The Obsession with Iran
by Jonathan Rosenblum
February 18, 2007
The big political news of the week in America was Barack Obama’s announcement that he is running for president. In his speech, Obama contented himself with a brief reference to "fighting terrorism while rebuilding global alliances," the latter signaling an intention to draw closer to the Europeans.
Like the other eight Democrats who have preceded him into the race, he made no reference to the threat of worldwide jihad. Also like them, he does not understand that terrorism is only a tactic, but the enemy is Islamism. Every leading Republican hopeful, by contrast, lists the battle against jihadists/global jihad/radical Islam/totalitarian Islam at the top of their agenda for America.
The Democratic candidates would benefit from viewing the documentary by South African filmmaker Wayne Kopping Obsession: Radical Islam’s War against the West, which for some mysterious reason has still not appeared on Israel TV.
The film compares, inter alia, the West’s response to Hitler and its response to radical Islam. Among the most powerful interviews is that with Alfons Heck, a commander in the Hitler Youth, who compares the indoctrination of Muslim youth to that of Nazi Germany, and wonders at the West's inability to see the parallel.
Martin Gilbert, Churchill's official biographer, recounts how Churchill saw himself as a failure for his inability to make his countrymen see the looming danger posed by Hitler.
Gilbert clearly feels the same sense of frustration today at the Western world's refusal "to connect the dots" and see radical Islam as a global problem.
Recognizing radical Islam as a single problem, Gilbert archly observed, would obligate the West to do something - and that it has no more interest in doing than Chamberlain had in confronting Hitler. (Incidentally, the film contains clips of the smugly smiling Chamberlain on his return from Munich, as he proclaims "peace in our time" to a roaring throng.)
The world has still not learned the lesson of Munich that appeasement of enemies bent on world domination only leads to a far more brutal war later. Had France and England not served up the Sudetenland to Hitler at Munich, his generals were prepared to overthrow him. They generals feared attacking Czechoslovakia, which had a powerful defense line in the treacherous Sudeten Mountains. With the gift of the Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia was stripped of its strongest defenses, and Hitler’s path to Central Europe was paved. And Czechoslovakia’s wealth and well-developed military industries helped power the Nazi war machine.
Last week, the Hebrew University’s Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism paired a showing of Obsession with a lecture by Bernard Lewis, the pre-eminent scholar of Islam. One of Lewis’s most telling points concerned the Islamists’ historiography. While most in the West view the fall of the Soviet Union as a consequence of the Reagan administration's decision to engage it in an arms race that proved ruinous to the Soviet economy, Lewis said, that is not how the Islamists view matters. In their view, the Soviet Union was destroyed by mujahideen in Afghanistan, who drove the mighty Soviet army from the country. Osama bin Laden wrote at the time that Muslims had defeated the more dangerous of their two main enemies, and that defeating the effeminate Americans would prove easier.
The need to avoid providing further credence to the Islamist narrative is precisely why the United States cannot allow Iran to go nuclear or be perceived as fleeing Iraq. Either event would only confirm the narrative of Islam's advance and Western weakness. Iranian possession of the Bomb would send the status of Iran – a state pursuing an explicitly expansionist foreign policy under to the banner of Islam – to skyrocket. .And every anti-Western terror group in the world would seek protection under Iran's nuclear umbrella.
The Europeans are only beginning to awaken to the threat. Let’s hope the Democrats in America do so too before it is too late.
Related Topics: Islamofacism & Terrorism
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