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Please try to read fast, so if war with Iran breaks out over the Strait of Hormuz within the next few minutes, at least you’ll have been briefed.
Can you imagine covering World War II without any mention of World War I? You’d have to be a skilled practitioner of contortionist-journalism. Can you imagine covering the economy today without mentioning the Great Depression? Same deal. Add covering the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11 without mentioning the earlier attack of 1993.
Iran is stridently issuing threats to close the super-vital Strait of Hormuz if America ever imposes anything beyond pin-prick sanctions against Iran; sanctions seriously targeting, for example, the Central Bank of Iran. And there’s our media, giving us faithful blow-by-blow accounts of Iran’s threat without a single mention of the thunderously relevant deja-vu example of Egypt in 1967. That failure is nothing short of eerie. Thank you, colleagues, for saving this one for me!
Please try to absorb this history and I’ll try to keep it painless. In mid-1967 Israel didn’t want a war with the Arab world, but it needed one. The anti-Israel build-up led by Gamal Abdel Nasser, ruler of Egypt and consensus leader of the Arab world, was just as bluntly aimed at the destruction of Israel as any words or drama coming out of Iran today. Israel may be the last nation to live by the morality of the American Western movie. You remember: in the Western, the good guy always shoots last. The bad guy always shoots first. Then and only then does the good guy draw and shoot. And, incidentally, win!
You who oppose Israel are predictably upset by that claim. You wonder if I remember Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” in late 2008. Israeli forces moved into Gaza to strike at the forces of Hamas. Do you remember the hundreds of terrorist rockets Hamas dumped upon Israeli civilians leading up to that Israeli counterattack? Israel doesn’t attack. Israel counter-attacks. If such praise of Israel sits poorly with you, I wonder if you’re anti-Israel, but under-briefed and in over your head, or a liar. Sorry, I can’t think of any other alternatives.
Back to 1967: Nasser ordered the United Nations buffer-force separating Egyptian from Israeli forces to leave. Hostile. Belligerent. But Nasser had the right. Then Nasser moved his tank army right up to the Israeli border. Hostile. Belligerent. But Nasser had the right. Then Nasser made the worst mistake in the history of the Middle East, and there’ve been a few.