The three monkeys

I think back to the days of the military rule, when every so often a military transport would stop in plain daylight in front of an apartment building, the soldiers would march in and come back out with somebody else, sometimes that somebody else with a bag over the head. And people walked by, didn't see it, didn't hear it, didn't talk about it. It was easier...after all, "if they came for him (or her), he (or she) must have done something"; that was the justification for all that silence, for all that inaction. "There must be a reason for what they do" is probably one of the most popular sayings in Human history...with the Tyrants and Dictators who benefit from that lack of involvement by the common people.

We could think back to the 1940s and 50s in America, and we would find the same problem with a different color to it. "Black and Jews are not allowed" was a common mantra in the "restricted" hotels and clubs. Does that mean that the American people was Racist and Antisemitic? Not any more than the prior example meant that the Argentinean people supported the military. It is just that for the vast majority of people, the important thing seems to be not to rock the boat; to find ways to get along and to avoid confrontation - even when confronting Evil. Most American just didn't give a second thought to Antisemitism or the discrimination against Black in the didn't affect them, so they didn't need to do anything about it.

Thinking farther back, in the 1930s and 1940s in Germany, it was not just the Nazis who exterminated the Jews. Their unwitting accomplices were the millions of Germans who didn't give a second thought to why the Jews were no longer around, or what was that smoke coming out of the camp next to the village. It was easier to ignore, it was easier to pretend that nothing was happening and that everything was OK. Some Germans, like Martin Niemoller, did speak up and paid with their freedom - and sometimes with their lives. So why did Niemoller spoke up when others didn't? Because he saw the dark lining in the silver cloud. He saw that when we do not speak up, sooner or later it comes back to us, and he made his insight into a poem which now stands written by the entrance to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.

In the XXI Century there is also Evil, and people are still people. The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been repeating once and again what are his intentions. He will destroy first the "little Satan"  (Israel) and then the "Great Satan" (The US). He called on people to first go after "The Saturday people", and after that there will be time to go after "The Sunday people". He claimed there was no Holocaust; he boasted that Iran needs only one Nuclear bomb to "wipe Israel off the map"; he repeatedly promised "to extirpate the Zionist Cancer from the Muslim world". But the world believes (or wants to believe) that this is just talk. As it was just talk when Hitler proclaimed his goal of a "Judenrein Reich".

American Intelligence recently reported to Congress that "Iran will not abandon their Nuclear program, but it is unlikely to provoke a conflict". To me that sounds like "If we give Hitler Austria and Czechoslovakia, there will be no war". Then, the majority was choosing inaction; the majority was choosing to avoid confrontation even in the face of Evil. Today, is the world going down the same path?

While sanctions against Iran are good, they came too late. If somebody is holding a gun against your head and tells you he'll put the trigger...will you just say "let's talk it over?" would you take that risk?

Iran has today missilistic capability to reach certainly Israel with pinpoint accuracy, as well as large segments of Eastern and Central Europe; it is in the last stages of developing more powefull missiles that will put all of Europe within their reach. How long until they develop Intercontinental Missilistic capability and threaten the United States? The Iranian issue is a world issue, as was Stalinism, as was Nazism and as it is Racism and Antisemitism. It is not just about the victim, but about the motivations of the victimizer.

Ahmadinejad made it clear that he is on a God-given mission to bring Islam to the world. He broadcasted his intentions in his famous 2006 letter to President Bush (see text here), and has not changed his position since then. Does the world believe that "If we give just give him Israel everything will be OK?" How many times must the world just stand by before taking a stand? How many times can people of good will allow Evil to stand?

Since "Iran is not likely to provoke a conflict", the Nuclear program of Teheran is apparently not our problem. "Israelis will take care of it". I guess a country of seven million people the size of New Jersey needs to stop the bully who is waving the sword over the head of the 7 billion people of the world...

The Nuclearization of the Iranian Islamic Republic is not an Israeli problem; it is a world problem as Nazi Germany was before it. Let's make that clear and demand action from the world. Because if we don't - as Niemoller said - one day there will be nobody left to speak up for us...


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