Don’t Demonize Iran

rsz_johnmaherMany Democrats who support the Iran deal use questionable rhetoric in its defense.

For example, one Democratic member of Congress wrote, “… a nuclear-­armed Iran poses a grave threat to the United States, Israel and countries around the world…” Any country with nuclear arms is a threat to countries around the world, but in singling out Iran, that doesn’t have them, the member ignores the greater danger posed by many countries that already do.  You can name your favorites.  Pakistan is mine -­- a nuclear-­armed country whose inhabitants we kill and whose sovereignty we violate on a regular basis, with a powerful and growing Sunni extremist movement that hates us.

Demonizing Iran is a dangerous distraction because comprehensive nuclear disarmament, involving all nations, is the only way to secure our future.  And in the near term, assuming the agreement passes, the opposition will use demonization of Iran to scream “existential threat” every time there is a dispute over its implementation, and there will be many, given that some in Congress think they have a right to inspect anything, anywhere, anytime, regardless of its relevance to the nuclear issue.   Democratic members of Congress shouldn’t let these clowns make them the fall guys. We have to take on Netanyahu and the war party’s malarkey.

I’m not crazy about Thomas Friedman, but he got it right in the New York Times on September 2 when he wrote,” …the title ‘the greatest purveyors of radical Islam’ does not belong to the Iranians…. Nothing has been more corrosive to the stability and modernization of the Arab world … than the billions and billions of dollars the Saudis have invested since the 1970s in wiping out the pluralism of Islam…”

The Shia 1/3 of the Saudi population has no rights, and we say nothing.  Saudi Arabia bombs the Yemeni Shiites, the poorest people in the region, and we support them.  It makes you weep.

Our country desperately needs a Mid-East policy, grounded in reality, that supports peace and human rights.  Many Democratic members of Congress agree, but by demonizing Iran they are undermining that goal.