Giving “Never Again” a New Reality, by Andrew Joppa

 

This may be the most important essay you’ve ever read. I know you’ve seen these types of words before…all leading nowhere. Most are written by eccentrics. However, when an existential event could occur, an event that is logically derived from merely an extension of all current circumstance, and that event has a reasonably high potential for occurrence, and is not even on the radar of anyone’s consideration… it would seem to fall into the category of being… one of the most important essays you’ve read. Let’s see if I can defend that premise.

I first read Tolstoi’s, War and Peace, in Vietnam…I had time on my hands during my midnight shift at the MARS station. I reread it about ten years ago…this time with greater focus on its subtle meanings. One of its ideas has stayed with me after that second reading. My memory may not be precise, but the retained thought is accurate, although I will paraphrase.

 A French general is asked by an intimate who would be allowed this question, “General, why do you fight wars with such brutality and horror?”  The general replies, “Mon ami, there is only one good thing in war…that is…to fight in a manner to end it as quickly as possible. Any way of conducting a war that is not dedicated to that purpose creates more horrors eventually than mine will do in the short run.  That is why I fight as I do…to end the war as soon as possible.  I do so because I am humane.”

You may not totally agree with Tolstoi’s French general, or agree at all, but his idea has substance and deserves consideration. In fact, there are moments where we have acted in exactly this manner, although it’s never been defined in a similar manner to Tolstoi.

When we launched our assault on Fortress Europe during WWII…D-Day, we knew that thousands of warriors would die on the beaches of Normandy. More to the point of this essay, we understood that thousands of civilians would die because of allied preparatory and post invasion bombing raids.  And die they did, with an estimated 30,000 French civilians as collateral damage in this mission to rescue humanity from the scourge of the Third Reich. A price knowingly paid. I don’t believe we would pay that price today although we seem to have no problem sacrificing Ukrainian boots to our foreign policy …after all, they’re “only” Ukrainians.

I’ll divert for a moment to say what is obvious. Every attempt should be made to minimize the loss of human life in all military actions. “Every attempt,” ending at the point of damaging a critical mission’s chance for success…or…where saving one life, or dozens, would lead to the eventual death of thousands more …or… where the action chosen would accomplish little more than extending the conflict.

Would we have dropped atomic weapons on Japan in 1945 with the attitudes taken today?  The answer is “no” and that would have led to the death of hundreds of thousands or, more realistically, millions. The French general would have been appalled. That would certainly have occurred if an assault on the Japanese homeland was unavoidable. Truman understood that, even though his critics seemed to have often lost perspective on that critical consideration.

As an aside, I find the constant howling regarding the deaths at Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be offensive. Why offensive? Because most of this is only done to diminish current America. Imperial Japan, during the period of 1937 through 1945, was one of the most horrid perpetrators of war crimes this world has ever known. They gave a new depth to the word “barbaric.”

Their barbarism had no intent to end the war. It was an example of Japan’s racist imperialism…resulting in the joy of killing their inferiors for the joy alone. Who were their inferiors?  Anyone who was not Japanese, especially other Asians.

The Japanese people totally supported this regime. Someone should ask the victims of Japanese atrocities how they felt or feel about these bombings… ask a Korean, a Filipino, a Chinese, an Indian…ask almost any Asian, and you’ll find no sympathy for those deaths…only gratitude.  Those bombings have many justifications…the most critical is that it shortened the war…our French general would have agreed.

By now you have a fairly good idea of where I’m going with this. First, I write as a citizen of a nation that through its long and mostly glorious history has willingly sacrificed millions for the greater good. As I write, I’m not attacking those decisions, but using them as a point of reference… to the largest extent I supported those choices for the same reasons offered by our French general.

America “contributed” several hundred thousand lives toward the cause of ending slavery.  In WWII we killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, as did The Brits, with our high-altitude bombings of German cities…the Reich had to be stopped and human life was lost in that existential process. We wouldn’t do it today and, as a result, civilization would be forfeited to the newest barbarians. Once again, our French general would have understood how foolish it would have been to have not bombed these German cities.

The war had to be ended, and the Germans had to be coerced, through any means at the ally’s disposal, to move the Reich toward the possibility of unconditional surrender. If we had not engaged in these activities, it might have extended the war long enough to allow the Germans to finish their development of weapons of mass destruction …including, but not limited to, atomic weaponry.

