Iran

It's Getting Stupid on Iran

From pretending only Republicans oppose a deal to pretending the U.S.' reputation is in jeopardy, the stupid on Iran is reaching new highs.

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State Dept.

U.S., Iranian, and other negotiators from around the world are going to spend the next two and a half or so months hammering out a deal over Iran's nuclear program. They spent the last several years hammering out the "outline" which the deal will follow but that doesn't mean it's a done deal—within days of the announcement of an agreement on the outline of a deal, Iranian and U.S. officials exchanged accusations that the other side was lying about what exactly had been agreed to in the outline. With six countries, including Iran and the U.S., involved in negotiations, and powerful forces in the U.S. and Iran against a deal that could eventually rob them of their favorite respective stalking horses, a deal is far from certain. It could fail for a litany of reasons.

Domestic opposition to a deal, in the U.S., in Iran, or in any of the other countries participating in the talks is unlikely to scutltle a deal on its own, but would be politically useful to blame by a government reeling from a failure. Domestic opposition, of course, is real. In the U.S. a significant amount of members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, oppose a deal. Liberals have tended to attribute domestic opposition solely to Republicans—Juan Cole laughably tried to connect billionaire donor Sheldon Adelson's political activity to the prevailing anti-Iran atmosphere among Republican presidential candidates. Cole, like others on the left, are obsessed with Citizen's United and corporations and other organizations of people spending money on political speech.

But the fact is an anti-Iranian mood has been around for longer than Adelson's had an interest in presidential politics, and despite the popular media perception, is not exclusive to Republicans. Attributing Republican opposition to monied interests or to a hatred of Obama is intellectually lazy at best. If opposition to an Iran deal were limited only to Republicans then, even though Republicans now control both houses of Congress, it wouldn't amount to much. When Fox News describes Obama and Congress on a "collision course" over Iran, that's possible because of Democrat opposition to an Iran deal.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, has submitted review legislation that would give Congress the power to approve or reject a deal through a joint resolution and require the president to transmit information about the deal when it's struck and regularly after that. The president's threatened to veto the bill but Corker could muster the 67 votes needed to override a veto. There are only 54 Republicans in the Senate, so overriding a veto would require Democratic support. And that Corker has—more than half the original cosponsors to Corker's legislation caucus with the Democrats. Corker's legislation is peculiar because it doesn't rest on the arguments made in the Republican open letter to Iran—that the Senate has the Constitutional authority to approve a deal with Iran—but rather creates mechanisms by which Congress could hold hearings on the deal and take a binding vote that could prevent sanctions from being lifted. If the Congress does nothing, the deal would hold.  Even when the president is exercising powers reserved to Congress—as when he made war in Libya—the Congress has been unwilling or unable to rebuke the actions.

The Associated Press, meanwhile, wonders if the Iran deal will "project weakness" on the part of the U.S., as if the last 20 years of U.S. foreign policy haven't "projected weakness" already.  If leaders in places like Iraq, Egypt, Israel, and Palestine "read the fine print of the agreement the U.S. and other world powers hope to reach with Iran by June 30 and conclude that they were duped or have flinched," reads the AP analysis, "these leaders will be less likely to give in to pressure in the future, rendering the Iran agreement a lonely foreign policy achievement clouded by the region's chaos." At best, the AP analysis has mixed up the timeline—the Iran nuclear deal won't make it less likely other countries will give in to U.S. pressure but rather is a product of a world in which countries are less likely to give in to U.S. pressure than they were before.

