By Maj. Gen. Jerry R. Curry, US Army (Ret.)
In the 1930s German cleric Martin Niemoeller said of the Nazis, “In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
But it was more than talk and a piece of old cloth. The Nazis forced all Jews living in Germany to wear a yellow Star of David as a cloth armband. The message this was meant to send was, “Take care, the wearer of this patch is a filthy, sub-human scum unfit to live among decent people like us Germans.”
This atrocity was happening in the 1930s and no nation, including the United States, took up the Jewish cause even though this was far more than just an anti-Jewish event. At stake was worldwide life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Today the free nations of the world have a golden opportunity to make amends for their failure in the 1930s to protect decency, fairness, brotherhood and honor. But back then no nation faced down Hitler at the League of Nations and called him to task. Instead, it was almost as if the Jews were expected to apologize for surviving Hitler’s murderous attacks.
Now in the Middle East Muslim nations like Iran are publicly saying they want to kill every Jew on the face of the earth. So why shouldn’t the Jews want to sit down and negotiate they ask. Hitler and the Nazis, with the quiescence of the League of Nations, were leading a word wide assault not just on the Jews but also on the world’s Christians, like cleric Niemoeller. Today Muslims, with the quiescence of the United Nations, are leading an assault on the world’s liberty and freedom just as the Nazis did, and again no one is protesting.
During the Nazi era, the nations of the world didn’t protest because they were afraid of offending Hitler. Now President Obama and other world leaders are afraid of offending Muslims no matter how cruel and evil their actions. One would expect the United Nations to be swamped under bushels of objections from nations protesting the actions of terrorist organizations like ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah — not to mention the world’s protests against the actions of states like Iran and Syria in killing their own populations. But that is not the case. The United Nations — a toothless tiger — dismisses these evil assassins with only a mild wave of the hand.
But it isn’t just the Jews who are under attack by Muslim terrorists. All free democratic nations and institutions are in jeopardy of losing their freedom and liberty to Muslim Sharia Law, terror, and terrorism. Nations which refuse to take a strong stand for freedom and democracy will not long enjoy the little freedom and democracy they now have. Perhaps that is what motivated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept the invitation to speak to both houses of the US Congress. Perhaps he feels he can put some holy fire back into the belly of the sleeping American Giant, that he might motivate it once more to rise and defeat evil and wrap itself in the mantle of free world leadership.
Our citizens have been deserted by their national leaders. Until now, at least the Pentagon has been able to hold out and not succumb to the machinations of the White House. But the White House is selling the ground out from under the greatest military the world has ever known. At the national level the nation needs strong military and civilian leaders who will unite and champion life and liberty in every sphere of influence including: political organizations, corporation board rooms, labor unions, non-profits, faith based organizations, and education of our citizens to accept the worth of traditional values and the principles of our Founders. To get the nation back on track there is much that needs to be done and quickly.
Now is the time for members of the United Nations to acknowledge the similarities between what happened in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, including the selling out of Germany’s military, and what is currently happening throughout the Middle East. Where is the civilized anger and outrage that all members of the United Nations should be expressing? Every nation which refuses to condemn and fight against the Middle East Muslim terrorists should in turn be publicly condemned at the United Nations and, if warranted, dispelled from the organization.
The thoughts of German cleric Niemoeller, written in the 1930s, are as applicable to the United Nations today as they were to the League of Nations back in the 1930s. If today the civilized world, led by the United States, doesn’t stand up and speak out for Israel and the world’s Jews, when Islam comes for the Christians, and it will come, there will be no one left to speak for them.
Maj. Gen. Jerry R. Curry, US Army Ret.; U of Nebraska, Omaha, BGE; Boston U, MA International Relations; Luther Rice U and Seminary, D. Min; Harvard, Kennedy School. Mr. Curry is a retired Army Major General, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Carter administration; Acting Press Secretary to the Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration; and Administrator of the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration in the Bush Sr. administration.
Correction: The original headline on this op-ed was wildly inarticulate and perverted the meaning of the piece. We apologize.