U.S. Foreign Policy Should Not be based on Fear
I realize that many of us have our eyes on Iran and the danger they pose because of their development of uranium centrifuges, as this brings them even closer to developing a nuclear weapon. There’s a lot of fear going around and it’s being encouraged by the voices on the right, especially the Republican candidates for president.
Three of the four candidates running for the Republican nomination have made it clear that they’ll respond to Iran with aggressiveness; Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. We can probably count on it, that if any of these men become the next president, they’ll lead us into war with Iran though we like it or not. You could almost say, this is what Republicans do; they go to war, especially with large oil-bearing countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and now Iran, which is the next country in their crosshairs.
To gain support for war with any country requires a lot of fear with the American people. Fear is what led us into war with Iraq, which the Bush Administration cherry picked flawed intelligence to make their case that Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of nuclear weapons. This turned out to be false.
True; Iran gaining nuclear weapons is not a good thing, their leaders have made it no secret that they’d like to wipe Israel off the face of the map. The Obama Administration has also made it clear that they do not intend on allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons but they’re urging caution and more diplomacy with Israel, which is what we should do at this point. This may not be enough and Israel is likely to bring about an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, yet they have no idea how successful they’ll be. Even if Israel is successful, it may only delay Iran’s nuclear ambitions for just a few more months, if that. What they will do for sure is put Iran in a corner that will assure that when and if they do gain a nuclear bomb, they will more likely use it.
Trying to surgically remove Iran’s nuclear facilities in a way that would completely destroy their nuclear capabilities is like someone having a malignant cancerous tumor and trying to surgically remove it without Chemotherapy and hoping it won’t grow back or even spread further.
President Obama speaking to AIPAC a few days ago said:
“Already, there is too much loose talk of war, Over the last few weeks such talk has only benefited the Iranian government by driving up the price of oil, which they depend on to fund their nuclear program.
“For the sake of Israel’s security, America’s security and the peace and security of the world, now is not the time for bluster.”
What he is referring to here is that the “loose talk of war” may in fact encourage Iran to speed up their nuclear ambitions.
If we allow fear to rule here, then we’re likely to find ourselves in the same place we did with Iraq but the difference this time will be; we don’t have the treasure to lose or the manpower. And, more importantly; we don’t have the heart.
The question here is; does America have a such a short memory that we’ll again allow politicians, who are in the pockets of powerful oil interests, to again lead us into another war without allowing the diplomacy to completely play out? I would hope not.
Our nation will not survive if we allow ourselves to be brought to war by every threat around the world. The policy of pre-emptive strike was first brought to us by the Bush Administration and it was a mistake then and it’s a mistake now. Deterrence is still the best policy, even with Iran. Though Iran does carry a threat to the world by obtaining a nuclear weapon, they pose more of a threat if they’re boxed in and are forced to believe that it’s there only alternative to use that capability.
One aspect of a possible nuclear bombing of Israel that I never hear mentioned is; what would happen to the Palestinian people if Israel is bombed with a nuclear missile? It isn’t in the interest of Iran to harm Palestinians and especially the future of a Palestinian state. This may not be talked about by any side but surely it is a consideration that even the leaders of Iran must think about before trying to “wipe Israel off the face of the earth”. Are the Palestinians to be considered only pawns that can be given up in this desire to destroy Israel?
For one thing, Iran; if successful in their goal of destroying Israel will also kill thousands if not tens of thousands of Palestinians. Iran would not want to be the ones who killed off the very people who the Arab world has sympathized with concerning their plight with Israel.
So let’s hope that cooler heads will prevail and politicians, wishing to push a war with Iran, will be overlooked for the zealots that they surely show themselves to be. Our president is right; we need to allow the diplomatic channels to play out.
We can’t determine what Israel should do, they’re the ones who’re under the threat, but as a nation ourselves, let us not allow ourselves to make the same mistake as we did with Iraq and invest what we cannot afford to invest in another war that may prove to be futile and maybe even the destruction of us all.
- Op-Ed Columnist: Israel’s Best Friend (nytimes.com)
- Cody Pomeranz: Counterproductive Rhetoric: Why President Obama Is Right on Iran and Israel (huffingtonpost.com)
- Tehran’s Ticking Nuclear Time Bomb (papundits.wordpress.com)
- The Nuclear Double Standard on Israel is the Main Obstacle to Peace (middleeastatemporal.wordpress.com)
- Netanyahu defends right to strike Iran to Obama: Israel the ‘master of its fate’ (news.nationalpost.com)
- Diplomacy, not war: New Iran nuclear talks seen (goerie.com)
- To Israel, an Iranian Bomb Is a Hegemonic as Well as “Existential” Threat (Part One) (middleeastatemporal.wordpress.com)
- What are Iran’s intentions? (americablog.com)