1. It’s Wednesday, July 15, 2015
2. Now, the New Horizons fly-by of Pluto is something that should make Americans beat their chest a little bit. We got something built, admittedly with help from other great minds around the world, that flew 3 billion miles in nine and a-half years. It got within 7,800 miles of the dwarf planet and sent back photos that are pretty amazing.
For whatever reason — more focus on human problems such as Iran and Greece, it’s midsummer — this achievement isn’t resonating with people. It should. It’s a moment to be proud.
3. “Death to America” trended on Twitter yesterday. It was a phrase contained in a lot of tweets written by opponents to the new nuclear limitation accord with Iran. Of course, “Death to America” is what Iranians have been known to chant in public demonstrations, some as recent as last week. And this was what the opponents wanted to say: How could you possibly make a deal with people who seek our demise? The more foaming tweets spoke of how President Obama was selling out America and its allies for a place in history or even to be true to his real faith — which, of course, they have decided, is Islam.
So, once again, it’s time to check reality.
Yes, there’s a lot of animosity toward the U.S. in Iran. A lot of it has to do with the fact that we thwarted Iranians’ attempt at democracy in the 1950s and forced the brutal Shah on them for another 20 years. Some of it has to do with the voices in this country that are looking to bring back the Crusades and Christianize the Middle East.
But here’s the thing. That animosity is more tolerable when it doesn’t have nuclear weapons it can play with. And the agreement is the best we can get, given the fact that Iran already has nuclear technology and the rest of the world is patiently helping us stop them from weaponizing that technology.
If the “Death to America” tweeters believe that war is another way to stop them, here is what they have to do.
They have to agree that if the United States went to war to Iran, they, or their children, or their grandchildren, have to be among the forces we send. They would go there, to the Persian desert, where the average high this time of year is 114 degrees.
They would go there pretty much alone. Israel, with its saber-rattling prime minister, is kind of busy fending off threats closer to home. The Europeans, including the British, aren’t interested in a war with Iran. Neither are allies in Japan and South Korea that have abided by the sanctions imposed on Iran at a cost — the oil that would lower prices in their countries — with the idea that they would lead to an agreement such as this one.
And Russia and China, which helped us get this agreement, would probably aid Tehran, creating an axis that might be stronger than the one we fought in World War II. So, while we’re slogging through the desert, Russia is taking the opportunity to step up its mischief against Ukraine and other Eastern European nations that were once part of the Soviet Union or its bloc. China is ratcheting pressure on Japan over territory in the western Pacific.
Through all this, Iran has the liberty to develop nuclear weapons, since there’s no agreement like the one we have.
That’s the world you have to accept if you support the idea of bombing Tehran back to the stone age or using our boots on the ground to put Iran in what you perceive to be its place. So you’d damn well better be prepared to put your own life or your kids’ lives on the line. Because you can’t have mine.
The “Death to America” chanters in Iran only get their wish if we shun diplomacy and try to fight them in a war. An agreement that works, which this has a good chance of doing, is death to “Death to America.”