Tag Archive | America

Obama, You’re Really Chatzuf

First you get involved in our elections.  Then, you get mad that all your funds, representatives, and organizational tactics didn’t work – because we managed to outvote you.

You sign a deal that carries a great deal of immediate danger for the entire Middle East, yet, you do not live here in the Middle East, and Israel and most of our neighbors are against the deal.

You then allow Kerry to threaten Israel that if Congress vetoes the deal, it will be Israel’s fault, and Israel will suffer.  How, exactly, will it be Israel’s fault, and why should we suffer?

After that, Senators are put under pressure to support your decision, regardless of what they themselves think.  MoveOn, a federal committee, cuts funding to those senators opposed to the deal.

You insist on threatening the very basis of democracy, by not allowing Congress to veto the Iran deal, and insisting, through force, on doing what you want to do – even if 6 out of 10 Americans oppose it.

You know, I thought that America was a democratic country, and a country that encouraged democracy.  May I ask why the leader of a so-called democratic country is acting in a way that is explicitly against democracy?

And then you have the chutzpa to get angry at Bibi for “interfering in American issues,” when first of all, it is not an “American affair,” but a Middle East affair first, and a global affair only second.  It is not an American affair at all; America is included with the rest of the globe.  And second, you had the audacity to interfere in our elections.

And you say we are interfering in your affairs?

Obama-rama making a speech, you have a lot of chutzpa.  I think maybe you should apologize to us, because your chatzuf actions and speeches are unacceptable, undemocratic, and unjust.

Oh, and that worry that if we don’t go through with the Iran deal, war will ensue?  We’ll have to fight a war with or without the deal . . . don’t you think it’s better to fight a non-nuclear Iran, rather than a nuclear one?

World War Three: Imagined, or Real?

So here’s the deal.  Yitzchak and I had a couple of long talks and didn’t quite like the realizations and results.

1. On September 17, the Congress will decide if they wish to accept or reject the Iran deal.  If they accept it, Israel will take out Iran.  If they reject it, Obama will try to veto the rejection, sanctions may or many not be lifted, and the time that Iran has to do whatever it wants will be lengthened.  Israel, and the West, may or may not decide to take Iran out.

2. If Israel sees that Iran is closer than we thought to getting nuclear weapons, Israel will simply get rid of those weapons.  As it stands now, it looks like Iran is trying to convince both America and Israel that the deal meant nothing, and that the only solution is military.

2a. If Israel has nukes, and decides to use those nukes, Israel will be condemned and will to fight a war to defend itself.  However, Iran will no longer be able to retaliate.

2b. If Israel does not have nukes, or does have nukes but decides not to use them, Israel will face retaliation not only from Iran, but from other nations – and terror groups – as well.

3. At some point, the Sunni-Shiite war may or may not spill over into Israel.  Hezbollah may or may not decide to rain rockets on us, either as part of that war or as a last-ditch attempt to “take Israel with it when it goes.”

4. If a major regional war does start (i.e., not simply Israel versus proxy terror groups), it will be impossible, or nearly impossible, to leave after said war breaks out.

5. The intifada is seriously getting out of control.  Dealing with Iran can only make it worse.

5a. On the other hand, the Israeli public is waking up, and our patience is getting shorter – which means that there is reasonable hope that the intifada will be squashed fairly soon.

6. We may just be pessimists imagining things, but Dad doesn’t think so.  And I trust Dad.  He was right last time, about the Iran deal.  And I think he’s right this time, about the coming war.  Unfortunately.

So now we have two big questions, and their names are Shlomo and Tova, the two kids with whom we are blessed, and the two kids to whom we have a responsibility, as their parents.  Shlomo still hasn’t quite gotten over Tzuk Eitan (big understatement).  Do we stay, because

– it’s where we belong,

– it’s familiar,

– no one in the family needs the upheaval of moving continents at this point,

– the community here is something really special,

– moving costs an enormous amount of money

– it’s our home – and pray that Dad is wrong, or if he is right, that we still live in relative peace and normalcy, with nothing except a few trips to the bomb shelter to show for it?

Or do we leave, because

– we don’t know what will be, and when we do know, it may be too late,

– Shlomo doesn’t need any more traumas,

– we have a decent offer to work as shluchim (Chabad emissaries),

– we are, well, parents, and part of being parents is making sure that your kids are safe?

Obviously, there are lots of little things that make it much easier to stay than to go, and make Israel a much better place to live than anywhere else (besides for the fact that we never really imagined ourselves as shluchim, for several reasons).  Plus, maybe we are just pessimists, and none of this stuff is actually going to happen.

Hm.  What would you do, if you were in our place?

Gun Control USA: Is It Possible?

Everyone is aware of the fact that America has lax gun control laws, and unfortunately, we see the results of this too often.  Many are the parents who rally for better gun control laws, but do they know what that means?  Have they thought about how that might be implemented?  While we were on the bus coming home after Shabbat last week, I put some thought into the issue and then started discussing it with Yitzchak.  Here, I write about a few of the possible issues that may come up.

