This week's candidate for the position of America's Craziest Politician is Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois
“This agreement condemns the next generation to cleaning up a nuclear war in the Persian Gulf,” Kirk said. “It condemns our Israel allies to further conflict with Iran.”
Kirk added that he thought the agreement will yield “more nukes, and more terrorists, and more irresponsibility by the Iranians,” saying he thought Iran will now increase their influence in Iraq and Yemen.
Uh...Senator Kirk? Isn't there something you left out? It's pretty much mandatory in these situations...
“This is the greatest appeasement since Chamberlain gave Czechoslovakia to Hitler,” Kirk continued, saying he believed Obama only went through with the deal because he has a poor understanding of history and did not realize appeasement made war more likely.
Ah! There you go!
Now as it happens, I have a pretty good understanding of history, and I happen to know that every time right-wingers play the Chamberlain card -- which they do incessantly
-- they are full of shit. Have been, are now, and will always be. Take the Cuban Missile Crisis, for example:
“This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich.”
— Air Force General Curtis LeMay to JFK upon being told that the U.S. would respond to Soviet missiles in Cuba with a blockade, not an invasion.
LeMay said these words on Oct. 19, 1962. (If you click the link, you can hear his voice.) In fact, an invasion of the island almost certainly would have triggered World War III. The Soviets had already placed tactical nukes on Cuba, and the field commanders were authorized to use them against an invading force without first acquiring the go-ahead from Moscow.
That's just one example. Whenever the Chamberlain card has been played during the post-war era, it was brought out by some bellicose jackass who wanted war.
In the present instance, the Numero Uno bellicose jackass is a fella named Bibi. Robert Parry has his number
When he spoke before Congress, Bibi accused Iran of aggression -- even though Iran has not invaded another country since the 1700s. (Israel's record is quite a bit worse. Ask anyone from Lebanon.)
Parry quotes Bibi's words on that occasion:
To repeated standing ovations from U.S. senators and congressmen, Netanyahu declared: “In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow. So, at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations. We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.”
This statement is a masterpiece of lunacy.
Iranian forces are in Syria and Iraq at the request of those governments. Those brave soldiers are in harm's way for one reason: To fight ISIS and Al Qaeda. The Iranians are the ones fighting against
those who practice conquest, subjugation and terror. If the Iranians left, ISIS would conquer both countries very rapidly -- an outcome which Bibi apparently desires.
Yes, there is now a Shiite-friendly regime in Baghdad. You know why? Because the US put it there.
Saddam Hussein was not a Shiite and he was no friend to Iran. After the first war with Hussein's Iraq, Poppy Bush understood that toppling the dictator would bring the Shiites to power and increase Iranian influence. One can only presume that Israel desired that outcome. After all, they practically begged Dubya to invade Iraq in 2003.
I know that Americans have notoriously short memories, but does Netanyahu really think that we have all forgotten how Nouri al-Malaki (and now Haider al-Abadi) came to power?
The Israeli prime minister also mentioned Beirut, Lebanon, and Sanaa, Yemen, but those were rather bizarre references, too, since Lebanon is governed by a multi-ethnic arrangement that includes a number of religious and political factions. Hezbollah is one and it has close ties to Iran, but it is stretching the truth to say that Iran “dominates” Beirut or Lebanon.
Similarly, in Sanaa, the Houthis, a Shiite-related sect, have taken control of Yemen’s capital and have reportedly received some help from Iran, but the Houthis deny those reports and are clearly far from under Iranian control. The Houthis also have vowed to work with the Americans to carry on the fight against Yemen’s Al-Qaeda affiliate, which has benefited from a brutal Saudi bombing campaign against Houthi targets, an act of real aggression that has killed hundreds of civilians and provoked a humanitarian crisis.
Clearly, Bibi is bonkers and Kirk is krazy. In fact, America's entire foreign policy has been bug-brained for a long, long time. The Iran peace deal represents a rare return to sanity.