This Letter to the Editors was submitted by Mark Besonen, a sophomore at Concordia College.
Seventy-four years ago, a deal was struck between the leader of Great Britain and the leader of Germany that became one of the most famous examples of cowardice. In that deal, western Europe exchanged land for peace, hoping to satisfy the expansionist dreams of a thus-far untested world leader, and in so doing, prevent war. The name of that British leader was Neville Chamberlain, a name that has gone down in history as a synonym for “coward”. The German leader was Adolf Hitler, and the piece of land in dispute was called the Sudetenland. We all know the story; Hitler demanded the land, Chamberlain caved, and Hitler took the land along with the rest of Czechoslovakia. The next year, World War Two started, the deadliest war in human history; resulting in the deaths of 50-70 million people. What would have happened if Chamberlain had stood up to Hitler? We will never know, because Chamberlain took the easy route. Our President faces a similar choice today.
Iran has replaced Germany as the newest threat to western civilization, but instead of massing tanks and planes, Iran is racing towards the most terrible weapon ever built: the nuclear bomb. Iranian enrichment facilities across the country are creating the necessary uranium, while other facilities are working on getting said uranium to the 90% enrichment level needed for a bomb. Iran now has enough stockpiled nuclear fuel for two bombs, according to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The latest estimates have Iran getting the bomb at the end of this year at the earliest or next year at the latest.
As disturbing as all of this news is, it could be explained away if not for the actions of the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad has been quoted saying that Israel should be wiped off the map and that the Holocaust never happened. He has also been quoted as saying “By the grace of god, we will be a nuclear power,” and that “the countdown for the destruction of Israel has begun.” The popular explanation for all of this is that the Iranian president is “saber rattling”, meaning that he is just talking tough without intending to make good on his promises. I caution against this line of thinking, however. Too many times, the west has not taken dictators at their word, with horrible consequences for the world as a result of our bad judgment.
This brings us to the actions of our current President, Barack Hussein Obama. In his first year in office, Obama gave the Iranians an entire year to come to the table and negotiate an agreement. When the Iranians didn’t show, Obama decided that sanctions were the best way to make Iran negotiate. For the past two years, the Obama strategy on Iran has been to try out new sanctions on Iran while simultaneously talking tough about how “all options are on the table”.
Over the past two years, Iran has called our bluff. Sanctions have not stopped their drive for a nuke; all they have done is embarrass the United States in front of our allies and enemies alike. Even though Iran held three of our citizens captive for over two years and is planning on executing another one of our citizens soon, Obama has done nothing.
Time is running out. Iran is getting close to having a nuclear weapon, and their president has made it very clear that he will use it.
Mr. President, you can’t procrastinate any longer. You must choose between following through on your administration’s many promises to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, or you can take the easy route, do nothing, and abandon our ally Israel to another Holocaust. This is the most important foreign policy decision that you will make during the remainder of your first term, Sir. It will determine whether you go down in history as man who kept his many promises, or as the man that will be remembered as the Neville Chamberlain of the 21st century.