“There are three types of people in this world: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. Some people prefer to believe that evil doesn’t exist in the world, and if it ever darkened their doorstep, they wouldn’t know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep. Then you’ve got predators, who use violence to prey on the weak. They’re the wolves. And then there are those blessed with the gift of aggression, an overpowering need to protect the flock. These men are the rare breed who live to confront the wolf. They are the sheepdog.” – Wayne Kyle speaking to a young Chris Kyle in Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper
Friends, United States President Barack Obama is a sheep, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a sheepdog. Today, despite Obama’s myopic de facto boycott, Netanyahu delivered a speech for the ages in front of a joint session of Congress on the subject of the ongoing “P5+1” nuclear negotiations with Iran — a harrowing Chamberlain-Esque capitulation to the forces of evil and fundamentalist jihadism that even the Washington Post editorial board has substantively described as having “major concerns.” In a speech that helps vindicate Zionism itself, Netanyahu spoke directly to the world about how the Jewish people are no longer stateless and passively defenseless to the threat of existential genocidal evil, and how Israel is thus prepared to act by itself if it sees America about to make a truly bad deal with the Iranian mullahs.
The contrast with Obama could not be more vivid: Netanyahu spoke with utmost moral clarity of the dangers of “Islamism,” “militant Islam,” and “jihad” — and not of amorphous “violent extremism” or of Jen Psaki-style “jobs for jihadists” underemployment. He spoke of how the West has been in a state of cold war with the Islamic Republic of Iran since the 1979 Iranian Revolution: from the Beirut barracks bombing of 1983 to the Argentinian AMIA bombing of 1994 to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa to the arming of countless Iraqis with I.E.D.s used to kill Americans during the Iraq War to the arming of Hezbollah, Hamas, and Bashar al-Assad alike to the recent plot to blow up the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. in a tony D.C. restaurant to the repeated warnings to annihilate from the face of the Earth the mullahs’ dystopian characterization of the “little Satan” of Israel and the “great Satan” of America. He spoke of Iran’s recent role in effecting a coup in Yemen — a Western-aligned Sunni ally that has been indispensably important in the drone war against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He calmly explained how the Shia “Islamic Republic” of Iran and the Sunni “Islamic State” of ISIS are firmly rooted, despite their sectarian differences, in the common themes of jihad and anti-Western subjugation, and how “the enemy of our enemy” is thus still our “enemy.” He spoke of Iran’s consistent evading of International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear facility inspectors and of its covert Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (“ICBM”) program, and explained how the latter can only be militarily justified for planned use outside of the Middle East, once technology permits.
In addition to not ensuring the elimination of any centrifuges at all and not touching the ICBM program, the current deal the “P5+1” is working to cement with Iran includes a 10-year “sunset provision” that would all but guarantee Iran a clear path to the bomb if the mullahs are patient enough to wait it out. Considering the decades-long work the Iranian revolutionaries have spent working on the bomb, it defies logic to think they would not be willing to wait one mere decade longer. Indeed, the “sunset provision” is likely the deal-breaker for Netanyahu, and Charles Krauthammer has identified it as the deal’s “fatal flaw.” Who can blame Netanyahu? Just as ISIS boasts of “waiting out” American troops in Iraq to begin its attempted restoration of the 7th-8th century Islamic caliphate and the Taliban has long boasted of merely “waiting out” our withdrawal from Afghanistan, so would Iran analogously wait out such a “sunset provision.” Make no mistake about it: we are “on the cusp of an epic capitulation” to the world’s number-one state sponsor of global terrorism.
