Iran Had Better Look To The Haggadah

On Passover, we recite the Haggadah to remember how G-d redeemed us from being slaves in Egypt. 


At the Seder, many also recite the Hatikvah–the Israeli National Anthem–to remember that our suffering and redemption didn’t end almost 3,500 years ago in the Exodus from Egypt, but has continued to this very day post Holocaust with the establishment of the modern-day State of Israel. 


One thing that I will tell you is that if Slavery in Egypt and all the anti-Semitism, Inquisitions, Pogroms, Expulsions, and the Holocaust taught us anything is that:


– One, our faith in G-d Almighty and his love and promised redemption for us will never cease, and 


– Two, that we will never, ever, go like sheep to the slaughter again.


Already in 1981 and 2007, with the help of Hashem, Israel rid the world of the scourge of nuclear weapons of destruction from the hands of tyrannical Middle Eastern dictatorships in both Iraq and Syria. 


And I would venture to say that neither of these enemies were as completely hateful, ruthless, and vowed to Israel’s destruction as Iran is today. 


In the Haggadah we recall the eternal fight of good over evil:

“For not only one enemy has tried to destroy us, but in every generation, nations have tried to destroy us, but the Holy One, blessed be He, always saves us from their hands.”


As sure as we celebrate Passover today, I am confident that G-d will once again make a tremendous miracle and save us from the hands of the maniacal mullahs in Iran who pose an existential threat to the Israelites today. 


Israel’s Operation Babylon and Operation Orchard in Iraq and Syria were successful actions in and of themselves, but they were also practice runs for what is yet to come to the spinning centrifuges in Axis of Evil, Iran. 


G-d’s promise to Abraham to bless the Israelites and give them the Holy Land–whether by the ten plagues in Egypt or the Allied victory over Adolf Hitler–redemption will soon be coming again delivered compliments of the heroic Israeli Defense Forces.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Even The Water

Dirty Water

So I was in a meeting yesterday. 


And someone had a bottle of what looked like very dirty water. 


I said to the guy sad-jokingly, “Where’s that from–Flint, Michigan?”


He sadly smiles back and says, “No, I just filled the bottle with iced tea!”


But everyone around the table sighed at the tragic state of affairs with the filthy, contaminated water in Flint. 


The high levels of lead in the water has allegedly resulted in “skin lessons, hair loss, high levels of lead in the blood, vision loss, memory loss, depression and anxiety.”


It’s unbelievable that in an American city with a population around 100,000 that they cannot safely shower or drink their water. 


To make things even worse, now banks are hunkering down and don’t want to give mortgages to people in Flint until they can prove that their water is safe


What’s amazing is that this miserable situation in our cities is not the exception, but the rule. 


As of 2003 already, The American Society for Civil Engineering gives us a hideous grade of D on our infrastructure that is aged and in disrepair.


This includes our:

– Energy

– Transportation

– Ports

– Aviation

– Levees

– Dams

– Schools

– Roads

– Inland Waterways

– Wastewater

– Hazardous Waste

– Parks and Recreation

– Rail

– Bridges

– Solid Waste

– Drinking Water


They estimate we need at least $3.6 trillion of investment for infrastructure renewal just by 2020. 


Interestingly enough, the useless decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan costs us over $4 trillion and the lives of almost 14,000 American military and contractor personnel.


What would you rather have a destabilized Middle East now swarming with ISIS, the Taliban, and a resurgent $100 billion richer and nuclear- and terror-determined Iran or a proper country here for us to live in with an actual strategy-driven national security and good schools and clean drinking water? 


(Source Photo: here with attribution to B1ue5sky)

If Terror Fits

If The Shoe Fits.jpeg

There is the old saying that “If the shoe fits, wear it” or as this holiday shopping sign says, “Buy it!


I know everyone has their personal filters through which they see the world–many of these come from family, friends, community, teachers, religion, personal experiences, or even innate personality. 


