Letter: Negotiate a better deal with Iran to protect American lives
In his letter regarding Melanie Sturm’s column “The Iran deal: Normalizing a mortal threat” (Commentary, The Aspen Times, July 16), Miles Knudson argues Americans must “give peace a chance” by supporting an accord that guarantees the opposite (“Give Obama’s peace a chance,” Letters to the Editor, The Aspen Times, July 18).
While defending the deal, no supporter (including Knudson) denies that the Iranians — long recognized by our government as the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism — will get tons of money and conventional arms to turbocharge its “Death to America” aspirations and global jihad.
Hoping Iran has moderated? Consider Ayatollah Khomenei’s pledge: “Our policy regarding the arrogant U.S. government will not change,” he said in a televised address Saturday while supporters chanted, “Death to America and Israel.”
Deal supporters also don’t deny that Iran will get the bomb within the decade or sooner if the self-described deceivers cheat. Verification measures are so weak that it’s like forewarning Al Capone that in 24 days his gambling and bootlegging operations will be inspected.
Here’s the bottom line: The planet’s most dangerous regime will possess the most devastating weapon if it wants it — and the ballistic missiles to reach America.
Even scarier than North Korea — which acquired nukes following its nuclear deal despite President Clinton’s assurances — Iran’s territorial claims are global. Moreover, the theocracy’s apocalyptic mindset means, “Mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent; it’s an inducement,” according to Bernard Lewis, pre-eminent scholar of Islam.
The alternative to this bad deal isn’t war; it’s a deal that preconditions benefits (money, legitimacy in the “civilized world,” ability to buy weapons and missiles) upon an end to Iran’s terroristic behavior. Iran is much weaker militarily and economically, especially amid lower oil prices, and we must exploit that to get it to dismantle its massive nuclear infrastructure.
The only way to avoid the violence, nuclear proliferation and war that this deal will generate is to pursue a common-sense alternative that doesn’t reward and embolden the aggressive ayatollahs, the ones who jail journalists and pastors (including Americans), hang gays, stone women, dominate sovereign nations and kill U.S. soldiers.
Obtaining a better deal requires a credible threat of a surgical U.S. strike. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter assured Americans in April: “We have the capability to shut down, set back and destroy the Iranian nuclear program.”
America must force Iran to play its weaker hand. Not doing so means ending our ability to stop it through diplomacy. Once Iran becomes a nuclear-threshold state, we’ll have no peaceful way to stop Tehran from building a bomb. A deal that fails to stop Iran’s quest for the bomb makes the world less stable and more conflict-riddled.
Please contact Sen. Michael Bennet’s office (202-224-5852 in Washington, D.C., or 303-455-7600 in Denver), and tell him to oppose this dangerous deal. We mustn’t abdicate to a regime that remains hell-bent on sending every American to hell.
Carrie Couey, Silt
Kelly Couey, Silt
Becky Gremillion, Glenwood Springs
Lynette Marie Lacerda, Glenwood Springs
Jerome Marks, Basalt
Darin Smith, Glenwood Springs
Shirley Starr, Glenwood Springs
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In her column “The ‘L’ word” (Aspen Times, Jan. 16), Elizabeth Milias raises the existential question to which so many have claimed to either know or be the answer: What is a local?