“Unlike Iran, Israel refuses to allow inspections at all, refuses to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, has hundreds of nuclear weapons, has advanced delivery systems.” Noam Chomsky
There is one thing the United States and Israel share in common when it comes to weapons of mass destruction and war, hypocrisy. This is not to mention the hypocrisy of conservative Christian and conservative Jewish politicians within America and Israel. Blind patriotism and radical Zionism are as big of threats to America and Israel as Islamic extremism. This is not blatant America and Israel bashing, this is just calling the facts as they are.
Let us look at the last decade and America’s and Israel’s warmongering. Let us look at the militarization of both Nation’s police forces. Let us look at the rise of the police state in both Nations. Let us look at the hard-right turn of our political systems. The constant fear-mongering of the ruling class and love of war. A never-ending war on terror. An all too common hatred of Islam, immigrants, and minorities in society. Preaching peace while dropping bombs in wars of choice, calling for human rights while abusing human rights at home, and enriching the wealthy while starving the poor. Enacting sanctions that are meant to punish regimes but end up hurting the everyday people of those Nations instead. These are not actions of peaceful Nations; but the actions of hypocrites, bullies, selfish and violent people.
Make no mistake collapsing a Nations economy leading to poverty, disease, and death is a violent action. Starving children to punish a regime is as cruel as it is foolish. Causing people to die years prematurely because of causing a deep recession is nothing short of inhumane. Making troubled and impoverished young men even more desperate and resentful of the West will surely lead to even more extremism, crime, and terrorism. Sanctions I have come to really turn against them. All we need to do is look at Cuba to see who is really hurt by sanctions and how regimes still hold onto power.
Make no mistake I love America, I support the right of Israel to exist and defend themselves, I support the US/Israel alliance, and I am a strong critic of the Iranian regime. I however am not in favor of continuing sanctions against Iran or further escalating tensions between the two Nations. All the sanctions have primarily done is hurt everyday Iranian men, women, and children while the regime has if anything only strengthened its position in the Middle East and world stage.
I have little faith in the Iranian regime and see them as nothing less than a hostile force to peace in the world. A regime that can support butchers like Bashar al-Assad, thugs like Hezbollah, finance terror operations around the world, and grossly violate human rights is clearly an enemy to people across the globe. We clearly need to continue cutting off such aid and supplies to such regimes, organizations, and individuals, along with pushing strongly for human rights and punishing abuses. However imposing sanctions that will hurt the Iranian people is something we should not support. Neither should we support military action against Iran because such would lead to a war that would dwarf the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and against ISIS combined. I believe military action against Iran could easily trigger a war in the region that could devolve into something we have not seen since WWII.
The hawks in America and Israel are speaking out of both sides of their mouth as Prime Minister Netanyahu did in his speech. On one hand they say how the sanctions “are working” and more sanctions will work even more. That the regime is beginning to feel the sting of the sanctions and is being weakened by them. That America and Israel have the upper hand and Iran will eventually be forced to seeing things our way. On the other hand they say Iran is more powerful than ever, more dangerous than ever, and looking to wipe Israel off the face of the map. That Iran is playing games and buying time. It seems to change from day-to-day depending on which news program they are on or which question they are asked.
Iran can not be weak and strong at the same time. The regime can not be dying and thriving simultaneously. The sanctions can not be working and failing at the same time. The regime can not be moving towards our direction and against us in the same negotiations. The regime can not be looking to make concessions towards peace and plotting war within the same breath. You can not be for war and peace in the same moment. The neo-cons within Israel and the United States need to make up their minds about Iran because this double talk is driving me crazy.
Netanyahu did indeed give a grand speech of a statesman and ally that is sure to have a paragraph in the history books. He did indeed spark a lot of controversy and publicity. He even unfortunately helped strengthen the GOP Congress. What he did not do is lay out a plan for peace or success. He did the same thing as the Republicans in Congress; reject an agreement before it has even been finalized without offering any workable solutions of his own. His answer to any agreement with Iran has been and will continue to be NO! That is unless Iran gives Israel everything they want while they get little to nothing in return. Again the same games the GOP plays with the Democratic Party and the Obama administration. My way or the highway, your either with me or against me, all or nothing, do or die! That is a recipe for war and conflict and is a completely opposite approach of what is needed in negotiations and agreements.
Mr. Netanyahu may be anxious to take a hard-line approach against Iran and start an armed conflict with them but most Americans have no such appetite. I need not remind him we are currently preoccupied with fighting armed extremist in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and in various places around the Middle East. Not to mention trying to undermine a ruthless dictator in Syria and negotiate peace in Ukraine while offering aid to help defend them from heavily armed pro-Russian separatist. Our military is spread thin and the budget is only narrowing. Americans are way past war fatigue and are approaching war exhaustion. We are lifting far more than our fair share, meanwhile Netanyahu talks.
The Obama administration has done more to defend the security of Israel than any administration in history all things considered yet the perception by the GOP in America and the Likud Party in Israel seems to be President Obama is somehow anti-Israel. Just because your sometimes critical of a friend’s actions and words does not mean you’re not friends. In fact in my experience your best friends are often the ones who tell you like it is and remind you to be your best self. The fact remains the US and Israel are strong allies and while our interest may overlap often it does not mean our interest are the same. There are times, like Israel’s brutal response to Gaza rockets where Israel engaged in human rights abuses, the issue of maltreatment of Palestinians, and expansion of Israeli settlements where the US has been critical of and at odds with Israel but at the end of the day we still maintained the friendship and alliance. There are times where our interest does not overlap and occasionally is in opposition to the other’s interest, this is just the nature of friendships and alliances.
Rather than seeking to impose more sanctions on Iran the US and Israel should be reducing their weapons of mass destruction stockpiles namely their nuclear arsenals. Then we will have some moral credibility to expect such in others. Rather than seeking conflict with Iran we should be using our influence to encourage Iran to improve their human rights record and turn away from conflict while we do the same simultaneously. We should be offering the carrot instead of threatening or beating nations we disagree with the stick. We should be striving towards peace not war, towards compassion not cruelty, towards agreements not conflicts.
Prime Minister Netanyahu must stop making plowshares into swords if he truly wants peace in Israel. He needs to not see every disagreement between the US and Israel as some kind of personal insult or as a sign the US does not stand with Israel. He would be wise to stop the fear-mongering and this the world is against Israel and the Jewish people talking points. He should stop seeing all of Israel’s neighbors as an existential threat to Israel. He must stand up to the hard-right and hawks in his own party. He lastly needs to realize an agreement with Iran where talks and monitoring continue is better than Iran quitting talking and shutting out the world or starting an armed conflict with Israel. It’s his and Israel’s choice at the end of the day, but this is my suggestions.
There was far too much fear in the Prime Minister’s speech and no workable solutions to Iran’s nuclear ambitions that I heard him speak. It was a 30 seconds to midnight kind of speech. It was obviously given to undermine the administration’s effort for an agreement with Iran by convincing Congress not to sign off on it before an agreement has even been finalized. It was quite clear he or his speech writers were pandering to an American audience by touching on themes that would play well here. It was quite a remarkable speech in its oration but substantively it did not offer much. Strong on rhetoric and verbal flourishes but short on substance. What we heard is Israel is not really open to negotiations with Iran and I believe is looking to draw the United States into conflict against Iran. I believe Benjamin Netanyahu came here to sow the seeds of war within the heart of Congress. History I believe will look back at this speech as the beginnings of a major conflict with Iran that has the potential to be far more terrible than most can imagine. Whatever the case I fear only regression from any progress that has thus far been made and a much worse outcome than before the speech.
Alan Curtis Montgomery