A WEEKEND IN THE LIFE OF THE PEOPLE’S PASTOR
September 16, 2015 by Herbert Daughtry
FROM THE GRADUATION OF DAYCARE CHILDREN TO THE CRUCIAL VOTE ON THE IRAN AGREEMENT
Since we are dealing with the treachery, broken agreements, dishonesty, conflict, and war among nations, Ms. Alice Slater, the New York Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and a member of the Coordinating Committee of World Beyond War, wrote a most informative article in The Nation. The article is entitled, “After the Iran Deal: How to Make the Most of the Next 15 Years.” It is supremely important because, it not only provides vital information, but also the threat of nuclear war and the call to action.
She wrote, “A major sticking point for universal support for the Iran Deal is the worry expressed repeatedly by doubters and supporters alike, in the plethora of mainstream media coverage, that in 15 years Iran may have the capacity to break out and produce a nuclear bomb only one year after the deal expires. David Petraeus and Dennis Ross, President Barack Obama’s former Special Assistants on the Middle East, have actually suggested, in The Washington Post, that we should ‘put teeth’ into the deal by threatening now that ‘if Iran dashes toward a weapon especially after year 15, that it will trigger the use of force.’
“How much better would the public be served if the extensive reporting on the deal also provided the information we need on how we could beat Iran to the punch and honor our own obligations under the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty to negotiate for the elimination of nuclear weapons? First, we must stop provoking Russia and create a climate for negotiations. The United States should agree to a proposal made by Russia and China to negotiate a space weapons ban instead of continuing to block all discussions of a draft treaty they tabled at the UN in Geneva in 2008 and resubmitted this year.
“We should dismantle NATO, a rusty Cold War holdover, or at least reverse its eastward expansion which we promised Gorbachev would never happen beyond East Germany after the wall came down. And we should bring home the 300 US nuclear weapons now parked in five NATO countries: Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, and Turkey. We should reinstate our 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia, which the United States walked out of in 2002 after 30 years, and remove our new missile bases in Turkey, Poland, and Romania. It is ironic that underpinning the deal that Kennedy negotiated with Khrushchev, to remove Soviet missiles from Cuba, was U.S. removal of its missiles from Turkey. Well, they’re back!
“Perhaps Russia would then agree to negotiate with us about eliminating our arsenals of 15,000 deadly nuclear bombs out of the 16,000 still threatening the planet. We could then call the seven other nuclear weapons states to the table—the UK, France, China, India-Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea—to give up their combined arsenals of 1,000 warheads in a negotiated treaty for complete nuclear disarmament. Civil Society has already produced a Model Nuclear Weapons Convention, an official UN document, laying out all the required steps for verified, monitored nuclear disarmament. We know how to do it! This is what we promised in 1970 in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which provides that we ‘pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.’ President Obama has recently proposed that the United States spend $1 trillion over the next thirty years for two new nuclear bomb factories, delivery systems, and warheads. The US just tested a dummy bunker buster nuclear warhead in Nevada in August.
“It is sad that we are only hearing about Iran’s obligations under the NPT and not about our own broken promises. With the proper cooperative attitude, the United States could easily accomplish verifiable and monitored nuclear disarmament in 15 years, so we won’t have to demonize Iran when the 15 years are up. As Walt Kelly’s Pogo said, ‘We have met the enemy and he is us!'”
Finally, Ms. Anne Marie Slaughter, President of New America, who was the Director of Policy Planning at the Department of State under President Obama, wrote one of the most persuasive arguments on why we should support the Iran Deal in an article entitled, “War Is Only Iran Deal Alternative: If Congress Doesn’t Want To Bomb, It Should Approve Obama’s Plan.” It was published in the USA Today on August 21, 2015. From her article, I gleaned at least five reasons why we should support the deal:
1) Yes, U.S. and allies could destroy Iran’s capability and set its program back roughly two years. That’s 18-21 months longer than the estimated breakout time with no deal.
2) A military option would be a boon to terrorist groups as the U.S. would be attacking an archenemy in the ongoing Sunni-Shiite struggles. It would enhance the war hawks in Iran for the next generation. It would confirm what they have been saying for a long time that the U.S. is the great Satan as we have already seen in US dealings with Iran. The war hawks would surely cite past history. It would undermine the moderates who have been arguing for trading Iran’s nuclear program for ending sanctions and opening Iran up to the world again.
3) It would effectively declare war with an unprovoked military strike which would then lead to Iran employing everything in its power to retaliate, including cyber and terrorist strikes. The U.S. responding to those strikes could well drag us back into open warfare that could engulf the world.
4) It would provide another recruiting video for terrorist groups across the world as pictures of U.S. jets bombing a Muslim nation to stop a program that nation’s government had just agreed to stop peacefully. It is not hard to visualize the images of America raining bombs on innocent women and children, and walking away from a deal that U.S. negotiated because the U.S. really wanted war.
5) It would end any possibility of again assembling a global coalition of countries against Iran. Many of the U.S. allies and other countries opposed to Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapon would oppose the U.S. use of force without international authorization.
She related her personal experience in which she thought they had a deal with the Iranians in which they would ship most of their highly enriched uranium to Russia. The deal promptly collapsed when it was rejected by the Ayatollah Khamenei.
In the final paragraph, she wrote, “If you think that bombing Iran is a better way to stop it from getting a nuclear weapon, own that choice. Ask your representative to pass a resolution authorizing force against Iran. If you think that this deal, with all its flaws, is better than bombing, hold your nose and tell your representative to approve it. Like it or not, those are the only two choices we have.”
As I stated that the votes are in, the Iran Deal is a reality. However, the battle is not over. The opponents will use whatever methods possible to derail the deal. Moreover, the issue of nuclear weaponry and war will continue. If you want to save your homes, your families, and the planet, be informed! Be involved!