For 35 years Iran has resisted U.S. pressure, effectively insomuch as the Islamic Republic still exists and the same regime is still in charge, and some Iran "skeptics" push for the U.S. to continue along that path, of applying pressure that's not working to change anything. More than half a century of pressure in the form of sanctions didn't weaken the Communist regime in Cuba or even convince it to return property seized from Americans. U.S. pressure on Iraq throughout the 90s did little more than pave the way for a costly and bloody war from 2003-2011. The pressure of that war did nothing to stop, and in fact created the conditions for, groups like ISIS to take root and spread in the region. Fourteen years of pressure in Afghanistan has left the Taliban more powerful than at any point since the 2001 U.S. invasion. U.S. pressure hasn't contributed to much positively since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

 If—and it's a big if—the U.S., Iran, and the other countries participating in talks reach a deal over Iran's nuclear program, and if that deal holds, and if Iran abides by it, and then if the U.S. and other countries abide by it, that deal will be thanks in part to a multilateral kind of U.S. "pressure."  It's not clear the U.S. should be involved in the Iran talks at all—Corker's legislation cites Iran's threat to the "common defense and security" of the U.S. but that threat has never been defined in a clear and compelling way. The U.S. is involved in talks because the American government took it upon itself to take the lead in negotiations with Iran. It wasn't necessary. The U.S. is not obligated to be the world's policeman, not on matters of nuclear proliferation nor anything else. But the U.S. government has inserted itself into the debate about Iran's nuclear program and carved out for itself a lead role. If the U.S. were to sink the deal now, years after negotiations began, that would do far more damage to its reputation on the international scene than anything opponents of a deal say the deal could do.

NEXT: When Your Foes Are Cashing In on Your Outrage, Maybe Reconsider the Signaling

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  1. I want to start a brewery with an ex-Mormon theme. My first offering would be Pay Lay Ale. The tagline: Oh marvelous hops! Hear the words of my mouth!

    1. Well, there’s already magic hat here in Texas… but I’m probably the only one making a Mormon connection there.

    2. There is an Utah brewery with a Polygamy Porter.

    3. How about a black-as-night stout called “Legalized in 1978!”

    4. I always feel like I’m missing something when I read the comments at reason. They never seem to have anything to do with the article. Its like everyone here is drunk.

  2. In terms of Foreign Policy, what exactly would one use as a barometer to determine what is a “smart” action taken by President Not My Fault over the last term and a half?

  3. I agree, its stupid to say the US reputation is at risk.

    Because we already have a reputation for stabbing our putative allies in the back to appease Muslim nutters. This is just more of the same.

    1. Because we already have a reputation for stabbing our putative allies in the back to appease Muslim nutters.

      We had a whiff of this already with Eisenhower’s meddling in the 1956 Suez crisis. Nasser was a dictator with pan-Arab ambitions, not a Muslim nutter, but the stage was set for the future.

  4. “But the U.S. government has inserted itself into the debate about Iran’s nuclear program and carved out for itself a lead role.”

    And the Obama administration incredibly did it by excluding Israel – the one country that faces the brunt of any unintended consequences unleashed by such a ‘unilateral’ action on the part of the United States vis-a-vis Israel. Never mind about what Arab countries think about all this given, you know, Iran aren’t Arabs and have generally made Arab kleptocracies nervous.

    Moreover, wouldn’t it have been more prudent – nay wise- if first the West (and the U.S. in particular reestablish and normalize relations before jumping into a nuclear deal?

    1. Fuck Israel. Politicians should quit pandering to them. Cut off all the aid in the Middle East too.

      1. Then don’t get involved. Don’t take decisions that affect THEM without involving them in the process.

        So your ‘fuck Israel’ screed is about as intelligent as ‘politifact is apolitical’ comment from earlier today.

        As I mentioned then and will say here, you’ve managed to outderp your own retardation.

        1. Israel is a product of the United Nations. This Iranian pact is a product of the UN Security Council. That is the extent we are involved insofar as negotiation is concerned.

          The UN is not worth much but they are supposed to be in conflict avoidance.

          1. As if the Iranian pact has any meaning whatsoever without the US being the main player.

            Israel is not a product of the United Nations. It was brought into play by the US and Britain buying its land in a legal acquisition from Arab land holders.

