Mike Huckabee’s Offensive, Idiotic Holocaust Rhetoric On Iran
In bringing Holocaust imagery into the debate over the Iran nuclear deal, Mike Huckabee has displayed the intellectual bankruptcy of his position.
Former Arkansas Governor, and current Presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee has come up with what may be the most absurd, outrageous argument about the Iran nuclear deal that we’ve seen in the two weeks since it became public:
Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called the Iran deal “idiotic,” and likened it to events of the Holocaust, saying that President Barack Obama will ultimately “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”
The Republican and former governor of Arkansas, who has been vocal about his disdain for a deal with Iran and has a history of citing the mass genocide of Jewsby the Nazis in his debates, made the comments in an interview on Saturday.
Huckabee told Breitbart News on Saturday that the Obama administration’s actions on the Iran deal are “naive.”
“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians,” he said.
By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal. It should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by the American people,” he added.
Huckabee shot back at Obama’s criticism Monday morning, saying he’s not backing down from his comments.
“What’s ridiculous and sad is that President Obama does not take the Iran threats seriously. For decades, Iranian leaders have pledged to ‘destroy,’ ‘annihilate,’ and ‘wipe Israel off the map’ with a ‘big Holocaust,'” he said. “‘Never again’ will be the policy of my administration and I will stand with our ally Israel to prevent the terrorists in Tehran from achieving their own stated goal of another Holocaust.”
And just in case anyone thought that his remarks were some off-the-cuff thing that the campaign would quickly take back, Huckabee doubled down on the comments this morning after criticism from President Obama and has even turned it into an Internet meme:
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) July 26, 2015
Huckabee’s remakrs have also been criticized by many leading Jewish organizations:
Jewish groups across the country reacted to Huckabee’s comments Sunday.
“Whatever one’s views of the nuclear agreement with Iran — and we have been critical of it, noting that there are serious unanswered questions that need to be addressed — comments such as those by Mike Huckabee suggesting the president is leading Israel to another Holocaust are completely out of line and unacceptable,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, in a statement.
“To hear Mr. Huckabee invoke the Holocaust when America is Israel’s greatest ally and when Israel is a strong nation capable of defending itself is disheartening,” Greenblatt added.
The National Jewish Democratic Council called on others in the Party to denounce Huckabee’s remarks, saying they “may be the most inexcusable we’ve encountered in recent memory.”
“To state that President Obama is leading Israelis ‘to the door of the oven’ is not only disgustingly offensive to the president and the White House, but shows utter, callous disregard for the millions of lives lost in the Shoah and to the pain still felt by their descendants today,” the organization stated.
Among Huckabee’s supporters and fellow Republicans, of course, these remarks are unlikely to cause much controversy and will not lead to same sorts of outrage that we’ve seen in response to the many remarks of Donald Trump. Even before the deal that was negotiated in Vienna was announced, Republicans in the United States, as well as many Israeli Government officials, were using similarly apocalyptic rhetoric to describe the alleged consequences of a deal with Iran regarding its nuclear weapons program. To the people of this mindset, it has long been apparent that anything other than the abject surrender of the Islamic Republic itself, or at the very least, its completely abandonment of any nuclear research or nuclear energy program, would simply be unacceptable. The fact that neither of these outcomes were realistically possible in the context of a diplomatic negotiation is largely irrelevant to these people because they are essentially rejecting the entire premise of diplomacy to begin with. In their worldview, the Islamic Republic of Iran is a murderous suicidal regime that will seek to attack Israel the moment it develops a nuclear weapon notwithstanding the fact that Israel would be able to retaliate on its own with a force that would essentially leave all of Iran’s major cities as nothing by smoking ruins. That, of course, is the same view that many hardcore conservatives had of the Soviet Union during Cold War and way so many of them even attacked Ronald Reagan when he began negotiating arms reduction treaties with Mikhail Gorbachev.
While facts like these are important, the tone and substance of what Huckabee said here is something that should be widely condemned. As Daniel Larison notes, Huckabee is essentially implicating the Administration in some hypothetical future genocide and at least obliquely suggesting that they are doing so intentionally. This is offensive both to the people that Huckabee is talking about and to the memories of the millions who died in or survived the Holocaust. Just as Donald Trump’s accusation that every person coming across the border is a rapist or a criminal, that is the kind of rhetoric that should be roundly condemned. As I said, though, it is unlikely that any of Huckabee’s fellow Republicans, or any of the people who agree with him regarding the nuclear deal, are going to disagree with him. In the end, he is simply expressing in the most extreme, offensive way possible the very position that they hold on the nuclear deal themselves. The fact that he feels it necessary to engage in such cheap rhetoric to help his position is, I think, an unconscious recognition of the fact that there is very little substance to the arguments of people like him when it comes to explaining why the deal should be rejected.