Patrick Murphy deserves praise for courageous decision on Iran

Patrick_Murphy,_official_portrait,_113th_CongressMonday afternoon was littered for me with discussion of the lawsuit my former employer the North American Soccer League (NASL) has contemplated filing against our governing body US Soccer which it accuses of being in collusion with Major League Soccer (MLS). So an important event slipped by me. Congressman Patrick Murphy, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for Florida’s open US Senate next year has decided to back the Iran nuclear deal. Murphy joins one of his primary opponents Pam Keith, who has actually lived in the region impacted by the agreement in supporting the deal. The sitting US Senator Marco Rubio has been one of the most outspoken critics of the deal and has quite frankly politicized the issue.

But unfortunately many Florida Democrats don’t have the courage of Murphy. Alan Grayson, considered at this time Murphy’s greatest primary rival has not taken a stand yet after “expressing concerns” about the agreement. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz reportedly blocked a resolution at the DNC supporting the deal and Congressman Ted Deutch has disappointingly caved to political pressure and decided to vote no.

Today Former US Senators Sam Nunn (D-Georgia) and Dick Lugar (R-Indiana) who have both spent a lifetime fighting nuclear proliferation endorsed this deal. The agreement was backed last week by close George H.W. Bush adviser and Henry Kissinger disciple Brent Scrowcroft who penned a strongly worded op-ed piece about the historic opportunity this provides. The support for this agreement despite what FOX News, Newsmax and politicians like Rubio claim IS BIPARTISAN and a consensus is now developing among leading foreign policy minds in its favor.

Regarding Iran  I will concede 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 havecooled 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.

This fear-mongering has gotten to Democrats here in Florida. While Grayson and Wasserman-Schultz vacillate and Deutch caves to the critics, Murphy has shown great courage and strength. Quite frankly, this is a surprise and could prove a seminal moment in the campaign.  Criticized for being overly political and not progressive enough, Murphy has taken a position unlikely to help him in a Florida Democratic primary but has done absolutely the right thing for the country. For that he deserves praise.

Disclaimer – Kartik Krishnaiyer has served as an adviser to Pam Keith’s US Senate Campaign.

15 comments

  1. Another awful Patrick Murphy decision.

  2. Naoya6161 · · Reply

    I was also glad to see Murphy take a stand. Let’s hope other Florida Democrats follow his example.

  3. old man sitting on the bench · · Reply

    Silence is not an option, you are either in or out. Why DWS and Greyson publicly failed to support our president?

  4. FLVetVoter · · Reply

    It seems unbalanced to give Murphy so much credit for this decision well after his competitor, Pam Keith, did the same-and she was able to explain in logical, reasoned terms why. He took a poll and made a decision.

    1. Murphy’s vote goes whatever way the political wind does. I want a more consistent Senator. We should be punishing Iran not giving it money for financing terrorism aimed at destroying Israel and America which are democracies. Iran’s regime is fascist and they break virtually every nuclear agreement they sign. This will go down as one of the worst deals for Democracy in world history. Not courageous. More like incredibly naive. He obviously understands very little about how Iran operates. But, he took a poll and then decided. What a putz. Neville Chamberlain tried to warn us in 1938 so now we are appeasing the New Nazis in Tehran. Even after the deal was signed, the mullahs joined the throngs to chant “death to America and Israel.” Just plain stupid. Iran will violate and the Israeli Air Force will take care of business for Democracy. By the way, I worked for Obama in 2008.

    2. old man sitting on the bench · · Reply

      At last DWS got on board and supported our President. The question remains why …. oh why did it take so long to do the right thing ???

  5. PS—The Nazis invaded Poland today in 1939 after the Nazis vowed to not take any more territory. The mullahs remind us “it is okay to lie for Islam.” Trust them? Not with the regime’s history of violating people’s and especially women’s civil rights and liberties. When you fund all sides like the US does, you can expect corruption and ineffectiveness.

  6. The Observer · · Reply

    I do not think this decision had anything to do with courage. There had to be a back room deal made someplace with someone. This is a guy who never supported the President. Would not even pose for a picture with the President. The photo he put out yesterday showing Murphy with the President looked like it was photo shopped. I smell a rat here.

  7. It’s a great move if you are part of the pro Holocaust wing of the Democratic Party. Otherwise Murphy should be eliminated for signing our death warrant.

    Pam Keith clarified her position today on Facebook. It’s still not great but preferable to Murphy. I will vote Grayson if he comes out strong on this.

  8. Patti Lynn · · Reply

    The decision that our legislators are making reflect, perhaps, more their own political plans, rather than what is good for our country. That, however, is my opinion. Some politicians, whose stances I have respected, have voted NO on the deal. I disagree with them.
    For Patrick Murphy to make the decision that he did shows an amazing amount of courage. He is running for the US Senate. Avoiding a controversial position should be the politically safe thing to do…perhaps, like some, advising that he was still mulling over his decision, should have been the road that he travelled. His vote is NOT an anti-Israel vote, as some folks are striving to make of all the YES votes. I am proud of his decision and believe that it is in the best interest of the US for the deal to be ratified. The US does not stand alone on this, 5 other countries participated in the agreement. It gives all of us 10 years to fine tune, modify, and correct potential problems. Iran will not have the raw materials to continue, or initiate, a nuclear bomb program for the foreseeable future should the treaty pass.

  9. Joe Kreps · · Reply

    I will not pat anyone on their back for their decision. Every representative has their reasons and all the voters are entitled to their opinion. Mine is to give peace a chance. The Republicans and their puppet masters, the U.S.- Israeli Military Industrial Complex are anxious to go to war as usual. I say “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Make it clear to all the signers that cheating will be the end of Iran as they know it. That’s how to negotiate.

  10. This is a disappointing article, Kartik. Israel and the Jewish people face annihilation. Iran seeks to finish the job Hitler started. Yet for you this is okay? This is a fight for our survival and sadly the President we elected with a majority of Jewish votes has sided with those seeking our destruction.

    Let me ask you a very frank question Kartik? What if India were faced with similar destruction from let us say the crazy Muslims in Pakistan? What if the US sided with Pakistan? Would you be lecturing and pontificating to us like you have the last month about this issue.

    You don’t understand and should keep your ill informed and racist opinion to yourself.

    1. Patrick “Flip Flop” Murphy should also return donations he receives from fraudsters. Politico Florida reports just this one group of fraudster Murphy donors stole $36 million from Florida taxpayers in their low cost housing scam. The Justice Department needs to investigate corrupt racketeering in Florida. Start with Gov. Rick Scott.

  11. Jon & Helene Spisiak · · Reply

    We were about to back Patrick Murphy’s Senate run but based his his backing this deal which grants Iran the time and money to work on their goal of “DEARH TO AMERICA” -we willNOT!

  12. If Alan Grayson does the right thing we will deliver him a boatload of votes from Jewish communities in South Florida. Murphy blew it.

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