          2. Israel is a product of the United Nations

            Then you clearly have no understanding of the history of Zionism and Jewish land purchases in Palestine for the 50 years preceding the formal declaration of Israel.

            1. Actually Israel is a by-product of modern day terrorism introduced to the modern world by the Jews when they bombed the King David Hotel!

              It’s just a matter of time before the Arab community destroys Israel. What goes around, come s around. You have to love the irony!

        2. Israel should be thanking YOUSAH every day for the United Nations.

          1. Is that your retarded way off trying to spell Yeshua?

            1. Is that your retarded way of spelling OF?

        3. Peak Derp – a new height has been reached. Mark this day and mark it well.

          1. He’s really outdoing himself today.

            Israel should be thanking the one entity most hostile to it.

            Palin is proof breastfeeding until 20 years old is not a good idea.

          2. There is no such thing as Peak Derp, unfortunately. It is boundless. There are limits to human intelligence, but not limits to human stupidity.

            Give PB a chance. He will outdo even this. And, probably shortly.

        4. Don’t take decisions that affect THEM without involving them in the process.

          My decision on where to eat lunch each day affects the profitablity of the area restaurants. This doesn’t obligate me to involve them in the process of choosing what to eat.

          1. And international nuclear proliferation is a perfect analogue for your lunch choices, so you really knocked this one out of the park.

  5. I predict that totally-not-joe Jackand Ass will make an appearance here.

    1. That would be foolish, even for him. It appears a decent number of Democrats aren’t thrilled with the, what, nonbinding letter of intent? What is this, anyway?

      Sorry, lost focus. It’s not clear Obama won’t face a good number of down votes from his own party. Don’t see the Senate ratifying any final treaty, unless the terms change remarkably.

      Not sure I see any reason to do this right now, as Iran is having major economic problems that look to continue. Why not just leave things as they are?

    2. JW|4.6.15 @ 12:26PM|#
      “I predict that totally-not-joe Jackand Ass will make an appearance here.”

      Commie-kid was here last week gushing over how Obo has again saved the world!

      1. Commie-kid

        Don’t let the stature fool you, he’s older than 8.

    3. You guys should have seen the pro-climate change crowd the other day.

    4. I hate being right all the time.

  6. It’s Getting Stupid on Iran

    I’m still trying to understand how the crack team of Obama and Kerry hasn’t thrust us into nuclear war yet.

    1. Plenty of time left, JW. Plenty of time left.

  7. I’m still not clear on what we gain from this deal.

    Anyone care to unpack that for me?

    1. Might make people forget about O-care…

    2. “We” gain a Shiite hegemon in the Mideast. Someone who matters that we can do “diplomacy” with.

      That’s the main thing: making sure we have ample partners for the indefinite future for pointless meetings, endless meaningless negotiations, the sorts of things that justify vast budgets for State.

    3. If I believed in the old realpolitik, normalization with Iran would allow us a better position against both the Pakistanis and the Saudis. Otiginally, Iraq would have been this counterweight, but we’ve already screwed that pooch.

  8. “Attributing Republican opposition to monied interests or to a hatred of Obama is intellectually lazy at best.”

    I’m still waiting for someone to answer even preliminary questions about the desirability of the deal.

    Presently, because Iran violated the NPT, it cannot enrich its own uranium.

    Under Obama’s deal, Iran will be allowed to enrich its own uranium.

    Why is Obama’s deal, which lets Iran enrich its own uranium, better for American security than the situation we’re in now–in which Iran is not permitted to enrich its own uranium?

    The only person who even bothered to TRY to answer that question was a regular commenter here (who shall remain unnamed), who claimed that letting Iran enrich its own uranium was better because once Iran gets the bomb, the U.S. will be less likely to invade Iran–which, in addition to being stupid and insane is also Rosenberg level treasonous.

