Russia, the iron-clawed bear, fights to win. They are used to using a scorched earth strategy whereby they destroy everything in their path, so that cities are literally flattened. In 2003, the UN declared Grozny the most destroyed city on earth after Russia got through pummeling it! In February 2022, Russia attempted to enter Ukraine with endless columns of tanks and armored fighting vehicles and a barrage of artillery, mortars, and missiles to try to do the same to them. But this time, Putin has made every mistake in the war-fighting book.
Facing defeat and humiliation with his back against the wall, what will Putin do next?
It is incredible that our leaders, economic advisors, and near endless pundits didn’t see what was surely coming down the road in terms of an overheating economy, inflation, and a spiraling national debt now over $30 trillion and growing. Despite economic signals even visible to the layman, the Fed continued to promise to hold the interest rates near zero “for years” to come. The cheap money and free-wheeling government spending became an avalanche with almost no adult in the room willing to stand up and say, “Stop the money madness! Government handouts are not free!”
Aside from the recklessness with which our economy has been handled, let’s not forget that there is a proxy war going on between the superpowers in Ukraine for the last four months, including a frightening blockade on grain shipments (i.e. food terrorism) to tens of millions of people. Further toward the east, China is upping the ante vowing to “fight until the end” for sovereignty over Taiwan. And in the middle, Iran is dismantling the IAEA nuclear monitoring cameras, adding high-speed centrifuges, increasing uranium enrichment, and threatening Israel and the West. Let’s just say all is not copacetic in the world, while a congressional select committee continue to focus on what happened on January 6, 2021 with the U.S. Capitol riots.
People are not blind, deaf, and dumb to what’s going on with the childish gamesmanship, politics of hate, and plenty of recklessness that is driving much of the national debate and (in)action in the country.
Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “The Real Unthinkable Option.”Listen, we are forever in a battle of good and evil in this world. We have to rise to the occasion to stand by our faith in G-d and ensure that good prevails. Easier said than done, because of course, fighting to defeat wrongdoing and evil is not only a battle that takes places within our own souls, but with those that have already sold their souls to the devil for money, power, honor, and every worldly gratification. So, the battles and wars ahead are scary indeed, but we have to choose the right side, silence our own inner conflict and turmoil, and put our fears aide.
As countries, responsible and rogue, pursue ever increasing and deadlier nuclear weapons (as well as deadly biological and chemical weapons), the chances grow for a unilateral bilateral, or multilateral exchange to take place. Whether from a brutal tyrant wanting to grow their base of corrupt power to a rampaging megalomaniac bent of world domination, a paranoid schizophrenic leader who feels that his “back is up against the wall,” or a radical theocratic crackhead convinced that G-d is on their side and wants them to kill all the infidels, we are inching ever closer to the day when nukes or other weapons of mass destruction will be out of the silo, port container, or suitcase.
When it comes to Russia’s real world military fighting doctrine, no one and nothing is safe until their objectives are met, even if that means World War III, as Russia’s foreign minister has stated. Russia is already formidable and the largest country in the world with 11% of the world’s landmass, and that is almost double that of the next largest country. Further, with a solidifying partnership of superpower countries Russia-China, coupled with alliances with authoritarian regimes of Iran and North Korea, an extremely dangerous Axis of Evil is developing that may soon threaten global stability and peace. Many are starting to question whether we are now entering the times of Gog and Magog, the devastating “end of times” war as prophesied in Ezekiel (38-39) before the coming of the Messiah and the Third Temple. Indeed, the term “Rosh” as in Gog’s Chief Prince has been compared to “Rus” for Russia or I would say to “Rasha” (wicked, evil one). Further, Russia is coming directly from “the far north” of Israel, and Iran is compared to “Persia” in the war of Gog and Magog. Strangely enough, the timing is coming now, the week of Purim, with the U.S. desiring to finalize the end of sanctions on Iran and rejoin the grossly ineffective Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) paving the way for Iran and their radical mullahs to go nuclear in the future.
While people can easily utter falsehoods, like Iran saying that their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, the documents and computer drives that Israel captured in 2016 when they courageously raided Iran’s nuclear archive shows that Iran has been pursuing a dangerous nuclear weapons program for decades.
The world has tried to contain Iran for decades: From monitoring Iran’s nuclear activities through the IAEA, to sanctions and covert actions to deter and set back Iran’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, and the JCPOA deal to try to contain Iran’s march to nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, nothing has worked, and Iran is intent on getting the bomb.
Moreover, while the costs of a preemptive attack on Iran could be great, the doctrine from former Prime Minister, Menachem Begin that Israel cannot and will not allow countries that threaten Israel’s existence to get the means to carry it out is as true today as in 1981 when Israel took out Iraq’s nuclear reactor in Osirak.
The Jewish people learned from 2,000 years in exile and persecution ending in the Holocaust that killed six million Jews that we must take verbal threats of annihilation supported by facts on the ground against us most seriously. As children of the Holocaust survivors, we must be true to our words of “Never again” and act with courage and determination to confront the enemy covertly and if necessary, with overt action to stop their genocidal pursuit from ever getting off the ground. (Credit Photo: via https://www.flickr.com/photos/aeneastudio/3657735814 by aeneastudio and adapted by Andy Blumenthal)
We’re all different, and we all have something to say and contribute to solve life’s challenges. While some of us may think that they are better than others, the reality is that we are all human, fallible, and subject to life’s circumstance and G-d’s mighty hand. However, too often, we let ego get in the way, and instead of taking on the huge, almost insurmountable challenges that we face, we end up fighting about who’s in charge and who gets the credit.
As we face the daunting challenges confronting America, Israel, and the world, we need effective “servant-leaders,” who are guided by a genuine moral compass and faith in G-d to take well-reasoned actions and not to punt the problems down the political road. Real leadership means leaving your ego at the door; it means self-sacrifice, compassion, creative thinking, and bold problem-solving. Big challenges can be dealt with, but we’ve got to have the right measure of ourselves, strength of character, and unity of purpose to finally overcome them.