Thursday, March 12, 2015

When will we stop acting like little kids?

It has been hard to hear anything other than Philadelphia Eagles news this week.

I am a lifelong fan and this week seems at times to me that I am watching the head coach put the entire team in a shredder.  It would be easier to write about that, but I think I would end up crying. This was the front page of the Philadelphia Daily News:

But there was other news that happened this week.  It has to do with our country, Iran, Democrats and Republicans.  Both political parties acted like nimrods.  In case you hadn't heard it, here is a quick summary:

The History.

Our nation has had a long history of not negotiating with Iran because they are considered terrorists.  As far back as the late seventies when they took hostages at the Iranian embassy to current day in which they are bankrolling groups like Hezbollah, the Iranian State has been sponsoring terrorism.

This has changed in recent years.  Figuring we can do more good by talking with (rather than ignoring) the leadership in Iran, the current administration has been trying to talk with Iran.  The thinking is that we can figure out how to bring Iran into the community of Western Nations peacefully through dialogue.  Sounds like an idea.

Iran wants to talk to us because it has been trying to get nuclear power for its citizens.  Cheap power will help bring Iranians into the digital age.  Currently its reactors depend on Russia for enriched atomic fuel.  The leaders of Iran feel that the Western World is trying to keep them primitively dependent on them.  Iran feels it has a right to have the same access to nuclear technology as other nations and promises that its aims are peaceful.  So our current administration, along with a host of other Western Nations has been trying to negotiate a way for Iran to have nuclear power without having nuclear weapons.

Why don't we just give them the right to have nuclear power?

Well, because deep within the hearts (and the charters written by) a great many of Iranian leaders is the desire to "wipe Israel off the face of the Earth."  Iran is tied to its theocracy and the radical elements of Islam want to wage war with Israel.  The fear is that if Iran got hold of fissile material it could be made into weaponry and quickly used to annihilate Israel.  This is not "maybe" or "they might" it is more like "what date would they pick to do it?"

To be balanced, not everyone in leadership in Iran has that same desire and not everyone has the same access to power.  The reality is that the bulk of Iranian citizens are not hate-filled radical terrorists.  As in America, Iranian leadership does not always represent the Iranian people.  However, the shifts of power within the Iranian State make the whole thing a dicey affair.  Everyone, regardless of politics is scared of Iran with nukes.

So if we agree they should have weapons, what are we talking about?

The current administration was seeking to negotiate an agreement with the leaders in Iran that would enable nuclear power without the ability for nuclear weapons.  If we don't talk, they secretly pursue nuclear power and weapons.  If we talk and come to an agreement that they can have power but no weapons then maybe everyone wins.  The talks are very delicate, however.  If the Iranians feel pushed they can walk away and more robustly pursue an 'underground' nuclear program and blame everything on the big bully America.

But there are some who feel that we shouldn't even be talking with the Iranians.  The more we talk, the more they pursue a nuclear program secretly.  The president of Israel came and spoke to Congress this week saying that we should not even be in negotiations with the Iranians because it will only be a matter of time before they attack.  It has been Israel's stance to make sure they are not even close to weapons-grade atomic material - even using air strikes in the past to take out facilities that were preparing to do so.

But our administration has stated that something needs to be done because the bridge to nuclear capability will be crossed at some point.  It might as well be done with talks rather than with cold war tactics of sanctions and no communication.  The thinking is that you talk to the bully so you have control over the situation rather than ignore the bully and then deal with the aftermath.  So talks with the Iranian State continue.

So what happened this week?

And this is where the political games began.  Instead of listening to each other and trying to work on something collaboratively the Democrats and Republicans locked horns.  Both acted like little kids.

Just for the record, I am a firm believer that Republicans and Democrats are equally ridiculous.  Not a big political rah-rah one way or another.  God made it clear that we are pretty messed up no matter how you slice it. In this incident, the Republicans were first to act childish by sending a letter to the Iranian leadership saying essentially, "don't listen to these guys negotiating with you about nukes, they are gone in a couple of years and this agreement will be worth nothing."  This was well intentioned, but really low.  I am sure every one of those politicians felt they were protecting Israel and our nation from destruction, but it was like talking dirty about your family to the bully.  

And of course, true to form, the Democrats responded with a barrage of finger-pointing saying that they undermined the authority of the Administration and played games for political support.  This assumes that Republicans are just out for their own political good when it may just be that they are scared to death of Iranian radicals getting their hands on nukes.  It is sad when there is absolutely no respect on either side.  If only each side would give the other the benefit of the doubt.  Work together.  Listen to each other.  We are on the same team.

This is why politics is so unappealing to so many.  It is why underneath all of the nice suits and fancy cars and offices we are just little kids acting out our fears well into our old age.

It is also why we need a Savior.  God help us.  

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