    Suffice it to say, I will never support taking off the sanctions and letting Iran enrich its own uranium until someone explains to me why letting Iran enrich its own uranium is better for American security than refusing to take off the sanctions until Iran forgoes enriching its own uranium.

    Answer that question, or, yeah, anybody that supports this Iran deal is being “intellectually lazy, at best”.

    1. I don’t understand how you could be a libertarian and support sanctions against an entire country.

      1. One has nothing to do with the other.

        1. You need to use force against your own citizens and even non-citizens to prevent any trade–not just uranium to the mullahs–with anyone in Iran.

          1. Again, we have to do the same thing during wartime, too, right?

            Do you imagine that American arms manufacturers should be free to trade with our enemies in wartime?

            Would you feel better about sanctions against Iran if we had declared war on Iran and were bombing them, in addition to sanctions?

            There really are certain things that have to be tolerated for government to function properly. In criminal investigations, we have to be able to hold suspects for 24 hours for questioning–to determine whether they should be charged with a crime. Likewise, for a criminal justice system to function properly, we have to be able to compel witnesses to testify. We also have to be able to threaten witnesses with perjury–even if they haven’t been a party to the crime under prosecution in any way. I don’t see how we can have a functioning justice system without all of those things, at least.

            I’m not sure being able to impose sanctions against a foreign country isn’t like that, too. And if such sanctions aren’t permitted by way of a two-thirds of the Senate ratified treaty when a country that threatens the United States violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, then I can’t imagine what possibly could permit it.

            1. I’m open to the suggestion that perhaps private companies and individuals within the U.S. should be free to seek damages for revenue they lost as a result of sanctions, but apart from that, the suggestion that the federal government shouldn’t be allowed to impose sanctions, period, reads like suggesting that the police shouldn’t be allowed to hold suspects for questioning–until after the suspect has been convicted of a crime.

      2. Well, do understand how an alliance might go to war with an entire country?

        If you can understand how we might bomb an entire country within the context of an alliance, then the idea of sanctions really shouldn’t be shocking.

        If government has any legitimate purpose at all, it is to protect our rights. One of the legitimate purposes of our federal government is to protect our rights from foreign threats. Historically, one of the most effective means of defending people’s rights from foreign threats is through alliances and treaties. Our Constitution provides us with the means to engage in treaties for that reason, among others, and the sanctions that have been placed on Iran are within the context of the Non-Proliferation Treaty that both the United States and Iran signed.

        Within that treaty, there was a mechanism for what would happen if a signatory nation violated the treaty by enriching uranium in secret. Iran violated the treaty in 2003, and Iran has refused to come back into compliance ever since.

        If Iran doesn’t want the sanctions, all it has to do is open all of its enrichment facilities to inspectors and promise to never enrich its own uranium again. The West could supply them with all the non-weapons grade enriched uranium they need for energy.

        Incidentally, can you explain to me why letting Iran enrich its own uranium, under Obama’s plan, is better for American security than keeping Iran under sanctions until it forgoes enriching its own uranium?

        1. “Incidentally, can you explain to me why letting Iran enrich its own uranium, under Obama’s plan, is better for American security than keeping Iran under sanctions until it forgoes enriching its own uranium?”

          By not answering the question open–for so long–of why it would be better for American security if Iran were free to enrich its own uranium, it leaves it open to speculation. I see three likely candidates:

          1) It’s important for Obama to have a foreign policy legacy.

          That’s really Obama’s interests–and not the interests of American security–but I see how some…progressives might think that.

          2) They think for some reason this treaty is the alternative to war.

          I don’t know why they would think that, but some people seem to think that. It seems to me that if Iran were free to enrich its own uranium, it would make war more likely for a number of reasons–which I CAN go into.

          3) They don’t have an answer.

          I’m willing to consider other possibilities, but Jesus, but can somebody else identify them?

          why is it so hard for the people who support this “deal” to answer simple questions about why they think it’s in the interests of American security?

          And “Because the neo-cons in Congress hate Obama” probably isn’t a good one.

