(July 22, 2019 / JNS) History is made, not by mere circumstance, but by people. And history is not made by perfect people, but by having the right person in the right place at just the right time.
What would have happened if George Washington didn’t have the foresight to see that our nascent Republic needed to elect a new president more than he needed a third term? If Alexander Hamilton, who supported the idea of an elective monarch, was in charge at that point in history what would Mount Rushmore look like today, much less the state of our nation?
Would the emancipation proclamation have been issued if it was Andrew Jackson in the White House during the American Civil War instead of Abraham Lincoln? The latter wrote, “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.” The former owned 150 slaves and was the architect of the “Trail of Tears.”
Concerning Iran, our nation stands at a moment in history that has the potential to change the shape of the Middle East and the world as we know it. And if this moment requires the work of one person to change history for the better, then at minimum, that person should espouse the same views of the people and the nation they aim to defend.
The disastrous 2015 Iran nuclear deal was nothing more than an illusory accord that relieved sanctions while maintaining Tehran’s ability to continue its nuclear progress. To renegotiate a deal that never should have been would be rewarding the increasingly bad behavior of the world’s greatest terrorist threat.
So what is the antidote to Iran’s poisonous ideology of radical Islamic hegemony? While U.S. President Donald Trump’s reinstatement of crippling economic sanctions has fared well, as evidenced by Iran’s increasingly tyrannical behavior, now it seems isolationism and appeasement are the order of the day.
Today, Iran is not just crossing its fingers behind its back at the photo call with John Kerry; no, last week, Iran seized two British tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. This came after the downing of a U.S. Navy drone and a belligerent promise to enrich as much uranium as they wish. The Iranians have upped the ante, and so should America. America should meet Iran’s insolence with strength; instead, they send Rand Paul.
One need not delve too deeply into Sen. Paul’s record to see that despite what he may say, his actions don’t always line up as someone who claims to be a “friend” to Israel. In the past, Paul has singlehandedly and repeatedly opposed harsher sanctions on Iran, in addition to opposing U.S. military assistance to Israel. And just in case you thought the Kentucky budget hawk only reserved these legislative holds for fiscal concerns, he was also the lone-wolf Republican to stop meaningful bipartisan federal anti-BDS legislation.
History has shown us that there is no reasoning with the unreasonable. And Neville Chamberlain’s declaring “peace in our time” after signing the Munich Agreement with Hitler in 1938 showed the United Kingdom—and the world at large—where appeasement leads. Less than one year later, World War II began; five years later, more than 60 million people were dead.
A peace pact with Nazi Germany; have you ever read anything more oxymoronic? Probably not; well, at least not until you read that Rand Paul is the emissary to Israel’s fiercest adversary. How can we maintain that we are Israel’s greatest friend and ally, yet send their “frenemy” to negotiate on our collective behalf?
I am thankful, as is the rest of Western civilization, that Winston Churchill occupied 10 Downing Street in 1940. Today, it is the Union Jack—and not the swastika—that flies over Buckingham Palace, and it was not because Churchill was perfect. But Churchill was the right man for the right job at the right time.
To date, concerning the U.S. relationship with Israel, President Trump has shown us that he, too, is the right man for the job. He pulled out of the Iran deal, acknowledged that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel, moved our embassy to Jerusalem, rightly recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and pulled funding for UNRWA—and that is just the highlight reel.
As for the senator from Kentucky, if you are looking for a balanced budget amendment, Rand is your guy. If advocating for civil liberties and privacy reforms are your thing, then look no further than Sen. Paul. No, Rand Paul is not the boogeyman, but he is simply the wrong man for this job.
President Trump and his administration have worked too hard for too long repairing and reinforcing our relationships with Israel and our Arab partners, once again confronting our shared enemies from a position of strength. Trump should solidify his track record by bringing Iran to its knees, through maximum pressure, crippling sanctions and the silent treatment. Instead, we are sending over a U.S. senator who, on the subject matter of sanctions, sounds more like Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s silver-tongued foreign minister, than a man willing to stand up to the evil regime in Tehran.
The circumstances of the past that have required the right person for the right job at the right time are before us once again. In the 1940s, the Nazis perfected the industrialization of genocide. Today, Iran has perfected the industrialization of terror. Hitler considered the destruction of the Jews to be his most important job; Iran’s leaders believe that Israel’s annihilation is their “ultimate slogan.” If these historical similarities are a harbinger of things to come, then we need a Churchill, not a Chamberlain.
And while sending Chamberlain to do Churchill’s job will at best buy time, in the end—and in the words of Winston himself—doing so will only lead to “total and unmitigated defeat.”
Sandra Parker is the chairwoman of the CUFI Action Fund, the political arm of the 7 million member organization, Christians United for Israel.