What Pearl Harbor and Hanukkah teach us about Syria and Iran

Pearl Harbor Day and Hanukkah are about honoring heroes, and about reminding everyone that freedom is not free. The lessons apply to Syria and Iran.

LOS ANGELES, December 7, 2012—Every December 7th, America remembers Pearl Harbor Day, the day that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said would “live in infamy.” The worst attack on American soil since 1812, America would not see anything like it until September 11th, 2001.

Despite America’s desire to stay out of World War II, Japan bombed a U.S. Navy base in Hawaii, killing thousands of American sailors and innocent civilians. Twelve years into the Great Depression, the last thing America needed was foreign conflict, yet Americans answered the call. The entire fate of the world was at stake, and from that moment on it would be up to America to save it from its worst actors.

The World War II generation is called the “Greatest Generation” for a reason. They defeated the evils of Nazism and saved civilization. Americans today are forever in their debt. To every one of those patriots, thank you.

One day after Pearl Harbor this year comes the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the Festival of lights. Centuries before Pearl Harbor, a small band of Jews known as Maccabees were needed to save the Jewish way of life against Greek enemies trying to exterminate them. Despite being outnumbered, Judah Maccabee and his brothers risked their lives so Jewish people today could be free. The Israel that exists today is a direct result of their bravery.

As an equally proud American and Jew, Pearl Harbor and Hanukkah are both very meaningful to me. As the son of a military veteran and Holocaust survivor, I find it difficult to overstate the importance of the lessons of these holidays and the need to remember those lessons forever.

American and Israeli flags flying high is not enough. What matters is that the world learns the lessons of Pearl Harbor Day and Hanukkah.

First of those is that evil exists. There is no middle ground in dealing with it. Either evil is eradicated, or it flourishes. With national leaders are rational, diplomacy can make the world safer. “Soft power” is a proper course of action when America is dealing with China and Russia.

When leaders are committed to Armageddon, diplomacy is useless. “Sanctions” as a perceived middle ground are just a fancy way of looking busy. Issuing sanctions means doing absolutely nothing while looking tough in front of cameras. Those waiting for one instance of effective sanctions should continue waiting.

Right now Radical Islamists are threatening world stability. President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad in Iran, with backing from the mullahs, is currently trying to build nuclear weapons to wipe Israel off the map.

Hamas and Hezbollah are also committed to the destruction of Israel. They are backed by weapons from Iran and Syria.

Speaking of Syria, leader Bashar Assad is now threatening to use Sarin gas against his own people. Sarin can kill thousands of people in one minute.

The current American leadership is issuing “warnings” to bad actors to stop being bad. The warnings are being ignored. Even if Mr. Assad backs down from using chemical weapons, he has already murdered thirty thousand of his own people in the last eighteen months. Since his brutal crackdown began in early 2011, the West issued warnings and sanctions. The genocide in Syria continues unabated. Even if Assad is toppled, the people murdered while the world dithered are forever gone. This is Libya redux, where Moammar Khadafi was removed only after thousands of people needlessly died in a conflict that dragged on far longer than necessary.

After Pearl Harbor, and when the Maccabees fought the Greeks, there were no reasons for diplomacy. Sanctions were not discussed. The lesson of the Greeks, Jews, Romans, British, and Americans later on is one that the enemies of freedom understand but the defenders of liberty have forgotten.

Force works. It has always worked. With the worst actors, “hard power” is the only thing that works.

FDR and Harry Truman did not negotiate. FDR declared war, and Truman dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The enemy quickly surrendered, never to threaten anyone again.

The Maccabees did not negotiate. They waged war and won. The Greeks surrendered and have not been a  threat since.

War is hell, but sometimes not waging war is worse.

Saddam Hussein funded worldwide instability. He was forcibly removed, captured, and killed. He is no longer a threat.

The 1930s brought Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Now the world has Ahmedinejad and Assad. The clock is ticking. Pearl Harbor Day and Hanukkah in 2020 may be a pipe dream unless these Radical Islamist threats are forcibly removed. Far too many lives have already been lost. The West must act now.


Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”

Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Read more from Eric at TYGRRRR EXPRESS

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Eric Golub

Eric Golub is a politically conservative Jewish blogger, author, public speaker, and comedian. His book trilogy is “Ideological Bigotry,” “Ideological Violence,” and  “Ideological Idiocy.” 

He is Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and has lived in Los Angeles since 1990. He received his Bachelors degree from the University of Judaism, and his MBA from USC. A stockbrokerage professional since 1994, he began blogging on March 11th, 2007, the three year anniversary of the Madrid bombings and the midpoint of 9/11. He has been inflicting his world view on his unfortunate readers since then. He blogs about politics Monday through Friday, and about football and other human interest items on weekends.



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