When Winston Churchill famously addressed the United States Congress in the 1940s, he said he found in America “An Olympian fortitude which, far from being based upon complacency, is only the mask of an inflexible purpose and the proof of a sure, well-grounded confidence in the final outcome.” 318 MORE WORDS
Category Archives: Middle East
By Russ Jones
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has apologized to the Obama administration for his recent comments claiming that the U.S. is “showing weakness” in the world in regards to its foreign relation policies with Russia and Ukraine as well as its deal-making with Iran. “Therefore, on this matter, we have to behave as though we have nobody to look out for us but ourselves.”
Ya’alon criticized the U.S. for not leading efforts to halt Iran’s initiative to develop nuclear weapons.
“But at some stage the United States entered into negotiations with them, and unhappily, when it comes to negotiating at a Persian bazaar, the Iranians were better,” said Ya’alon, who spoke at Tel Aviv University, as reported by Haaretz.
Even following a phone call from Ya’alon to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last Wednesday to clarify his comments the Obama administration doesn’t appear to be satisfied.
In a statement released by Yaalon’s office describing the conversation in which the defense minister said his comments “were not intended to express opposition, criticism or offense to the United States,” adding that he “greatly admired” the relationship and that maintaining strong ties with the United States is Israel’s utmost priority, according to the Jerusalem Post.
According to JTA Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said Friday, “We are disappointed with the lack of an apology from Defense Minister Yaalon’s comments. His comments, as we’ve stated a couple times, don’t reflect the true nature of our relationship with Israel.”
Middle East analyst and award-winning journalist, Dr. Mike Evans, who is also the founder of The Jerusalem Prayer Team, agrees with Ya’alon’s perspective.
“The Obama Administration has exhibited weakness to the world—regarding Iran, Syria, and repeated attacks on US interests like what happened in Benghazi,” Evans said. “This weakness puts everyone at risk and Israel realizes it must be prepared to go it alone.”
The Israel Policy Forum, a group committed to advancing a diplomatic resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, condemned Ya’alon’s comments.
“Ya’alon is compromising U.S.-Israeli relations at a time when the United States is convening a process in which his government is a key participant,” Peter Joseph, chair of the Israel Policy Forum, said in a statement. “Instead, his obstructionist outbursts simply support a view that Israel is not negotiating in good faith and better serves its critics and those opposed to a lasting peace.”
Quite an astounding tribute to the courage and bravery of the two former Navy Seals that went to the aid of Ambassador Stevens and Embassy staff. Courageous!
Recently I was teaching a class in my church on the biblical character, Joshua. You remember him – he’s the one who took over for Moses to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. God made several promises to Joshua in the opening verses of this book of the Bible named after him. Three times God instructs Joshua to “be strong and courageous.” In fact, one of those times God instructed him to be “very courageous.” The road ahead was a tough one and Joshua would need to be up to the task.
A well-organized attack by radical Muslims was planned specifically targeting the temporary U.S. embassy building. The Libyan security force that was in place to protect our people deserted their post, or joined the attacking force. Either way, our people were in a real fix. And it should be noted that Ambassador Stevens had mentioned on more than one occasion to Secretary of State, “Hillary Clinton”, that he was quite concerned for his personal safety and the welfare of his people. It is thought that Ambassador Stevens was on a “hit list.”
A short distance from the American compound, two Americans were sleeping. They were in Libya as independent contractors working an assignment totally unrelated to our embassy. They also happened to be former Navy SEALs. When they heard the noise coming from the attack on our embassy, as you would expect from highly trained warriors, they ran to the fight. Apparently, they had no weapons, but seeing the Libyan guards dropping their guns in their haste in fleeing the scene, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty snatched up several of these discarded weapons and prepared to defend the American compound.
Not knowing exactly what was taking place, the two SEALs set up a defensive perimeter. Unfortunately Ambassador Stevens was already gravely injured, and Foreign Service officer, Sean Smith, was dead. However, due to their quick action and suppressive fire, twenty administrative personnel in the embassy were able to escape to safety. Eventually, these two courageous men were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers brought against them, an enemy force numbering between 100 to 200 attackers which came in two waves. But the stunning part of the story is that Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty killed 60 of the attacking force. Once the compound was overrun, the attackers were incensed to discover that just two men had inflicted so much death and destruction.
Consider these tenets of the Navy SEAL Code: 1) Loyalty to Country, Team and Teammate, 2) Serve with Honor and Integrity On and Off the Battlefield, 3) Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow, Never Quit, 4) Take responsibility for your actions and the actions of your teammates, 5) Excel as Warriors through Discipline and Innovation, 6) Train for War, Fight to Win, Defeat our Nation’s Enemies, and 7) Earn your Trident every day (http://www.navyseals.com/seal-code-warrior-creed).
Thank you, Tyrone and Glen. To the very last breath, you both lived up to the SEAL Code. You served all of us well. You were courageous in the face of certain death.
And Tyrone, even though you never got to hold your newborn son, he will grow up knowing the character and quality of his father, a man among men who sacrificed himself defending others.
God bless America!