War Hawks on the “Right” are circling President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, declaring that the risks in negotiating with regard to Iran’s nuclear development program are quite dangerous. They suggest that: “Iran cannot be trusted!” There are two vocal camps within the “Right”-Wing groups vehemently voicing opposition to the deal: most Republicans in Congress, along with a few Democrats; and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ultraconservative Likud Party.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who sang “Bomb, bomb, bomb…bomb, bomb Iran” on national television during the 2008 Presidential Debates, would be the poster-”child” of the Congressional element. And House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) literally lit the President’s fuse by inviting “Bibi” Netanyahu to deliver his canned anti-iran diatribe before a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress, at the same time that Secretary Kerry, along with the five other participating national powers, was negotiating the deal. And Netanyahu’s address was mostly a re-hash of presentations that he has already given over the past couple of years, wrapped in conciliatory praise for America and, more specifically, Obama.
The two anti-deal camps are recommending either bombing or attacking Iran. Regime change! How many lives have been lost in past wars–between the various military forces, and let’s not forget the many innocent civilians? What might have been, if only negotiations had been attempted first. War is always an alternative to talks; however, it should only be used as a very last resort.
At the beginning of this millennium, all was reasonably quiet in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein was certainly a brutal, heavy-handed dictator in Iraq. So was Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, as is Bashar Assad in Syria and the Royal Family in Saudi Arabia. None have been trustworthy. But, at least the Middle East was stable with Saddam in Iraq; because, his military held Iran’s in check. The U.S. Invasion of Iraq eliminated that Balance-of-Power. Once we removed Hussein, the overwhelming Shia-Muslim majority took over the Iraqi government, and it quickly bonded with its Shia neighbor, Iran. The sectarian and ethnic hostilities quickly turned barbarous in Iraq–and began to spread throughout the region.
That brings-up the primary question: if a war did break out with Iran, who might join in? Remember that Russian President Vladimir Putin recently announced that he would ignore U.N. sanctions and provide Iran with a sophisticated air defense missile system, which could protect its nuclear sites. When you consider the fact that Russia was one of the five nations that had joined the U.S. in negotiating an agreement to delay Iran’s nuclear weapons development, one can only wonder: in case of hostilities, whose side would Russia be on? And China (another participant)? Also, what other kind of turmoil could spread across the Middle East and Northern Africa?
Right now, the economic sanctions against Iran have been working. Also, the reduced revenue from its oil exports has truly compounded Iran’s economic condition. Its important to remember, Senator McCain and Prime Minister Netanyahu, that the assassination of one minor archduke, in the remote Balkans, had served as the match that ignited the powder keg that had been referred to, at the time, as the (first) “War to End All Wars”–World War I. Haven’t we learned our lesson yet?