Our Children Are The Guarantors

Defending Zionism from its detractors. Anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism. Let the other side apologize for a change.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

No to “Nuke the Ragheads”

Among those who are wakeful to the dangers of our time, you will encounter the ones who say, “Nuke the ragheads!” and similar calls to finish off the whole thing with one nuclear strike on the enemy’s centers such as Iran or Mecca. I’m not going to say they’re giving me a bad name, and I’m not going to say they’re “becoming the very evil they have sworn to fight” (a favorite anti-war catchphrase of the Left). I will say, however, that the enthusiasm for nuclear warfare is misplaced and, even, runs contrary to the spirit of the Tanach (the Jewish Bible).

First, to answer the argument that the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought World War II to end much sooner than it would have otherwise: this is the territory of counterfactuals (“What turn history would have taken if event X had not happened”), which is by nature conjectural; and the world is not the same as it was then regarding the view of nuclear weapons. For the dropping of the bombs in 1945 was the first time, when even their inventors did not have the exact idea as to the damage they would do, and all history following that event, throughout the Cold War (1945–91), is predicated on the fear of those now known effects.

Second, the idea of the inevitability of a nuclear engagement is contrary to the spirit of Biblical prophecy, at least the Jewish one. Many people think that prophecy consists in telling the unstoppable future. Such, however, is not prophecy in the Biblical sense, but fortune-telling, which the Torah forbids (King Saul’s final sin). In ancient myth like that of Oedipus, as in modern myth like that of Anakin Skywalker, what is termed “prophecy” is actually fortune-telling, in which the protagonist is told a future that he cannot possibly avert, no matter how he tries. Not so is Biblical prophecy: it is not a simple sentence in a future tense, but a complex sentence with a conditional clause.

The prophets of G-d always delivered their messages of doom with a way out, a way to avert it, which was, in the greatest contrast to that of myths like the story of Oedipus, imperative for the hearers to take. It is only half the truth to consider the prophets’ words about death and destruction; the other half of the truth is the conditional clause according to which repentance from sin would avert those scenarios. Those, therefore, who look forward to a scenario of global death and destruction for the End of the Days partake of the error of prophet Jonah, who complained upon the sparing of Nineveh from destruction. He had erred in thinking of Nineveh’s destruction an inevitability like the bad fortune told to people by the oracle of Delphi (who was not above deceit: it is said the oracle’s answer to Pyrrhus was both, “I say you can defeat the Romans” and “I say the Romans can defeat you”. HaShem never engages in such smoothness of tongue), but HaShem corrected him, showing him even the worst scenario could be averted by repentance, by any person (Nineveh was a Gentile city).

I do not doubt for a moment that the coming World War will be a great trial; but the degree of the hardship can be lessened according as people repent. Nuclear warfare is a possibility but not an inevitability. It is the worst case, not a default, and not something to which believers should look forward to. The fatalism of Ancient Greek and Islamic thought has no room in the Jewish, Biblical view: just as it was not inevitable that Cain murder his brother, but he could, as HaShem said to him, by his willpower resist that temptation, we can avoid the most terrible outcome by our actions, whether the religious ones of heeding G-d’s words and following His statutes, or the secular ones of doing the utmost to correct those who are in the wrong as to which is friend and which is foe, and speaking the truth no matter the price.

Third, and a timely message for the coming Day of Atonement: the death of evil people is not HaShem’s first resort. When Rabbi Meir wanted HaShem to do away with sinners who harassed him, his wife, Bruriah, admonished him with a midrash on Psalms 104:35: that it is written, “Let sins (chata’im) cease out of the earth” and not “sinners (chot’im)”, therefore we should never pray first for the death of the wicked, but rather for their repentance from evil, with their death a second option in case they do not repent. We know that HaShem can wipe out all sins from the earth by wiping out the sinners, but that is midat ha-din (the measure of judgment), so we pray instead that He will wipe out all the sins from the earth by driving the sinners to repent, which is midat ha-rachamim (the measure of mercy).

Consider the picture of these children:

Young children bearing arms in a Hizbullah training camp. Hat tip: Epaminondas.

