Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none.
~Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address
EspañolWorld powers reached a nuclear deal with Iran earlier this month. But if you only got your news from US conservatives, you would swear representatives from the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, Germany, and the United States were nothing but puppets in a great scheme to enslave US Americans and force the world to bow to Iranians and their evil powers.
From Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) claiming the Iran deal does not do what it spells out to former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s incendiary holocaust comments, some of the most prominent Republican names appear to have left their brains at home before speaking to the media.
As many of us watch Republican hawks foam from the mouth, we wonder where Democrats are on this. After all, it would be nice if President Barack Obama were to get some — any — support from his own party. The problem is that not even Democrats are willing to concede publicly that the agreement involves several countries plus the United States.
They, too, have failed to understand the deal’s makeup.
Economic ignorance coupled with fear-mongering rhetoric appears to dominate the brains of those who comprise the Washington machine, and both Republican and Democratic leaders appear unwilling to lift the blindfold.
So why are so many establishment types so afraid of this deal; and why are they betraying the pillars of the US tradition when they refuse to even consider lifting sanctions on foreign countries?
Don’t Believe the Hype
The Iran deal strips the Islamic republic of Iran of 98 percent of its enriched uranium, two thirds of its centrifuges, and all its plutonium producing capacity. It allows the Iranian government to put its hands back on assets that were frozen by global powers in the past, and lifts nuclear-related economic sanctions — something that, yes, will help the Iranian people too.
But all of this will only happen after the Islamic country is placed under what some are calling the most rigorous inspection regime in the history of nuclear-proliferation negotiations.
If Republicans and some Democrats were solely concerned about Iran’s nuclear capabilities, they would support the deal. So what do they truly want to accomplish instead?
If you guessed war, you’re correct.
War Is Peace in Neocon Land
In 2013, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) tried to push a bill that would have made a war with Iran more likely, while Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) can’t wait to bomb Iran. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is naive enough to believe the deal is an agreement solely between the United States and Iran, and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is under the impression that embracing diplomacy will surely lead to war.
As Iran hawks fret, only presidential hopeful Jeb Bush sounds somewhat sane.
But lawmakers are often delusional. They ignore that war is the single most expensive endeavor a government can undertake, a problem that puts an incredible burden on the shoulders of taxpayers at home.
US conservatives who are blind to what history teaches us are quick to misjudge President Ronald Reagan’s foreign-policy record. As the sentiment spreads like the plague in the world of establishment hawks on television, radio, and in DC, reasonable debates are replaced with speculative security threats.
A conversation cannot be held when all parties chant the same misguided slogans in unison.
What Iran hawks appear to be striving for is a state of permanent war. The US populace will thus be bound to live believing they are free in a nation where most of their resources are wasted on hasty decisions made by bureaucrats.
Continuing to push for a coercive approach to the Iran deal may put the GOP in a very dangerous position. Isolating the United States means increasing hostility among world powers, an action that would hurt the already impaired US economy.
To most US founding fathers, the ideal foreign policy emphasized free trade. When Graham, Cruz, Rubio, and many others lobby to boost the antagonistic approach toward countries like Iran, they are actually standing in opposition to what Thomas Jefferson and George Washington envisioned.
Next time they claim to represent the values defended by those who founded the country, remember Iran.