Presidential hopefuls bellering for war

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

If this doesn’t scare you, it scares me.

Hostility, anger, violent rhetoric, combativeness, provocation, antagonism, aggression, taking umbrage, being indignant, always a readiness to fight, flat-out belligerence — talking war, warlike, hoping to wage war….

Objectionists to the Iran nuclear deal display all of the above behaviors. They say — they pretty much shout — that the Iran deal is appeasement. So? Appeasement (meaning at peace) is a better action than belligerence, for the definition of belligerence is to wage war.

For our Congress to vote against the Iran deal –a deal which is not a sacrifice of principles but a cautious dialogue — in order to go to war with Iran sounds like the ancient idiocy. Do you think going to war is ever wise counsel? Do you consider it a sensible attempt to sway a hostile regime? Why can’t we continue actually talking to them, engaging them diplomatically rather than threatening war with them? Playing the bully or allowing them to is schoolboy dumb.

The deal already has the backing of the U.N. Security Council and of almost every nation on earth, except Israel. And its failure is what would leave Iran as is, free to pursue any nuclear program it wants. The U.S., France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and China have reached an agreement with Iran to place limits on Iran’s nuclear program in order to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. In exchange for limiting its nuclear program, Iran will receive gradual relief from U.S. and international economic sanctions. The International Atomic Energy Agency will monitor Iran’s facilities and if Iran is caught breaking the agreement, the current economic sanctions will return. This agreement is called JCPOA, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

I understand that there are opposing opinions regarding the Iran deal; there are always opposing opinions, about everything. So be it; it’s human. But the only alternative that opponents to this particular plan have come up with sounds way too much like war. Nearly every Republican candidate can’t wait for the first day in office to get rid of the treaty, to bomb Iran, to get boots on the ground . . . to practice belligerence in the true sense of the word.

Are these folks crazy?

What’s wrong with diplomacy? Are we such warmongers? Is our goal in strutting the planet as the strongest country in the history of humankind to include being the most combative indefinitely? Is the olive branch, the reasonable request, the idea that we are all human too silly for our nation? I’m a little tired of this. As well as mightily afraid of it. There are too many warlike folks in this world; why do we have to be like them? Why can’t we lead instead of following thousands of years of history, half of modern Africa and most of the Middle East in bad behavior that leads only to more bad behavior?

The deal with Iran is possibly a departure in American foreign policy, an attempt to live with an antagonistic regime by talking with them on a diplomatic level rather than being repeatedly antagonistic ourselves. Can’t we be better than belligerent?

In my experience, it doesn’t work between individuals, so why would we as an entire country engage in it?

In a national poll by Public Policy Polling, a group lauded by the conservative Wall Street Journal as one of the most accurate polling organizations in the country, 54 percent of respondents want their members of Congress to allow the agreement to go forward against 39 percent who don’t. Is war what the latter want? Is it what you want? Is the 39 percent just a lot of corporate lobbyists encouraging war because it’s so profitable?

If our representatives and presidential hopefuls have a better idea than JCPOA, great; tell us. But don’t let them vote for war — or even talk it — just because they dislike Obama. A vendetta against one fella is immature, especially if one is looking for his own legacy as a statesman.

Surely peace will afford us — and the rest of the world — more security than war ever could. We are endlessly adaptable, we humans. Scientists now know that it takes much less time to evolve than previously thought. Let’s evolve. Let’s talk a peaceful game, not impose a belligerent one.

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