That’s awful (if you don’t agree, you’re on the other side). Those kids, like the ones who swept the mines in Iraq with their own bodies under a “martyrdom” initiative set up by none other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (probably one who is so beyond hope that there will be no choice but for him to meet Haman’s fate), are trained to be suicide fighters. They’re emblematic of the Muslims’ cynical exploitation of the non-Muslims’ weakness, namely its aversion to killing humans so young.

What do you think? If you think that, in a confrontation with them, we should just roll over and let them shoot away, then you’re heartless not only toward yourself and your non-Muslim peers, but also toward those children, who will grow up with the view that terrorism pays. If you think that those kids should be confronted just like any other combatants, and G-d hold the adults who perverted them accountable, then you’re contemplating a cruel and brutal necessity. It may come to this, I have no delusions that it can’t. But, I think the best scenario, the first resort if possible, would be the merciful solution of kidnapping those children and raising them as non-Muslims, for example Christians (Judaism doesn’t seek converts). It would be the real best, sparing both them and their targets from death or injury, bringing them upon love of life and freedom of thought, as well as historical payback for Islamic systems, such as the Ottoman Turks’ devshirme, in which non-Muslim children were kidnapped to be brought up as Muslims.

For He (HaShem, not the Islamic god), the merciful, does not wish for the sinner to die, but rather to repent, and if he does so, HaShem holds His wrath from him (Psalms 78:38).

G’mar chatimah tovah.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is that the "ragheads" are intent on nuking everyone else. Iran will have nukes, if they don't have them already, and so long as they are ruled by psychopaths, they will sooner or later hurl them in the direction of Israel (and elsewhere). Pakistan will eventually fall to the sympathetic Al Qaeda/Taliban elements that already control part of the country and its intelligence agency. Again, these people will use their weapons--if not on Israel, certainly against India. North Korea continues to be problematic whether or not they pose a threat of using their weapons, they certainly are proliferating them. Egypt is now starting a nuclear "energy" program (with US help). So they'll have nukes. Then Saudi will have to have them, and Turkey. France, within another couple decades or so, should be firmly under Islamic control, and their arsenal will also fall into the hands of fundamentalists. Then, of course, we have the non-state actors getting their hands on them (AQ, Hizbollah, etc.). The amount of nuclear proliferation and the sorts of hands these weapons are falling into almost guarantees that they will be used. And neither Israel's, nor America's arsenals provide any sort of deterent against those sorts of entitites using these weapons.

So I don't think it is so much a matter of a gung ho "lets nuke the bastards" mindset, but rather that we are going to face these weapons soon, on multiple fronts. Then the question becomes whether or not pre-emption is justified in these cases, or at least in my mind it does. Such weapons ought not be used callously and without thought, but might be called for out of necessity. The often used justification for using the bombs on Japan could hold in the next global war--e.g. the cost to both Allied forces and the occupied nations might be greater than immediate cost of a "shock and awe" nuke.

Whatever the case, I think we are facing a good possibility of these weapons being used against us (and by us, I refer to all of the West, or what remains of it), and examining under what circumstances using our own weapons of mass destruction is justified is a useful exercise.

Your point about the children of these countries is an interesting one and one I've contemplated myself for a while. I have no problem with mass conversions in principle to Christianity, or even Buddhism, or Hinduism, or some -ism that is going to give them some morality and compassion. What I question is whether this will work with children beyond a certain age. What these cultures do to their children is systematic, instutionalized child abuse--and we see the end product. But I question how salvagable someone is who has been raised in this culture of hate and violence, who been exposed to the rampant sexual abuse, to practices of slavery, who has seen bodies blown apart on a regular basis--this sort of trauma, done to the young psyche on a daily basis, does not lend itself well to rehabilitation. We have children in the United States who've seen much less trauma than say the average "Palestinian" child or Iraqi child, and even with the extensive resources in this country, these children wind up being damaged beyond repair. I suppose part of that could be the general softness of Americans and our culture of victimization, which makes succumbing to such mental illnesses easier. There is something to be said sometimes for Stoicism. But this is an important point--at what point can we no longer rehabiliated and salvage these children? And if they cannot be salvaged, then what? Then ought we allow them to grow up to be monsters and continue to perpetuate their death cult, or do we have a responsibility, as awful as it is, to kill them as we would kill the monsterous adults that created them? This is a vital question. With Islamic populations being the fastest growing in the world, and with the majority of the worlds children being raised in this death cult, should the West finally awake and truly go to battle against this threat, that is going to be an awful lot of children we're going to have to deal with once we prevail. It does us little good to spill all that blood if we cannot reform the children of these societies.