          1. They have no real reason. Unless…Obama is a Shiite. And, that could be true.

            1. Did you read that on wingnut.com?

              /Shriek

        2. Well, do understand how an alliance might go to war with an entire country?

          Then such alliances of getting involved in other people’s squabbles which don’t pose a direct threat to us shouldn’t be formed.

          If government has any legitimate purpose at all, it is to protect our rights.

          Have you ever dealt with export restrictions? As I said above:
          “You need to use force against your own citizens and even non-citizens to prevent any trade–not just uranium to the mullahs–with anyone in Iran.”

          So you are also violating the rights of individuals of your own country based on the utter collectivization of another country.

          Incidentally, can you explain to me why letting Iran enrich its own uranium,
          I really don’t care what Obama does and we shouldn’t be involved period. Why does it matter? Are they going to fire ICBMs all the way to the US? Why not ask that of Pakistan? What if someone asks that of the US? All the sanctions do is destroy the lives of regular folks who don’t actually support mullahs and make it harder for outside cultural influences to come through.

          1. “Then such alliances of getting involved in other people’s squabbles which don’t pose a direct threat to us shouldn’t be formed.”

            It’d be nice if nuclear proliferation weren’t a threat to American security. Sadly, it is, and we’ve had a thoroughly constitutional treaty to thwart it in place since 1968.

            “Are they going to fire ICBMs all the way to the US?”

            Iran has already launched satellites using multistage rockets. The Iranian Space Agency is quite advanced.

            The common estimate for when their long range missile program would develop ICBMs used to be 2015, although I understand that program has been frustrated for various reasons, too–Mossad assassinating the head of their long range ballistic missile program along with other important figures in the effort among them is cited below.

            Certainly, Iran has the expertise to develop ICBMs within the next five to ten years, and if we still care about the security of the United States five to ten years from now, then that should be a concern. Incidentally, there is no good reason to assume that the game of mutual assured destruction will end with Iran the same way it did with the USSR.

            “Why not ask that of Pakistan?”

            There are a number of reasons for that. For one, Pakistan never signed the NPT.

          2. “What if someone asks that of the US?”

            Our obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty are all spelled out in the treaty, and the treaty was ratified by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate–just as our Constitution requires.

            We have been legally and Constitutionally bound to abide by the treaty since it was signed in 1968.

  9. The stupid idea is that we can do anything to prevent Iran from building the bomb if it decides to do so.

    Sure, Israel and NATO can bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities that are above ground. That will set the Iranians back a few years. It will also kill a lot of civilians in Isfahan and other places.

    Which will only make the Iranians even more determined to build the bomb. Only they will put their facilities so deep underground that not even a nuke could destroy them.

    Then, when they do have the bomb, they will also be even more pissed off because of all the innocent people we killed.

    And, BTW, it will also doom anyone in Iran who wants to do away with the mullahs.

    1. “The stupid idea is that we can do anything to prevent Iran from building the bomb if it decides to do so.”

      It’s kinda crazy to talk about how we can’t do something that we’re actually doing, though, right?

      We’ve prevented Iran from building a bomb with both clandestine activities and through sanctions. The reason they’re at the negotiating table right now is because we’ve frustrated their development program. If they had been able to conduct a nuclear test, all the support for sanctions would have evaporated. It would have been game over–Iran wins.

      The fact is that they haven’t been able to develop a weapon, they haven’t been able to conduct a nuclear test, and one of the big reasons for that is the sanctions and pressure we’ve put on them. Taking that pressure off because it doesn’t work just seems kinda crazy since, you know, it worked, is working, and Iran believes it will continue to work to the extent that they’re willing to come to the negotiating table and make a deal.

      1. It’s kinda crazy to talk about how we can’t do something that we’re actually doing, though, right?”

        Funny thing is that they now have more centrifuges than they did before STUXNET.

