The fallout from Mike Huckabee’s comments on the Iranian nuclear deal, saying that Obama’s dealing with the Islamic Republic would march the people of Israel “to the door of the oven,” has been condemned all across the political spectrum, including the Israeli government itself.
When someone invokes the horror of the Holocaust to get their point across, there’s a good chance that they either have a fanatically conspiratorial belief in that point, or they’re just trying to get attention – or a poll bump.
In Huckabee’s case, it’s probably a bit of both. But in an op-ed he penned back in 2008 for the online journal Foreign Affairs, the then and now current GOP candidate for president seemed to argue in favor of what he now perceives to be Obama’s Nazi-esque foreign policy.
In the piece, Huckabee laid out his foreign policy ideas for a potential 2008-2012 presidency, expansively detailing how he’d deal with a tumultuous Middle East on the heels of George W. Bush’s administration.
“Many Iranians are well disposed toward us,” Huckabee wrote, acknowledging the strong pro-Western sentiment that many in the Islamic Republic hold.
“On 9/11, there was dancing in the streets in parts of the Muslim world but candlelit vigils and mourning in Tehran. When we invaded Afghanistan, Iran helped us, especially in our dealings with the Northern Alliance. Hoping for better bilateral relations, Tehran wanted to join us against al Qaeda. The CIA and the State Department supported this partnership, but some in the White House and the Pentagon did not. After President Bush included Iran in the ‘axis of evil,’ everything went downhill fast.”
Here Huckabee clearly laments the lost opportunity to utilize a partnership with Iran in the wake of 9/11. But this insight held a deeper advantage than Huck realized at the time – that cooperation with the Iranians in Iraq could have gotten ahead of the rise ISIS in the region.
He went on to acknowledge that Iran’s desire to play on the world stage is something the U.S. would be foolish not to “skillfully pursue.”
We cannot live with al Qaeda, but we might be able to live with a contained Iran. Iran will not acquire nuclear weapons on my watch. But before I look parents in the eye to explain why I put their son’s or daughter’s life at risk, I want to do everything possible to avoid conflict. We have substantive issues to discuss with Tehran. Recent direct negotiations about Iraq have not been productive because they have not explored the full range of issues. We have valuable incentives to offer Iran: trade and economic assistance, full diplomatic relations, and security guarantees.
For someone who seemingly wanted to keep our sons and daughters out of another conflict in the Middle East back in ’08, his current line of rhetoric, if employed, is one of the the quickest ways there.
Featured image: Mike Segar/Reuters