One thing that I think many people are struggling with these days with politics is what possible filters are guiding many concerning policies of our country resulting in:


– The tepid response to terror attacks on this country as well as in Paris, London, and Jerusalem. 

– The clamping down on free speech in the wake of terror.

– The lax immigration checks on refugees.

– The dangerous spread of ISIS after the withdrawal from Iraq.

– The disappearing red line in Syria.

– The emboldening Iranian nuke deal.

– The bias perceived against friend and ally, Israel.

– The unbriddled Russian resurgence

– The lumbering pivot to address Chinese militarization.


We are living in chaotic world times, and we need strong hands on the rudder to safeguard the people and future of the country–for that we need to understand where politics and politicians are coming from that may be leading to either sound or compromised decisions and the resulting return and risk to the fate of us all. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Vetting The Refugees–Do You Think It’ll Work?

Spy.JPEG

So not that anyone was so thrilled with the Syria and Iraq refugee idea post 9/11 to begin with…


But now 31 States have come straight out refusing to take these refugees post the terror attack that happened just last week in Paris–where at least one of the terrorists was...


Guess what?


That’s right!  A fake refugee from Syria


But what about the “intensive vetting process” that is being promised for these 10,000 refugees?


Well what can be more intensive than the vetting that the American government does on employees working for highly sensitive agencies like the CIA, FBI, and NSA? 


So how has that worked out?


Probably not too bad, but the problem is that no vetting no matter how thorough is foolproof, hence major spies have infiltrated these organizations for years or even decades and caused immense harm to national security:


Robert Hanssen (former FBI–spied for the Soviets for 21 years)


Aldrich Ames (31-year veteran of the CIA, compromised 2nd largest number of CIA agents after Robert Hanssen)


Edward Snowden (leaked classified information from the NSA on our surveillance programs)


The point is that no matter how well we vet 10,000 or more refugees from Iraq and Syria, with ISIS vowing “to strike America at its center in Washington”–there certainly can be some errors in the screening and final adjudication process.


Again no vetting process is perfect–especially when the refugees themselves are admitting that fake ideas are being given out to them like candy in a candy store. 


So that’s the dilemma we now face:


HEART–do what our heart tells us to and help people in need by taking in the refugees.


OR 


HEAD–follow our heads not risking another one or more potentially devastating terror attacks on the U.S. homeland. 


The choice is heartbreaking or headache producing! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The “Real” Reason For The Iran Deal

Bride and Groom

So I’ve been giving this a lot of thought…


Why would the United States make a bad deal with Iran?


– Where Iran gets to keep their nuke infrastructure.


– Where they get restrictions for a mere 10-15 years and then presumably get the coveted BOMB.


– Where “managed access” for inspections has a ridiculous 24 days waiting time.


– Where the arms and ballistic missile embargo is lifted.


– Where Iran gets a windfall of $150 billion released to them for which they acknowledge they will tap for use to support terror worldwide. 


– Where Iran’s leadership continues to chant “Death To America,” burn our flag and President in effigy, hold Americans hostage, threaten us, and insist that their hatred and fight against us will go on. 


Are we going crazy?


No, there is actually a rational reason for all this.


So what’s the reason–let me explain from my simple-minded thinking about all this (follow carefully)?


Iran is a Shiite nation. 


Shiite’s make up only a small percentage of the Islamic world around 15% (or 200 million).


However, the Sunnis make up the other 1 billion Muslims.


The Sunnis are moving through terrorist movements such as ISIS, Al Qaeda,  Boko Haram, Hamas and more to create a Sunni Caliphate throughout the Middle East and North Africa (and maybe beyond). 


The Western world fears the terror and destruction that can come about from a Sunni Caliphate


Also, on 9/11, The U.S. was attacked by Al Qaeda (Sunnis) and where 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia (a Sunni Country). 


The answer is the enemy of my enemy is my friend…Iran. 


Iran is the largest Shiite Country with it’s own ambitions for a Shiite Caliphate. 


