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Netanyahu’s Leadership and Clarity About Iran

Thursday, September 24, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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An e-mailer today remarked that listening to my replay of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rebuke of the U.N. today was like listening to Churchill. Of course most of us cannot actually know what it was like to listen to Churchill in wartime, and the world is not as yet in as desperate a situation as it faced on May 9, 1940 as the Blitzkrieg sliced through France and Neville Chamberlain’s government fell.

But Netanyahu must feel at least a little as Churchill did when the greatest Englishman assumed the leadership of a Great Britain with its back to the wall. Churchill later recorded his state of mind on being given the power to lead the West even as Hitler’s strength was cresting and England faced its greatest peril:

Thus at the outset of this mighty battle, I acquired the chief power in the State….As I went to bed about 3 A.M., I was conscious of a profound sense of relief. At last I had the authority to give directions over the whole scene. I felt as if I were walking with Destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial. Eleven years in the political wilderness had freed me from ordinary party antagonisms. My warnings over the past six years had been so numerous, so detailed, and were now so terribly vindicated, that no one could gainsay me. I could not be reproached either for making the war or with want of preparation for it…Therefore, although impatient for the morning, I slept soundly and had no need for cheering dreams. Facts are better than dreams.

Netanyahu used facts about the Holocaust today to chide the world about its indulgence of a Holocaust-denying fanatic with nuclear ambitions and naked intent to bring about genocide. What a relief it must be to Netanyahu to be in charge as the decisive moment approaches with Iran. He and most of Israel must be aware that our new president is a shadow of the old president when it comes to using American strength to deter or defeat radical Isamist evil, especially that flowing from its font in Tehran. He and most of Israel must realize they are alone when it comes to dealing with Iran, and even worse than alone if appeasers like Zbigniew Brzezinski have influence with President Obama.

But it is our very good luck or Providence’s provision that the West –which includes Israel– has at least one leader willing to speak clearly and act decisively.

Iran’s own people may yet spare the whole world a confrontation with the radicals running the government and the revolutionary Guard, but if their massive courage cannot dislodge the fanatics and if the appeasement-oriented Obama Administration cannot rouse itself to any serious action, then the world will have to rely on Netanyahu and the IDF to stop a regime run by the worst sort of haters.

MyPJTV.com broadcast on the Netanyahu speech is here. Transcripts of conversations with Mark Steyn and Walter Russell Mead on President Obama’s absurd rhetoric will be posted here later. And in the third hour of Friday’s program I will interview Norman Podhoretz about his new book, Why Are Jews Liberal, which is especially timely after President Obama’s blast at strongest, most democratic ally in the Middle East.

But all the various interviews and all the relevant op-eds and books are just codas to the Netanyahu speech today. President Bush’s speeches after 9/11 to the Joint Session of Congress and in the 2002 State of the Union as well as his challenge to the U.N. about Iraq’s dismissal of international law and U.N. direction were powerful because they were direct and specific. Netanyahu provided the same sort of clarity today, and it ought to have helped the world recognize the peril of the times and the actions necessary to avoid catastrophe.

Perhaps it even made an impression on our president and his advisors. If not, then perhaps the fact that Hugo Chavez was complimentary of President Obama’s Wednesday address will do the trick. What a damning thing, to earn the praise of an irrational thug.

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