OpinionMiddle East

Take them at their word

From Hamas to Iran to Turkey, when our enemies tell us what they're going to do, we need to listen.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. Photo: Tehran Times.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. Photo: Tehran Times.
Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, at the United Nations in New York, just bluntly threatened individual American officials with violence: “I say frankly to the American statesmen, who are now managing the genocide in Palestine, that we do not welcome [an] expansion of the war in the region. But if the genocide in Gaza continues, they will not be spared from this fire.” (Emphasis added.)

I don’t think Mr. Amir-Abdollahian would come into our country to issue such a direct threat to American leaders had the Biden administration not assigned Robert Malley to reboot the atrocious but then-inert Iran Deal. Had it not lifted oil export sanctions—resulting in a multibillion-dollar windfall to Tehran. Had it not tried to ransom American hostages from Iran at $1.2 billion a captive. Had it not restored hundreds of millions of dollars in support to the West Bank and Gaza. Had it not allowed U.S. aid and remittance dollars to Lebanon to seep into Hezbollah coffers. Had it not dropped past American declarations that the Houthis were a terrorist organization, and had it not ignored rather than retaliated for dozens of attacks on U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq by Iranian surrogates.

We should also take at his word one Ghazi Hamad. He’s a high official in Hamas and one of their PR megaphones. And in an Oct. 24 Lebanese television interview, Hamad boasted: “We must teach Israel a lesson… and we will do this again and again. The Al Aqsa Flood [the Oct. 7 attack] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth… It is Israel, not us. We are the victims of the occupation… On Oct. 7, on Oct. 10, on October one-millionth, everything we do is justified….”

Hamad was quite clear on the motivation for his envisioned million more murder sprees: “The existence of Israel is what causes all that pain, blood and tears.”

So Hamad is promising more beheading, executions, rape and mutilation. I don’t think Hamad—apparently waging endless jihad against Israeli civilians from a safe distance in Beirut—got the message about the much-heralded American “two-state solution” of mutual co-existence. In other words, Hamad has no problem adhering to the Hamas-charter agenda of wiping out Israel: “Israel is a country that has no place on our land. We must remove that country because it constitutes a security, military and political catastrophe to the Arab and Islamic nations, and must be finished.”

So is this final solution to Israel the “from the river to the sea” envisioned by our campus activists? Our Turkish NATO ally Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at a huge public rally, praised the Hamas mass murderers as “freedom fighters.” He declared the Israeli response to the Hamas apparat a “massacre,” and threatened to send the Turkish army to Gaza and to hit Israel with a swarm of missiles and bombs—or as he put it, his military can “come at any night unexpectedly.” (He issued the same sort of threat not long ago to NATO member Greece.)

Such is our Turkish NATO ally. It has the largest military of the alliance aside from the United States, is home to a huge American air base at Incirlik that is reportedly still equipped with nuclear weapons, has collaterally bombed Kurdish civilians in Syria and Iraq, and for the last half-century has propped up the permanent Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus that drove 150,000-200,000 Greeks from their homes. And, amid his denunciations of Israeli “genocide” and “massacre,” the moralist and former Obama conduit to Middle East Erdogan sometimes talks about how an earlier Turkish generation dealt with the Armenians–as a matter of pride rather than shame.

Remember that all of these creepy leaders have at one time or another been (or currently are) recipients of U.S. cash, but are comfortably far away. Now they are buoyed by, and voicing sentiments identical to, their thousands of spiritual kindred on our own campuses.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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