Monday, January 18, 2010

Two interesting lessons from history:

Two interesting lessons from history:


1.  How to deal with hostile "militants" who infiltrate:

Famous Cases
George John Dasch and the Nazi Saboteurs

Shortly after midnight on the morning of June 13, 1942, four men landed on a beach near Amagansett, Long Island, New York, from a German submarine, clad in German uniforms and bringing ashore enough explosives, primers, and incendiaries to support an expected two-year career in the sabotage of American defense-related production. On June 17, 1942, a similar group landed on Ponte Vedra Beach, near Jacksonville, Florida, equipped for a similar career in industrial disruption.

The purpose of the invasions was to strike a major blow for Germany by bringing the violence of war to our home ground through destruction of America's ability to manufacture vital equipment and supplies and transport them to the battlegrounds of Europe; to strike fear into the American civilian population, and diminish the resolve of the United States to overcome our enemies.

By June 27, 1942, all eight saboteurs had been arrested without having accomplished one act of destruction. Tried before a Military Commission, they were found guilty. One was sentenced to life imprisonment, another to thirty years, and six received the death penalty, which was carried out within a few days.

The magnitude of the euphoric expectation of the Nazi war machine may be judged by the fact that, in addition to the large amount of material brought ashore by the saboteurs, they were given $175,200 in United States currency to finance their activities. On apprehension, a total of $174,588 was recovered by the FBI -- the only positive accomplishment of eight trained saboteurs in those two weeks was the expenditure of $612 for clothing, meals, lodging, and travel, as well as a bribe of $260.

So shaken was the German intelligence service that no similar sabotage attempt was ever again made. The German naval high command did not again allow a valuable submarine to be risked for a sabotage mission.

(for rest of this interesting story, go to



2.  Just in time for MLK Day?   What Honest Abe did with Traitors:


Radical Arab MKs: What would Abraham Lincoln do?

Jan. 17, 2010
David Gleicher , THE

Both Liat Collins and Danny Ayalon, in their recent Jerusalem Post columns "The democratic dilemma" and "Civic responsibility should not be optional" respectively, raise the issue of how the government should respond to the anti-Israel actions of our radical Arab Knesset members. As a student of history, whenever I read about this problem, I think of Abraham Lincoln, the greatest American president, and his response to the activities of Representative Clement Vallandigham (pronounced veLANdigam).

When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, Vallandigham was a Democratic congressman, representing Dayton, Ohio. Some background for non-American readers: The Civil War involved the attempt of the southern slave-holding states to secede from the Union and form their own country, the Confederate States of America. Vallandigham, though personally opposed to slavery, believed that the federal government had no constitutional right to prevent the secession of the southern states. Naturally, he was even more adamantly opposed to the use of military force to pull the South back into the Union. Vallandigham was the leader of the "Copperheads," the anti-war, pro-Confederacy Democrats of the North.

In 1863, Gen. Ambrose Burnside, in charge of the military district of Ohio, issued an order declaring that public declarations of sympathy for the enemy would not be tolerated. Vallandigham was not deterred, and increased the provocative language of his speeches, charging that the war was being fought to free slaves, not to save the Union, and that the president was "King Lincoln" who should be removed from the presidency. He also declared that he "did not want to belong to the United States."

That was too much for Burnside, who arrested Vallandigham and had him tried by a military court. He was convicted of uttering disloyal sentiments and hindering the prosecution of the war. Vallandigham was sentenced to two years in a military prison, a sentence eventually upheld by the US Supreme Court.

Lincoln, however, had no desire to make a Copperhead martyr out of Vallandigham. He ordered the now-former congressman (he'd lost reelection in the middle of all this) taken out of prison and exiled to the Confederacy that he so strongly supported. Federal officers sent Vallandigham through Union lines to Confederate-held territory in Tennessee. He later made his way from there to Canada, and eventually returned to the North. After the war, he resumed his law practice in Dayton.

IN COMPARING Vallandigham to MKs Jamal Zahalka, Taleb a-Sanaa, et al., we can see both similarities and differences. Both Vallandigham and the Arab MKs strongly opposed their country's military actions; both Vallandigham and the Arab MKs used incendiary, provocative language in their public statements attacking their country; and both Vallandigham and the Arab MKs stated that they did not want to belong to the United States (Vallandigham) or the Jewish state (the Arab MKs).

Another similarity is that the congressman/MKs attacked their country during a time of war, seeking to aid the enemy. But that leads to a significant difference in the nature of the enemies to whom Vallandigham and the Arab MKs gave comfort. During the Civil War, the Confederacy never sought the destruction of the North. Rather, it wanted to go its own slave-holding way, without interference from northern abolitionists, who wanted to "ruin" its economic and social way of life. Israel's enemies, on the other hand, are dedicated to the goal of the state's destruction. Thus, the actions of the Arab MKs are far more dangerous and destructive than anything Vallandigham ever did.

So, should Arab MKs receive the Vallandigham treatment, exile to a country they apparently love and support more than the one they represent?

If we ask, "What would Lincoln do?" we have our answer, but we have no Lincolns among us today.

The writer is an attorney, historian and author living in Jerusalem.

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