We live in an age in which threats to world peace and security constantly appear. Some threats are more ominous than others. Some rogue states are simply a pain in the neck. But add a murderous ideology and the possibility of nuclear weapons and you then have a threat that cannot be ignored.
Iran is a perfect example of such a horrific combination. It has vowed to destroy Israel, has defied world opinion, and continues on the road to nuclear capability. In the light of such facts, the free West must respond with all seriousness and due haste.
Washington Times columnist Suzanne Fields nicely makes the case for such action. Writing in the November 20, 2006 Townhall.com she urges us to ignore a head-in-the-sand approach, and instead confront this new menace head on. She begins by quoting Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu who recently said,. “It’s 1938 and Iran is Germany. When someone tells you he is going to exterminate you, believe him – and stop him.”
Almost immediately after these remarks, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad retorted, “we will soon witness [Israel’s] disappearance and destruction.” Says Fields, “Ahmadinejad and his men are preparing a Holocaust that Hitler would envy, not limited to a tiny fledgling democracy in the Middle East. The Iranian nuclear program poses a threat to the entire West.”
She quotes Netanyahu again: “Israel would certainly be the first stop on Iran’s tour of destruction, but at the planned production rate of 25 nuclear bombs a year . . . [the arsenal] will be directed against ‘the big Satan,’ the U.S., and the ‘moderate Satan,’ Europe.”
To do nothing is appeasement, and that is not the answer. We tried it in World War II and paid an extremely heavy price. “Hitler went on building a formidable military machine while the world pretended not to notice. Winston Churchill was the lonely prophet whose warning went unheeded. Appeasement, he said, is ‘a bit like feeding a crocodile hoping that it would eat you last.’ This time everyone notices what Iran is doing, but wants to go about business as usual. . . . The first missiles will have Europe in range, then America. Israel will be the canary in the coalmine, the first to disappear as a warning to everyone else.”
Fields reminds us of the holocaust-denying nature of radical Islam: “Ahmadinejad isn’t trying to sell a Holocaust analogy; he insists the original never happened. But the 5 million Jews in Israel understand that rhetoric precedes the reality. Erasing Israel from the map is real to them.”
Both Israel and the US have a lot at stake in the belligerence arising from Iran. And it is mainly the American evangelicals who most seem to understand the problem, and are most committed to Israel.
“These Christians frequently invoke Biblical references, but they’re quick to draw analogies to the Third Reich. ‘Hitler told everybody what he was going to do, and Ahmadinejad is saying exactly what he is going to do,’ says Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, the faith-and-family advocacy organization. ‘He is talking genocide.’ The Rev. John Hagee, pastor of a megachurch in San Antonio, says the Iranian leader’s remarks about a second Holocaust prompted him to establish Christians United for Israel. He compared the Ahmadinejad Iranians to an Old Testament villain: ‘Pharaoh threatened Israel and he ended up fish food’.”
What is happening in Iran will have to be countered sooner rather than later. But America is now newly weakened, after its midterm elections. And Israel did not fare too well after its recent incursion into Lebanon. But for the sake of the free West, both will need to be strong at this dark hour. Let us all pray that this in fact will be the case.