It was two weeks ago that President Barack Obama took to the floor in front of the United States Congress to deliver his eighth, and thankfully last, State of the Union address to the nation. If there's one thing about Obama that hasn't changed, it's his arrogant and conveniently selective memory. While he touted the freeing of four American hostages in Iran as a result of our diplomatic progress with them, and a gradual shift towards moderation in the Iranian regime, he somehow forgot to mention that we traded them for seven Iranians convicted of criminal acts on U.S soil. He also forgot to mention that two Americans still sit in Iranian prisons. It should also be pointed out that prisoner swaps aren't even mentioned in the Iran deal. John Kerry, the very man who helped create this miserable excuse of a deal, admitted last week that a considerable sum of the money Iran is receiving as sanctions relief will be used to accelerate Iran's destabilizing actions in the region and fund terrorist organizations. Does the Obama administration not consider these facts important, or did they not know about them? Or do they simply not care about them? I'm sure so many other Americans share these questions with me and I wish I could say with certainty that President Obama actually cares what we have to think, but judging by his past history of shooting down reporters who question his Iran deal, I wouldn't expect any answers from him anytime in the foreseeable future.
Here's a fact: Thanks to President Obama, Iran will now be able to use their new-found wealth by making its military immensely more powerful and will, in essence, eliminate the technological edge held by Israel which has kept it safe for so many years. Iran has openly admitted to funding Hezbollah, a dangerous terrorist group who has both American and Israeli blood on its hands. Now that Iran is going to have almost instantaneous access to over a hundred and fifty billion extra dollars, I can only imagine where a sizable chunk of that money is going to.
But let's not get bogged down in pessimism. Maybe President Obama is right about this. Perhaps this deal of his is going to work in terms of pushing off a nuclear Iran. It'd be great if we could finally put the danger of the imperialistic and dishonest Iranian regime acquiring the worlds' most dangerous weapons behind us. But at what cost does this sense of security come? Is the inevitable uptick in terrorism from Iranian money and lives that will be lost because of it really worth the gamble? In the best case scenario, all that this deal has done is trade one danger for another. President Obama had a choice to make. He could've cranked up sanctions to such a level that it would bring Iran to its knees. Instead he chose to quit while he was ahead.
In 1938, former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact with Adolf Hitler. In return for Hitlers' promise not to take any aggressive actions in Europe, the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia would be handed over to him. He pursued a policy of appeasing Hitler hoping that as Hitler was kept happy, another war in Europe could be prevented. He realized soon enough just how wrong he actually was.
Many people have chosen to compare President Obamas' deal with Iran to the agreement with Nazi Germany. I'd beg to disagree with this comparison though. Adolf Hitler pretended to be interested in peace and fooled us into believing that he didn't want to take over Europe. Iran on the other hand makes absolutely no attempt whatsoever to hide their imperialistic desires nor do they make any effort to present themselves as interested in peace. Think of any Middle Eastern conflict today and you can bet your bottom dollar that Iran is in one way or another involved. Whether it be arming and supporting rebels to overthrow the Yemenite government or sending high tech missiles to Hamas and Hezbollah, the tentacles of the Iranian regime are reaching out farther and farther. This Iran deal only makes it easier for them.
Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said that "appeasement is like feeding a crocodile, hoping it will eat you last." We need to stop pretending like Iran is a country with legitimate interests in peace and is ready to enter the world stage. Our leaders need to pull their heads out of the sand and come to the realization that they can push this snowball as far down the mountain as they want but the longer they push it, the bigger it gets. We can only hope that they come to that realization before it's too late.
My name is Benjamin Jaffe. I was born and raised in South Florida and plan on majoring in political science at Hebrew University in Israel.