Florida’s Democrats should consider positives of the Iran deal

As we come up to the 70th Anniversary of the atomic bomb strikes on Japan (which I feel were justified and saved American lives and that of many Japanese civilians that would have been lost in an invasion of the island) preventing nuclear proliferation is a critical part of global diplomacy. Even as a liberal Democrat here in Florida, almost everything I have heard about the Iran Nuclear deal has been negative while circulating among other progressives. It’s been quite surprising honestly – I saw the deal negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and his team as a landmark breakthrough in American diplomacy. Throughout much of the world it was viewed this way even being supported openly by Conservative PM David Cameron in the UK (But some would argue the Brits have long ceased to have an independent foreign policy when it comes to big non-European matters).

No doubt that the clerics who run the show in Tehran cannot be entirely trusted. But the United States has long tilted one way in the disputes that characterize the Muslim world and it what President Obama and Secretary Kerry are accomplishing with the Iran deal is a more balanced, nuanced American policy when it comes to the Middle East.  The United States does not need to show definitive tilt in a dispute between Sunni and Shi’a Muslim theocracies, but over the last 30 years has demonstrated one.

Many of the US allies in the region are theocracies (no different that Iran) that do not care for the civil liberties of their people and have held a great percentage of their populations in virtual bondage. Unlike Iran, some of these countries even operate a virtual slave labor market of foreigners and those who are not Muslims. Many Republicans including Florida’s Junior Senator and Presidential Candidate Marco Rubio and some Democrats United States responsibility to help ensure the “security” of these repressive theocracies. One these nations, Bahrain has undergone protests by its Shi’a majority  since the beginning of the Arab spring against the Saudi backed Sunni minority government.

My extensive, multi-year study of these issues leads me to believe the proliferation of anti-western, anti-Christian, and anti-Hindu/Buddhist Islamic terror has less to do with Iran and its allies including Bashar Assad’s Syria but its enemies in the region such as the oppressive Saudi regime.  (I am not saying Iran/Syria does not sponsor terrorism but not to the extent other states  Many Republicans and Democrats imply are our allies do not- still they are an exporter of terror and must be treated as such, but the application of this should be consistent) It is worth noting that in the period after 9/11 Iran was far more cooperative with American intelligence agencies than the Saudis were and had been strongly opposed to the Saudi sponsored Taliban theocracy in Afghanistan who were Osama Bin Laden’s protectors.  Iran also provided intelligence about Iraq prior to the infamous George W. Bush “Axis of Evil” speech which unwisely linked Iran with Saddam Hussien’s Iraq even though the two nations had fought a bloody war and were far from allies.

Moreover, the track record of foreign guest workers who are non-Muslim being exploited and oppression toward women is far greater in the Sunni nations under the spell of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States than in Iran or Syria, The west and secular democracies everywhere should be putting pressure on the Saudis to change and to stop exporting radical Islam and various degrees of jihadist thoughts around not only the Middle East but into South Asia, Western Europe and even the United States. The march to war with Iran which has now been stopped cold thanks to this deal would have disproportionately benefited the Saudis and their influence over the Muslim world. It is important from a balance of power standpoint to maintain Iranian strength vis a vis the Saudi threat. Iran is also a critical cog in providing energy to South Asia and China, energy that helps indirectly fuel the US economy, so crippling Iran and further isolating them could impact the global economy in a profoundly negative way.

Nobody is doubting Iran still possess some danger and must be monitored closely. What we however are concerned about is empowering the Saudis and Gulf States. This pivot in US policy authored by President Obama and Secretary Kerry was wise and will not only make us safer but will give us an opportunity to punish states who do not share our values about humanity in the future. Some of these states after discussions with Secretary Kerry have cooled the rhetoric toward Iran and are cautiously optimistic.

The recent shifts in US policy toward Cuba and Iran are welcome changes and potential legacies of Obama/Kerry team. They ultimately will make the US safer and help to improve our economy and the ability we have to navigate the minefield of foreign policy messes. Florida’s Democrats should look at this deal as what it is – a remarkable piece of diplomacy that sets the US up well for the next decade rather than listen to the fear-mongering coming from the right and Republican Presidential aspirants.


  1. steve ellman · ·

    It’s a good deal. As good as could be expected.


  2. Well said. You may wish to check out a piece I wrote on the agreement less than 48 hours after it was made public . . . and I had read all 159 pages of it. http://kurtfstone.typepad.com/kurt_f_stone_speaks_/2015/07/go-set-a-watchman-.html


  3. the USA cannot act as if we are the greatest military power on earth – if you think that we are, explain the results in Iraq, Afghanistan and other middle-eastern “…skirmishes,,,” – we are equipt and trained for WWII type mass war but that’s not how enemy fights – we MUST fight the battles as they are, not as we wish – the Americans fear of casualties is a liability in terror or guerilla-type wars – now, as a twice-wounded, two-war retired US Army combat infantry soldier (never a warrior but always a Soldier) I believe that until we cut out the b.s. that gave us an all-volunteer defense force we’ll remain somewhat behind other “…armies…” that don’t have high-paid soldiers but they have troops that are willing to FIGHT and fight us without all of the expensive equipment we seem to need – the military is too small and filled with troopers that will probably never be used in ground combat and that means just what it sounds like – do we have any real, strong military leaders on staff at this time? we only hear about lotsa negotiators and senior officers who devote huge amounts of their time to “…schooling…” or preparing themselves as they prepare for retirement. What the government has done to our military (budget cuts before anything else) is damnded near criminal – gosh, where are the Old Soldiers who served for little pay and whose love of country was their real motivator for their service (no one ever referred to them as warriors they were military servicepersons – service was the key to their profession) – to make a long story short, our threat of military response doesn’t seem to impress anyone (except the American public) –


  4. Israel’s security is not even mentioned in this article. Totally unbalanced and the possible eradication of the Jewish people in a second Holocaust should be of greater concern for everyone than all this bullshit you put in this crap article.

    Are you anti-Semitic?


  5. It’s a good deal. Better than no deal.


  6. Israel shouldn’t matter? Love how this article doesn’t even mention our one true ally in the region!!!!!

    Obama is ruining our historic relationship with Jewish voters the same way Carter did. Took a decade to bring them back home.


  7. Iran should be punished not rewarded by the United States. Why give tens of billions to a country labeling its missiles “death to America and Israel?” I worked for Obama and AIPAC and am sad to say the President looks like Chamberlain the appeaser to Hitler in 1938. Iran is still the world’s largest purveyor of terrorism and even since the deal was announced its mullah regime continues to maintain its goal of destroying our two democracies. Horrible deal for the United States, Israel, and the world.


  8. Once upon a time this sort of hateful speech cloaked as intellect was called what it is. Anti-Semitic and the desire of the Arabs to finish the job Hitler started.

    Obama and his leftist allies want to be popular among Arabs and the European left that loves Islam. Sadly our race may be exterminated in the process.


  9. Jonathan · ·

    Nelson will vote yes, so I guess he’s anti-semetic also?


  10. a political principle that you’d ought to know: Governments ALWAYS act in their own self interest first … The security of our ally Israel is very important, but Israel’s defense should be of Israel’s first concern and thank G-d, Israel is a strong and capable military power, particularly with the USA and our other allies standing behind her … and one of the purposes of this treaty is to hopefully lessen the chance of an immediate war … because any day without war is a good day! what we’d ought to be doing is building our military back to the impressionable military that it once was this could be done by our reinstituting a fair draft and stop using our young men and women in meaningless “…little…” wars …


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