Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Playing the 'Holocaust' card


By PAT MURPHY

Need anyone be reminded: Americans were softened up for the U.S. attack on Iraq with months of fearsome Bush-Cheney fictional spin about Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction and his threat to the region?

Now the McCain-Palin successors to Bush-Cheney have dreamed up their own war scare in hopes of jacking up sagging poll numbers and prepping Americans for possibly another military adventure.

John McCain, who relishes war talk more than peace talk, and Sarah Palin, who ad-libs her ignorance of foreign affairs, have raised the specter of "a second Holocaust" wiping out Israel.

Palin, who pops off without thinking, went even more over the top than McCain when she allowed that the United States shouldn't second-guess Israel if it wants to attack Iran.

Palin sent shudders through world capitals that've work diligently to keep the lid on any more outbreaks in the volatile Middle East. It was just another day, however, on the political trail for McCain's giddy running mate.

The McCain-Palin "second Holocaust" metaphor ignores cold reality -- that an Israeli attack on Iran would unleash a firestorm of revenge and recrimination in the Muslim world against U.S. targets here and aboard. The McCain-Palin motive for war talk is a reckless and unnecessary tactic aimed at garnering support of Christian end-timers and American Jews by posturing as gritty guarantors of Israel's security.

To carry out a "Holocaust" in Israel, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would need geographical dominion over Israel to round up Jews and concentration camps on the scale of Germany's World War II Third Reich. The McCain-Palin "Holocaust" scare also presupposes that Israel's awesome military and U.S. naval task forces on year round Arabian Gulf duty off Iran plus U.S. forces in Iraq would sleep through an Iranian strike of Israel.

Although diplomacy is sissy stuff to McCain, he'd do well to heed words from outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who dismisses talk of Israel attacking Iran on its own as "megalomania," further criticizing Israeli strategies that are "all about tanks and land and controlling territories and this hilltop and that hilltop," calling them "worthless" tactics that don't ensure Israel's security.

Olmert also urged Israel to abandon most of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and give Palestinians land for territories Israel occupied.

These daring ideas may not end 60 years of bloody life for Israelis and Palestinians. But Olmert's proposals are precisely the palliatives needed, not horrific images of Holocaust gas ovens tossed recklessly by McCain and Palin into thoughtful U.S. and international efforts to prevent another Middle East catastrophe.




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