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Carroll County Times Opinion

Chris Roemer: Iran is a cancer that must be eliminated | COMMENTARY

It had been quite a while since I heard the name Salman Rushdie.

Those of you old enough to remember may recall it was Iran’s first supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who put a price on Rushdie’s head in response to his book, “The Satanic Verses,” published in 1988.

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More than 30 years later, authorities say a 24-year-old New Jersey man, Hadi Mater, tried to make good on the former Iranian leader’s fatwa ordering Rushdie’s death.

Matar is accused of rushing a stage in Western New York where, ironically, Rushdie was about to give a speech about how the United States is a safe haven for exiled writers. His attacker stabbed Rushdie in the torso and neck, continuing his attack even as others tried to restrain him. Rushide was taken to the hospital where he was placed on a ventilator. The stabbing reportedly caused significant liver damage, severed nerves in his arm, and is likely to cost Rushdie one of his eyes.

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If you have any doubt about what the current Iranian government thinks about this attack, you need only read Iran’s Kayhan newspaper. The paper’s editor-in-chief, who was personally appointed by Iran’s current supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, wrote, “A thousand bravos ... to the brave and dutiful person who attacked the apostate and evil Salman Rushdie in New York,” adding, “The hand of the man who tore the neck of God’s enemy must be kissed”.

A spokesman for Iran’s foreign minister was quoted as saying, “Regarding the attack on Salman Rushdie, we do not consider anyone other than [Rushdie] and his supporters worth of blame and even condemnation.”

Around the same time as the attack on Rushdie, a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard was charged with plotting to kill former national security adviser John Bolton. There are also reports former secretary of state Mike Pompeo is on Iran’s hit list.

You know what? Iran’s government sounds like it’s composed of reasonable people with whom we can work. At least President Biden seems to think so.

Of course, we’re not talking directly with Iran. We have an honest broker negotiating on our behalf — Russia. I’m sure we can trust Russia to look out for our best interest. Ask any Ukrainian. The Russians are 100% trustworthy.

When are we going to learn Iran is the real pariah state? If there is evil in the world, its center is in Tehran. Why we think we can reason with this evil is beyond me.

Surely, it’s not necessary for me to list the parade of atrocities for which Iran is responsible. Let’s just say the regime leaves death and destruction wherever its malevolent tentacles take it.

Yet Biden thinks he can work things out with Iran, allowing it to join the family of civilized nations by agreeing not to build a nuclear weapon. In exchange, we’ll lift our sanctions on the country and hand over a couple billion dollars … again.

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Gee whiz, I wonder what the ayatollah will do with all that money? Spread peace and love around the globe, most likely.

I cannot believe Biden is that stupid and naive.

I’m sorry, that’s not a nice thing to say, but thinking you can make a deal with these people that lasts long enough for the ink to dry is stupid and naive. Actually, it’s beyond belief.

Iran is evil. Think North Korea with the wherewithal and religious zealotry to use whatever weapons of destruction are at its disposal. At least North Korea does not have a death wish. Iran’s leaders think every time they kill or torture someone, they’re doing God’s work. Their ticket to heaven is a road paved in blood, and they’re only too happy to spill their own blood to get there.

History has taught us over and over; you don’t coddle evil. You eradicate it. Hitler was coddled by those believing if we just gave him what he wanted, he would behave himself. Fifty million dead people later, he was finally defeated. How many people would have died if Hitler had nuclear weapons at his disposal? How would WWII have ended if he had access to such weapons?

How many dead will it take before we realize the current Iranian regime is cut from the same bolt of cloth as Nazi Germany?

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It’s time we squeeze the Iranian regime out of existence. If we fail to defeat them through economic means, the day will come when we call on our military to do so. When that day arrives, God help us if Iran has already acquired nuclear weapons.

Iran’s leaders will never behave themselves. They will never stop killing people. They will never stop pursuing an atomic bomb, and once they have one, it’s just a matter of time before they use it.

Iran is a metastatic cancer that has been allowed to grow and fester for decades. Whatever the cost of confronting Iran now will seem meager compared to the cost Iran will exact if we wait until after they have developed a nuclear capability.

A world in which the ayatollahs have nuclear weapons is unthinkable, but make no mistake, deal or no deal, that day is coming unless we have the gumption to do something to prevent it now.

Believing otherwise is no more than callow naiveté.

Chris Roemer is a retired banker and educator who resides in Finksburg. He can be contacted at chrisroemer1960@gmail.com


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