Let’s say that starting from tomorrow, no one can buy a gun without a license.  This means that there is a consolidated database (which there isn’t), that goes by social security number, and you would have to register the gun not only under your name, but also under your social security number, and it would be illegal to resell the gun privately.  All providers would have to be licensed, and preferably have security guards to prevent fraud, theft, and threats.  Suffice it to say, just convincing Americans to make such a consolidated database will be extraordinarily difficult, with most complaining that Uncle Sam has no right to know any private information on them.

Then, we have to deal with the black market.  The black market solves the problem of those who already have guns, being able to buy more ammunition, even if they are not licensed. Now, let’s say we’ve reached the point of nobody being able to buy guns or ammunition, except on the black market.  That’s very nice, but the black market is in many ways worse than the open market.  What are we going to do?  Well, the solution would be to crack down on it.  How?  The main strategy would obviously be controlling imports; however, some ammunition can be bought locally, some will be stolen, and some can (unfortunately) be made at home.  So, this doesn’t solve the entire issue.

But we haven’t yet dealt with the fact that even if no one can buy new guns or ammunition (which, as I wrote above, is not something that can happen tomorrow, without major changes to American mindset), we still have the big problem of existing gun owners, who have ammunition.  What do we do with them?  Do we even know who they are? In many cases, yes, we do know who they are.  But in about 5% (and don’t quote the number, because it’s Yitzchak’s estimate) of cases, we don’t.  And in my opinion, those 5% are probably the most dangerous of all gun owners.  If 5% sounds small, think about it this way: It means at least two million people have guns, and we don’t know who they are or that they have guns.

Let’s talk about the other 95%.  According to Yitzchak, most gun owners live in perpetual fear that someone will come in one day to take away their guns, and therefore, they make sure to divert media attention from guns to mental illness, as well as protect and hide their guns (but not enough, as is indicated by the fact that sometimes guns get into the wrong hands, even though the owner bought it legally).  Back to the topic.  How do we round up the guns that we are aware of, and possibly those that we are not aware of?  The only real answer is to go door-to-door.  But there is an issue: In today’s world of WhatsDown, Fakebook, and text messages, it’s pretty easy to tell your friend that your gun was taken away, and then your friend can hide his, or stash it with someone whose house was already searched – or, of course, just hide it somewhere else.  That’s without getting into the issue that we are talking about guns, and therefore, those who are rounding them up are in possible danger.  Plus, if Americans don’t want a database for healthcare or gun control, why would they agree to have their houses searched, even in the interests of preventing school shootings?  Not likely to go over well, huh?

Of course, there is a solution: Turn off all the electricity in the country, down all cellphone towers, and search the entire country at once.  But, we don’t have enough manpower for that, and the moment we would try, people would suspect that something is up. In short, unfortunately, better gun control laws in America are not something that seems possible in the forseeable future. How it got that way, and how we could – theoretically – allow only sane, safe people to own guns, are topics for a different post, if you are interested.guns, gun control laws, gun policy, american gun control. mass murders, shootings, school shootings, danger, gun statistics

Obama’s Dangerous Iran Deal

I write about politics, yes.  But I don’t usually mention the possibility of Iran turning nuclear.  I try not to think about Iran, because it scares me.  It would be called burying my head in the sand, except that Yitzchak makes very certain to keep up with any sort of news on the subject.  So I told him a while ago to tell me ONLY what I need to know, and what affects my everyday life, and the rest of it to keep to himself.  Which he does, kind of.  I still have to tell him sometimes that, “I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT,” but other times he just speaks to his Dad.  That’s what Dads are for, right?

But at the moment, I feel like I can’t just ignore the topic.  And so I turn the computer over to Yitzchak, who will write what he likes, without telling me about it.

What can I say? In the middle east, there is no such thing as negotiating in “good faith”. Mostly because there is no relevance between “faith” and “negotiations” (it’s rather equivalent to “military intelligence” in that both are a contradiction in terms). Iran is in this deal because they see it as an opportunity to get rid of sanctions, and no other reason; in this case “negotiations” are a means of removing sanctions, without giving up what they want. “Compromise” is not a goal here, it is a contest, the winner being the one who dupes the other into thinking that he won the deal. Hence, for all of our good secular liberal arts education, we’re probably at a worse vantage point for appreciating the cross cultural exchange than if we were, say, some ignorant redneck in Eastern Kentucky with a pickup truck on cinder blocks in his front yard, and a loaded shotgun resting on his door post.

If Kerry were culturally informed, he would forget about a “happy compromise” and stick to the cultural standard. However they are pursuing a “Legacy”. In my opinion, saying that the negotiations failed is not a problem. It is a courageous act, stating to the world “we tried, and it didn’t work”, and by no means does it not mean that we can’t order the SSBNs in the Persian Gulf to open fire when the “time limit” runs out (a deadline should mean something shouldn’t it? we’re the ones in power here).

In my opinion, seeking nuclear weapons should be punished by being a victim of the self same weapons. (And don’t bring me Israel, we had nuclear weapons before the NPT and gave them to France, itself a nuclear weapon power on the NPT; so if we go, so do the Frenchies, not that it bothers me that much.)