On Tuesday (May 8, 2018) President Donald J. Trump fulfilled yet another campaign promise. He declared the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran—the Iran nuke deal—null and void. Trump did not refuse to negotiate further. He merely told the Iranians to come back to him when they were ready to make a better deal. Ready to make a deal and keep it.
Before the President announced that decision, British, French and German diplomats begged him to keep the deal in force. But Americans remembered that Donald J. Trump made a campaign promise, one of several. So—how ironic—many in America urged him to forget this particular promise. Of all the Americans who so urged, Patrick J. Buchanan perhaps made the most coherent argument. He at least didn’t write like someone ranting and raving and screaming at the top of his lungs. And so, CNAV today replies to him, as the only worthy adversary.
Pat Buchanan: don’t trash the Iran deal
The history of Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan has always said the foreign policy of the United States should placing America and Americans first. This does not include armed conquest. Conquest is easy; control never is. Such control mocks the American commitment to, and tradition of, individual liberty. It also costs time, resources, and effort that individual Americans can better spend.
The examples of history also show another disadvantage. Empires tyrannize their own people as badly as, if not worse than, they do those in the provinces. (Here CNAV uses the word province in its ancient Roman meaning of “territory under conquest.”) That demonstrably applied to ancient Rome—and the Third Reich.
So Pat Buchanan has every motive to thwart any plans to turn the world into an American empire. And throughout his writings he makes clear he has identified a dangerous claque of American warmongers. He calls them “neo-conservatives.” Which is to say: Jews. (Fact: whenever Pat Buchanan names names among this claque, he names Jewish names.) Therefore he has always suspected one American ally above all of irredeemable and unforgivable perfidy: the Republic of Israel. They are, after all, the Jewish State. (Or, they think they are the Jewish State. Professor Paul Eidelberg has always thought otherwise.)
Bear this in mind when judging Pat Buchanan or his work. Out of his anti-imperial and anti-war animus, he has developed an unfortunate anti-Semitic animus. And in the process has developed a tendency to apologize for the one religious movement more anti-Jewish than any other. That movement is Islam.
Pat Buchanan pleads for Iran
Pat Buchanan presents this brief in the “case” of United States v. Islamic Republic of Iran. President Trump charges Iran with:
- Fraud, and
- The pursuit of development of weapons of mass destruction with intent to deploy them.
In answer, Pat Buchanan, back in 2013, flatly accused Benjamin Netanyahu, then as now Prime Minister of Israel, with malicious prosecution. Said Buchanan: make a deal with Iran, or go to war with Iran. No other choice. He also said Netanyahu wanted a war with Iran.
Poisoning the well
Last Monday (May 7, 2018) Buchanan teed off again. He leads with a logical fallacy: “poisoning the well.” To demonstrate the irredeemable and unforgivable perfidy of Israel, he recasts a historical event in a bad light.
…hundreds of thousands of their people fled their homes in terror to live in stateless exile for seven decades.
Reality check: the Haganah offered the Arab residents of Jaffa a choice: live under Israeli rule, or leave quietly. The Arab Legion exhorted the Arab residents: leave now! We will shortly drive the Jews into the sea and you can then come back! So they left—en masse. Left under their own free will.
Similarly, Pat Buchanan speaks of the Gaza border fence protests, and of “live fire” by the Tzahal (Tzva HaHaganah LeIsrael, or in English, Israel Defense Forces). The Times of Israel has the straight dope. In fact the protesters were trying to cut through that fence. The only ones talking about “live fire” are in fact HAMAS. One can scarcely trust them without independent corroboration.
Turning to the Iran deal
Only then does Buchanan turn to the Iran deal. Here he makes the simplest plea: not guilty. Iran, he says, is not guilty of fraud, possession, or development. So he repeats the Iranian position, which he accepts uncritically.
Then, inevitably, he addresses motives. A lawyer defending his client against contrary testimony and other evidence must make the case for a frame. In making that case, he must discuss motive, opportunity and means. Thus he says:
The Israelis, Saudis and Beltway War Party want the deal trashed, because they want a U.S. clash with Iran. They are not afraid of war.
And then Buchanan says something very interesting:
What is Israel’s motive? Israel fears that the Iranians, having contributed to Bashar Assad’s victory in Syria’s civil war, will stay on and establish bases and a weapons pipeline to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel has launched scores of airstrikes into Syria to prevent this.
Buchanan, having so stated, then says: so what?
But while Bibi [Netanyahu] may have a vital interest in driving Iran out of Syria, Iran [poses] no threat to any vital interest of the United States.
Parse that last:
- “Iran [poses] no threat to any vital interest of the United States.”
- Iran poses a definite threat to Israel, one they have declared often.
Therefore, according to Buchanan, Israel is not a vital interest of the United States!
The vital interest of Israel to the United States
Pat Buchanan would do well, first, to read his Bible. By this CNAV means not his Catholic Bible, but the original Bible, having the original Canon. Specifically, he should look up Genesis 12:3:
I will bless them that bless thee, and anyone who curseth thee I will curse.
