help to solve the issue. The people I mention above are doing that, certainly.
But my personal resolve is to work hard toward making sure we have Presidents who actually respect and want a strong Israel. As a start, that means making sure we never again have a president of the lowly in-the-gutter presence of a Bill Clinton.
Yours should be as well.
I only hope it’s not too late.