Letter to the editor: College Republicans, Democrats mislead about Iran’s nuclear program

In their letter to The Daily last Thursday, College Democrats co-presidents Lauren Izaak and Adam Roth and College Republicans president Dane Stier made a number of dangerously misleading claims about the Iranian nuclear program.

The authors stated that it is “widely  agreed” that Iranian nuclear facilities are not civilian in nature. But the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, admitted in January that he did not know whether Iran is even trying to build nuclear weapons, according to The Atlantic. In an April report from Reuters, Israel’s top general, Benny Gantz, echoed Clapper’s comments, saying that Iran still “has not decided yet” whether to pursue a bomb.

The authors’ claim that an Iranian bomb would cause the Middle East to “erupt” is similarly unfounded. Israel, whose relations with its neighbors have been far more strained than Iran’s, has possessed nuclear weapons for decades without sparking an arms race in the region.

A decade of aggressive war has killed hundreds of thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is to say nothing of the wounded, the displaced, the orphaned. Now the leaders of College Democrats and Republicans ominously warn that “more must be done” to keep Iran from attaining weapons it has not built and may not even want. But what more? Because diplomacy is ongoing and devastating sanctions have already been imposed, it is clear that the authors are hinting at military action. Rather than say this outright, they use vague banalities like “prevent the Iranian nuclear realization” and “keep all options on the table.”

But make no mistake: demanding that the Obama administration “keep all options on the table” is a thinly-veiled call to keep military action on the table. Whether this action takes the form of a ground invasion, bombing campaign, or nuclear first strike – all are included under the “all options” rubric – it will inevitably injure and kill untold innocent people, including children. Stripped of their bland euphemisms, this is what these aspiring politicos are casually discussing: mutilation and murder on a colossal scale.

The authors are right on one count: their war hysteria is fully bipartisan. We should act accordingly.

Matthew Kovac

Medill sophomore, Class of 2014

Editor-in-chief, The Protest magazine

Treasurer, Peace Project