Peter Cavanaugh

Blessed are the peacemakers

There they were - right in his face - a half dozen Confederate flags hatefully hoisted by presidential protestors taunting Barack Obama’s recent arrival in Oklahoma City with scorn and ridicule.

However abhorrent, it’s shameful such open, mocking antagonism nonetheless represents a dramatic measure of honest expression notably absent in the more hidden depths of national political intrigue.

The Republican Party has been relentlessly dedicated to the downfall of President Obama ever since the night of his inauguration when key GOP leaders clandestinely met and agreed to oppose him at every opportunity.

Such obstinacy was again experienced in a shocking action some called treason in early March of this year, when 47 Republican senators sent a letter to Islamic leaders in Tehran saying that anything reached between Obama and Iran without the approval of Congress could be revoked by the next president.

This renegade move initiated by rookie Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and lamely followed with lemming-like loyalty by “patriotic” party parrots blatantly undermined the president’s authority and temporarily imperiled the talks until wiser, less sophomoric heads prevailed.

Now we witness new emotionally charged, partisan driven, mindless opposition freshly evidenced by unanimous Republican opposition to an agreement reached by the United States and a coalition of world powers that would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

That’s all the Republicans in Congress choosing probable war over possible peace - including our own Fourth District Representative Tom McClintock.

As the Confederate Battle Flag mocked our president in Oklahoma City on Wednesday - McClintock similarly belittled him that same day in the House of Representatives.

Tel Aviv Tom trilled: “I don’t know how adequately to express my alarm and outrage at the president’s agreement with Iran. It is a breathtakingly dangerous act. Some have compared it to Neville Chamberlain’s Munich Accord with Nazi Germany, but that doesn’t fully illustrate the danger.”

What nonsense.

Weren’t Iraq and Afghanistan enough, Mr. McClintock?

The proposed Iranian accord is not merely “the president’s agreement.” It is first and foremost an understanding painstakingly reached after two years of negotiations between Iran and the United States, France, China, Russia, The United Kingdom, and Germany.

That’s like obtaining complete unanimity on any given subject among all relatives in attendance at your next Thanksgiving Dinner - even the ones who’ve been drinking.

History teaches that friendship, or at least reasonable conviviality, eventually evolves more times than not between our country and former enemies - past foes such as France, China, Russia, The United Kingdom and Germany.

We should also bear in mind that “The State of Israel” is not Benjamin Netanyahu, a ruthless politician who barely maintained a tenuous hold as Prime Minister in recent elections, resorting to an outright lie the night before balloting started in pledging to abandon support of a Palestinian State, only to completely reverse his public position after retaining office.

This man can be a trusted friend?

President Obama said it best in an extended press conference held the day following announcement of the accord when he stated - “either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation or it’s resolved through force, through war. Those are the options.”

Force isn’t even a true option. That just doesn’t work anymore. We can bomb them, strafe them, knife them, shoot them, strangle them, drown them, poison them, torture them, kill them in any manner imaginatively contrived – and it won’t win us anything except reciprocal atrocities leading up to potential planetary annihilation.

“Blessed are the peacemakers – for they will be called children of God” - Matthew 5:9