Thanks again for another thought provoking post.

October 02, 2006 5:19 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Hi, thanks for the comment.

This post isn't so much against being gung-ho as it's against seeing apocalyptic destruction (a la the Terminator movies) as an inevitability. The thoughts in the West regarding, for example, a nuclear Iran are of three strains I can observe:

1. Give them anything they want to dissuade them from using nukes. That's appeasement, the attitude of the Left and of the corrupt and incompetent United Nations.
2. Stop them by being forceful, with the nuclear option a last resort, if all else should fail, G-d forbid.
3. Global nuclear warfare is in the script no matter what we do, so let's use nukes right now.

I think we both agree #1 is stupidity. The choice is between #2 and #3, and I say #2 is the right one.

First, my post is oriented especially toward those who believe in End Times scenarios. I have attempted to show from the Jewish Bible that it is wrong to believe in the inevitability of world destruction. Fatalism is un-Jewish and, I suspect, also un-Christian.

Second, something I should have elaborated on in this post, but Yom Kippur was pressing, so I'll devote a separate post to it, G-d willing: the nuclear warfare philosophy of Mutually Assured Destruction is no longer relevant, because those who have no trouble blowing themselves up as individuals for jihad won't have trouble blowing themselves up as whole countries. You said it in your comment: "And neither Israel's, nor America's arsenals provide any sort of deterent against those sorts of entitites using these weapons". So in the interests of military prevention (which is the only real option), the strikes at enemy bases will be more of what we're already used to: intelligence work, bunker busters et cetera.

Here's another thing: if, G-d forbid, a non-state actor launches a nuclear missile, what good would a nuclear counter-strike achieve? It worked with WWII Japan because that was a state actor. With a non-state actor like Al-Qaeda, nuking Waziristan, for instance, would only mean they'd scurry to set up a nuclear base elsewhere. And that's one of the most important points in my post: there will be no freedom from this threat of terrorism, nuclear or otherwise, until the ideology that drives it is neutralized. Not only would a nuclear reaction on our part be unnecessary, it would not achieve the goal of bringing world peace through trauma, because Islam, unlike Shinto, is a global ideology.

And the issue of the suicide-fighter children is another example to hammer my point home: we reject the pacifist option to roll over rather than engage those children in any way; but to those who say the children will have to be killed on the battlefield like any adult soldier, I say this is a brutal necessity that we should carry out only if there's no other option. If the children can't be salvaged, then G-d be the judge of those who corrupted them, and we'll do what we must. But in any case, I wished to highlight an important difference between us and our enemies: if we should come to the situation of having to kill those children, it would be with the heaviest of hearts, while our enemies value them as nothing but cannon fodder. If there is any argument as to our righteousness and their wickedness, smashing the moral equivalence of the Left to smithereens, it is this.

Thank you for providing points for discussion, for the rational discourse.

October 02, 2006 7:09 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Zionist Youngster:
You're post, and the comments, have brought up some good points. I agree completely, except to add that I believe the time of decision is here: does the Western world fight the jihadist states, or roll over.

I've taken the liberty of adding a link to your site on my blog.

October 03, 2006 12:25 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Hi Michael,

Thanks, it's usually the case with my posts that they need my explanation as to which of their points are the salient ones. Maybe in the future I'll move to a blog publishing system that provides for adding keywords.

You say "time of decision", but I think, with a lot of Westerners and Western states, before we can reach a time of decision, we need to reach a time of recognition. I mean, with even President Bush taking five years after 9/11 to say "Islamic fascists", we're in quite deep trouble. Besides blogging, I can only pray.

October 03, 2006 7:18 PM  

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