America needs to rethink the Middle East

Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

—From George Washington’s Farewell Address, 1796.

Nevada Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller have sponsored the “Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act” that imposes new sanctions on Iran if passed, even though we are engaged in historical negotiations that would end any attempts by Iran to build a nuclear weapon—and even though there is no actual proof they are. The legislation demands Iran give up its legal civilian nuclear program entirely, and would commit the U.S. to join any attack that Israel launches against Iran.

Reid has received over $250,000 in pro-Israel campaign contributions in 2013, while Heller has received over $70,000. Contrast Sen. Rand Paul, who has not signed the bill, and accepted only $5,000 in Israeli PAC money.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is most associated with this bill. AIPAC has been the guardian of what is acceptable discourse regarding Israel. Their usual tactic is to label criticism of Israel “anti-Semitic.”

In 2001, talk show host Ira Hansen was fired by KOH radio for comments criticizing Israel. He said he was told to “only talk positively about Israel.” Is that still a media policy in Nevada? Ira is now a Republican State Assemblyman.

Iran is a theocracy, but also a limited democracy. Its youth chafe under the rule of the Ayatollahs. Women wear scarves, not burqas, and Tehran is as cosmopolitan as Tel-Aviv or Beirut. Iranians are not Arabs, they spring from ancient Aryan migrations from Northern India into central Europe. They are closer to Germans than to Arabs. Sanctions on Iran hurt the people in Iran more than the government. They can make it harder for Iranians in Nevada to get bank accounts or loans.

Saudi Arabia and Israel oppose the negotiations with Iran. Israel has been accusing Iran of being six months away from a nuclear bomb since the 1970s. Yet it is an open secret that Israel has at least 80 nuclear warheads itself. These were assembled outside of international law.

Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson shockingly suggested last October that we explode a nuclear bomb in the Iranian desert and threaten to drop another one on Tehran, the capital. What would happen if a wealthy American-Muslim suggested we do that to Israel?

In 2012, journalist Seymour Hersh reported that the Pentagon-trained members of the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), a Marxist cult, in the Nevada desert to wage terror on Iran. The MEK was on the State Department’s terrorist list because it participated in the 1979 revolution. Later, they split with the ayatollahs and believe they should rule Iran. The MEK is believed to have assassinated Iranian scientists.

Israel, Egypt and Syria have no vital defense importance to the United States. They also have no oil, while Iran’s oil would greatly contribute to the world economy. The US and Britain deposed an elected Iranian prime minister in 1953 and made the Shah an absolute monarch. The Iranian revolution went awry by putting the Ayatollahs in power. But Iran has never attacked its neighbors. We helped Iraq attack Iran. It is time to rethink our special favoritism toward Israel and our special animosity to Iran. It is time to heed George Washington’s advice and put America first.

By Brendan Trainor, News Review

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