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Marco Rubio Compares Iran Nuclear Deal to Appeasing Hitler, Which Is Insane

Marco Rubio Compares Iran Nuclear Deal to Appeasing Hitler, Which Is Insane
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

This weekend, Marco Rubio fell victim to Godwin's Law, the adage that, given enough time, every internet discussion will eventually devolve into an inappropriate comparison to the Nazis. Sadly, Rubio is actually a U.S. senator, so his insane comparison of the Iran nuclear deal to a Hitler-appeasing mistake is a bit more troubling than a Twitter user calling his enemy Goebbels. 

After Trump announced his plans to tear up the Iran deal, Rubio claimed on Twitter that the agreement was somehow similar to the Munich Agreement, the infamous 1938 pact that allowed Hitler's Germany to annex portions of Czechoslovakia. By Rubio's telling, Barack Obama is apparently a modern version of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.

"As currently structured, deal is 21st century equivalent of Munich Agreement," Rubio wrote Saturday morning in response to Trump's claim the Iranians aren't upholding their end of the deal — even though the United Nations has repeatedly said things have proceeded just fine.
But the Iran-Munich comparison has long been a canard pushed by people hellbent on bombing Iran into dust. Pretty much every time the comparison is used, historians scream in agony and are forced to write op-eds about the inaccuracy of the idea. The concept seems to have originated with the bloodthirsty goblin William Kristol, the Weekly Standard columnist and political adviser who pushed the United States into invading Iraq. It's worth noting that ghouls such as Kristol have spent decades comparing everything they dislike to Munich — if for a second you think going to war might be a bad idea, you become Neville Chamberlain.

Yet it's worth noting that the Iran deal–Munich Agreement comparison was too spicy for far-right Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stand by. In 2016, the Israeli Defense Ministry issued a statement effectively calling Obama a Hitler-appeaser, and Netanyahu, debatably the farthest-right U.S. ally who isn't a member of the Saudi regime, wouldn't put his name next to the comment.

Rubio's comparison is almost too insane to bother refuting, but here we go: The Munich Agreement allowed Hitler to take over portions of the Sudetenland in neighboring Czechoslovakia. In contrast, the Iranians voluntarily agreed to slow development of their nuclear program, destroy most of their uranium stockpiles, and submit to some fairly stringent monitoring protocols. In the years since the deal was signed (by the United States, Britain, Germany, France, China, and Russia), Iran by all accounts appears to be following the agreement to the letter. Even the Trump administration has admitted as much.

But Rubio, who loves both Israel and regime change, seems willing to side with some of the most reactionary military forces in the Middle East. To compare the Iran deal to the Munich Agreement is nothing but fear-mongering designed to kill the deal and march the States closer to bombing the Iranians.

Even other conservatives are already yelling at Rubio. The American Conservative, a media outlet that otherwise spends its days arguing that people who dislike Christopher Columbus are "anti-white," wrote about the irresponsibility of Rubio's comments:
It takes a truly oblivious person to accuse someone of hyperbole while comparing a non-proliferation agreement to the appeasement of Hitler, but then this is Rubio we’re talking about here. Rubio has to be so thoroughly ignorant of what “Munich” means that he can’t be taken seriously, or he is such a fanatical ideologue that his analysis can’t be trusted. Suffice it to say, an agreement that requires Iran to make significant concessions for decades on pain of punitive sanctions does not amount to anyone appeasing them. One will look in vain for the territories that Iran is allowed to absorb as a result of the deal. Iran has accepted restrictions on itself that it didn’t have to accept so that it could be freed of international sanctions. If anything, Iran is the party that has appeased the others that negotiated the agreement.
This year has brought the emergence of Marco Rubio the Humanitarian, a personality reboot wherein the senator has tried to shed his Little Marco persona and stand up for human rights. He took a hard line against Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro and received a bunch of fawning press in response. To his credit, he's been extremely vocal about pushing to help Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

But you don't get to claim you stand for peace and liberty while trying to bomb the Middle East until it melts into glass. Rubio has claimed he simply wants the United States to negotiate a "better" Iran deal than the one the Obama administration pulled together — he wants even more stringent nuclear monitoring and agreements that Iran will stop "sponsoring terror" elsewhere in the Middle East. Rubio announced Friday that he's cool with scrapping the deal outright.

But many foreign-policy analysts suggest that Rubio's demands are a pipe dream and that decertifying the Iran deal will basically lead to the agreement's collapse — and then possibly war in the region. For Rubio, this might not be a bad thing: He's never met a war he didn't like, and he told the public years ago to "prepare for" war or a military strike in Iran. (Intentionally tanking the deal would also have the added effect of showing other countries antagonistic toward the States — i.e., North Korea — that it's useless to even bother negotiating with the Americans to avoid war.)

Though Rubio's comments about the Iran deal are pure exaggeration, it's not hyperbole to say Marco Rubio is a danger to world peace while he sits on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.