Arming and funding Iran is a bulwark against the predominant Sunnis and their ambitions for power and hegemony. 


Notably, guess what?  Iraq is another country with a large Shiite population, like Iran. 


Hence, this is why the U.S. went into Iraq to dethrone Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, who was holding power over the Shiite population–now the Shiites there are in power. 


Voila, Shiites in Iran and neighboring Iraq empowered to fight Sunnis.


They mostly terrorize and murder each other instead of seriously battling the West.


Since 9/11, there has not been a major terrorist attack on the U.S.


And if Iran is on the road to the Bomb, and this sparks a nuclear arms race in the Middle East with Saudi Arabia etc., perhaps the thinking…maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all.


Unfortunately, Israel who is threatened by a nuclear-armed Iran who explicitly wants to “annihilate” them is caught in the middle of all this.


But the West is more concerned with the Sunnis and Shiites battling it out, then with the fate of Israel, who we figure can be placated with some “compensation” armaments to protect themselves. 


But is that enough for a country where one nuclear missile hit can mean a second Holocaust? 


I am not a conspiracy theorist and never have been.


But this seems too easy. 😉


(All Opinions My Own)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Another Day In The Middle East

Another Day In The Middle East

It can be hard for a regular person to understand the course of events in the Middle East–I certainly don’t!

I recognize that I don’t know what I don’t know, but with all due respect, it would be great if we could all better understand where we are going there.

– On the 9/11, we were attacked by Al Qaeda hijackers, 15 of 19 of whom were Saudi Arabian, yet after 9/11, we didn’t go after Saudi Arabia, but instead overthrew Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

– However, early in the 1980’s Iran-Iraq War, we supported Iraq against Iran and permitted the sale of American arms to Hussein.

– By overthrowing Saddam, in effect we established a Shiite-lead Iraq, right next to a fundamentalist Shiite Iran with a history of conflict with America.

– In subsequent conflicts, it is not clear whether we are supporting the secularists or the fundamentalists:

a) In Syria, we have been supporting “moderate” Sunni’s (although often seen aligned to Al Qaeda) against Bashar al-Assad, and what is considered the “secular Ba’ath party.”

b) In Egypt, we withheld military and economic support after the overthrew of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose aims include establishing a state ruled by Sharia law, and an organization that is aligned with Hamas and Hezbollah, both listed as terrorist organizations.

– In Iran, in an attempt to move towards peaceful nuclear disarmament, we are relaxing sanctions on a country that former President George W. Bush, in his State of the Union, declared part of the Axis of Evil (2002), and with an agreement that is viewed as not better than having a 50-50 chance of success.

If you find this a lot to take in, you are not alone. 😉

All opinions my own.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Saving Iraq’s Jewish Scrolls

What a beautiful job by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

In Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, our Special Forces looking for WMD instead discoverd thousands of ancient Jewish texts.

The texts dating from 1540 to 1970 taken from the Iraqi Jewish Community were sitting defiled in the basement of Saddam Hussein’s Intelligence HQS molding and decomposing under 4 feet of water.

The U.S. military and NARA rescued these texts and have painstakingly restored and preserved them through freezing, categorizing, condition assessment, stabilization, mold remediation, mending pages, washing, binding, and more.

Pictures of the collection of texts from Iraq before and after preservation can be found here.

The collection includes:

– A Hebrew Bible from 1568

– A Babylonian Talmud from 1793

– A Zohar/Kabbalah from 1815

– A Haggadah from 1902

– 48 Torah scroll fragments

– And much more.

On October 11, NARA will unveil an exhibit in Washington, DC featuring 24 of the recovered items and the preservation effort.

Hopefully, the collection of Jewish religious texts will ultimately be returned to the Jewish community from which it came, so that it can be held dear and sacred once again, and used properly in religious worship and never again held hostage or profaned.

Thank you so much to both the Department of Defense and to the National Archives for saving and preserving these ancient, sacred Jewish religious texts.

You did a beautiful mitzvah! 😉