I don’t know about you, but I have been seeing a lot of commercials on cable news and elsewhere, from a group known as “Citizens For A Nuclear Free Iran”. You can guess their message – we must pull out all stops to sabotage the multi-nation peace deal recently struck with Iran, but it doesn’t offer any alternative solutions.
I did a little snooping, and according to the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio (NPR) and other sources, these “citizens” are a new group formed to served as a deceptive, concealed front operation for AIPAC, or the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. NPR notes that the wealthy AIPAC is spending between $20 and $40 million dollars in media propaganda against the American public to persuade them away from what otherwise they might naturally and logically decide on this one issue based solely on American interests. Where is this massive amount of money coming from, and what “strings are attached” with it, and their agendas? This is an organization whose primary loyalty is to a foreign power, to serve their interests. I suspect that this sum is far larger than that spent by the Japanese to perform an identical operation through “Toyko Rose” in World War II.
This expensive propaganda “psy-op” mission (assisted by prominent Senators who are on the board of the organization) is necessary because its goal runs counter to the natural peace-loving nature of the normal peoples of the Earth. The majority of the Iranian people want the treaty. The communities of the major nations that helped broker it – the UK, Germany, France, Germany, China and Russia – all want it. The United Nations officials and the Vatican want it. Polls of the other nations of the world reveal that they are in support. Even the former head of Shin Bet (their FBI) and Mossad in Israel support the treaty, as well as many of the opposition parties in Israel, who certainly care about the security of their own nation.
However, the hard liner mullahs in Iran are skeptical, as well as the hard liners in Israel, the US and some other Western nations who stand in opposition to the consensus of the rest of the world. Ironically, each of these groups commonly seek a full “hot war” between the sides to eradicate one side of the other, which more ironically would kill possibly hundreds of thousands or millions of the common people who support the deal.
Many say they want to keep up the sanctions, which is actually a type of blockade that has been recognized internationally and historically as itself an act of war. The “starvation policy” against Iran just hurts the common people there, while the nuclear program proceeds regardless of the suffering of the public. The supporters know it will eventually end in an act of desperation, even if the West has to bait it, to finally get their blood-letting underway on a vast scale; the Versailles Treaty and its crushing reparations was effective in accomplishing this in what became Nazi Germany. The pro-confrontation, anti-peace supporters say that the sanctions should continue, yet also say that they are not being effective enough in stopping Iran’s nuclear program.
I still have an even bigger problem – call me a traitor, but what fundamental right do we have to dictate how another nation chooses to construct its own defense? Is our status in being a self-appointed “exceptional” state give us license to just tell people of other sovereign nations what they can or cannot do, under threat of violence from our overwhelming military superiority? Have we permanently adopted the rights of “preemptive strike warfare” just like the Talmud-inspired policies in Israel for such, even though the ancient Christian theology of “just war” calls it immoral? Have we taken a similar, consistent tack toward Israel itself, when it lied to our President about its nuclear program, denied it to the world, and cut a secret deal with France to build it in exchange for invading Egypt on behalf of France and the UK in the Suez War? Since Iran has signed the binding Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and Israel is a non-signatory, along with a handful of other states (India, Pakistan and North Korea), who is the real threat? Who is the real “Axis of Evil”?
Many know that the agreement, hammered out by many nations to their satisfaction and teams of top weapons inspectors over months and years, has limited durations for its drastic scale back of nuclear processing and research of either ten years or fifteen years, based upon the operation. Many now worry what happens when those days arrive, even though in the meantime, the deal increases the number of on-site inspectors dramatically, has a protocol for the removal of processed nuclear fuel and means to detect minute residues, and even a rigid protocol to immediately invoke original sanctions if it is broken. I recently read from historian Karen Armstrong in her book Holy War that the Muslim culture sets a maximum periods of truces of ten years (most never lasted that long, because the Christian Crusaders routinely broke them). This probably makes some logical sense, since things change amongst both parties, and the world and its conditions and issues that justify re-visiting most agreements over that length of time in any case.
However, I think I know the real reason why the negotiators on both sides agreed to this scale of duration of this ephemeral agreement, and why they cannot admit it in public.
It buys time for the hard-line mullahs to die off.
The people of Iran generally love the American people. You should watch Anthony Bordain’s recent visit there on his CNN show – he was greeted very warmly as an American by the common people there, to his shock (he (and I) also loved their love of things American, like the custom street car show with hot rodded Camaros and Firebirds he witnessed amongst the young people). Why they love us, I don’t know why – particularly after we overthrew (via the CIA and Norman Schwarzkopf’s dad) their democratically elected secular and progressive government in 1953, and installed a despot there.
