ED KOCH COMMENTARY: My Reaction to President Obama’s Response to the Incidents in Egypt, Libya and Elsewhere By EDWARD IRVING KOCH

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Koch_Ed - HeadshotThe
New York Times
of September 17, reported that,
"[i]n Iran, the commander of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards
, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, took the unusual step of holding a news
conference on Sunday to warn that 'nothing will remain' in Israel if it or any
other nation launches attacks against his country. He said that Iran and its
allies – presumably Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza – would retaliate at
Israel's borders, as would Iran itself in Israel and beyond, targeting American
bases in the Persian Gulf and shutting down the Strait of Hormuz. Iran
has often threatened to counter any attack, but the general's threats were
unusually specific and signaled Iran's intent to turn any possible attack into
a regional conflict. 'Our response to Israel is clear: I think nothing will
remain of Israel,' General Jafari said, according to an account by The
Associated Press. 'Given Israel's small land area and its vulnerability to a
massive volume of Iran's missiles, I don't think any spot in Israel will remain
safe.' General Jafari also confirmed, in what appeared to be the clearest terms
so far, that some high-level advisers from his elite unit were working in Syria
and Lebanon, underscoring how deeply intertwined the many conflicts in the region
have become."

So now we have one of Iran's top
generals joining the president of Iran in calling for the destruction of
Israel. The Iranian general threatens Israel's total demise and destruction
"if [Israel] or any other nation launches attacks against his
country." The Iranian president's longstanding calls for Israel's
destruction have always been unconditional. Israel is normally referred to by
Iranian government officials as the "little Satan" and the U.S. as
the "big Satan."

You can be sure that if and when Iran
develops a nuclear bomb and a rocket capable of reaching the U.S., we here in
the U.S. will be at risk simply because we exist. The fanatic Muslims engaged
in jihad against Western civilization have as their goal the total destruction of
Western civilization which they both envy and hate. Their ultimate objective is
to convert the world to Islam.

There are very few Jews left in most
Arab countries. In some countries, none. They were forced to flee after Israel
became a state in 1948. Many Christian Arabs in Arab countries including those
living under the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank, have left their
homelands as a result of persecution by their Muslim countrymen. Neither
Bethlehem nor Nazareth are cities with a Christian majority. The Arab Christian
population of the Palestinian territories has dropped to just 2 percent. Many
of those fleeing their countries have sought and found refuge in the U.S. The
Coptic Christians who remain in Arab countries, approximately 10 million in
Egypt, live in great fear and have suffered pogroms at the hands of their
Muslim neighbors. Christians are also in danger in Iraq, Afghanistan and

The recent attacks on American
embassies in Egypt and Libya – including the deaths of Chris Stevens, the
American Ambassador to Libya, and three other U.S. diplomatic personnel in
Libya – have been followed by anti-American demonstrations in Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Yemen, Sudan, Nigeria, Iraq and Iran. Why should
anyone be surprised? The Arab and Muslim countries hate the U.S., even those
like Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, who have recently overthrown Arab despots during
the so-called "Arab Spring," with the assistance of the U.S. and
other Western countries.

Those who were helped by the Western
countries to overthrow their despots immediately became Islamist states
threatening the U.S. In Afghanistan where we have spent billions in seeking to
create a democratic government, the Afghan army and police of the government we
are now supporting and defending against the Taliban are responsible for the
killing of American and NATO soldiers training them. According to The New York
Times of September 16, "[t]he six deaths [on Friday, September 14] brought
to 51 the number of coalition service members killed this year in insider
attacks. The toll has already well exceeded last year's total of 35 killed in
such violence." Training the Afghan security forces is the publicly-sated
reason of the U.S. as to why we are remaining until 2014. We should evacuate
all of our troops from Afghanistan immediately.

We know that when the President
publicly stated Egypt was not an ally, he could have said the same about Iraq,
Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Muslim world believes the U.S. is not willing or
able to use military action against Iran. It knows from the immediate and
recent sacking of our embassies in both Egypt and Libya with the security
forces in both those countries refusing to protect the American embassies, that
the U.S. is not prepared or willing to punish those countries. Normally in such
cases, is it unreasonable to expect our Ambassadors — those still alive — to
be recalled? Is it unreasonable to immediately cut off as much as remains of
the $2 billion annual appropriation to Egypt and whatever we are providing
Libya? Is it unreasonable to prohibit Americans from going to both Egypt and
Libya as tourists because of the physical danger to them? Egypt's economy
depends on tourism to balance its budget.

President Obama on a number of
occasions has publicly stated, "I have Israel's back." I don't know
what that means in practice. I believe he should publicly state, as Senator
Daniel Inouye
of Hawaii said back in January of this year that an attack by
Iran on Israel would be considered an attack on the U.S. that would elicit an
immediate military response.

Former Secretary of Defense Robert
said in February 2011, "Any future defense secretary who advises the
president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle
East or Africa should 'have his head examined,' as General [Douglas] MacArthur
so delicately put it." I agree with him, but that should not preclude our
using our extraordinary airpower — rockets, planes and drones – our Navy and
our stunning Special Forces where needed.

The Honorable Edward Irving
Koch served as a member of Congress from New York State from 1969 through 1977,
and New York City as its 105thMayor from 1978 to 1989.

eHeziED KOCH COMMENTARY: My Reaction to President Obama’s Response to the Incidents in Egypt, Libya and Elsewhere By EDWARD IRVING KOCH

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