All the while, the speech had the distinct feel of a State of the Union Address — except probably less petty and more bipartisan. Lawmakers arrived in the House chamber early to assure themselves aisle seats, where they might get a chance to personally shake hands with the Israeli Prime Minister. There were seemingly dozens of standing ovations, and myriad more applause lines. The Congress loves Benjamin Netanyahu, and so do the American people: he is, in fact, more popular right now with the American citizenry than is Barack Obama himself. Americans respect a leader who stands up for his nation, who stands up for his people, who speaks in unambiguous tones of moral clarity — of black versus white, of good versus evil — and who thus stands up for the West’s core values of individual liberty and representative democracy and stands fervently athwart the totalitarian threat of global jihadism. Benjamin Netanyahu is indeed the Winston Churchill of our time, and in a world in which the U.S. President serially apologizes to the Arab World for America’s ostensible sins he is indeed the de facto leader of the free world. No wonder the sheep Barack Obama cannot stand this sheepdog. Here is Dennis Prager’s simple yet eloquent encapsulation of this Manicheanism:
Those who do not confront evil resent those who do.
That’s really all there is to it. Barack Obama — he who sought to “fundamentally transform” America by conscientiously rejecting Tocquevillian “American exceptionalism” and degrading American global clout relative to our enemies — is more interested in reaching a deal of any kind, no matter how bad, with the world’s number-one state sponsor of global terrorism than he is in defending the West against those who seek to destroy us. That is the simple truth. Benjamin Netanyahu, by contrast, as Quin Hilyer put it, has
spent far more of his formative years on the American mainland than Obama did, and…took enemy fire at the age when Obama was openly pushing Marxist theory, and…learned and practiced free enterprise at the same age when Obama was practicing and teaching Alinskyism.
The usual suspects and cynics will say that Netanyahu is a “warmonger” who is uninterested in peace with the Palestinians and here was using the esteemed platform of the U.S. Congress to push back against a deal that may be in America’s interest more so than it is in Israel’s interest. This is total nonsense. American interests against mass Middle East nuclear proliferation — which would assuredly follow an Iranian bomb, as the Sunni Gulf states all seek to fortify themselves against increased Iranian hegemony and an increasingly passive American deterrent footprint — and against allowing the world’s number-one state sponsor of terrorism to acquire a nuclear weapon are very, very, very powerful. A nuclear Iran is not just a threat to Israel, but a threat to the West itself. And to those friends and confidantes of mine who ignore militant jihadist ideology — and its element of martyrdom for an eternal reward — and assure that Iranian nuclear “containment” can be successfully employed using the same game theory-backed model of “Mutually Assured Destruction” that worked with the atheistic Soviets during the Cold War, I merely say this: the Jewish people, the most persecuted people in human history and the victims of history’s bloodiest and most systematically executed mass genocide a mere 70 years ago, might be forgiven for preferring a rather risk-averse course. Iconic Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel has been in Washington the past couple of days — he both featured in Netanyahu’s speech today and sat on a panel yesterday with [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach — preaching to take seriously the Iranian nuclear threat, which speaks volumes about about the gravity of this Iran deal’s inadequacy.
AIPAC, the American Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, and other mainstream Jewish/pro-Israel groups all need to wake up and smell what is brewing here in the form of this truly awful deal with Iran. Democrats who would rather stand up for Western values instead of shilling for Barack Obama and pro-appeasement J Street ought do the same. Others of us, like Breitbart’s Joel Pollak and myself, are not prepared to simply sit out this fight. We conservatives, for our part, need to continue to argue that no deal is better than a bad deal — period. We ought continue to push the bipartisan Kirk-Menendez Iran sanctions bill. And we ought stand up unapologetically for the U.S.-Israel alliance, for the shared moral and national security concerns that undergird that alliance, against a nuclear Iran and a militarized jihadist threat more broadly, and in defense of the West. It is not yet too late for Barack Obama and [mc_name name=’Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’K000148′ ] to change course.
While the words of Deuteronomy 31:6 are comforting, equally comforting would be an American foreign policy that recognizes the global threat of militant Islam and concomitantly stands full-throttle athwart the threat of a nuclear Iran. Stand with Benjamin Netanyahu and with Israel.