You may say – then why do we see on our TV screens their streets filled with people chanting “Death to America”? In actuality, the crowds look big but are limited – I bet you see similar chants from larger crowds of Tea Partiers at the Washington Mall. Another thing I learned from the historian Karen Carpenter is that when they also chant that America is the “Great Satan”, they are referring to an Islamic view of Satan – not a great power that rivals God, but rather a tempter that causes man to sin and stumble. They see America as tempting their people with immoral television programs (like popular international shows like Dallas and Baywatch), MTV and capitalistic greed. In other words, they are concerned about the same things as Christians are here in America today (except for the “greed” thing – here we see it as a sign of “God’s blessing”).
Iranian President Rouhani, who helped negotiate this deal, is known as a political moderate, earning a Ph.D in Constitutional Law in Scotland. He ran on a platform to secure a “civil rights charter” for ethnic and religious minorities in Iran, and for normalizing better relations with the West. His progress in these matters is certainly debatable, but he operates in opposition to the Mullahs who sit above him in the Islamic State, including the “Principlists” who resist change there. We as American Christians should pray for his success there, and protection. He must also show the mullahs that he has not “sold out Iran” and must deal with a very conservative set of senior leaders.
If this or a similar deal would be approved, then it is likely at the conclusion that these “old guard” mullah fundamentalists would be long-buried and in Paradise (or wherever)), and the younger moderates like Rouhani and others in power. This might be the best hope for us all globally in the short and medium term.
The trick is to get the “mullahs”, or fundamentalists who seek rather than try to avoid confrontation, on all sides to approve the deal, which may be a miracle if it succeeds.
This leads to my main point – we have many religious fundamentalist “mullahs” to get rid of in the West and good ol’ US of A as well right here in the next decade, if we are to survive.
The more secular ones (albeit who use religious imagery for their agendas) run institutions like the Republican Party, major conservative think tanks and key media positions. The “true blue” religious fundamentalists, in their conservative evangelical, Reformed, and Catholic variants also control their own media empires, and hold powerful positions in para-church organizations like the Family Research Council, American Family Association, and the like.
Their platforms would match the mullahs in Iran in many respects. They would impose a personal morality and restrictions on private behavior and what people do with curtains drawn and while not disturbing others, claiming “sola scriptura” while ignoring Paul’s admonition in 1 Cor. 5 to not judge the world, rather leaving that to God (and furthermore, to actually engage with the most disreputable and immoral in society, as a sacred mission of the church). They want to impose themselves or their designees as national leaders in setting up theocracies by conquering the “Seven Mountains” of society and “occupying” them, regardless of the rights of minorities, and then begin squashing out other Christian communities of other views who might be rivals or resist. They also want to prevent the practice of other religious faiths, the construction of their houses of worship and even to deport those of other faiths or intern them – ideas that the Taliban and other Islamic fundamentalists would wholeheartedly applaud. They would also want to impose severe punishments on those of differing views of personal morality (even importing the witch hunts to places like Uganda), including capital punishment in a manner that the Saudi extremists in charge would find common cause.
The key is that these leaders, whom you and I both know, are getting white-haired and long in the tooth, and they know their days are numbered. Check out the attendance at the latest Bible Prophecy conferences (which have long become little more than paranoid conservative foreign policy pep rallies under a veneer of generic Bible ideas), which are ever-dwindling in numbers and getting older every day, even in this era of paranoid, well-publicized “Blood Moons” and “Harbinger” scares. They are not indoctrinating enough young people into their Cold War, tribalistic views of an America on constant “red alert” to “save the world” to keep the racket going, even with their Liberty, Bob Jones and Christendom colleges and university “madrassas” regularly cranking out small numbers of molded ideologues. They are thus left as an elderly “Politburo” whose hold on power is rapidly slipping.
Sadly, the picture is much grimmer within Israel itself. The peace-loving segment of Israeli society appears to be slightly less than half of the population based upon voting data, but their numbers may be dwindling as their youth leave in droves due to the high expense of living in Israel and the despicable conditions they see the Palestinians living under and the self-inflicted pariah status of their own nation as a (rightly) perceived apartheid state. Meanwhile, the Ultra-Orthodox, while only comprising around 10 percent in contrast to the current 80 percent in Israel who are God-denying atheists (and thus who receive special favor from American evangelicals), are continuing to breed very large families with almost all members being on public assistance due to their Talmudic studies. They already control the critical “swing vote” in their parliaments and thus wield disproportionate power to enforce Orthodox byzantine rules on their own Israeli people, but are growing so fast that their power will become dominant within a generation. From this class come those who burn New Testaments in front of the Knesset, fire bomb churches and pastor’s homes, and attack Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, and Christians or other aid workers who come to their assistance.
If we all can manage our own national and religious fundamentalist “mullahs”, in the USA, Iran, Israel and elsewhere, and their lust for an apocalyptic “hot war” to expedite the End of Days, sufficient to grandfather them out over the next decade, then the world would be a much safer, peaceful and unified place.