POLITICS-For anyone familiar with the methods used by debating Jews like myself (and others), the concept of answering a question with another question is nothing new. We now hear those doggedly and zealously supporting the President's deal with the Iranians throwing out the question (again and again and again and...) of "So what other option would you propose?"
Well, I'm Jewish, so here goes a few questions regarding the "deal" the world just got when it negotiated a suspension of economic sanctions against Iran in return for Iran limiting its nuclear enrichment program, as well as a response to those endlessly (and mindlessly) throwing out that question ad nauseum:
1) Is the question "So what other option would you propose?" another way of saying "Shut up and take it!" for those who believe this is a very, very, VERY bad deal?
2) Is the question "So what other option would you propose?" another way of sidestepping the fact that economic sanctions, and the threat of military action (ranging to those as targeted as destroying the nuclear enrichment facilities) actually dragged Iran to the international negotiating community to begin with?
3) Is the question "So what other option would you propose?" another way to diminish and distract from the decades of acrimony that Iran's current government has had towards the U.S., including the post-agreement tweet from Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khameini (the true leader of Iran's power structure) that showed President Obama committing suicide?
4) Is the question "So what other option would you propose?" suggestive that the U.S. should forget the entire hostage crisis, for which Iran's government still celebrates, or perhaps suggestive that the U.S. "deserved" that hostage crisis?
5) Is the question "So what other option would you propose?" one that ignores the myriad of loopholes that neither President Obama nor Secretary of State Kerry can't explain away, no matter how much they play tough or shout down the opposition, or one that diverts attention from the fact that the two men actually have to play tough or shout down the opposition to begin with (for such a great and prima facie wonderful deal)?
6) Is the question "So what other option would you propose?" one that ignores the reality of a new U.S.-enabled Turkey-Iran power alliance that threatens our historic allies in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Kurds while those latter entities do the heaviest lifting of all to take on ISIS and Al-Qaida...and Iran's associates of Hamas and Hezbollah?
7) Is the question "So what other option would you propose?" suggestive that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the greatest threat to Middle East peace, and NOT those such as the Ayatollah Ali Khameini?
8) Is the question "So what other option would you propose?" suggestive that Republicans and moderate Democrats are the problem, and that the Iranian government isn't the problem?
9) Is the question "So what other option would you propose?" diverting attention away from those decrying the change from the previous American foreign policy of leaning hard on Iran (just as we did for the old Soviet Union, and Cuba) to expand human rights, treat opposing parties with civility and not imprison/kill them, and to free American hostages languishing in Iran now?
10) Finally, is the question "So what other option would you propose?" one that threatens to create a historic and large-scale political sea change among moderates and independents who are both socially liberal yet economically and politically conservative, including those advocating tough foreign policy to avoid war and defend our allies and principles?
(Ken Alpern is a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He is co-chair of the CD11Transportation Advisory Committee and chairs the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at Alpern@MarVista.org He also does regular commentary on the Mark Isler Radio Show on AM 870, and co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Alpern.)
Vol 13 Issue 61
Pub: Jul 27, 2015