With all that I’ve offered I finally arrive at the real focus of this essay. Simply, Israel must be allowed to take any action that it deems necessary for its national survival. This is the same criteria we’ve applied to the actions of our nation. If, for that reason, it results in the death of every Palestinian, and it might, then that is the price that must be paid…or allowed.

Israel is not the aggressor…it has never been the aggressor. Since its legal inception in 1948 it has often faced the near total military weight of the Arab world. Even now…although the Islamic world has defined Israels struggles as being against only the Palestinians, we know that Israel is facing extinction from that larger Arab world if it makes the slightest strategic mistake.

Yet, our nation, protected by oceans, now feels it’s appropriate to challenge Israel if their attempt to survive creates any death, that we, in our conspicuous hypocrisy, deem as unacceptable.

We have never faced any threat as significant as the one that Israel has faced every day for the past 75 years. During those 75 years, Israel has never allowed its pain to prompt their causing death on an unnecessarily large scale…never. No nation has ever acted with more restraint under comparable prompts as has Israel.

I won’t belabor Israels dire circumstance.  You already understand it or forever will not understand it as your pervasive antisemitism will always rule your mind. If you are an antisemite let me know so I can drop you from my mailing list.

There is, however, one scenario that is avoided within any discussion. That is…what if Israel faces extinction and the slaughter of millions of Israelis by Islamic primitives…all given the license to act by the foreign policies of the West and their persistent hatred for the small homeland of the Jews and, of course, the Jewish people themselves.

Toward that existential scenario, one that is within a meaningful range of possibility, I’ll write with the impassioned voice of Israel’s Prime Minister as he addresses what lies ahead for Israel and the world…if they allow millions of Jews to be slaughtered:

The prime minister speaks:

“I speak now to the governments and people of the world…especially those of the Arab nations and the West. A painful moment has been reached for my beleaguered country.  

For the past seventy-five years much of the world has been actively complicit, directly or indirectly, in the attempt to destroy our country and the millions of Jews within its borders. How you could have been so cruel to a people that contributed so much to the quality of your life is unfathomable. Finally, you are on the verge of succeeding. Our enemies have already penetrated our cities and our defensive resources are depleted. Jews… men, women and children…are being slaughtered in the streets of our cities.

We have tried to evacuate those we could, but the world has denied us access.  We now face the second Holocaust of the Jewish people.  This one will be worse the first. I never thought I’d ever have to say those words.

There will, however, be one major difference.  We will ensure that much of the world shares our pain…shares our grief. As I speak, Israeli fighter bombers are leaving the tarmac of our major military facilities. Each is laden with nuclear weapons that we always thought would only be a deterrent to our destruction. 

That has failed…the lure of Jewish blood was too strong. Now, so that those who have hated us will understand what their hatred can breed, each of these planes is heading toward a major capital of the world. Within the next few hours, you will know who we have chosen.  Some will be intercepted, but many will arrive on target. Don’t dare suggest that this isn’t what you wanted…if not…why have you driven Israel to this point of no return? Did you expect that we would allow this slaughter and go quietly into the night? 

Finally…the Jewish people, driven by necessity, will be guided by “an eye for an eye.” We have made every effort to be guided by compassion and restraint. We believed that eventually the world would understand who we are and the values that have steered us.

We have failed to convince a world that could not be convinced. The world will soon understand what they have wrought. Each of our nuclear weapons is marked with the words that lay in the background for 75 years…’NEVER AGAIN.’ It is now too late for you to remember that we are human beings.”

For those that believe my scenario couldn’t occur…you’re wrong. Just think of October seventh times a million.  Yes…given the opportunity, the Arab/Islamic world desires nothing more than the death of Jews. How could anyone not understand this and what Israel it desperately trying to prevent? For their entire history, the Jewish people have remained relatively docile in the face of hatred.  What may lie just ahead will not be one of them.

Also, for any that believe that those killing Jews could be persuaded to take their knives from the throats of Jewish children in the streets of Tel Aviv…you are insane. When the entire raison d’etre of a fanatical religious movement might be fulfilled, it will not be stoppable. Your only hope for your future may be to ensure the safety of Israel and the Jewish people…NOW.

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