Cause and effect. It’s a simple concept, but one that affects nearly everything in our lives. You text while driving, you get into an accident. You don’t pay your taxes, you get into trouble with the IRS. You give $100 billion in cash to a regime that sponsors terrorism, you will get more terrorism. Cause and effect.
The proposed Iran nuclear deal is a living embodiment of that concept since approval of the deal will inevitably lead to a significant increase in the already bad behavior the regime already engages in. If a criminal gets away with his crimes and the police reward him with a limitless credit card, it stands to reason the criminal is not likely to change his ways. Its basic human psychology and Iran’s mullahs are no different in behaving the same way.
Since the deal was announced, the behavior of Iran’s leaders has lived up to all of our worst expectations.
Iran continues to hold Americans hostage and has made no efforts to free them or loosen the policies that imprison thousands of political dissidents, religious and ethnic minorities and scores of others languishing in Iran’s prisons.
Iran’s leaders, including its top leader Ali Khamenei, continue a relentless and even more hate-filled diatribe against the West, the U.S. in particular and regularly denounce the very deal they signed.
Iran still funds and supports its proxies engaged in brutal sectarian wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, going so far as to recruit Afghan mercenaries to fight in Syria.
Iranian mullahs hosts trade delegations from Europe and Russia in anticipation of opening up the floodgates to foreign investment once the deal is approved and has already sent its notorious head of its Quds Forces on an illegal trip to Russia to begin a shopping spree of new military hardware which already began with the shipment of a previously embargoed advanced anti-aircraft missile system.
It’s Iranian regime’s behavior that has more and more Americans worried that mullahs got more than they even hoped for in negotiations and is ready to reap the benefits without any changes to its behavior. A new Monmouth University poll showed a deepening concern by Americans about the deal and misgivings over the agreement’s ability to curb any of the regime’s abhorrent behavior.
Oddly President Obama continues to discount the public statements and diatribes of Khamenei and other Iranian leaders and refuses to give them any credence, even though the public statements of any foreign leader are usually taken at face value and in this case, more Congressional representatives are taking statements seriously.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate and in line to be the new Senate Minority Leader, publicly broke with the president in opposing the deal after weighing all the arguments carefully, saying “I believe we should go back and try to get a better deal. The nations of the world should join us in that.”
Schumer is correct that the U.S. can do better; certainly at the very least in getting a deal that correctly links the regime’s conduct in areas such as human rights and support for terror as conditions for getting any kind of economic relief. Quid pro quos are an integral part of international diplomacy and the U.S. ought to demand something, anything from the mullahs in return for the windfall they so hungrily desire.
But without any linkage, the mullahs in Tehran are simply enabled and emboldened to act as they always have – with impunity.
But American veterans of the Iraq war have announced their intention to join the campaign against the deal and remind Americans that thousands of Americans were killed and wounded directly at the hands of Iranian regime agents, Quds Force and Revolutionary Guard members who equipped, trained and led Iraqi militias in attacking Americans and now involved in a sectarian war against Sunnis in Iraq.
The first of the group’s videos features retired staff sergeant Robert Bartlett, who was badly injured by one of those bombs while serving in Iraq in 2005. “Every politician who is involved in this will be held accountable, they will have blood on their hands,” he says in the ad. “A vote for this deal means more money for Iranian terrorism. What do you think they are going to do when they get more money?”
Therein lays the central question we face. How does the behavior of Iran’s mullahs make anyone believe things will be different once the agreement is in place; especially when it has more holes in it than Swiss cheese?
But profiting from death is not a new trick for the mullahs. Iran’s Environment Protection Agency issues about 500 licenses to foreign visitors to hunt rare and protected animal breeds, including the Transcaspian Urial, a rare breed of sheep that is only legally available to hunt in Iran.
If people get upset over Cecil the Lion meeting his demise at the hands of a hunter looking for a trophy, maybe animal rights activists should add Iran as well and try to save Sally the Sheep.
By Michael Tomlinson