Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Iran Deal and Senator Menendez's Opposition

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez became the second prominent Democrat—New York Senator Charles Schumer was the first—to announce his opposition to President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal. In a common refrain among supporters of the deal, starting with Obama, the New Jersey Star-Ledger editorialized that Menendez opposition to Iran pact risks war, because

Obama was right on the larger point: The alternative to this agreement is indeed war. And nothing Menendez said in his thoughtful speech Tuesday opposing the deal refuted that core fact.

The choice now is between this deal, and no deal at all. Because if the United States walks away, the international sanctions regime that got Iran to the table will fall apart, according to Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and the bulk of independent experts.

Rejecting this deal would hand the hard-liners in Iran a giant victory, allowing them to rush towards building a bomb without restraint, and without international inspectors on hand to keep tabs. Iran is only a few months from having the materials to build a bomb, according to the best intelligence, which Menendez does not challenge.

So without this agreement, Obama or the next president could face a horrifying choice: Either allow Iran to become a nuclear power, or launch air strikes to destroy suspect facilities.

I left these comments, which earned the honor of “Featured Comments,” out of the 198 comments posted, directly under the Star-Ledger article:

The underlying danger is that our leaders have never acknowledged that we are already at war with Iran and what it stands for; imperialistic, totalitarian Islam—an enemy that seeks a worldwide subjugation under a Sharian theocracy. This is not a “radical” interpretation of Islam. It is fundamentalist Islam.

We have been at war with this movement since 1979. It’s never been a “War on Terrorism,” any more than the war with the Empire of Japan was a “War on Kamikazes.” The danger is in the fact that we have never acknowledged this war for what it is.

True, the Imperialist Islamic movement is not fully united. Various factions jockey for power within the movement. But all are united by the same essential goal, and Iran is the leader and beau ideal of the movement. Iran’s own constitution declares explicitly that worldwide Islamic revolution and domination is its ultimate goal and duty. The Iranian constitution states:

The Mission of the Constitution is to identify itself with the basic beliefs of the movement and to bring about the conditions under which the lofty and worldwide values' of Islam will flourish.

The Constitution, having regard to the Islamic contents of the Iranian Revolution, . . .  provides a basis for the continuation of that revolution both inside and outside the country. It particularly tries to do this in developing international relations with other Islamic movements and peoples, so as to prepare the way towards a united single world community.

. . . the Islamic Republic's army, and the corps of Revolutionary Guards . . . have responsibility not only for the safeguarding of the frontiers, but also for a religious mission, which is Holy War (JIHAD) along the way of God, and the struggle to extend the supremacy of God's Law in the world.

I don’t know if Obama’s deal is the best path toward avoiding the military option or preventing Iran from getting the bomb, or if Menendez is right that the deal must be killed. I don’t have enough expertise to make that judgement. Obama claims his way is the best way forward. I hope he’s right. But I do believe Obama is wrong to separate the nuclear issue from the wider context. The most fundamental issue is not Iran’s quest for a nuclear bomb. Many countries have a nuclear bomb, but are not a threat to the world. The most fundamental issue is Iran’s “Holy War (JIHAD) along the way of God.”

I believe that the choice is NOT the Iran deal or war with Iran. We are already at war with Iran. We will be until Iran explicitly and unconditionally renounces its stated imperialist goals the way Imperial Japan was made to renounce, not just its aggressive goals, but its internal culture of war that gave rise to its aggression, under FDR’s policy of unconditional surrender. Iran is not just the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism. It is the world sponsor of a movement not much different from the goals of Soviet communism or the Axis Alliance. Until we publicly acknowledge this reality, we should be very worried about any deal any of our leaders make with Iran, because—given Iran’s ideological state—there is no way today’s Iran will see a deal any differently than the Soviets or the Nazis—as a means to advance its aggressive goals.


My comments were inspired by the video put out by the Ayn Rand Institute’s Elan Journo, Assessing the Iran Nuclear Deal. I highly recommend this 12 minute video.

Related Reading:

The Jihad Against America and How to End It, by Craig Biddle for The Objective Standard blog

Related Viewing:

Assessing the Iran Nuclear Deal—Interview with elan Journo for ARI

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