Writers who aspire to master the art of purveying false equivalence would do well to study “Negotiating with evil” (op ed, November 29) on the subject of the nuclear deal with Iran. The article is a classic example of the genre. Differences between Iran today and Germany in the 1930s abound.
Germany was engaged then in openly violating the terms of the Versailles Treaty, expanding the army, building an air force, and re-militarizing the Rhineland. Notwithstanding these acts of defiance, no steps were taken by the Allies in response to them. No economic sanctions were imposed, no demands for on-site inspections were made. Furthermore, at the time of the Munich conference in September 1938, the democracies did not possess sufficient military power to enforce any intervention (nor the will to use it, if they had).
The viewpoint expressed in the op ed serves merely to encourage the kind of militancy now emanating from Jerusalem (of all places). How ironic that it is now Israel that is the rattler of sabers. It is playing a very dangerous game indeed, one that could very well drag us into yet another war, just as we have been winding down the two in which we have been engaged for so long and so fruitlessly.
It is also interesting that the op ed should invoke Winston Churchill in support of this argument, for the writer seems either to have forgotten (or conveniently to have ignored) something else Churchill said: “It is always better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.”