Multiple lobbying groups in the US are expected to spend $100 million to force Congress to vote down the nuclear deal with Iran. Polls show that most Americans — even most American Jews — are in favor of the deal. Will Congress cave?
Ron Paul: Hello everybody, and thank you for tuning in to The Liberty Report. Daniel McAdams is with me today. Daniel, it’s good to see you today.
Daniel McAdams: Good morning, sir.
Ron Paul: One of the big items in the news right now, of course, continues to be the effort to have better relationships with Iran. It turns out that the people who despise the notion that we should even talk to the Iranians are willing to spend $100 million dollars. I wonder what’s going on here, why is there this interest. Are they saints and are doing this for the cause of peace? But $100 million dollars to lobby the American people to support this and to twist the arms of Congress to try to dampen this effort, which the President has been pursuing.
Daniel McAdams: When Congress gets back in September, they’re expected to vote on the Vienna Deal, and this money is being spent to influence Congress. Also, as you pointed out, this money is being spent towards propaganda. Americans are against it, because the big problem that the deep pockets have on this is that the majority of Americans are in favor of this deal. And as we discussed before the show, there was a recent survey that showed that majority of the American Jews are in favor of this deal. So they’ve got a task ahead of them, but they’ve got a lot of money.
Ron Paul: That’s right, and they’re pretty good at it, even though most of the time the American people wanted a poll about starting a new war and they’re always against the war, but after the war propaganda came out, they changed their minds. The cards were stacked in the wrong direction because there is a lot of money and they’ll have some time here and they’ll be under the gun.
But the Los Angeles Jewish Journal did a national poll, and I was really surprised, and I think a lot of people would be, because the assumptions were made that AIPAC speaks for the Jewish people. But it turns out that 49% support the effort, and 31% are opposed to it, so it’s a pretty good majority of people who are in support of this effort in the Jewish community. And that is also true of all Americans; they would like to see this effort made. It remains to be seen if the lobbyist are going to win out on this.
Daniel McAdams: It’s interesting. As you said, AIPAC purports to speak for these people, but that’s not the case. Before the show, you were say that in your profession you had another situation like that.
Ron Paul: I think this is not unusual, and certain professional organizations get co-opted by certain groups, and then all of a sudden they speak for the group. But a very small percentage of doctors belong to the AMA, I bet it’s less than 20%, and it’s probably 15%. And yet, the AMA is always speaking for the doctors, but they speak for organized medicine and for the insurance companies and this sort of thing. And this is happening, some young groups are saying wait, they get the organizers to speak for. The big question is, does AIPAC really speak for the Jewish people in this country, and do they speak for the people in Israel? [inaudible] said that there’s a discrepancy between what is perceived by the Jews in Israel. There’s a larger number that want to support this effort than who want to deny it, but we don’t hear anything about that.
Daniel McAdams: The people who support the deal say that it will ensure that Israel is the only country in the region that has a bomb, so you can actually be a hawk and say that this is a good deal.
Ron Paul: Well, year should, but that’s the way it’s existed. They should be satisfied with their strength, but they’re always worrying about a bomb that doesn’t exist. And how many times have we been warned 15, 20 years ago that they’re on the verge of this even though our security agencies have never said that. Others have just tried to provoke things that way. But there were also some significant former U.S. diplomats that have been around for a while, and they came out and wrote a letter to support this effort. These are individuals who worked in the regions, had been ambassadors over there, and they think it’s worthwhile.
Daniel McAdams: Someone like Thomas Pickering, he’s been an ambassador over numerous presidents, he’s had a very long and distinguished career as a diplomat. I think we’re seeing a divide line between people who did diplomacy for a living and understand how these things work, and the people who are just trying to light fires.
Ron Paul: The saying is, “Follow the money, where is the money coming from and where is it going”. There is money involved, so is it just this issue of those bad Iranians maybe getting a nuclear weapon someday, or there be some finances involved. I happen to think that there is always finances involved, it’s always economics. The anti-war people were saying it is all about oil when we were ready to go into Iraq.
It wasn’t all about oil, but oil was significant. Right now, some people have postulated that the Iranians are on the verge of some big explosion if they get a little bit of Selenium, because they are a very wealthy country, they have a lot of oil and they have natural resources and the geography is good, it’s not like Afghanistan or some of these other places. There is a spending of a lot of money, but the other thing that people should think about is, let’s say the neo-cons are successful and they stop this, that isn’t the agreement.
The agreement wasn’t between us and Iran, it was an accord with six countries. Do you think there is a probably that those five other countries are going to immediately withdraw and say, “Okay America, we’re going to bow down”. Or might they take the advantage of the economics that are coming about, and could we then be pushed into a corner and lose some credibility, which I think is very risky because it may make our dollar even more vulnerable.
Daniel McAdams: I think that’s a great point, and people must know that this is not a U.S. – Iran agreement, there are 6 major powers who have signed on to it. The U.S. has spent a lot of years conjoling them and prodding them into putting on the sanctions, but as you point out, when there are so many shovel-ready projects, so many business deals that are just waiting to go if the other countries that signed and approved this start reaping the benefits of trade with Iran, and the U.S. is left in the back holding a flag and yelling, “Hold on, we got to put the sanctions back on”. The neo-cons like to talk about American global leadership, but if that happens, its America by itself.
