Jeremiah 4:19-21 (New Living Translation)
“My heart, my heart--I writhe in pain! My heart pounds within me! I cannot be still. For I have heard the blast of enemy trumpets and the roar of their battle cries. Waves of destruction roll over the land, until it lies in complete desolation. Suddenly, every tent is destroyed; in a moment, every shelter is crushed. How long must this go on? How long must I be surrounded by war and death?”
It appears that the United States and France have agreed on a draft resolution that would call for an end to the hostilities in the Middle-East. Just a few minutes ago I read a dispatch from Fox that:
“Calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations.”
On its face the proposal seems too tempting to turn down. It appears that we can have, as a statesman declared while he waved a piece of signed paper to a war weary world three generations ago, “peace in our time.”
While the details are still to be worked out, one that seems quite agreeable to Israel that it recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself against aggression.
That seems utterly astounding to me. The best we could negotiate for Israel, the nation flagrantly attacked at the beginning of this conflict, was that she has a right to defend itself. Utterly astounding!
The proposal is going to the U.N. Security Council for discussion later this afternoon, and then on to the involved parties.
Condoleezza Rice and John Bolton are probably operating under the assumption that the deal will be amenable to Ehud Olmert and the Israelis. The open question, I guess, is “How will the agreement be seen by Hezbollah’s leadership?” If the full scope of Hassan Nasrallah’s history is any indication it doesn’t look good. In a July 28th press conference broadcast to the Arab world, for example, he had these chilling words of cheer for the free world:
“Lastly, to the enemy and the rest of the world. I want to tell you that we are prepared to continue this war. We are also not afraid to continue to sacrifice ourselves because we are accustomed to that. We will never bend down in the campaign of wills and determination. We will not be defeated.”
“To President Bush, Prime Minister Olmert and every other tyrannical aggressor. I want to invite you to do what you want, practice your hostilities. By God, you will not succeed in erasing our memory, our presence or eradicating our strong belief. Your masses will soon waste away and your days are numbered. You, the oppressors, will soon witness the reversal of your fortunes. The end belongs to the fearful believers. May God's peace, blessings and mercy be upon all of you.”
I hate to say it, but in the face of the ambiguity paralyzing the west Nasrallah’s words are abundantly clear. Parsed into a single Flint Hills sentence they read, “Israel, you’re first, then George Bush and America, you’re next!”
Some time next week, accompanied by trumpets and flourishes, the diplomats will all sign on to a document that will contain the ever elusive promise of “peace in our time.” Israel, under enormous pressure from the U.S. State Department will reluctantly agree. Hassan Nasrallah will accede to his puppet masters, declare victory, and bide his time.
In short, Syria, Iran, and Nasrallah will get all they want while Israel will be left twisting in the diplomatic winds. The insanity of it is almost overwhelming. As Victor Davis Hanson said earlier today:
“Our present generation too is on the brink of moral insanity. That has never been more evident than in the last three weeks, as the West has proven utterly unable to distinguish between an attacked democracy that seeks to strike back at terrorist combatants, and terrorist aggressors who seek to kill civilians.”
I feel that the air is filled with clichés – “Peace in our time” – “Peace is at hand” – “Peace at any price.”
Right after lunch I dusted off my video of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s 1978 commencement address at Harvard University. I recall so well how he came to America as a hero for human freedom, recognized as a having been granted by experience a unique insight into the evils of socialism. When he came it was assumed he would become a champion of western ways. What the good folks at Harvard got instead was the wooly-bearded prophet unloading on their misguided ideologies. He chided the west, America in particular, for its naïve notion that the dangers to freedom could be abolished through negotiations or balances of power. He warned us that we were becoming blinded by our superiority. He warned us in broad, graphic strokes about the dangers of materialism that was stripping us of our spiritual cores. He told us that evil was on the offensive and he scoffed and asked “what is all this joy about?” He said that the pitiless crowbar of events was slowly descending on us. Reading from prepared notes, he peered into the emptiness of our collective souls and found us wanting. When he was done, we’d had enough of him; we wanted nothing more to do with him. In time we cast him off like Jeremiah being lowered into the well. “Away with him; he’s a traitor.” We haven’t heard from him since.
In listening to his words, and subsequently re-reading them, I see that the things he said had as much to do with today as they had with the world of 1978. They rang true then, and they ring true today:
“And what shall we say about the dark realm of criminality as such? Legal frames (especially in the United States) are broad enough to encourage not only individual freedom but also certain individual crimes. The culprit can go unpunished or obtain undeserved leniency with the support of thousands of public defenders. When a government starts an earnest fight against terrorism, public opinion immediately accuses it of violating the terrorists' civil rights.”
“Such a tilt of freedom in the direction of evil has come about gradually but it was evidently born primarily out of a humanistic and benevolent concept according to which there is no evil inherent to human nature; the world belongs to mankind and all the defects of life are caused by wrong social systems which must be corrected.”
Sometime next week John Bolton will be glad-handing with his fellow bureaucrats at the United Nations. When the deed is done they’ll probably retire to the Tavern on the Green for a good meal, complemented by a glass or two of fine wine and talk of “peace in our time.” Meanwhile, about eight hours to the east as the jumbo-jet flies, Hassan Nasrallah and his puppet masters will be celebrating. They won’t be eating good food or drinking fine wine. They’ll be looking to the future, hatching schemes. If all goes according to their plan, in a few years time diplomats will be waving another piece of paper at the world. Then, shortly after that, when Israel is given over to her tormentors, they’ll make the apology to the “necessary” victims given in the cause of peace:
“I have nothing to be ashamed of. Let those who have, hang their heads. We must feel profound sympathy for a small and gallant nation in the hour of their national grief and loss.”
“I say in the name of this House and of the people of this country that Czechoslovakia (Israel) has earned our admiration and respect for her restraint, for her dignity, for her magnificent discipline in face of such a trial as few nations have ever been called upon to meet.”
The pitiless crowbar of events is indeed marching on. I see it and I echo Jeremiah’s words – “How long must this go on?”
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