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Posts Tagged ‘normandy’


Posted by Richard on June 6, 2014

They commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-Day today with an interpretive dance. A better way to remember is to listen to Ronald Reagan’s “Boys of Point-du-Hoc” speech at the 40th anniversary.

[YouTube link]


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Posted by Richard on June 6, 2007

Today is the 63rd anniversary of D-Day. Noel Sheppard offered links to some commemorative videos and tribute posts. Justin Smith, noting that no one has spoken more eloquently on the subject, posted Reagan's 1984 Normandy speech. Go read the whole thing, but here's a brief excerpt of Reagan addressing the D-Day veterans (emphasis added):

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge–and pray God we have not lost it–that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.

Those words are all the more moving and poignant today, when many seem to have indeed lost what Reagan prayed we had not.

This week also marks the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War, which began on June 5, 1967. Charles Johnson linked to a remarkable historical document:

Reading TIME magazine’s account of the Six Day War, written in June 1967 shortly after it finished, is an amazing experience. The absence of cynicism and bias in this piece is a very marked contrast to the TIME magazine of today, and is a stark illustration of how deeply this magazine has gone wrong: The Quickest War.

And notice: not once are the Arabs who lived in the area referred to as “Palestinians.”

He's dead right. Just try to imagine the Time of today publishing this analysis (emphasis added):

Inevitably, the fact that so many Arab planes were trapped in their parking area-strung out wingtip to wingtip-suggested that Israel must have struck the first blow. The stunned Arabs, of course, said that it had, and Moscow angrily concurred. But, as Israel first told it, the Jewish jets scrambled only after early-warning radar picked up several waves of Arab planes headed straight for Israel. At the same time, a massive Egyptian armored column was reported to be rolling out of its base at El Arish and steering toward the Israeli border.

Historians may argue for years over who actually fired the first shot or dropped the first bomb. But the Realpolitik of Israel's overwhelming triumph has rendered the question largely academic. Ever since Israel was created 19 years ago, the Arabs have been lusting for the day when they could destroy it. And in the past month, Nasser succeeded for the first time in putting together an alliance of Arab armies ringing Israel; he moved some 80,000 Egyptian troops and their armor into Sinai and elbowed out the U.N. buffer force that had separated the antagonists for a decade. With a hostile Arab population of 110,000,000 menacing their own of 2,700,000, the Israelis could be forgiven for feeling a fearful itch in the trigger finger. When Nasser closed the Gulf of Aqaba, a fight became almost inevitable.

For an excellent account of the Six Day War with more historical perspective, read David Meir-Levi's article. It also clearly explains how Israel's reviled "occupation of Palestine" actually came about (emphasis added):

A few days after the UN cease fire of 6/11/67, Abba Eban, Israel's representative at the UN, made his famous speech. He held out the olive branch to the Arab world, inviting Arab states to join Israel at the peace table, and informing them in unequivocal language that everything but Jerusalem was negotiable. Territories taken in the war could be returned in exchange for formal recognition, bi-lateral negotiations, and peace.

Israel wanted peace. Israel offered land in exchange for peace. As Lord Carendon, the UK representative at the UN, noted with considerable surprise after Abba Eban's speech, never in the history of warfare did the victor sue for peace — and the vanquished refuse.

Twice within a few weeks of the war's end, the USSR and the Arab Bloc floated motions in the UN General Assembly declaring that Israel was the aggressor. Both motions were roundly defeated. At that time, the world knew that the Arabs were the aggressors, and that Israel, victim of aggression, had sued for peace both before the war and after their amazing victory.

Unable to brand Israel the aggressor, and in disarray following Israel's public request for peace and reconciliation, The Arab world faced what for it was a difficult choice. Recognize Israel, negotiate for the return of conquered territories, and make peace…or not.

Rather than respond to Israel's invitation, the Arab states met in Khartoum, Sudan, for a conference in August, 1967. They unanimously decided in favor of the now famous three Khartoum "NO's": No recognition, No negotiation, No peace. This was only round 3. The Arab world could suffer many more defeats before its ultimate victory. Israel could suffer only one defeat. Better that Israel hold on to the territories taken in the war. Better that the refugees continue languishing in their squalor and misery. Better that the Arab states re-arm for round 4…than to recognize Israel's right to exist or negotiate toward a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

With the Khartoum "NO's", the Arab world forced Israel to unwillingly assume control over the approximately million Arabs living in the West Bank, Golan Heights, Sinai and Gaza Strip.

It's a shame and an outrage that an entire generation has never heard even a brief history of this war and how the current situation in the Middle East came about. It's utterly contemptible that a coalition of commies and 7th-century barbarians will commemorate the 40th anniversary of Israel's victory with a rally in Washington calling for its destruction. If you're anywhere near the District of Columbia (or NYC — there will be a bus), please join the Stand With Israel counter-rally.


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