The Cause of Human Freedom, Then and Now
Thirty-two years ago last week, Israel stunned the world by flying four C-130 Hercules transport aircraft to Entebbe, Uganda and rescuing hostages hijacked by the PFLP and its German accomplices. Chaim Herzog wrote, “We have demonstrated… that dignity of man, human life and human freedom constitute the highest values. We are proud not only because we have saved the lives of over a hundred innocent people… but because of the significance of our act for the cause of human freedom.”
Thirty-two years ago last week, Israel stunned the world by flying four C-130 Hercules transport aircraft to Entebbe, Uganda and rescuing hostages hijacked by the PFLP and its German accomplices. Chaim Herzog wrote, “We have demonstrated… that dignity of man, human life and human freedom constitute the highest values. We are proud not only because we have saved the lives of over a hundred innocent people… but because of the significance of our act for the cause of human freedom.”Last week, the Colombian government took up the cause of human freedom, executing a daring plan to infiltrate the notorious FARC terrorist organization and rescue 15 hostages, some taken as long as six years ago. The government tried negotiations with the FARC, including releasing prisoners, but refused to grant it territory in which to operate independently. President Bush properly and enthusiastically saluted President Uribe and the Colombian military. We note also that U.S. military training and equipment were instrumental in creating a capable Colombian counterterrorism force loyal to the democratic government. [Assignment: Compare with U.S. military training to the increasingly competent Iraqi Army; and contrast with U.S. military training for the militias of the Palestinian “government.”]
Also in the cause of human freedom, kudos to the United States and Iraqi militaries for secretly securing and transporting to Canada 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium on 37 military flights in 3,500 secure barrels. No, this is not a new cache – the UN knew about it long ago, but had been unable to move it from the region. No, this is not a weapon, not even a “dirty bomb” – but enriched to higher levels, it could become one. The Associated Press reports also that earlier this year, four devices for controlled radiation exposure were removed from Iraq. According to AP, the devices contain elements of high radioactivity that could potentially be used in a weapon.
Had Saddam succeeded in wearing out the UN and ending the sanctions regime, or had the United States withdrawn from Iraq when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid were convinced we were losing the war, the yellowcake and the radiation devices would both have remained in Iraq for Iran and/or al Qaeda. Instead, Iraqi yellowcake will be secured in the West and the radiation devices returned to the manufacturer, joining the Libyan nuclear material stored at Oak Ridge, TN as a counter-proliferation success.
It was a very good week’s work by Colombia, Iraq and the United States.
Sad, then, that this week – 32 years after Entebbe – Israel will hand over Samir Kuntar, whose claim to infamy is that he smashed a little girl’s head into a rock with a rifle butt after killing her father. He goes to a hero’s welcome in Lebanon in exchange for the bodies of two kidnapped IDF soldiers. While Hezbollah celebrates, Israel will mourn and Gilad Shalit will remain a hostage in Gaza. Knowing now that Israel will release killers for hostages, Hamas announced it would increase its ransom demand for Shalit to include bigger, bloodier terrorist fish, and the IDF is preparing for more kidnapping attempts by enemies along its borders.
The cause of human freedom – particularly that of Gilad Shalit – didn’t do well everywhere.