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What with all the current chaos in the Mid East and other parts of the world, my current thoughts wandered to what befell Israel during the Yom Kipper War of 1973. Which is not simply fodder for a disposal page of history. In this day and age, we had better take seriously the components that cause a country to win or lose.
Israel’s enemies are as devoted to its annihilation today as they were in 1973. As much as we’d like to ignore the grim reality, every free, democracy-loving country in the world is in a constant state of war with people determined to destroy it. That is why bodies were shredded in the streets of Boston; dedicated American soldiers were murdered in November 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas, by a terrorist shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is great”); and the World Trade Center in New York City was destroyed in September 2001. The shout “Allahu Akbar” frames the declaration of perpetual war, certified by vengeful attacks on innocent people.
If a democracy is to exist, it has only one option: survival through strength. In 1973 Israel was determined to see the conflict through and win, demonstrating its understanding of the consequences of failure. Decades earlier, many Israelis had experienced in Europe the effects of such hatred and had not forgotten its blood-soaked ugliness.
Friendship is a virtue that has charted the course between Israel and the United States for 65 years. In 1948 President Harry Truman, against almost all advice, made America the first country in the world to officially recognize the State of Israel. Nixon did not shrink from Russian imperialists and was willing to fight to prevent the destruction of a trusted ally. In 1917 and during the war-torn years of the 1940s, Americans marched to the aid of their allies, valued as friends in need.
A war of words waged on the floor of a debating society can be entertaining and concluded with no casualties. Unfortunately, reality doesn’t work that way. For more than two centuries, Americans have lived relatively secure, safe, healthy and prosperous lives in a country that has kept us free. The United States of America has been a bulwark of strength — moral, industrial and military. We have demonstrated fidelity to our Constitution, maintained a reasonable political consensus and had unwavering love for our country.
Are all these things slipping away? In many respects, the answer is yes. The greatest dangers we face today are from within. A great infiltration has occurred and is destroying the society and culture that have made America great. We must decide whether to surrender or survive; to improve our situation — or lose.
Scripture provides the wisdom America needs: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalms 33:12). Believing that truth would be a step in the right direction.