More Government Officials Who Are Senseless on Iran

Add Eric Cantor, who unbelievably called the interim deal “dangerous”, when the U.S. made almost no concessions whatever to Iran. He’s simply scared that a deal will eventually be reached and a peace break out in which Israel’s status is reduced and Iran’s raised.

Add Ed Royce, who didn’t think the interim deal protected the U.S. and its allies (Israel presumably) and called for ratcheting up sanctions. Add Eliot Engel, who wants Iran 100% out of the uranium enrichment business, no matter what treaties allow it. Add Michael McCaul, who thinks it’s dangerous to lift sanctions and who has misrepresented the U.N. resolutions. Add Brad Sherman, who thinks the U.S. should keep ratcheting up sanctions during negotiations. Sherman has openly said that he wants sanctions that will hurt the Iranian people.

These men are all indulging in wild exaggerations about the safety of Americans being placed in jeopardy by Iran, with or without negotiations. They are making irresponsible statements that totally ignore the concessions that Iran is now making, has already made, and is proposing to make. These men are stupidly ignoring the internal politics in Iran. These men are holding on to irrational hatreds based upon the 1979 revolution and the fear of Islam. These men are endangering the talks and the prospects for peace. These men are proposing senseless policies, because any country pushed into a corner is more, not less, likely to arm itself and then to pose a real threat. These men are making every effort to scuttle Obama’s negotiations with Iran.

The only end game that their drive has is to reduce Iran to a nonentity and a powerless country. That’s what they want. That can only be done by violently overthrowing its system, i.e., by a costly war. And what would such a war win for Americans? Generations of costly grief in an effort totally to prevent the possibility of Iran’s having or developing a nuclear weapon. This makes no sense when that country already is willing to negotiate a commitment to that effect now. Why aim at reducing Iran to rubble when it has no nuclear weapons program and, even if it did, poses no threat to America?

The answer of these anti-Iran officials is to protect Israel. But that’s not a sensible answer either, for many reasons. Israel has an abundance of armed forces and a stockpile of nuclear weapons to defend itself. Israel is not the 51st state of the Union. With the U.S. behind Israel, the U.S. becomes the puppet that can be drawn into a serious war not of its own making. No major power should have such an important decision as war being contingent on what some minor country or ally does or does not do. Iran is not building up armed forces to attack Israel. It could not defeat Israel even if it wanted to or tried to. The U.S. needs to extricate itself from that entire region, not get more deeply involved in it. The Cold War is over. The U.S. should not be letting its foreign policy be shaped by Israeli influences and voting blocs inside this country. The U.S. shouldn’t be supporting a government that systematically adds territory and devalues Palestinians. The more that the U.S. supports Israel, the less willing are the Israelis to find and sign on to a stable peace in that region.

The blank check protection of Israel that has so often been voiced by officials of the U.S. government is a senseless policy. That blank check should not be so broad as to cover a U.S. policy of starting a major war on Iran or trying to reduce Iran to a position of abject inferiority. Acting on behalf of Israel to that extent buys nothing for Americans but costs them dearly.


3:02 pm on December 16, 2013