Almost 100 years ago, two psychologists wrote about how people can be trained to be afraid, making a calm and even-tempered nine-month-old baby terrified of his previously beloved fuzzy stuffed animals. After researchers constantly matched the objects with loud clanging sounds, “Albert B,” the subject,” would consistently “burst into tears” when he saw these objects. Fired for having an affair with his research partner, the lead in the study moved on to be the vice-president of J. Walter Thompson, a huge advertising firm, where he used more behaviorism to sell products. The study does show that people can be desensitized to irrational fears with the refusal to reward panic based on childish ignorance. Science historian Rob Boddice wrote, “Objects of fear fill the spaces where knowledge and certainty are absent.”
Such is the case of Iran and Republicans. Iran may be scary, but to be ruled by that fear is to stay at the level of animals. Republicans and U.S. Jewish lobbying groups are determined to keep people in the United States at the level of animals in order to control them. Organizations and pro-Israel conservatives like Sheldon Adelson are pouring tens of millions of dollars into television advertising with the goal of making people afraid of Iran. The polls opposing the Iran deal show that this advertising is succeeding.
One reason from conservatives for keeping conflicts alive in the Middle East is the money coming into large companies for the sale of missiles, helicopters, fighter jets, and other war needs:
Boeing: Earlier this year, the United Arab Emirates paid $618 million for just two C-17s, and two years ago, Saudi Arabia and UAE gave Boeing part of a $10 million contract for high-tech missiles. Two years before that, a $29.4 billion contract with Boeing provided Saudi Arabia with 84 F-15 fighter jets and upgrades on older aircrafts. Qatar paid $23 billion for 24 Apache helicopters. The list goes on.
Raytheon. Saudi Arabia paid $1 billion for 15,000 anti-tank missiles, and the company made billions for supplying Patriot missiles to Qatar and UAE. Oman got a ground-based defense system from Raytheon for over $2 billion.
Lockheed Martin. This major player provided the UAE with another defense system for $3.9 billion as well as $600 million from Oman for 12 fighter planes. More equipment went to Saudi Arabia for $112 million.
Sikorsky Aircraft. Saudi Arabia got 12 Black Hawk helicopters for $30 million with another $270 million to upgrade UAE Black Hawks. The company plans to sell 400 helicopters to Middle East countries over the next five to 10 years.
Even before they read the Iran agreement, political war hawks spread fear by claiming that “harsher sanctions” would make a “better deal.” They made this claim even before the deal was finalized. When the opposition was asked if they had read the agreement, the frequent response was that they didn’t need to read it because Iran is “evil.” They ignore the reality that the U.S. cannot stop Iran at this time from exporting a million barrels a day to countries such as China. Other countries are also increasingly refusing to support U.S. sanctions, and technological innovation such as deep gas pipelines would make sanctions much more difficult. Refusal of the agreement in place of a hope for “harsher sanctions” would lose the United States whatever standing it has left in the world.
War hawks also ignore the opinion of scholars and military leaders who claim that the U.S. should take the Iran deal. Three dozen retired generals and admirals released an open letter this week urging Congress to support the agreement. The called it “the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons” and stated that the U.S. could gain international support for military action against Iran, if necessary, only “if we have first given the diplomatic path a chance.” This letter follows one from 29 of the nation’s top scientists–Nobel laureates, veteran makers of nuclear arms, and former White House science advisers—endorsing the Iran deal. And that letter follows another one from over 100 former U.S. ambassadors, supporting the Iran deal. Retired GOP Colonel Lawrence put it very succinctly when he said, “My political party wants war.”
Even the recent chair of United against Nuclear Iran has decided that U.S. should take the Iran deal. Dr. Gay Samore, scholar at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, stepped down after he declared support for the agreement, and UANI hired Joe Lieberman, Middle East hawk who had said he wouldn’t be a lobbyist before he became a lobbyist. UANI pays for some of the TV ads intended to create irrational fear about the agreement.
During the debate, Israel’s far-right prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been suppressing opposition from his country’s Intelligence Corps, including those in the research division dealing with Iran. Support for the Iran agreement goes as high as former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy and Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot. A Jewish group in the United States also paid for 40 Democrats to visit Israel last week so that Netanyahu can lobby them.
With less than a month for conservatives to destroy the agreement, politicians on both sides are carefully counting the votes. The one Democrat senator who has joined the Republicans in opposing the agreement is New York’s Chuck Schumer, yet he appears to have no followers in the senate. Conservatives think that they will have enough votes to pass the opposition to the agreement—two-thirds for an override of President Obama’s veto—and progressives think that the conservatives will fail.
It is tradition during for the past few decades since Ronald Reagan sold weapons to Iran that people in the U.S. love Israel and hate Iran. We have tremendous financial support of Israeli weaponry, and the Judeo-Christian culture has stronger roots in Israel. An examination of the two countries, however, brings up strong differences between Iran and Israel:
Nuclear bombs: Iran lacks these weapons, gives no evidence of an active nuclear weapons program, and has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The theocratic Supreme Leader has forbidden making, stockpiling, and using nuclear weapons. Israel refuses to sign the NPT and has several hundred nuclear warheads, which it constructed stealthily, sometimes through acts of espionage and smuggling in the United States and against the wishes of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Their leaders have openly stated that they are ready to use nuclear weapons.
War: Iran has not launched an aggressive war since 1775, when Karim Khan Zand sent an army against Omar Pasha in Basra in neighboring Iraq. This might have actually been a response to provocation rather than an act of aggression. Israel started wars in 1956, 1967 and 1982 as well as committed acts of aggression in 2006, 2009, and 2014.
Occupation: Modern Iran has not occupied neighbors’ territory and didn’t try to take and hold Iraqi territory after Iraq’s attack of Iran in 1980. The UN Charter of 1945 forbids countries to annex the land of their neighbors through warfare, but Israel occupies Palestinian territory with 4 million stateless Palestinians who are treated as subjected, colonized population. Israel has promised to never give Palestine back its land.
Voting: All the people ruled over by Iran can vote in national elections, and even Iranian Jews have a representative in parliament. Four million of the 12 million people ruled by Israel have no vote in Israeli politics but are ruled by Israel.
Opposition: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is not trying to undermine the Obama administration’s negotiations with his country which states that Iran can have nuclear electricity plants but not nulear weapons. Israel has consistently tried to control U.S. foreign policy through bribery of politicians.
Iranian leadership is dictatorial and puritanical, and Israel is better than Iran in many ways. Détente, however, could make life better for people in Israel, Iran, and the United States. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who may be the most reasonable person in Congress at this time, has written a rationale for supporting the agreement. Reading this information may help people get over the irrational fear the Republicans and Israel are pushing onto the people of the United States.