Pacifism Weekend: Why The Iran Deal Is Very Good News

If you’ve heard any recent news coverage about the peace agreement between Iran, USA, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China that will hopefully move forward this week, there’s a good chance this is because the opposition in USA has been so noisy. We’ve seen big headlines about Republican hawks inviting Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to speak out in Congress against President Obama’s plans, and about 47 Senators who signed a poorly written letter to Iran declaring no confidence in their own President’s foreign policy.

News outlets and social media channels seem to be constitutionally incapable of reporting good news — unless the good news is about panda bears or Kim Kardashian’s butt. We should all feel free to forget the noise from Benjamin Netanyahu and Mitt Romney and recognize that the signing of this Iran deal will be a great and historic thing. When this agreement is signed, there ought to be dancing in the streets — all streets, everywhere in the world.

Our media outlets are so incapable of reporting good news that you might even have first heard about this historic Iran deal in a Literary Kicks blog post last November titled “Ending Sixty Years of Bad Karma With Iran“. We’re not in the breaking news business here at Litkicks, and yet we took the trouble to fill you in on the happy developments last year, while most professional news outlets remained silent until they found a tasty way to frame the news as a bitter controversy instead of a blessed breakthrough. Wake up, people! From Havana to Tehran to Obama’s White House, smart politicians are trying to make good decisions, and they deserve your support.

Why is the Iran peace agreement good? Because it’s a peace agreement between several nations that have been bitterly afraid of each other for six decades. This simple truth speaks for itself. Several major nations are afraid of each other right now, and a peace agreement is primarily an attempt to soothe raging paranoia.

The paranoia in pervasive. Many Americans I know are completely ignorant of the Iranian view of history, and cannot comprehend how frightened Iran is of the world powers who supported the Shah’s oppressive (but oil-friendly) oligarchy from 1953 to 1979. Anybody who needs an explanation for Iran’s hatred of Europe and USA only needs to read up on the history of Iran in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. That would be a valuable education for many Americans who think the problems between Iran and the USA only began in 1979.

But Iran isn’t the only frightened party in 2015. Benjamin Netanyahu holds up a diagram of an imaginary bomb, while Tom Cotton seethes in the Senate. On Facebook, I hear my own friends express a sense of surreal terror that the villains in Tehran will surely take advantage of the deal to secretly build a nuclear bomb and blow up Tel Aviv, or New York City if they can reach it. This kind of primal paranoia appears hysterical when rationally examined, but the level of popular hysteria cannot be denied. Perhaps this is the nicest thing that can be said about Tom Cotton, the young pro-military Iraq veteran who has now made himself famous for writing a letter to Iran. He did not write this letter to advance his own career (though he has in fact advanced his career, and will probably be a popular face on Fox News for the next fifty years). He wrote this letter because he really thinks Iran is going to blow up the world. He’s ignorant, but he’s not cynical.

This kind of paranoia is what peace agreements are designed to cure. Difficult negotiations allow embattled leaders on all sides of an unbridgeable dispute to exchange information and ask questions. Peace agreements permit various kinds of conversation and commerce to slowly spin up, allowing cultural and economic interchange on new levels. They empower moderates at the expense of extremists — and if that’s not good news with regard to Iran and the rest of the world, I don’t know what is.

Is it ever possible for a peace agreement to be a bad thing? Those who oppose this agreement right now point to Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Nazi Germany in 1938, but that famous example is full of hot air. Even a failed peace agreement like the Munich deal of 1938 does little actual damage, and of course the primary cause of the Second World War was not Neville Chamberlain — it was the First World War.

It was right before that ruinous war began, back in the muddled summer months of 1914, that Europe’s paranoid nations lost their last chance for a significant peace agreement, and instead began the process of systematically slaughtering each other for the next few decades.

Its 2015, and we’re not going to make those mistakes anymore. The peace agreement between Iran, USA, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China that will be signed next week is glorious good news. I’ll be dancing in the streets when it’s finally signed — even if I have to go dancing alone.

10 Responses

  1. I hope your optimistic
    I hope your optimistic viewpoint proves correct. I’ll dance with you if you’d like.

  2. It’s been a long time since I
    It’s been a long time since I’ve danced in the streets, but I’ll join you two — if the optimism proves correct.

  3. All right, we’ve almost got a
    All right, we’ve almost got a dance troupe here now!!!

  4. A poem I wrote, after reading
    A poem I wrote, after reading this:

    They made a peace agreement today.
    Oh heavens to contracts, terrible news!
    You can’t bargain with those monsters.
    You fight to destroy, destroy to fight.
    Fight fight fight fight, kill ’em down.
    This is a disaster, it’s the end.
    Lobbyists in the street.
    No more jobs.
    Someone will
    PAY for this!

    I want whichever
    boil on the butt
    of freedom
    and jus-tic-al
    red vermin
    for this
    strung up

  5. A signed peace agreement is
    A signed peace agreement is good news. Even better news will be a successful duration lasting many years.

    However, it seems to me the (R) Congressional deniers will do anything in their power to make sure this peace agreement never succeeds along with Netanyahu’s approval.

  6. You’re right, Mtmynd … and
    You’re right, Mtmynd … and I’m really disappointed to hear that some Democrats are joining in this denial of common sense, this denial of reality.

    However, even in the worst case if the USA can’t be a part of the peace agreement, it’s good to know that the other countries involved will go ahead with it anyway. We’ll just be left out over here. Kind of reminds me of how Woodrow Wilson created the League of Nations in 1918 but then couldn’t get his own Senate to vote for it. We saw how well that mess worked out.

  7. Hardly anything to celebrate.
    Hardly anything to celebrate.

    What part do YOU not get of the Iranian government shouting Death To America and Death to Israel and publicly saying the first thing they will do with their nuke is to eradicate Israel ?

  8. Hi JRNewton —
    Hi JRNewton —

    For Iran to attack Israel would be suicidal. Nations do not commit suicide. I know many Iranian people, and they prefer to live. The rhetoric against Israel is of the same nature as all other militarist nonsense: it’s a device for political opportunists to rally a crowd against a mythical enemy. Happens all over the world, and it’s always empty rhetoric.

  9. Nations do not commit suicide
    Nations do not commit suicide. Besides Nazi Germany, for instance. You never know…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What We're Up To ...

Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!