by Howard Rotberg
In 1943 to 1945, Hitler’s costly obsession with killing every last Jew in Europe took precedence over military and economic basic needs in wartime. There came a point in the course of the war, when the resources used in rounding up and murdering European Jewry could have been used to strengthen a failing military.
And now we see another evil empire, Iran, prioritizing aid to its terrorist proxies, such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and others to kill Jews in Israel, when the economy is in such straights that protesters are hitting the streets. The Iranian people are not stupid; they see huge sums of money leaving the country to assist these terrorist groups in genocide of the Jews when American sanctions over the Iranian nuclear program have caused shortages of gas and oil and even rationing.
People also must question the cost of Iran propping up Syrian leader and war-criminal Assad.
This past week, many Iranians have had enough. Gas rationing and price increases may have been the instigation of these protests; however as we see in Hong Kong that once the people take the first steps to challenge authority, a revolution may start if the people have lost their loyalty to the state.
The government of Iran is now closing down the internet; but it is too late. Knowledge of the freedoms of other countries has already spread. Humankind has a natural inclination towards freedom, once knowledge of freedom has been discovered.
The Mullahs have such an obsession against Israel that it has spread to financing large terrorist attacks against Jews elsewhere – in 1994, Iranian-supported Hezbollah in Argentina, with corrupt Argentinian politicians cooperating in the cover-up, bombed the Buenos Aires Jewish Community Center, killing 85 and injuring over 300.
It is significant that this past July, Argentina reversed its long cover-up of the Hezbollah bombing and its cover-up of the Iranian-backed assassination of the prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Nisman was closing in on proving government complicity in putting economic deals with Iran ahead of justice. In July, Argentina designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization and froze its assets. This, together with Trump’s actions may mark a turning point in the world’s appeasement of Iran.
The Iranian takeover, through Hezbollah, of southern Lebanon and periodic attacks by Hezbollah missiles against northern Israel is not cheap. The Iranians, in full contravention of U.N. resolutions including a ceasefire agreement, have now supplied over 150,000 missiles to Hezbollah to use against Israeli civilians in a war that might be imminent.
Anyone interested in the types of missiles and their range, can start by reading Shaan Shaikh’s "Missiles and Rockets of Hezbollah," here.
It is clear that while at present many of the missiles are not guided so have limited accuracy, the sheer number of them launched at Israel would kill many and overwhelm Israel’s high technology Iron Dome defence system. In the future, if finances permit, Iran would be tempted to gain more precise weapons for use, which would considerably increase Israel casualties in strikes from Lebanon and Gaza.
Shaikh, in his article says: “Hezbollah is the world’s most heavily armed non-state actor, and has been described as ‘a militia trained like an army and equipped like a state.' This is especially true with regard to its missile and rocket forces.”
And these missiles, especially the newer heavier missiles, do not come cheap. Iran, like Pakistan, is willing to let extreme poverty be less of a priority than making nuclear bombs.
President Donald Trump, although subject himself to a constant barrage of “political missiles” from hostile media and a Democratic Party (willing to break laws to try to subvert him), has undertaken some very smart policies. And none more so than, firstly, his withdrawal from an agreement that would pave the way for Iranian nuclear power within 15 years, and, secondly, his imposition of sanctions.
The brilliance of the sanctions is to weaken the evil leadership of Iran that has not been 100% successful in imposing its Islamist extremism on a population where many still remember its Persian civilization. Sanctions hopefully will induce the opposition to rise up and try to cast off a leadership that imposes its totalitarian will, along with depriving its citizens of elementary freedoms. The Mullahs can now be blamed for causing oil and gas shortages in a country with enormous oil reserves but no refining capacity. When people cannot get enough gas to run their cars as usual, it doesn’t take long for people to end their enthusiasm for a government that has mishandled its oil revenue.
The violence of the conflict between Shia and Sunni Muslims, including the humanitarian tragedy in Yemen and the continued fighting in Syria and Iraq, is exacerbated by the actions of the leadership of the Shi’ite world, Iran.
It seems clear to me, that Trump’s policy to weaken Iran through economic means, shows that disdain for him as a mere businessman who knows nothing of foreign policy is completely misplaced. Only a very smart businessman could see through the Obama/Kerry empowerment of one of the world’s most evil regimes and use money to starve out the regime and give more urgency to a rebellion of the people, without American troops on the ground.
Not only would actions in aid of a revolution give human rights to the Iranian people and remove one of the main causes of instability among Arab regimes, it would bring peace to Israel, and end the rockets from Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.
The nuclear agreement included China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union. In exchange for too little, the deal lifted some sanctions and a freeze on Iran’s assets that were held largely in foreign, not U.S., banks. But Obama’s actions seemed to reward Iran too much for too little in the way of concessions in the agreement.
So, even though the money that was unfrozen by Obama (without the approval of Congress) belonged to Iran, and whether the cash amounted to $50 billion, or the figure of $150 billion sometimes cited by President Trump, it was a silly thing to do. After all, the U.S. was dealing with a country that is an avowed enemy of the U.S. Moreover, that country needed money to fund terrorism and international intrigue and violence, as well as its nuclear program, which continued to some extent after signing the agreement.
Democrats get very upset when people tell them things that they really don’t want to know. But the fact is both Iran and Germany were so evil that they acted against their own self interest in pursuit of regional or world domination in addition to extermination of Jews. Sometimes the truth hurts.
If only the Europeans and Russians would get on side and stop their trading with the Iranian enemy, Iran’s leaders could fall relatively quickly. Perhaps with world aide to those sparking a revolution against the Ayatollahs, continued financial sanctions, and an Israeli bombing of its nuclear and military sites, Iran can repudiate this 40 year long reign of terror both at home and abroad.
Howard Rotberg is the author of four books, including a novel about a professor who obsesses that the Iranians are trying to create a second Holocaust against the Jews – The Second Catastrophe: a Novel About a Book and its Author.
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