“Who’s The Cowboy Now?”
Vol: 52 Issue: 31 Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Last week, French President Jacques Chirac made headlines when he became the first Western leader to threaten to use nuclear weapons to retaliate for terrorism.
During a visit to a nuclear submarine base in Brittany, Chirac told the press; “The leaders of states who would use terrorist means against us, as well as those who would envision using . . . weapons of mass destruction, must understand that they would lay themselves open to a firm and fitting response on our part.”
Pausing for effect, Chirac went on; “This response could be a conventional one. It could also be of a different kind.”
Chirac also noted France had modified some of that country’s nuclear warheads to target specific points rather than for delivering wide-scale mass destruction.
“Against a regional power, our choice is not between inaction and destruction . . .The flexibility and reaction of our strategic forces allow us to respond directly against the centers of power. . . . All of our nuclear forces have been configured in this spirit.”
While Chirac’s comments caused something of a diplomatic murmur, his threat to use nuclear weapons evoked nothing near the reactions prompted by Israel’s decision to build a defensive fence or America’s decision to remove a murderous dictator.
Most news headlines were pretty neutral, really, with the New York Times saying of Chirac admiringly, “Chirac Steps in Where Bush Fears to Tread’.
One local newspaper, the Bloomington Pantagraph, editorialized, “Who’s the Cowboy Now?” but, for the most part, Chirac’s threat of a nuclear response to a terrorist attack was barely an above-the-fold story in most newspapers outside of France.
The muted reaction is another example of that curious double-standard the world almost unconsciously applies where either Israel or the United States are concerned.
When the United States sought French support for removing Saddam, the French led a world effort against American ‘expansionism’ that greatly aided Saddam’s pre-war efforts and undoubtedly cost American lives on the battlefield.
The French also led the whispering campaign about US lust for Iraqi oil, began the ‘Bush lied, people died’ myth, and even shared secret intelligence about the US with Saddam Hussein. When US forces captured Iraqi positions, they found they had been facing brand-new French weapons supplied to Saddam in violation of UN embargoes.
It turned out that the French were also neck-deep in the Oil for Food scheme that diverted billions earmarked for Iraqi civilian aid. While Iraqis struggled with expired medicines and shipments of spoiled food, the French worked tirelessly to prop up their tormentor. But when the full French complicity came to light, the world basically shrugged it off.
After all, the Russians, Chinese, Germans and the UN hierarchy were all doing exactly the same thing. People who live in glass houses seldom throw stones at each other.
While the French were leading the global effort to portray the Bush administration as a global loose cannon, Chirac sent French forces into the Ivory Coast to quell a rebellion.
France wiped out the tiny country’s air force. At one point, French troops fired point-blank into a crowd of protestors, killing at least twenty and wounding more than 200.
Do YOU recall any major diplomatic uproar in November, 2004 about French ‘aggression against a sovereign state’ when France deposed Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo?
The lack of global outrage at Chirac’s nuclear threat isn’t because there is any doubt that Chirac means it. Or that Chirac would make good on his threat if forced to.
But instead of global outrage, there is almost a sense of unspoken global relief that France raised the nuclear ante enough to give the terrorists pause.
Now, let’s pretend for a minute, that same veiled threat had been issued by the president of the United States?
When the Bush White House briefly floated a doctrine of ‘nuclear preemption’ it was roundly slapped down by both the international community and the domestic political opposition.
More than 3,000 American civilians were killed by Saudi nationals. The attacks were planned in Pakistan. The attackers were part of a pan-Islamic group supported by Syria, Sudan, Palestinians, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Afghanistan.
If ever a nation had justification to issue a nuclear threat against the whole Middle East, it would have been the United States on September 12, 2001.
Or, let’s pretend that Israel were to issue a similar declaration of nuclear retaliation.
Israel is a tiny country occupying approximately 1/6th of one percent of the Arab Middle East. Humorist Dennis Miller once compared the Arab-Israeli conflict to fighting over an area the size of a matchbox in the corner of a football field.
Israel is surrounded by enemies dedicated to her annihilation. In only sixty years, she has fended off five wars aimed at her total destruction. As Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir observed following one of those wars;
“The Arabs can fight, and lose, and come back to fight another day. Israel can only lose once.”
Israel has been forced, under global pressure, to surrender most of her strategic buffer zone to a people that just elected Hamas to lead them — and help them create a terrorist state dedicated to Israel’s destruction — within their own borders.
If ever a nation had justification to issue a nuclear threat against her enemies, it would be the State of Israel.
But when Israel decided on a non-lethal form of self-defense, building a defensive wall to keep terrorists out, global reaction was scathing.
How can it be that France can threaten nuclear retaliation for a terror attack while Israel can’t build a fence to prevent a terror attack?
While France can shoot indiscriminately into a crowd of Ivory Coast protestors, the United States is under constant global criticism for detaining enemy combatants on a tropical island prison — where they receive Korans, prayer mats and better food and medical care than is available to the US troops guarding them.
It makes no sense, in the natural. To find the answer, one has to examine the spiritual elements at work here.
The war on terror is a war among what the Muslims call, ‘The People of the Book’ — radical Islam vs. Christians and Jews.
The world instinctively recognizes that fact, just as it recognizes that Israel is Judaism’s national representative and America is Christianity’s national representative on this planet in this generation.
When one speaks of the ‘world’s most Christian country’ abroad, it is not a code word for the Vatican, or for Italy, or most particularly, France.
When Osama declared war on the ‘Jews and Crusaders’ there was no misunderstanding — it was primarily a declaration against Israel and America.
France really has no ideological dog in this fight, hence, it can get away with the threat to use nukes if attacked without much fear of global backlash.
The world has an unspoken, instinctive sympathy for the Islamic side, despite understanding that once Islam has dealt with the Crusaders and Jews, it will turn on them next.
The god of this world hates Israel because it is a constant reminder of his impending defeat. The world hates Israel because it is a constant reminder of God’s existence and a threat to man’s own self-image as god.
Why is America seen as a ‘Christian’ country when it’s own people are forbidden to pray in public and its government publicly denies Christ? It isn’t because America is all that pious.
One’s reputation as a Christian isn’t reflected by words. Lots of people claim to be Christians who aren’t. One is known as a Christian if one conducts themselves according to Christian principles. America doesn’t CLAIM to be a Christian country. Officially, it denies it! But the world watches America in action and concludes; “Aha! YOU are a Christian country!”
But it isn’t a compliment. It is an accusation. An accusation America’s leaders vigorously deny — to no effect. America is a country, but a country is the sum of its people.
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:18-19)
In all the world, there are only two nations that are defined exclusively by their relationship to the God of the Bible. Islam calls them the Zionists and the Crusaders.
The world calls them the two most hated nations on earth.