Letter: Agreement can reign in Iran
With the inclusion of Sen. Barbara Mikulski to the roster, there are now enough votes in the Senate to assure that President Barack Obama’s groundbreaking agreement arresting Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions will become law. All Americans should support this deal as a great step forward in the foreign policy of America. Diplomacy and compromise instead of shock and awe.
Opponents of this landmark deal vociferously compare Obama’s olive branch to Neville Chamberlain’s capitulation to Nazi Germany. None compare this deal to Ronald Reagan’s negotiations with the Soviet Union. At the time, Reagan’s negotiations were compared to Chamberlain by hawkish right-wingers. Reagan is now lauded as the president who brought down the Berlin Wall and instituted peace in our time. It’s a weird double standard of history from those who never learn and are doomed to repeat it.
Iran has been outside the community of nations since its people overthrew the ruthless dictator that America had installed and supported for nearly three decades. The Shah’s secret police had tortured and killed over 300,000 of its citizens before his reign ended with the Islamic revolution. America got a “hostage crisis” out of the revolution. Irangot an Islamic State that may be considered backward and totalitarian to Americans, but isn’t known to murder its own citizenry. Our hostage crisis was a small price to pay for our support of a murderous regime, but looms large in minds of people whose ability to look at issues from both sides is limited by myopic nationalism.
Welcoming Iran into the community of nations will give the world a modicum of control over its actions. Economic freedom becomes leverage to influence behavior acceptable to the larger community it will reside in. It may still support groups opposed to western policies that are labeled “terrorist” by those interests, but we will simply have to deal with it just as we have to deal with Russian counter-western policies.
Opponents of this deal believe that continued sanctions are the solution. There is a narrative in the media that it was sanctions that forced the Iranians to the negotiating table despite the fact that sanctions have never brought down a targeted government in all of history. Still, they say more sanctions will force the Iranians to negotiate from a position of deeper weakness. Silly idea based on flawed philosophy. Our allies support this deal and are unlikely to reimpose sanctions. Denying this deal now would mean that America would hold the weakest position on Iran in the free world, much like we held on Cuba for decades. American support gives the deal the best chance of success and improves world security for years to come. If Iran breaks the deal, then the hawks can have the war they so badly want. Trust but verify.
President Obama still needs more votes of support. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet is still undecided. Call Bennet’s office at 202-224-5852 and ask him to support this landmark peace agreement.
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