Rena Cohen
An Israel-born, US-raised, Israel returnee

Let’s NOT Play it Again, Sam

March 6, 2015 — It completely astounds me that the American people would even contemplate giving a pass to the kind of nuclear deal with Iran that is currently being cobbled together – particularly given two key factors.

The first is the vile history and the current pernicious activities of the Iranian Shi’ite Islamist regime. Tehran’s very recent bombing of the USS Nimitz in “effigy” is the most mild of these. What about the very active Iranian arming and support of proxy Hezbollah, with its thousands of rockets pointed at Israel, its violent support of the Assad regime in Syria, and its continuous poisoning of Lebanon as it is used as a staging ground for Iran’s regional aggression ?  What about Iran’s support for the Houthis who just seized power in Yemen, knocking out a regime that was at least willing to work with the U.S. in its efforts against Al Qaeda?  What about the power games Iran is playing in Iraq? What about the rather obvious fact that those power games were one of the reasons (along with thorough U.S. bungling coupled with Iraq’s bloody history and its own deep sectarian divisions, among others) that Iraq became low-hanging fruit for the murderous hordes of the Islamic State?  What about the blatant assassination of Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman when he came too close to fingering Iran’s under the table dealings with the Argentinian regime around the bombing of the Jewish center in Buenos Aires?  What about the fact that this same Iranian regime has lied, lied, and lied again about its nuclear program, building hidden and well-guarded facilities underground and into mountains, while smiling into the faces of IAEA inspectors?  What about the fact that this regime is bent on developing long-range ballistic missiles?

The second factor is the dramatic failure of the precedent we have for this kind of deal – the nuclear “agreement” reached with the vicious North Korean regime under the Clinton administration.  Everyone with even a bit of brains knows just how beautifully that one has played out.

The bottom line is that the mullah bosses in Tehran could care less if their people have electricity or not.  That’s not at all what this is about, any more than Hamas’ constant carping for concrete and metal and building materials is an indication that Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh have even the faintest interest in whether the people of Gaza have or ever get housing.  These “leaders” are busy impoverishing and terrorizing their own populations and actively imperiling the people of other countries to push their insane politico-theocratic agendas, and just about everyone who isn’t insular and protected to the point of being downright delusional knows it.

Right now, the mullahs in Tehran are having a bit of a hard time moving things along at the pace they would like because the price of oil is low.  It shouldn’t take a speech from Netanyahu.  Even the simplest bargain-hunter in a market would know this is the right time to tell the Iranians that they can keep their carpet and that the economic sanctions will be kept up too, until Iran is ready to come across with significant verified concessions and a containment and curtailment regime that can truly help assure a modicum of prolonged and enforceable safety to the world.

So why isn’t this what the Iranians are being told? Sad as this may be, the President of the United States and his Secretary of State apparently now hold common sense (and many of America’s allies) in deep contempt.  They are convinced that they know best, despite the disasters resultant from their foreign policy efforts, current and past (“liberation” of Libya, or maybe “reset” with Russia, anyone?). They are so convinced they know best, that they’ll do anything they can to stop even the U.S. Congress from having a say in what they are committing to.  And a goodly number of pundits, politicos, and pandering intelligentsia are willing to go along for the ride, refusing to call a lousy and dangerous deal a lousy and dangerous deal when they see one coming – meanwhile the White House’s self-aggrandizing political spin goes on, and on, and on.

The American people deserve better.  Israel deserves better.  Heck, the planet needs and deserves better.  This is one of those moments in the time stream of history where I, as I am sure many, many others, see a very dark scenario being pulled together under the color of “peace”, or at least, the absence of war.  But there can be no peace and there will be no peace when we are busy feeding monsters and letting them grow stronger – sooner or later, they just break out and devour and destroy.  We’ve seen this kind of horror movie before.  For the sake of our children, let’s NOT play it again, Sam.

About the Author
Born in Kibbutz Nachshon Israel, raised in the U.S. and lived there on both coasts with lots of visits (even a few residential stays) in Israel, and intending to return yet again. Entrepreneurial generalist -- worked for others, built my own medical reporting business (with NO seed money), and since have had an extended career in the U.S. biotech industry in early startups through late clinical stage firms, holding positions in everything from investor relations and corporate communications to business development to Director, Facilities (my current post). Longtime editor, particularly on foreign policy topics. Co-founder, with my sister, Jade Bar-Shalom, Z"L, of the Books for Israel Project during the Second Intifada, which connected synagogues, churches and community centers in the U.S. with low-income Israeli Jewish, Arab, and Druze schools to help them build much-needed English language libraries for the kids. Author of the book, LambBunny and His Friends (on Amazon). On and off painter. Writer of op-eds. Blogger for The Times of Israel.