There is an extremely interesting Situation Report, or SITREP, on the current Middle East crisis. ISIS is seeing many victories.
The term “crisis” encompasses an overall view of the existing, and developing, activity in the region. To grasp the true danger, one must understand the basis for some of the thinking and actions that are the impetus for the currently existing, and worsening, situation.
In a recent article, I indicated that it is vital to comprehend that the participants “don’t think like we think.” That is crucial, as it can give valuable insight into, and perhaps an answer to, the question, “Where do we go from here?” Failure to comprehend and properly address that question could have profound implications, not only in the Middle East but for the rest of the world, as well.
At the risk of being repetitious, we must clearly grasp the significance of the concept that these people “don’t think like we think.” The combatants involved in the current Middle East situation think and act on an entirely different level, prompted by totally different motivations. The West, for the most part, sees war as a last resort; we only fight when we are forced to. Given our “druthers,” we’d “druther” negotiate than fight. And while America and most Western countries are not cowardly, they do value human life. Yes, our soldiers have died on foreign fields, but they did not go there to die. They went there to fight. We don’t necessarily fear death, but we do not seek or welcome it.
What many in the West do not understand is, the same words can mean different things to different people. Christians accept martyrdom – dying for not denying the faith – while, on the other hand, Islamic militants welcome death as martyrs (shaheed), as martyrdom is the access key to paradise. Here are words from Osama bin Ladin:
“[A] martyr’s privileges are guaranteed by Allah; forgiveness with the first gush of his blood, he will be shown his seat in paradise, he will be decorated with the jewels of belief, married off to the beautiful ones, protected from the test in the grave, assured security in the day of judgment, crowned with the crown of dignity, a ruby of which is better than this whole world and its entire content, wedded to seventy-two of the pure Houris (beautiful women of Paradise) and his intercession on the behalf of seventy of his relatives will be accepted.”
Men who, for the most part, live in abject poverty, with no hope of ever being able to afford to obtain a wife, have not the slightest inclination toward any type of peaceful solution to the Middle East conflicts (especially if they are also being successful on the battlefield).
Osama bin Laden was not alone, as evidenced by this portion of a speech given by the Supreme Spiritual Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, at Ayatollah Khomeini’s Mausoleum:
“Let me say to you: these stances [of American administrators on suicide bombings] will not be of any use. This quest for martyrdom is not based on emotions; it is based on belief in Islam and faith in [the] Judgment Day and faith in life after death. Anywhere Islam exists in its true sense, arrogance faces this threat.”
Still, while there may be a deep schism existing between the two dominant groups, Shiites and Sunnis, these two groups worship the same god. They have a deep and abiding animosity toward one another as each group believes, strongly, that the other is totally mistaken in their theology, based on their ecclesiastical history. But while Western groups may differ as Catholics, Protestants and Jews, they all worship the God of Israel; and though they may dispute doctrinal points, they do not regularly resort to violence (except occasionally, as in Ireland).
Catholics, Protestants and Jews have fought side by side against oppression as evidenced by World War I and World War II; and in my opinion, Sunnis and Shiites will fight side by side against “kafirs” (unbelievers) if the chance to fulfill one of their highest ambitions, here on earth, presents itself.
That ambition? The destruction of the state of Israel.
This is the real danger faced by the West, and Western leadership somehow seems unable to grasp the hidden danger of the current Muslim conflict in the Middle East. This developing potential crisis seems to have slipped past the Western world’s leadership. While Sunnis and Shiites fight one another in Iraq and portions of Syria, a dangerous reality has come about which could lead to a major world conflagration and the world media has somehow failed to recognize and report this.
Let us briefly consider a simple, oft publicly unstated truth: Muslims, as a whole, do not accept Israel’s right to exist. Several wars fought (and won) by Israel since its inception testify to this fact, and that brings us to today.
Look objectively at a map of the Middle East, observe Israel (if you can find it; its name will doubtless appear written in the sea since the country is too small to hold it), and you will see the precarious nature of her existence. Except for Egypt (under Sadat ) and Jordan (which, in a treaty, gained approximately 380 square kilometers of land and water from the Yarmouk and Jordan rivers), every other Muslim-dominated country is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.
Remember, when Israel became a nation in 1948, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen all joined in a combined attempt to annihilate her.
So today, if you consider carefully, you will find Sunni-dominated Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Sunni-dominated Palestinians in the Gaza strip all vehemently opposed to Israel’s continued existence. Today on Israel’s northern border, Syria, a country with a large Sunni population in sympathy with ISIS, is ruled by a small Shiite minority and in Lebanon, Hezbollah, whom Israel defends itself against, gets weapons from Shiites in Iran (another country that has sworn to destroy Israel).
The next-door neighbor to Syria (the aforementioned home of the current Shiite-Sunni conflict), Iraq, has experienced some major losses over the past weekend. Apparently, the Sunni terrorists have captured two key Iraqi border crossings, one into Jordan and the other in Syria. The next logical step would be a hostile move against Jordan, but since Jordan is predominately Sunni, will there necessarily be a war? Would not Sunni join with Sunni? Would not Shiites also join in a war to annihilate Israel? Who and what is to prevent another unified Muslim assault on Israel?
Is the next stop Israel?
Let us be abundantly clear about one simple truth. In World War II, the Jews (and the world) were not prepared or conditioned to believe that something as horribly incomprehensible as the Holocaust could, in fact, occur. Today, however, the world, but more particularly the Jews (now Israel), knows beyond a shadow of doubt that the threats of annihilation are not simply political rhetoric. Consequently, almost all the Jewish people are universally committed to the defense of their homeland, as the following statements clearly indicate:
“Following the Holocaust, two phrases stand out above all others as concrete universal Jewish resolutions. The first, ‘Zachor’ (to remember), is to ensure that the past will never be forgotten and its memory will always serve as a guide for the future.”
The Jews will no longer be deceived by rhetoric and false denials. However, lest there be some misunderstanding as to what this means to the Jewish people, they added a second phrase, which is observed annually in the State of Israel: “Never Again.”
“Yom Hazikaron (The Day of Remembrance) is not limited to the horrors of a particular time or place, nor by extent or methods, but rather it symbolizes the Jewish people’s collective resolve to never stand by the blood of their brethren and to never allow innocents to be brutalized for the crime of being Jewish.”
Please keep in mind, Israel has developed, and maintains, one of the best equipped, best trained, highly motivated militaries in the world. It is an open secret that the Israeli military possesses nuclear weapons, jets, submarines and rockets that can reach the capital cities of all who have declared themselves enemies of the Jewish people.
In the words of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to a joint session of the U.S. Congress in 2011:
“Israel always reserves the right to defend itself. We are a nation that rose from the ashes of the Holocaust. When we say “Never again,” we mean, “Never again.”
Israel will never allow another Holocaust – even if it precipitates World War III.
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