God says that to Abraham in ordering him to leave home for the land that will become Israel.
In years past, Pat Buchanan made much of championing the Creation account. He once told an opponent,
If you want to believe you [descend] from monkeys, that’s your choice. My choice is to remember I was made by God in His image.
Evolutionists actually assert that man and ape both descend from a common stock. But let us not quibble. Pat Buchanan accepts the Creation account of Genesis chapters 1-11. But in so accepting, he commits himself also to accept the immediately following chapter of Genesis. That includes a warning: don’t curse Israel.
Of course, Buchanan, being Catholic, probably follows covenant theology. That says the Abrahamic Covenant today applies to the Church, not to Israel. That makes little sense in light of the specific geographical promises God made to Abraham. The Promised Land stretches from the Wadi al-Arish (the real “River of Egypt”) to the Euphrates River. Jesus would later command the Church to spread itself worldwide.
Add this to it: Barack Obama followed an almost explicitly anti-Israel foreign policy. During that time the United States endured an almost unprecedented series of natural disasters.
Let us paraphrase the late thriller author Ian Fleming. Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and the third time it’s the outworking of a curse!
Let us now consider the economic interest in the continued existence of Israel. Much of the high technology upon which many Americans depend, comes from Israel. Anyone who uses a smartphone, uses Israeli technology. Many drugs and medical devices also come from Israel or derive from Israeli ideas.
Israel also can teach the world, and offers to teach the world, how to conserve water. In March and April 2011, CNAV traveled to Israel. Any traveler soon sees the techniques Israelis use to conserve water. Recall: their chief, if not sole, reservoir is the Sea of Galilee, or Lake Khennerith. Israelis celebrate a rise in the level of that lake the way Americans celebrate a new record of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. So they know how precious water is, and how to conserve it. In fact Israel will not grant or recognize any patent having to do with agriculture. Thus they have made those marvelous techniques open-source. Benjamin Franklin would definitely have approved.
Israel nails Iran to the wall dead-to-rights!
What of Buchanan’s insistence that Iran is innocent of trying to cheat on the deal? He evidently didn’t get the memo—or maybe viscerally dismissed its source. The Mossad have Iran dead-to-rights for thwarting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Daniel Vaughan quotes Eli Lake of Bloomberg:
Now Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is claiming that his country’s spies have purloined a warehouse full of videos, files, blueprints and designs for nuclear weapons compiled between 1999 and 2003. If [true], the new Israeli intelligence would show there were many details the U.S. didn’t know back in 2015.
More than that, the Israeli intelligence take shows two things: that Iran fully intends to build a nuclear weapon, and that American intelligence suffers from near-fatal flaws.
Flaws—or an ideological compromise? Before President Trump’s announcement, Linda Goudsmit shared evidence of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the U.S. government—and of their motive for so acting.
So much, then, for Pat Buchanan’s assertions that U.S. intelligence could confidently assert that Iran was not cheating on the nuke deal! He asked derisively, “Is U.S. intelligence also lying?” The answer would appear to be “Yes.”
One can appreciate up to a point a tendency toward skepticism of Israeli claims. After all, they now boast of an intelligence coup worthy of Reilly, Ace of Spies. Or even of Reilly’s fictional imitator, Commander James Bond, CMG, RNVSR, a/k/a Agent 007 of MI-6! But in this case these Yacov Vondim have corroboration. Vaughan also discusses the mendacious efforts of Obama administration officials and sympathizers to sell the Iran deal in 2015.
John Kerry violates the Logan Act
Add this to it: John Kerry forgot he is no longer Secretary of State or even a Senator. He actually told the Iranians not to fear, that Trump wouldn’t be around. In so doing, he stands in violation of the Logan Act.
Iran now attacks
Iran appears not to have waited for sentencing. They have already attacked. Saudi Arabia reports intercepting missiles flying toward Riyadh. If Iran did not launch those missiles, Houthi rebels did—and the Houthis got those missiles from Iran.
Nor was Riyadh Iran’s only target. Missiles also fell on the Golan Heights. The IDF retaliated immediately and destroyed 50 Iranian targets—inside Syria. The most remarkable fact: the British, French and Germans all came down on Iran for launching those missiles at the Heights.
What, in light of the above, do we make of this from Buchanan?
Iran’s economy is in dreadful shape. Its youth have voted repeatedly against presidential candidates favored by the Ayatollah. There are regular constant demonstrations against the regime.
Time is not on the side of the Islamic Republic.
Humph! If true, Iran seems to have decided on a quick sneak attack to solve their problems. They had absolutely no casus belli so to act. And those conditions seem to have posed no handicap.
All this evidence shows that Iran was never trustworthy. The Iran nuke deal had to end. Their decision to launch missiles at Israel and Saudi Arabia shows they’d rather fight than talk. Let the world see how long that attitude will last.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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