Happy Birthday, Michael Ledeen!
Michael Ledeen has since gone out of his way to make those young people understand that stealing is a crime that does not pay, even when it is committed by the government of a superpower, and that the Soviet empire’s economic collapse proves it.
Stealing is just one step ahead of killing. This brings me to the crux of the matter. Michael, a former consultant to the National Security Council, the State Department, and the Department of Defense, has spared no effort to document that today's international terrorism was born in Moscow. His 2002 book The War Against the Terror Masters attests to that. More recent events confirm that thesis. On July 12, 2006, militants of Hezbollah ("Party of God"), an anti-Semitic Muslim fundamentalist group armed by Russia, launched a powerful rocket attack against Israel. That attack was followed by a 34-day Israeli offensive against the attacker. Most of the Hezbollah weapons cases captured by the Israeli military forces during that offensive were marked:
Supplier: KBP, Tula, Russia.
In October 2010, Hezbollah conducted a drill simulating the takeover of Israel. The European Union-sponsored Gulf Research Center, which provides journalists an inside view of the Gulf Center region, found out that Hezbollah's military forces were armed with a large quantity of the "Soviet-made Katyusha-122 rocket, which carries a 33-lb warhead." Hezbollah was also armed with Russian-designed and Iranian-made Fajr-5 rockets with a range of 47 miles, enabling it to strike the Israeli port of Haifa, and with the Russian-designed Zelzal-1 rockets, which could reach Tel Aviv. The Gulf Research Center established that Hezbollah also possessed the infamous Russian Scud missiles, obtained from Syria, as well as the Russian anti-tank missiles AT-3 Sagger, AT-4 Spigot, AT-5 Spandrel, AT-13 Saxhorn-2, and AT-14 Kornet.
Peace in this world only follows victory in war, as my good friend Michael has repeatedly told me. Once again, he has proven right. The Cold War is indeed over, but unlike other wars it did not end with a formal act of surrender and with the defeated enemy throwing down his weapons. Now we are learning the hard way that the loser’s mindset cannot be changed from one day to the next.
In 1988, when I was granted the honor of becoming an American citizen, I ended the few words I said as a sign of my gratitude with the last paragraph of William Tyler Page's The American Creed: “It is my duty to my Country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.” That is something else that Michael and his wife, Barbara, have kept hammering into my head: that being a citizen of this great country brings first obligations, and then privileges. Both Michael and Barbara have dedicated their lives to serving their country, and both have passed their love for America to their three children. Their daughter, Simone, has worked both in Iraq and Afghanistan for the Department of Defense; their oldest son, Gabriel, fought in Iraq as an officer in the United States Marines Corps; and Daniel is currently serving as a lieutenant in the USMC.
Happy Birthday, Michael! And many, many more. Our country needs people like you.