Ron Paul: Of course, I think the foundation of our system is rather rocky. But one argument that they are using and that they throw out there … I think your so called friend Bill Kristol threw this number out and said, “Oh, you can’t do this, this will allow the Iranians to have 150 billion dollars”. Well, is it going to come from the American tax payers? No. Nobody knows the precise number of this money because a lot of people have confiscated this wealth from the Iranians, and for many reasons, unjustly. So, they’re dealing with 150 million dollars, and they say we’re not going to get there. But these are stolen goods, these are the monies we took from them, and we’re given them back these assets and they’re using this as a tool. Well, you can’t allow them to have what was once theirs…
Daniel McAdams: It was very disingenuous of Kristol when he wrote his piece last week which I think was against the deal. Because the implication in his article certainly was that we’re going to send them a check for $150 billion in aid, and he said, “We’re giving it to a regime with American blood on its hands”. By saying that what he meant was that every bullet or every piece of equipment that has been manufactured in Iran or Afghanistan or anywhere else, was directly Iran’s responsibility if it killed an American, which is a pretty dangerous thing to think about when you think about the U.S. selling weapons around the world.
Sometimes I question the leadership there, they seem to be moving along and it seems to dampen the enthusiasm when you hear the Ayatollah come out with a statement, and one of their leaders comes out and just sounds antagonistic and then of course the Neo-cons jump on this. But putting it in perspective, I think one could understand it because wouldn’t it be true if we were living in Iran and doing this and listening to the taunts and the yelling and screaming by our Congress and what they should do and the neo-cons. I mean, they’re not exactly offering an olive branch.
And then you have an Ayatollah in leadership there who probably has to say things pacify the different factions, just like every country as the different factions. But anyway, it doesn’t help things, but I think it’s better we understand that they’re listening to every bit as strong a rhetoric as we’re listening to here.
Daniel McAdams: Can you imagine, you’re an Iranian family sitting down for dinner and you turn on the news and here’s Senator Cotton or Senator Huckabee going on about how we’re going to crush Iran, of course that’s going to make you irritated.
Ron Paul: And they’re not going to know whether they have a lot of power or not … and this would really be extenuated once this vote comes out, and there are going to be a lot of split feeling son this too, because the majority of vote will be to stop it, but they won’t have enough to override a veto by the president. I think, as we just said, this is risky business. Let’s say the Hawks win, but they’ll lose in the long run, and there’s a lot of reason why we should maybe be thinking about some of the advice of our founders and try to stay out of some of this mess.
Daniel McAdams: The one thing that struck me, and you said this a lot, is it’s the other side that are the isolationist. In this sense, it certainly is the neo-cons who are the isolationist, because they want to pull America out of the deal, but the rest of the world is ready to go for it.
Ron Paul: Yes, they’re putting on sanctions and boycotts and everything else, and yet they call us, who are free traders, the isolationist. But they get away with it, I’ve heard that term thrown at me so often, that’s why I like people to think about non-intervention, because the last thing we want to be is isolationist. We’re supposed to be talking to people, and that’s of course the reason that we’ve talked favorably about the excitement going on with Cuba.
Now that we hear good reports, this looks good. One thing that I saw in this process, which isn’t shown very often, is young Iranians, and they weren’t religious garb or anything like that, they looked like American college kids. They had western clothes on and everything else, and they were excited about this. Of Course, the neo-cons turned this around and said, “Oh yes, they’re going to get 150 billion dollars back and they’re going to make a bomb”. Those kids aren’t even thinking about a bomb, they’re just thinking about freedom, they have internet access, they know what’s going on and they want a better life. There were a few pictures o that that I thought were fantastic.
Daniel McAdams: Yes, I saw them as well.
Ron Paul: Anyway, I want to thank everybody for tuning in today to The Liberty Report, and I’m sure this subject about the Iranian peace effort is going to be around for a while. Although there will be a vote in Congress soon, it looks like right now the majority will oppose these negotiations, but the President will be able to veto it. But, once again, I argue for the case that we at least ought to talk to people. If we talked to the Soviets when they had 30,000 missiles, both Reagan as well as Kennedy talked to the Soviets, and it was all for the good.
But now, we’re talking about a country that is not on the verge of invading another country, nor do they have the facilities to do it. I really believe that building a nuclear bombs is not high on their agenda, and they also do not practice suicide, and this would be suicidal for them. If they tried anything like that, all of the countries around them would be wiped off the map, and they know that, and I think most of these neo-con warmongers know that too, and they have other things in mind.
But right now, we ought to just slow down, and when there’s an opportunity to talk and maybe move towards more peaceful relationships and trade relationships, that’s what we ought to do. Nixon did it with China, and he had to do it in secret because the demagogues would demagogue back and say it was terrible. Yet, in spite of the continued shortcomings on our side and their side, we’re doing much better, at least we’re not shooting and killing each other.
So I am always going to vote for trade and friendly relationships with any country that’s willing to participate. This will be around, stay tuned and come back to The Liberty Report, soon, thanks for tuning in today.
This video was published by the Ron Paul Institute.