Buying Time 

It's a lot cheaper than buying war

A controversial, ambiguous question has arisen concerning something happening in the Middle East. You—being a conscientious American citizen, concerned with what's going on over there—have been told several different versions of the situation. One, by Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel. Another, by the leaders of Iran. Yet another, by Republican senators in our own Congress. Who you gonna believe?

If you're smart, you're not going to believe anything from those quarters. Netanyahu has shown he will say and do anything—even at the expense of truth and reason—to keep our American military perpetually involved as mercenaries for Israel, no matter the cost in lives and safety to our own nation, and no matter the devastation and instability it brings to the rest of the region.

To the GOP senators and the Republican leadership in general, the Middle East represents little more than the opportunity to keep America in an endless state of war—much to the delight of defense contractors, oil cartels and their own contribution gathering efforts—and they disguise their feral neo-imperialist ambitions under a cloak of pious solicitude for Israel's safety. At first glance, it would appear their concerns and Netanyahu's are the same, but they are the same only in the sense that a car salesman and a car thief have a related interest, the result of which is you ultimately having to buy another car.

And the leaders of Iran?... oh, what cheaters they are! Almost as bad (I say almost because, so far, their alleged cheating hasn't started any full-blown wars) as the Bush administration—the last batch of Republicans who wanted a war in the Middle East so badly, they were willing to sell their souls to Dick Cheney to get it.

No, I wouldn't trust a damn thing any of them say. The whole Middle East, from Israel to Pakistan, is where Truth goes to die, and for the past decade it has taken thousands of American servicemen and women with it.

That controversial, ambiguous question is what to do with the Iranian nuclear deal. Not that it matters a lot, but I'm for it. You should be to, conscientious American citizen. That is, unless you see a benefit to us getting into a third major land war in a dozen years and, this time, against the most powerful military in the Mideast.

You've seen the ads encouraging you to inform your senators they should vote to kill the deal. No need to do that in Idaho, of course, as our two senators (along with 45 others) made the decision to try to kill the deal before there ever was a deal, and by doing so showed their loyalties lay with the inflammatory radicalism of Bibi rather than the rational intelligence of Obama.

The ads are produced by some jerk-off outfit calling itself the "American Security Initiative." Here's what the American Security Initiative is: Three ex-senators (Saxby Chambliss, Evan Bayh and Norm Coleman) who formed their organization earlier this year for the sole purpose of scuttling the deal by scaring the piss out of the sort of Americans who get their news from teevee ads.

What isn't running in ads are the views of those who have publicly supported the deal, praising it as the best possible resolution to an intractable dilemma. Among those who are satisfied it will keep Iran from progress toward having a bomb for at least 10 years are the leaders of Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia and China... for starts. Add to that assemblage the 29 U.S. nuclear scientists and experts who, in the first week of this month, published a letter praising Obama on the accord, concluding with, "we congratulate you and your team on negotiating a technically sound, stringent and innovative deal that will provide the necessary assurance in the coming decade and more that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons."

A week later, 36 retired American generals and admirals released a similar letter, giving their opinion that the agreement is "the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons."

It's safe to assume those scientists and military brass actually read, and understood, the plan—something that can't readily be said for our Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, or any other of the 45 yellow-dog sneaks who committed to the "bomb, bomb, Iran" strategy of John McCain before the diplomatic effort was even concluded.

Getting less attention than remarks by bloodlusting Republicans—i.e., Scott Walker has bragged that the first action he might take as president is to attack Iran—is the 10-year pause in any further nuclear development. It's something think-tank hawks and neocon draft dodgers never acknowledge in their continual humping for more war, that a lot can happen in 10 years. No consideration is ever given to what current ayatollahs might not be around in a decade, what priorities might shift, what hardliners might soften, what realities might change. A decade in which Iran is not pursuing a nuclear course is a decade in which we could easily see a new Iran emerge—a new generation not so crippled by the scar tissue of past U.S./Iran relations.

But then, a decade of continuing diplomacy offers few opportunities for demagoguery, war profiteering and political grandstanding. We might even start to wonder why we need a Republican Party.

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