Defense31 July 2015

Notes from Norm: A Bad War Then, A Bad Deal Now

As a young anti-war protestor on the campus of Hofstra University I felt so strongly about the injustice of the Vietnam War that I joined with hundreds of my fellow students and shut down the University.

Years later I recall those days with a combination of pride and accomplishment.

Pride that I live in a nation where my voice, and those of thousands of young men and women, was never extinguished despite the best efforts of those who opposed our beliefs.

And, a sense of accomplishment that raised voices, challenging the actions of those who led our government, ultimately prevailed and helped to end a war that needlessly cost our nation tens of thousands of young lives and squandered our nation’s resources.

At the time I could not have imagined that there would be a greater or more important time to raise my voice on an issue that I felt was the most important in my life.

As Congress begins the process of reviewing the agreement that President Obama has struck with Iran I realize that my life has come full circle.

While there will be no college campus student center around which to organize opposition to President Obama’s ill-conceived nuclear proliferation treaty with Iran, I do have a voice.

In much the same way that I believed that the Vietnam War was a gateway to a more dangerous world for the future, the Iran nuclear deal creates a future that is far more dire and dark for my children and my children’s children. In my 20’s I felt I had an obligation to speak up and speak out to help end a war that I believed threatened the future of young people and our nation.

In my 60’s I know I have an obligation to speak up and speak out to help stop an agreement that I believe threatens the future of our nation and millions of others throughout the world.

There could have been a better deal.  The President could have lived up to his promises and his assurances that he would reject a bad deal rather than settle for any deal.

Unfortunately, he settled for any deal.

A deal so dangerous that its actual implementation is more likely to give Iran the ability to build a nuclear weapon than if there were no agreement at all.

A deal so dangerous that it assuredly will lead to a proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Gulf region, as other Gulf States seek to have what Iran has.

The President and those who are demanding that Congress rubber stamp this agreement falsely tell us that this agreement is the best that could have been reached.  That to reject this agreement is tantamount to settling for war with Iran.

Mainstream media reports many within the President’s own political party are desperate to find ways to support the agreement and avoid harming his legacy by approving an agreement they would readily reject if it had been reached by a Republican.

This isn’t a partisan issue.  

This isn’t a President Obama issue.  

It is a legacy issue.  But one that has nothing to do with those in power today – Democrats or Republicans – or, for that matter, for many who are in Congress who are alive today.

It’s about those who will come after them – after me – after many of us who are reading these words.

The President has said he has stopped Iran from getting a nuclear bomb for 10 years-and essentially guaranteed them one thereafter. Our children will have to face the consequence of a nuclear armed Iran.

The Iran Nuclear agreement must be stopped by Congress.

Not because the President is a Democrat and Congress is controlled by Republicans.

It must be stopped because it is a bad agreement for America.

 A dangerous agreement for the world.

It will give Iran a pathway to a nuclear bomb that will threaten the future of our children.  Of the children of our allies.

It threatens the future of our planet.

Over the next several weeks my “Notes from Norm” will focus on key elements of the Iran Nuclear Agreement that I believe must be highlighted as reasons why the agreement must be stopped by Congress.

I am older than I was when I stood with young men and women of my age decades ago to confront the voices of those in power who told us they had all the answers and we should simply trust them.

Then, and now, simply trusting our government is not enough.