        And STUXNET was a pretty stupid idea in itself in that it opened an new form of attack against any system anywhere that used similar controllers, most of which are in North America and Europe and are far more vulnerable than the Iranian nuclear plants.

        Actually detonating a nuke in a test would be stupid on the Iranian’s part, since it would lead to a doubling of sanctions, not lifting them.

        Maybe the sanctions did bring them to the table. But I would take that as meaning the Iranians care more about their people than building nukes, since the sanctions haven’t succeeded in stopping their nuclear program.

        1. “Actually detonating a nuke in a test would be stupid on the Iranian’s part, since it would lead to a doubling of sanctions, not lifting them.”

          I disagree,

          The idea that the rest of the world would continue with sanctions meant to stop Iran from conducting a nuclear test–after Iran conducted a nuclear test–seems pretty far fetched.

        2. Also, this program was probably effective:

          http://rt.com/news/iran-obama-…..tists-443/

          1. “At least five Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed since 2007, with men on motorcycles sticking magnetically attachable bombs to their victims’ cars. The head of the country’s ballistic missile program was also killed, while in October Mojtaba Ahmadi, who served as commander of the Cyber War Headquarters, was found shot dead. No Israeli national has ever been arrested in collusion with the targeted assassination program, which is reportedly intended to thwart advances in Iran’s nuclear program and dissuade Iran’s best and brightest from working in the sphere. “

            http://rt.com/news/iran-obama-…..tists-443/

            Obama can’t stop the NSA from sifting through our email and tracking our phone calls, but Obama wants Mossad to stop assassinating Iran’s nuclear weapons brain trust–’cause that’s not right?!

            Sometimes I think Israel cares more about American security than Obama does.

  10. Newest video from Josh Earnest.

    … git yer Dramamine ready …

    1. “Takes a licking and keeps on ticking!”

      Josh, that is.

  11. Sanctions DO NOT WORK. You know what works? Economics prosperity through trade. Cultural exchange through trade. Iran could be a great nation if we let them sort their shit out without getting involved.

    1. meh. There are plenty of countries that are beyond fucked up that we let “sort their own shit out”. So I don’t think that’s always the rule.

    2. “Sanctions DO NOT WORK. You know what works? Economics prosperity through trade.”

      The sanctions worked at least as far as they drove Iran to the negotiating table to make a deal.

      Personally, I think we should offer Iran a NAFTA style free trade deal–in exchange for forgoing enriching their own uranium ever again.

      If Iran isn’t willing to forgo enriching their own uranium to take the sanctions off (or to get a free trade deal with the U.S.), then a) that’s on them not us and b) what does that tell you about the “peaceful” intentions of the nuclear program?

      We could offer to give them all the non-weapons grade uranium they need for energy! If the intentions of their nuclear program are peaceful, then why don’t they ask for that?

      1. “The sanctions worked at least as far as they drove Iran to the negotiating table to make a deal.”

        Agreed, but what this tells me is, we ought have squeezed a little harder for a little longer and maybe then gotten a substantive deal out of them.

        Iran played Obama like Myron Floren played the accordion.

    3. I sincerely wish I believed you Spencer.

    4. I knew an absolute numbskull from Vancouver. He had flipped a few condos in a boom and made a few hundred gs. He went to NYC and saw bums sleeping on the streets, which within a few years was common in Vancouver, but back when this happened it wasn’t.

      He said he had no respect for these bums. I asked what it is they think they should do? He said, ‘they can flip real real estate. I did it. They can too.’ We were talking about sub par intelligence drug addicts. Yeah, they can flip real estate in New York City. That should work.

      Your comment seems similar to his.

      1. The regular people of Iran are already very receptive to western ideals. All the sanctions do is hurt them and NOT the mullahs.

        Your comment is like saying we need to keep those bums in their place to protect the non-bums. Same analogous effect of sanctions. It makes even less sense unless you’re a sadist.

