The only relevance of Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress, and the melodrama surrounding it, is that it illustrates how the framework for debate is limited to the dichotomy of the hard-liners, on the one side, who think that Iran shouldn’t be allowed to use nuclear energy and that the country should be bombed if it doesn’t obey orders to give up its program, and the more dovish, on the other side, who think that Iran should be permitted to use nuclear energy, but must be made to surrender its “inalienable right” to enrich uranium for that purpose under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty; with the ultimate goal of both sides, of course, being to propagate the view that if Iran doesn’t agree to surrender its rights as the US is demanding, it will just prove that they are intent on acquiring nuclear weapons, and thus to engineer consent for government policy by framing right out of the discussion the seemingly relevant question of whether the collective punishment of the entire civilian population of Iran ought not be the policy of the government of the United States of America.

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