Americans have a decision to make and the timeline is short and getting shorter. Congress must make a decision on the Iranian nuclear agreement within six months. Although it is a decision Congress must make, each and every one of us has an obligation to make our wishes known to our representatives. The stakes are high. The right decision will result in either relative peace in the Middle East for the foreseeable future; the wrong decision will likely cause a serious war involving Iran and Israel initially, but which the entire world will eventually be engulfed on short order.
The stakes are damned high!
This decision that we all must make is like most decisions involving potential political outcomes, in that it will not entirely be made, based upon logic and facts. Anytime we Americans are called upon to make a choice that has political implications, unfortunately, emotion too often trumps logic. In our world today, the two most toxic subjects we deal with, politics and race relations, have collided and threaten to overwhelm any possibility of logical thought on the proposed agreement with Iran. In light of the potential outcome if we choose wrong, the result will be tragic. Still, we must examine the evidence and do our part to influence those who will make the decision in this matter.
In fairness, I must say, I am in the “no” camp. In additional fairness, I have made every attempt to override emotion and examine the facts to arrive at this juncture, which I offer for your consideration.
To begin with, the argument that we must approve this agreement or prepare to go to war is a distraction. America and its allies have taken steps to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon thus far, and we have done so without armed conflict. Though it would be unpleasant for some, and would require some diplomatic persuasion to get our allies back on board, a return to the same scenario could be managed, giving us all time to return to negotiations — or simply return to the status quo. War isn’t the only option, and this is a proven fact.
The reality that Iran, under this agreement, will one day, sooner or later, depending upon your interpretation, be capable of developing nuclear weapons and so arm themselves, is really not in dispute with either side. The real question is, “will they choose to do so.” Those in favor of approving this deal are of the opinion that they won’t. Unfortunately, they are basing their entire argument, and the safety and security of the region and the entire world, for that matter, on this opinion.
A simple, straightforward difference in foreign policy, philosophy and evaluation of the nature of our enemies between the current administration and its predecessor has brought us to this point.
The current administration has consistently operated from the standpoint that kindness and the extension of the proverbial “olive branch” will result in actions in kind by all our enemies.
On its face, this philosophy works. The idea that others will choose to dominate and subjugate us if we increase our role and position as benevolent and charitable just doesn’t make sense. After all, most would agree that we all simply want to live peacefully and as prosperously as possible — and war precludes that. That’s where the additional facts and items of irrefutable evidence come to play.
Fact number one: Iran is not a democracy. Many of the countries in that part of the world, regardless of whether they demonstrate democratic ideals or not, are led by a few individuals who themselves are guided not by humanitarian thoughts or considerations for “the little guy who simply wants to live a peaceful life with his family,” but rather by draconian religious mandates or their equally oppressive interpretations of their religious mandates. The little guy doesn’t have a say like we Americans do.
Fact number two: Iran’s leaders have historically stated in no uncertain terms what the religious mandates were vis-a-vis their enemies in the region, principally Israel. This was most evident under the leadership of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but all of the fundamentalist leaders of Iran, past and present, have stated unequivocally that Israel must be annihilated. The problem is now, and has been all along, that this isn’t just a personal preference for them. It is a mandate from Allah.
Fact number three: supporters of this agreement are operating on the presumption that Iran’s newfound relationship with the world — that is seemingly represented by this agreement and the associated lifting of sanctions — is going to result in a change of heart in which Iran turns its back from its religious mandate to destroy Israel and embrace instead its place in the “secular" world. Israel, a country that has the best intelligence apparatus in the world in terms of its Iranian knowledge base — and the country that will suffer immediate consequences of a wrong decision — knows better. Virtually every Israeli political leader is opposed to it. If it would assure peace in the region for them, why would every single one of them oppose it?
In conclusion, there are two things that inspire nations … and inspire those who fight and die for their nations. And that’s their God and their country. Muslims are no more likely to turn away from a clear religious command as defined by their religious leaders than Christians are.
Carrying this thought a step further, as we have seen from the multitude of individuals willing to martyr themselves for Allah, and knowing the conviction of the Iranian leaders that Israel must die, it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which Iran will not pursue a nuclear weapon with the intent to destroy Israel as soon as possible. If this deal clears the path for them, or lessens the scrutiny of them in any slight way, they will take advantage of it. If they get a nuke and a delivery system, (as close as Israel is, the delivery system wouldn’t have to be very sophisticated), they will use it as soon as possible. The longer they sit on it, the more likely its discovery.
A decision based upon logic would support a no vote on this agreement. A decision based upon emotion would be very dangerous for us all. Either way, as an American you have an obligation to make your voice heard on this most important point.
Contributing Writer Godfrey Garner is a veteran special operations counterintelligence officer who retired from US Special Forces in 2006. He served two military tours and six civilian government related tours in Afghanistan. His work there most recently was as a counter-corruption analyst. Garner previously wrote about jihadi groups’ unification in his Homeland Security Today report, ThePotential that Jihadi Groups will Unify … and With it, More Savagery. Garner also is author of, Danny Kane and the Hunt for Mullah Omar, and, The Balance of Exodus.