A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

About Iran, Israel and us

Written March 20th, 2015 by Hasso Hering
The owner of a van parked near a California beach makes a point with two flags last week.

The owner of a van parked near a California beach last week makes a point with two flags.

There have always been tensions between the Obama administration and the Israeli government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu. Now their disagreement about Iran and other issues is even more acute, and the question is who’s right and who’s wrong. The answer should not be hard.

Obama is hoping that diplomacy and soothing talk can control and restrain the ayatollahs in charge of Iran in their apparent drive to develop nuclear weapons for the long-range rockets they already have. This week Obama broadcast an address to the Iranian people, sounding conciliatory.

Netanyahu does not trust Iran to keep any agreement, and he fears that if economic sanctions are lifted, it will be only a matter of time before Iran becomes the biggest nuclear power in the Middle East. And once that happens, Netanyahu believes, it will be only a matter of time before his country is attacked with those weapons.

So where does that leave the American public? Let’s consider who we’re dealing with.

On the one hand, we have a little country on the eastern Mediterranean with a market economy that holds regular free elections, a country that America has supported ever since it was created after the Second World War. Israel has just re-elected a prime minister who knows first-hand of the dangers his country faces. Netanyahu served in his country’s army, led a unit of special forces in combat missions and was wounded more than once. He also lost a brother, killed in the raid on Entebbe when Israeli commandos rescued more than 100 Israeli hostages.

On the other side, there’s an array of organizations and pseudo-governments such as Hamas and Hezbollah that refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and repeatedly announce they hope to destroy it and kill the Jews. Then there is Iran, governed by a regime that began by kidnapping American diplomats and seizing the U.S. embassy in Teheran in 1979. This is a regime run by people who support terrorism against Israel and frequently vow “death to America.”

For Americans up to and including the president and his administration, you’d think it would not be hard to decide which side to be on, whom to treat cordially as a friend and whom to oppose as an implacable foe. (hh)

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9 responses to “About Iran, Israel and us”

  1. tom cordier says:

    You have stated the facts before us quite well. Obama’s background of being raised a Muslim certainly included anti-Jewish teaching which he has not been willing to overcome.
    I observe that Obama is a vindictive person and although he smiles at his own jokes he always looks for ways to get even. That trait has and will continue to control his actions
    which a rational, informed, capable, and balanced person will reject.

  2. Ray Kopczynski says:

    I only question one assertion you make: “…it will be only a matter of time before Iran becomes the biggest nuclear power in the Middle East.” That’s based on what knowledge? I would suggest that the Israeli capability and endeavors in this realm will always outstrip Iran’s. Israel have also shown the willingness to take out nuclear facilities in the region by means of their superior technology.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Based on the news reports on Iran’s rocketry. Why work on military rockets if they don’t eventually pack a really big punch? (hh)

      • Ray Kopczynski says:

        My point is that the Israeli intelligence and military capability will outstrip those of it’s neighbors. And because of that, and with tacit approval (or not) from the USA, they can and will be able to take care of the situation…

        • James Carrick says:

          but at what cost, Ray? The USA is THE ONE nation that can solve this problem without running the risk of igniting a third world war. Obama clearly isn’t the man for the job. He’d rather play golf than grapple with the world’s escalating problems in any meaningful way. Obama wanted the title of POTUS, but clearly didn’t want the job.

          Einstein said: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”. That ought to be plenty of food for thought as we consider the possibilities of the mess in the Middle East, of which Obama deserves MUCH of the blame.

  3. Hazel Siebrecht says:

    To put in perspective just how tiny Israel is, a young man from my church provided us a map with the nation of Israel superimposed on a map of Oregon. Israel is about 1/8 the size of our state!

  4. Peggy Richner says:

    As an American taxpayer, I don’t want any of my tax monies to be sent to Israel, and for that matter, I don’t want them sent to any other foreign nation. If people want to voluntarily send their own money to foreign nations, please let them go ahead with my blessing. Certainly there are many Jews of great wealth in the U.S. who do this and that’s fine. I will even support a box to check on our tax returns designating aid to the country of your choice. It’s Israel’s job to take care of its own defense, not America’s, and as far as I can tell, they do it very well, although thankfully they haven’t yet unleashed their own (and the only country in the Middle East who has one), extensive nuclear arsenal. It was an error for America to support Israel with American tax money from 1948 and it’s an error now. It’s past high time we Americans learn to mind our own business. Instead we are destroying all the noble ideas upon which this country was founded.

  5. James Carrick says:

    I believe that if Iran develops a nuclear weapon it will be only a matter of time before they use it. Their delivery systems (missiles) are approaching intercontinental in range, and if they develop the capability to deliver a weapon to our shores we will know how it feels to be threatened as Israel does today. We must NOT forget we also are the avowed enemy of those that run Iran.

    Obama is the weakest POTUS I’ve seen, certainly in my lifetime. He makes Jimmy Carter look like a war monger. I further believe he surrounds himself with women advisers and staff because he can’t deal with strong willed men that will say what he doesn’t want to hear and that extends to other world leaders with Netanyahu the prime example. He sent many of his top political hacks over to Israel to influence their election. Thankfully, evidence suggests that move backfired and helped lead to Netanyahu’s victory last Tuesday.

    If only we had such a strong and determined leader. Obama is no Netanyahu, of that we can be sure.

  6. Bob Woods says:

    A little information to think about – US Forces in Foreign Conflicts since 1910

    Border War (1910–1919) Part of the Mexican Revolution

    Occupation of Nicaragua (1912–1933) Part of the Banana Wars

    Occupation of Haiti (1915–1934) Part of the Banana Wars

    Occupation of the Dominican Republic (1916–1924) Part of the Banana Wars

    World War I (1917–1918)

    Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War (1918–1920) Part of the Russian Civil War

    World War II (1941–1945)

    Korean War (1950–1953) Part of the Cold War

    Intervention in Lebanon (1958)

    Bay of Pigs Invasion (1961) Part of the Cold War

    Vietnam War (1965–1973) Part of the Cold War and Indochina Wars

    Invasion of Grenada (1983) Part of the Cold War

    Invasion of Panama (1989–1990)

    Gulf War (1990–1991)

    Iraqi no-fly zones conflict (1991–2003)

    Somali Civil War (1992–1995)

    Intervention in Haiti (1994–1995)

    Bosnian War (1994–1995) Part of the Yugoslav Wars

    Kosovo War (1998–1999) Part of the Yugoslav Wars

    War in Afghanistan (2001–present) Part of the War on Terror

    Iraq War (2003–2011) Part of the War on Terror and Iraqi Insurgency

    War in North-West Pakistan (2004–present) Part of the War on Terror

    Yemeni Civil War (2010–present) Part of the Yemeni Crisis and War on Terror

    Military intervention in Libya (2011) Part of the Libyan Civil War

    Multinational campaign against ISIL (2014–present) Part of the Iraqi Insurgency, Syrian
    Civil War, Second Libyan Civil War, Sinai insurgency, Boko Haram insurgency, and the War on Terror

    The country has been in a state of armed conflict, war or whatever you choose to call it
    continuously somewhere since 1989. Yet, we seem ever more insecure even when the lethality and precision of our weaponry and forces has never been greater.

    Just maybe our participation in armed conflict so often is actually counter productive.

    If that is not correct, then what level of conflict is necessary for us to realize the security we seek? Complete American military control of all countries in the Middle East and Africa until they agree to operate under the requirements we impose?

    Lastly, if you lived in other parts of the world and you see this ongoing list of conflict, why would you trust the United States?


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