The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, August 07, 2015


The Atlantic is a left-leaning publication that  defends the often preposterous words and actions of the Obama administration. Over the past few months, The Atlantic has worked very hard to justify the unjustifiable—Obama's "deal" with Iran.

More than a few writers (including yours truly) have suggested that Iran (and more broadly, Islamists across the Middle East) in 2015 and Nazi Germany in 1938 have frightening similarities.

In the Atlantic, Peter Beinart writes an insipid peace in which he argues that noooo, Nazi Germany and the current leadership of Iran are not in any way similar, do not advocate the same things, and offer no existential threat to Israel. He does this, I suspect, because many Jews are left-leaning and read The Atlantic, but many of those same Jews are beginning to feel increasingly uneasy about Obama's deal with Iran and what it might mean for Israel and the United States.* They need a reason (an excuse?) to stick with Obama, and Beinart's piece just might give it to them.

To form, Beinart begins by quoting two 'right wingers'—Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee, along with Israeli prime minister, Bibi Netanyahu, who are all unabashedly pro-Israel.
In asserting that Iran seeks to murder all Jews, politicians like Huckabee, Cruz, and Netanyahu focus overwhelmingly on the [Iranian] regime’s words. “When people who are in a government position continue to say they’re going to kill you,” said Huckabee, “I think somebody ought to wake up and take that seriously.” “If history teaches one lesson,” added Cruz, “it is that if somebody tells you they want to kill you, believe them.”
Laughably for a leftist, Beinhart immediately suggests that the Ayatollah's words don't matter. Mind you, now, Leftists think words matter a lot in everything political, social, and cultural, except when Islamists utter them. In fact, when Bibi Netanyahu said (in words) that many Arabs were going to the polls during his election, the Left fell all over themselves mindlessly accusing him of "racism." The left spun like tops when Huckabee (correctly, IMO) conjured images of the Holocaust ("ovens" to be precise) in referring to the consequences of Obama's deal with the Mullahs.

But Back to Beinart's apologia. He suggests that Jews remain in Iran and have not been killed by the Ayatollah, even though Iran's leader says he will wipe Israel off the map. That, Beinart argues, tells us that Iran is not genocidal. To make this ridiculous argument seem thoughtful, he writes:
Within months of ascending to power, Hitler banned Jews from serving as civil servants or lawyers and began expelling them from government schools and universities. Within five years, he oversaw the orgy of anti-Jewish violence that was Kristallnacht. Within nine years, the Wannsee Conference began implementing the Final Solution.

Compare that to Iran. The Iranian regime has been in power for 36 years. It governs a Jewish population of between 10,000 and 25,000. Life for Iranian Jews is not easy. They cannot express any sympathy for Israel. Indeed, they must go out of their way to reject Zionism lest they confirm regime suspicions about their loyalty. And those suspicions sometimes descend into outright persecution, as happened in 1999 in the city of Shiraz, when 13 Jews were imprisoned for several years on charges of spying for Israel.
Really? The fact that 17,500 (I'll use an average, although I suspect the 10,000 is probably closer to accurate) Jews remain in Islamist Iran means that the Iranians have no ill-intent toward Jews in general or Israel in particular? That number, by the way, is down form approximately 80,000 Jews before the Ayatollah Komeni took over in the late 1970s. In fact, there are 8 times more Iranian Jews in Israel today then there are in Iran!

And of course, he trots out this well-worn leftist canard:
One potential answer is that Iran’s regime is not genocidally anti-Semitic, only genocidally anti-Zionist. It will spare its own Jews, provided they eschew Zionism, while killing the Jews of Israel because they will not.
Zionism argues that the Jews, who have been persecuted for thousands of years, deserve a tiny sliver of land in an immense region of the world. Iran and the Left argue that Jews do not deserve that land, stole it in fact, although history refutes that outrageous accusation. The Left and all Islamists (are we seeing a pattern here?) use the "palestinians, or "oppression" or "colonialism" as an pathetic excuse to be anti-Zionist. Here's the unpleasant bottom line: anti-zonist = anti-Semitic. Try all the nuance you'd like, Mr. Beinart, that's the reality of it.

Beinart continues:
But even toward Israel, Iran’s behavior, while hostile and violent, has been nowhere near genocidal. To be sure, Iran supports both Hezbollah and Hamas, organizations that commit terrorism against the Jewish state (and in the case of Hezbollah’s despicable attack on a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994, terrorism against Jews outside Israel too). Supporting these groups furthers Iran’s regional influence, since it allows Tehran to pose as the champion of a Palestinian cause that most Arabs support. It also strengthens Iranian deterrence, since Hezbollah and Hamas, which are situated on Israel’s borders, could retaliate if Israel attacked Iran.

But while Iran supports Hezbollah and Hamas, it has not done everything in its power to help them kill Israelis. Not even close. To the contrary, the regime’s apparent fear of Israeli retaliation generally has led it to exhibit the very restraint that Huckabee, Cruz, and Netanyahu insist it would not show once it has the bomb.
So let me see if I've got this straight. Iran supports and positions terrorist groups on Israel's borders. Obama's deal provides billions to Iran. Iran will use that money to further support and strengthen those terrorist groups. The same groups, by the way, that vow to wipe Israel off the map.

But somehow, Beinart suggests that this is an example of "restraint" on the part of Iran. Beinhart is either too stupid or too delusional to recognize that Islamists are fighting a long war against Israel, degrading the country through terror attacks and an occasional mini-war while encouraging Western Leftists (a.k.a. useful idiots) to blame Israel for defending its own people.

Iran's leadership shows no restraint, but they do show patience. That patience will be eroded when (not if) Iran acquires nuclear weapons. Obama is making that easy for them. Be patient—get a nuke. Or ... be sneaky, get a nuke faster.

This is a watershed moment for Congressional Democrats, and Beinart knows it. There's real weakness in support for Obama's deal, and Beinard knows it. So he trots out pseudo-intellectual (and very tenuous) arguments that he hopes will shore up pro-Obama support for the "deal.".

Problem is—his arguments are nonsense—Iran's intent in words and actions is clear. First, Israel and then the West. Iran's patience will win out when it's is faced with appeasement and weakness. And that's exactly the "deal" that Barack Obama has created.

* As an example of this unease among Dems, consider famed legal scholar, Alan Dershowitz, a Democrat and a liberal, who writes:
With regard to the deal with Iran, the stakes are so high, and the deal so central to the continuing security of the free world, that it should — as a matter of democratic governance — require more than a presidential agreement and one third plus one of both houses of Congress. This is especially true where there is no clear consensus in favor of the deal among the American people. Though we do not govern by polls, it seems fairly clear that a majority of Americans now oppose the deal.

Let us never forget that America is a democracy where the people ultimately rule, and if the majority of Americans continue to oppose the deal, it will ultimately be rejected, if not by this administration, than by the next. An agreement, as distinguished from a treaty does not have the force of law. It can simply be abrogated by any future president.
Barack Obama has chosen to disregard the clear fact that we have a constitution with co-equal branches of government. History will judge him harshly as a consequence, whether his "deal" is approved or not.

* And this news from The New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Senator Chuck Schumer, the most influential Jewish voice in Congress, said Thursday night that he would oppose President Obama’s deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program.

“Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed,” Mr. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said in a lengthy statement. “This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult and deliberate endeavor, and after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval.”