U.S. President Barack Obama is preparing to meet with key members of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday with one goal in mind: to convince them not to impose new sanctions on a nuclear ambitious Iran. Many lawmakers in both chambers think additional sanctions could help with negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program but President Obama, who’s attitude toward Iran seems to have changed dramatically since the departure of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the arrival of current President Hassan Rouhani, argues that more sanctions would have the opposite effect.
Negotiations are currently underway in Geneva but Iran, in a brazen snub, stepped away from those talks earlier this month.
Some Republican senators expressed their concerns that the administration is deviating from it’s assurances of tough sanctions until Iran concedes to reducing their nuclear ambitions – insisting those concessions should precede any loosening of sanctions.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in an interview with CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, argued that Iran was the only beneficiary, to this point, of the failing negotiations:
“It’s getting just an enormous deal from their point of view and it’s giving practically nothing in return. They’re keeping their infrastructure to make nuclear bombs,” he said.
Ben Stein, in an outstanding article he wrote for The American Spectator, expressed utter disbelief with the administration’s softening stance toward Iran who’s threatened to bring great harm to Israel – and likened the entire situation to a “Biblical holocaust”:
Excerpt from Stein’s article “Is This Really Happening? Obama accedes to Israel’s possible annihilation.”
The Iranians in the recent past have pledged to destroy the Jewish people in the Middle East. Some of their leaders have boasted that if Iran gets nuclear weapons, Iran will have “a holocaust in an afternoon” by rocketing a few nuclear weapons into Israel. Naturally, the Israelis are desperately worried.
The problem is that Iran has made many promises about stopping the nuclear program. It has not kept any of them. It has not signed the non-proliferation treaty. It has not allowed inspectors in its most secret plants. It has raced on towards nuclear weapons that could in a half hour or less cause another holocaust.
Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terror. Many of its top brass have expressed a wish to see an earth rid of Jews altogether. For Mr. Obama to trust these people—the same ones who killed 300 Marines in a terror attack in Beirut 30 years ago last month—to actually change their stripes and suddenly become trustworthy is deeply naive or worse. If that trust turns out to be mistaken, it’s a bad day for Mr. Obama.
It’s death for Israel. It’s another Holocaust and the world—except for France—is standing by saying, “Go for it, Iran. We trust you.” There is something Biblically horrifying about the whole situation. Congress can stop it. Congress can say that the world will not take the word of the world’s most vile terrorist sponsor about whether Israel might live or die.
This is no time to reduce the sanctions. If Iran actually destroys its nuclear factories and labs, that’s a better bet. But just for a promise of a freeze to stop the sanctions that can be reversed in hours? Have we learned absolutely nothing from Hitler? Will we have the most wicked stain possible on the human race again within one lifetime? Obviously, Mr. Obama is willing to take the chance—with the lives of seven million Jews. Maybe Congress will have more heart.
It’s a good place to interject here, in light of Stein’s Hitler comparison, that in 1938 Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, French Premier Edouard Daladier, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact, which in a very transparent attempt to appease a dictator, handed over to Hitler the Sudentenland region of Czechoslovakia on the promise from Hitler that he would advance his war machine no further into that country.
Upon return to Britain, Chamberlain boasted that the meeting, which included private meetings between himself and Hitler(a man Chamberlain referred to as a gentleman) had achieved “peace in our time.” That peace was very short lived as was Chamberlain’s career who would be replaced shortly thereafter by Winston Churchill.
Hitler, of course, didn’t abide by the terms of the agreement and by the time of the invasion of Poland a year later the nation of Czechoslovakia no longer existed – terrorized into submission by pro-nazi regimes loyal to the military and political agenda of Adolf Hitler.
History in that situation and many others has taught us that appeasement is a fast track to a position of weakness which is a fast track to catastrophe. The government of Iran doesn’t deserve relief and won’t until they show considerable effort to curtail their nuclear proliferation efforts and even then should be monitored closely for decades before being trusted and eventually rewarded with the easing of sanctions.