I am pleased to learn that both California Senators Feinstein and Boxer are supporting President Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement, and encourage our fine Congressman Ted Lieu—reportedly still on the fence – to also choose peace. To those who oppose the Iran agreement, I ask, “What is the alternative?” War on 75-million people? Destabilization of the entire middle east? Unimaginable bloodshed?
Let us remember Iran has not attacked another country in 200 years, only one country in the world, the U.S., is responsible for atomic annihilation, and the Middle East, with Israel’s suspected nuclear arsenal, is not nuclear free. The nuclear genie is out of the bottle, and it is only nuclear narcissism – we’re better than you, so we can have this technology – that keeps us from acknowledging this reality.
As a result of President Obama’s and Secretary of State John Kerry’s artful diplomacy, Iran has agreed to rigorous inspections and dramatic reductions in its uranium enrichment capability over the next fifteen years in return for the lifting of international sanctions that have had a crippling effect on Iranian society, including hundreds of thousands of refugees streaming in from Iraq, a country the U.S. invaded and occupied looking for fictitious weapons of mass destruction.
Meanwhile, international inspectors have yet to find nuclear weapons in Iran — and if Iran did develop nuclear weapons, why wouldn’t the MAD (mutually assured destruction) thinking that prevailed during the U.S.’s Cold War with Russia also apply to Iran and Israel?
Opponents argue a suspension of sanctions on Iranian arms sales, banking, and crude oil imports will encourage further Iranian militarism and embolden a government hostile to the United States. Iran, with its 24-billion dollar per capita expenditure on the military, is no match for the U.S., which spends 648-billion per capita on its military, nor for Saudi Arabia, which spends 80-billion per capita on its military.
To those who worry about the lifting of international sanctions (individual states and pension plans may still choose divestment), note there is a “snap back” provision in the agreement that allows the international community to re-impose sanctions if a majority of an 8-member panel agrees.
To those concerned, rightfully so, about the spread of international terrorism, the solution is not to reject diplomacy but to embrace it in the hopes of building common ground and global cooperation. Additionally, if we are serious about anti-terrorism, we must reduce our foreign military presence, which now includes 800 bases in 70 other countries. Who among us would want a foreign military base in Santa Monica?
With 60% of Iran’s population under the age of 30, now is the time to build trust and foster dialogue with a new generation of Iranians.
Choose peace, Congressman Lieu.
Ocean Park Resident. In 2010, Marcy Winograd mobilized 41 percent of the Democratic Party Primary vote in her congressional peace challenge to then-Congresswoman Jane Harman. Congressman Lieu now represents much of that same district.