See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged. .Just a week or so ago, in a major newspaper, we wrote an essay discussing the notion that, "We are living in a new strategic environment that we do not yet fully understand. ..."
We offered that some of our adversaries were undeniably at work developing ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction. This ushers in an entirely new age of threat, terrorism, intelligence and defense.
In the Cold War, everyone understood the rules. The United States and the Soviet Union were at odds. Smaller nations chose sides: and they understood whose side they were on.
If smaller, regional wars flared, the big superpowers let them play out or they encouraged conduct that would not irreparably alter the strategic balance.
Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) kept the two superpowers at odds yet cautious; ever wary of overstepping bounds with the other. The concept that either superpower could unleash hell on earth upon the other; but only with the full and complete knowledge that it would reap the same hell after a short, almost imperceptible delay; supposedly kept the world "safe."
Deterrence; the notion that the fear of MAD could guide men toward right decisions guided our lives for decades.That the very existence of MAD meant the world was a few seconds or minutes away from total immolation at all times made for some sleepless nights, especially during a crisis like the Cuban Missile Crisis.
We grew up in the military during the Cold War, and, although not assigned to strategic forces, served as caretaker for tactical nuclear weapons at least three times. It was a heavy burden.
And we knew plenty of men (they were all men then) that served in strategic submarines or missile silos or B-52 Wings. These were the men "on watch" at all times. Men trained in safety and security procedures. Men inspected, regulated, questioned and watched. Men governed by a "Personnel Reliability Program." These were the men that made sure, by cautious monitoring, detailed checklist procedures, inspections and rigorous training, that nothing would ever go amiss: that nuclear weapons would not be lost, stolen, compromised, damaged, or used without the direction and authorization of the national command authority.
Many, most of us, are delighted, I expect, that MAD no longer exists. It seemed a terribly immoral policy; a total abrogation of the idea that peace could be assured through diplomacy and dialogue. Peace was maintained, some said, by the nuclear power of the two superpowers. The fear of nuclear weapons in fact.
And then this system melted away with the end of the Soviet Union. And now a period of lawless, irresponsible discussion of annihilation, massive death and "changing the world order" by "Holy War" from "Spain to Iraq" has become more common. This talk incites trouble and erodes peace. It must be prohibited by all who want to claim a place in the world community.
And we know, because we see their words on the internet and elsewhere, that there is now a large and growing segment that says, "Kill all the Arabs."
We are getting on the road to holocaust? The edge of Armageddon?
The situation we have today, and we see the ugly evolution of the former strategic balance in the situation between Hezbollah and Israel, is something like this. A democracy, relying upon the superpower for arms, assistance and sometimes advice, is engaged with an enemy. That enemy, not a state at all but something greater than an armed militia and smaller than a duchy, is governed by religious zealots who are not elected. But the enemy leaders also rely upon third parties for arms, training and the like. The enemy and the third parties are all sworn enemies of the democracy, and perhaps every democracy; or every Christian democracy. They want to wipe the regional democracy off the map. They want to rule "from Spain to Iraq."
The democracy and its mentor have nuclear weapons. The third parties, at least one of them in support of the enemy, may have nuclear weapons. Certainly they could get nuclear weapons if left to shop freely.
The enemy, even in the face of a democracy and its mentor armed with nuclear weapons seems undeterred. In fact, some learned sages practically guarantee that the enemy is not deterred.
Israel's Dr. Boaz Ganor, the deputy dean of the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy and the founder of the Institute for Counter Terrorism in Israel said, "The Hizbullah has succeeded in creating a situation in which it deters Israel more than Israel deters it. It is unprecedented for a terrorist organization to deter a state and not vice versa."