American Culture

Senator Schumer: Be a statesman.


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Senator Schumer,

I studied your position on the Iran Deal, which was posted on It seems well reasoned and thorough, proceeding logically from point to point. However, there is one key flaw which runs through all the arguments. There is a false premise, an unstated assumption that Iran not only intends to build a nuclear weapon, but that they intend to use it. It is beginning from the position that we are and always shall be mortal enemies, that one of us must be destroyed.

No nation, except of course the United States, has ever used a nuclear weapon. We point at Kim Jong-un and say “he’s insane,” just like we did with his father. It’s been ten years since North Korea went nuclear, and four since Kim Jong-un assumed office, and still no nuclear attack anywhere in the world, by anyone. We recently strengthened our alliance with Japan, a worthwhile objective, marked by a solemn hatchet-burying ceremony in Hiroshima yesterday.

North Korea responded today by altering their time zone to reflect Korean time prior to the Japanese occupation. The Joint Chiefs could only shake their heads in grudging admiration. There is no counter move. It was a perfectly proportional response. For all our rhetoric about North Korea being a “rogue state,” they have honored an armistice signed with United Nations Command for sixty-two years and counting. If North Korea can do it, why not Iran?

Non-proliferation, as envisioned by President Eisenhower in the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency of 1956, is a cooperative effort. Existing nuclear powers provide information and assistance to countries seeking to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes, and in exchange perform inspections to ensure that nuclear materials are not being used for weapons production. This is proper and just. We do not have the right to deny other countries access to advanced technology, provided it is used for peaceful purposes.

Obviously, the system doesn’t work as well as Ike had hoped. North Korea managed to get a bomb, as did India, Pakistan, and Israel (or are we still pretending that Israel does not have at least 80 nuclear weapons?) Despite the fact that these four countries fall outside the Non-Proliferation Treaty, none of them has used a nuclear weapon yet. India and Pakistan have a long painful history and still fight proxy wars in Afghanistan, yet they manage not to obliterate each other.

The question we need to ask ourselves is whether we want Iran inside the constraints of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, or outside. Do we prefer Iran’s breakout time for building a bomb to be two months or fifteen years minimum? They’ve agreed to give up most of their centrifuges, most of their uranium, and their breeder reactor. They’ve agreed to IAEA inspections. This business of stacking multiple worst case scenarios is transparently disingenuous. What if they don’t comply AND our allies turn against us? Are you serious?

Right now, Israel is an existential threat to Iran while Iran is not an existential threat to Israel. With this peace treaty, Iran has agreed to continue in this arrangement, placing their trust in Israel. The least we can do is respect that trust. Israel does face an existential threat, known in the region as Daesh. Look at the alliance we have built among Muslim nations for the purpose of defeating Daesh: Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Libya.

Left alone, Islam will defeat Daesh and continue to be one of the world’s great religions. However, Israel has the strongest military and the best weapons in the region. Working together, those bloodthirsty animals don’t stand a snowball’s chance in Ahvaz. I don’t pretend to understand the Shia/Sunni schism. I barely understand the Catholic/Protestant schism and I am a Protestant raised in Catholic schools. But I know that America is great because we set aside our religious differences and work together for a common cause.

Today Sunni and Shia Muslims, and freedom-of-religion America, are working together to defeat Daesh, the purest form of evil we’ve seen since the Nazis. We need Israel’s help. If you don’t believe Iran is capable of peace, fine, but if you refuse them the opportunity to prove that they are, you have already bombed them in your mind. It is only a matter of time until the bombs are made manifest.

2 replies »

  1. There is one key flaw which runs through all of your arguments – that you base them all on the postulate that it is even remotely believable that Iran will abide by the treaty in question when to-date they have consistently refused to abide by any similar agreement.

    But yes, I have already bombed Iran in my mind and I look forward both to that being made manifest and my taking part in the mopping up and relocating and repurposing the remainder of their population.