Leonidas, Where Are You?

By | November 14, 2013 | 0 Comments

Film “300” is a fictionalized account of how King Leonidas and his 300 Spartan troops held off an invasion of Greece by a much larger Persian army.
− News item

“Molon labe” – come and take (it).
King Leonidas’ reply to Persian demand that he surrender.

Secretary of State Kerry meets with Iranian delegation, hoping to lift sanctions on Iran in return for “assurances” Iran will not build nuclear weapons.
News item

French foreign minister calls proposed agreement with Iran a “sucker’s deal.
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Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.
Thomas Mann

Readers may recall a column titled, “Charles Martel, Where Are You Now That We Need You?” In it, I bemoaned the lack of forceful leaders in Western Europe, who will resist the onslaught of extremist Muslims. Well, I’m at it again. Now I’m bemoaning the lack of forceful leaders in America, Britain, NATO, and the European Union. I am bemoaning the fact that no one will forcefully resist the development of nuclear weapons by the extremist leaders of Iran.
It has been 34 years since Iranian fanatics seized the United States embassy in Tehran, legally an act of war. This was fictionalized in the film “Argo.” The 66 diplomats, Marines, and others were held captive for 444 days, publicly humiliated, and physically and psychologically abused. They were held despite bumbling efforts at diplomacy by the Carter administration.
Finally President Carter authorized an inadequate rescue attempt, which failed to rescue a single hostage but did result in the deaths of eight U.S. troops, the destruction of two aircraft, and our further humiliation before the world. In addition, six usable helicopters were left behind. The hostages were finally released within minutes of the inauguration of President Reagan. The Iranians believed that he would take a more forceful approach. Regrettably, this belief was largely unfounded, as shown by our prompt withdrawal after Hezbollah bombed our Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983, killing 241 Americans.
Over the years, there have been repeated episodes of hostage taking by Iran and by the terrorist organization Hezbollah, which Iran sponsors. But from the time our embassy was seized in 1979 till the present, Iranian leaders have never been given reason to fear a forceful response to hostage taking, bombing, or other violent acts.
If you reward a child for having a tantrum, he will undoubtedly have more. Tantrums are annoying in a child; they are dangerous in an adult. The theocratic Iranian regime is 34 years old – long past the time it should have grown up. Moreover, Iran had an advanced though repressive civilization, and a high form of religion, 2500 years ago. It’s time to expect adult behavior from Iran. To expect less is condescending, even racist, and it leaves us open to a nuclear tantrum in the near future.
Yes, I know the usual mantra:
● We don’t want to strengthen the regime, which is said to be unpopular, by providing it with a foreign enemy against which to rally the Iranian people. But we have been saying the same thing since 1979. The regime hasn’t fallen in 34 years. Why should this time be different? On the contrary, we strengthen the regime by giving in to it. The regime has repeatedly intimidated the United States and Britain – how could this fail to impress its people and its neighbors?
● We don’t want to sour relations with other Muslim nations. But our relations with these nations are hardly “sweet” now. Besides, other Middle East nations are Arab, and Arabs and Iranians don’t get along. They have different ethnic origins, different languages, and practice different versions of Islam – while calling the others “heretics.”
● We are theorizing, as we have since 1979, that the problem is caused by fanatics who might not be under government control. But nothing happens in a dictatorship without government approval.
But the real reason for our inaction may be less noble. Many nations have lucrative oil, arms, and other business deals with Iran, and we can’t let little things like acts of war or terrorism interfere with business, can we? What are a few hundred American troops blown to pieces, or a few British sailors and marines captured and mistreated, in comparison with the opportunity to make more money?
No, we wouldn’t want to disturb “President” Rouhani, who is said to be “moderate,” as was Ahmadinejad before him. But Rouhani was a close associate of Ayatollah Khomeini, the ruthless founder of the Iranian theocracy. How “moderate” is that? Iranian leaders repeatedly threaten to wipe Israel off the map, declare that America will be next, possess intermediate-range missiles, and are developing nuclear weapons. If the Iranians are intransigent now, just think how difficult it will be to deal with them after they go nuclear.
So let’s make as much money as we can, while we can. Let’s make unhappy noises about Iranian nukes, but let’s not actually do anything. After Iran nukes Israel, then we will act. After the Iranian leaders succeed in their ambition to produce Holocaust II −The Sequel, then we will get serious.

Like most sequels, there will be more special effects but less originality. Let’s just wait another few months or years. Think of the money we can make before mushroom clouds appear over Tel Aviv and Haifa.
And if the ayatollahs are really insane, they may nuke Jerusalem as well. This would remove a major source of strife − and leave the Middle East more open to our business ventures, after those pesky Jews are gone. Of course, the Iranians would blame the Jews for nuking Jerusalem, which would cause worldwide anti-Semitic violence – indeed the supreme example of “blame the victim.”
But what if the Iranians come after America first? Let’s not think about that.

 By all means, let’s try diplomacy. Let’s pay the ayatollahs off by ending the sanctions, which may, in effect, have been lifted already. Yes, let’s do what didn’t work last time – which will insure there will be a next time, and a next. Let’s impress the whole Middle East with our weakness and inaction. Saudi Arabia is already considering buying nukes from Pakistan, and the Emirates may be next. A nuclear-armed tinderbox like the Middle East – now there’s a comforting thought.

As Santayana famously observed, those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it. But as some unknown sage added, every time history repeats itself, the price goes up. This time the price will be nuclear.
So please, don’t see the film “300.” It might give you the idea that violent attacks must be met with force. It might give you the notion that our civilization should be defended. Don’t read the history by Herodotus, where you will learn that many of the events in the film are based on reality.
For example, you would find that when the Persian ambassador demanded that the Spartans surrender, Leonidas really did throw him down a well. This did nothing to improve water quality, though it did a lot to ensure the survival of freedom. But don’t try to imagine Barack Obama throwing the Iranian ambassador down a well. This would over-strain even the most creative imagination.
Do I mean this literally? Of course not. We must leave mistreatment of diplomats to the Iranians. But I do mean that President Obama projects such an image of weakness and indecision that it is impossible even to imagine him throwing the ambassador down a well.
Remember Obama’s “red line” in Syria? Remember what happened when the Syrian regime crossed it by using chemical weapons? Exactly nothing happened. You can be sure the Iranian regime remembers this non-existent “red line” very clearly as they contemplate a similar “red line” – Obama’s vow to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Leonidas, where are you?
Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.
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