        Almost all the arguments using preemptive force, coercion including against US’ own citizens to prevent free trade all revolve around fear-based utilitarianism.

        1. The regular people of Libya Yemen Egypt Syria Iran are already very receptive to western ideals.

          The ME is just a singularity of Western liberalism waiting to explode, if only we’d let it.

    5. If they didn’t work, they wouldn’t be negotiating.

      And I’m afraid that cultural exchange thing doesn’t work when Islam is involved. Or for that matter, now that Western culturing is so self-loathing.

      Did you see Iran when the Shah was in power? It was a fairly modern place, probably more modern than Arkansas was at the time. But the Shah let the religion nutsos get out of hand and they went back to the middle ages.

  12. Every discussion in the media that I have seen on this topic has suggested that there is skepticism from the left as well. The fact that they portray most of the skepticism is coming from the GOP is entirely accurate. Hopefully your not suggesting its close to 50/50. Juan Cole? Please.

    And nothing is confusing as to either side on their position, nor the reasons for their position. They disagree with each, but so what…not the first time.

    Here is what is confusing…your position. For the negotiations? For the agreed upon framework? For more discussions? Or just against it all? You keep trying to have it both ways. Its not that hard to be clear about it. Both the GOP and Dems are.

    1. Of course there is skepticism. John Kerry came out of every meeting with one story, the Iranians came out with the exact opposite one every time. When the agreement is done, we will be expected to trust the Iranian leadership to keep their word – despite being proven serial liars. I’m skeptical.

      1. That’s fine, most Republicans and a few Dems are skeptical as well. Its Ed who has never made it clear.

        By the way, you know who is not skeptical about it? Ron Paul and the Ron Paul Institute.
        http://www.ronpaulinstitute.or…..t-reached/

      2. By the way, I might add that the reason Ed and so many others here dance around the whole question and don’t make themselves as clear as Ron Paul has is simply because to do so would be to credit President Obama with forging a possible negotiated settlement with Iran. If all of what has occurred so far happened under President Rand Paul, they would be singing his praises in just the simple fact that he posed an alternative to US military involvement in the Mideast. There wouldn’t be any equivocation.

        1. That’s gotta be it. I mean, libertarian thought on mid east foreign policy is monolithic, and Ron Paul is the official arbiter of it, so what other conclusion can one reach?

          1. If you’re saying libertarian thought is incoherent, and Rand Paul is an archetype of that kind of thinking, I wouldn’t disagree.

            Is there a time when a plurality of Americans have wanted more involvement in Middle East conflicts? Obama came into office promising to change American foreign policy, and this will be the capstone to that wholesale change, while signaling the demise of the GOP’s last edge in national elections; they were strong on foreign policy.

            Its time to hang that albatross of Iraq and its bloody aftermath squarely around the GOP’s necks for decades to come.

            1. That actually wasn’t what I was saying, but seeing as how you can’t string a coherent sentence together, it’s not surprising reading isn’t your forte.

              1. Beg pardon, PM. I assumed sarcasm in your original post. Please, clarify your intent.

  13. US foreign policy is a blacksmith hammer. In the short run even iron bends under its might, but keep reheating a region, and hitting it with that hammer, and the iron turns to steel. That steel, in the right hands, will eventually cut us. We are fools, if we cannot understand this.

  14. Sanctions, and sabotage like STUXNET, have not brought down the Iranian Mullahs , but that is not the same thing as their having had no effect at all. They have made Iran poorer which means less money to spend on building its empire in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and now Yemen and less to spend on ICBMs and nukes.
    Why we should abandon a strategy which hurts Iran and costs us almost nothing for an agreement with a country which has repeatedly violated its existing nuclear agreements and killed thousands of Americans is a mystery , at least to me.

  15. If the sanctions have had the desired affect, you move to the next stage of negotiations.

    There is no increased cost to the US, or anyone else for that matter by moving forward from here.

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