Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton’s confirmation hearings are underway in the Senate today. A good question for any senator who is interested in being honest about the real problem in the Middle East is this:
“Senator Clinton, imagine that you’re the Israeli Foreign Minister: What do you do when the other party at the ‘peace table’ is openly committed to your destruction?”
This is the question that all our political and foreign policy elites who are demanding that Israel immediately agree to a “cease fire” with Hamas in Gaza should be asking.
And this is the fact that the anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic mobs that are taking to the streets in London, Edinburgh, Berlin and Washington, DC should know:
Hamas is openly, publicly and proudly committed to the destruction of the state of Israel. This is a negotiating partner?
“There is No Solution For the Palestinian Problem Except Through Jihad”
These are the words of the Hamas charter:
Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.
And here is how the founding document of Hamas treats the concept of “negotiations”:
"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."
Two Facts of Violence in Mid-East: Hamas and Iran
There are two main facts of the violence in the Middle East that all Americans — and particularly our leaders — should be aware of:
The first is that Hamas exists to destroy Israel. Its leaders wake up every morning with one goal — to eliminate what they call the “Zionist entity.”
The second fact of violence in the Middle East is the ongoing effort by Iran (using Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas as its proxies) to undermine pro-American governments in the region.
“A New Emphasis on Respect” in Relations with Iran?
On ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, President-elect Obama repeated his campaign pledge to negotiate with Iran.
He also promised that there would be a “new emphasis on respect” in his administration’s dealings with Tehran.
President-elect Obama may want respect.
But Iran’s theocratic rulers want victory.
This is a dangerous mismatch of goals for America and a potentially nuclear, aggressor regime to have.
To Understand Iran and Gaza, Obama Should Look to Lincoln
President-elect Obama has expressed a welcome fondness for Abraham Lincoln. To understand the regimes in Iran and Gaza, all of us should read more Lincoln.
When the southern states began to secede from the Union with Lincoln’s election in 1860, Lincoln concluded that negotiating with the South would be futile. There were only two options:
To make it impossible for the South to leave the Union.
Or to allow the Union itself to be destroyed.
Lincoln choose to “preserve, protect and defend” the Union and 620,000 Americans died implementing his policy.
But in doing so, Lincoln saved the Union. And the “mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone” endure to this day.
The Policy of the United States Must Be That Israel’s Right to Survive is Unequivocal
Similarly, there are no easy solutions in Gaza. But there are a few milestones that Israel should achieve — and the United States should support — before any ceasefire with Hamas is granted:
1) Hamas’ capacity to inflict violence on the state of Israel must be destroyed, or at least significantly reduced.
2) No missiles — period — must be fired from Gaza into the sovereign state of Israel.
3) The border between Gaza and Egypt must be sealed and verified by an Israeli and/or independent verifier.
The policy of the United States of America has been and must be that Israel’s right to survive is unequivocal. Therefore, the greatest danger to Israel in the long run is for it to experience violence followed by a false truce which allows its enemies time to rearm and initiate yet another cycle of violence.
Iran and Hamas will not voluntarily end this cycle of violence. They must be brought to the point where they have no choice.
Smart Spending Versus Dumb Spending
As Democratic and Republican politicians in Washington busy themselves with the task of spending hundreds of billions more of your tax dollars to stimulate the economy, it is high time Washington realize that not all spending is equal.
There is smart spending, and there is dumb spending.
I’ve talked before about what I consider smart spending to be. It’s spending that improves the long-terms health and productivity of the economy, that attracts new investment to America, and that allows taxpayers to keep more of what they earn.
Then there’s dumb spending.
This often takes the form of pork barrel projects; spending, not in America’s interest, but in the narrow, political interest of a politician or interest group.
$22 Million to Fund Two Downtown Harrisburg, Pa., Hotels
In other words, dumb spending is typically political spending. And it’s hard to see how politicians in Washington can be expected to pass the $750 billion stimulus bill advocated by President-elect Obama without a lot of politics creeping in.
Especially when the nation’s mayors have compiled a wish list of over 15,000 local projects they’d like Uncle Sam to fund.
Exhibit A is a proposed Museum of Organized Crime in Las Vegas, Nev. As I said on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" (watch it here), one would think the mob has enough money to build their own museum.
Exhibit B on the dumb spending list is the request by the mayor of Harrisburg, Pa., for $22 million to build two downtown hotels.
This isn’t stimulating the economy. This is stimulating the mayor’s friends in Harrisburg – and hurting the private entrepreneurs who own and operate hotels in the area.
For the sake of the taxpayers footing the bill, and the entrepreneurs struggling without a government bailout, this kind of dumb spending must end.
P.S. January 2009 is Birth Defects Prevention Month. About 120,000 babies or 1:33 in the United States are born each year with birth defects, and these defects are the leading cause of death in the first year of life. Genetic and environmental factors, or a combination of these factors, can cause birth defects, but in many instances, the cause of the defects is unknown.
At the Center for Health Transformation our Healthy Babies Project, under the direction of CEO Nancy Desmond is designed to identify and accelerate the adoption of prenatal solutions that lead to the birth of healthier babies, as well as neonatal health solutions that result in the best possible start in life for babies, particularly those deemed to be most at-risk.
While we cannot cure all birth defects, education for mothers and families is critical. The project brings together a collaboration of public and private sector leaders dedicated to the creation of a twenty-first century intelligent health system that results in healthier babies and decreases the prevalence of infant mortality.
For more information on Birth Defects Prevention Month, please visit http://www.nbdpn.org/current/resources/bdpm2009.html and to learn about solutions at CHT, please visit www.healthtransformation.net.
American Solutions Update: ASAP
Stan Tommasello is a retired captain with extensive experience as a pilot. Read his assessment of today’s airline system and his argument supporting the FAA’s Next Generation plan.
American Solutions invites you to become an American Solutions Airline Passenger (ASAP) This initiative is an effort to improve technology and reduce flight delays. The current air traffic control system uses analog radar technology from the 1950’s. A new system, called NextGen, using global positioning satellites has been proposed. It would allow planes to fly closer together while increasing safety and would boost the capacity of our airways by about 40 percent. Best of all, it would eliminate nearly all delays, except for those caused by weather. It would mean more efficient airlines, using less fuel, having higher profits and higher wages, and offering better service at lower costs.
It is time for a twenty-first century solution. HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO!
1. Become an American Solutions Airline Passenger and join the action team.
2. E-mail your travel “horror stories” to our team. VIDEO: VIEW OUR “HORROR STORIES” HERE
3. For questions, comments, or more information, please contact Princella Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org