Iran

Lindsey Graham: Hillary Clinton, Every Republican But Rand Paul, Would Have Got a Better Deal With Iran

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MSNBC

With the announcement of an Iran deal in the news, hawks like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of more than a dozen people running for the Republican nomination for president, have fallen back on comfortable talking points. By and large, they didn't trust any deal the Obama Administration was going to strike—even though such a deal would require the approval not just of the U.S. but of France, the United Kingdom, and the European Union as well.

Today, Graham declared that he believed Hillary Clinton, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, and any of the Republican presidential candidates—except Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul—could have negotiated a better deal with Iran.

"Tell the P5+1 there is a better deal to be had," Graham told MSNBC's Morning Joe. "Hillary Clinton, if you think this is a good deal, then you're dangerously naïve. I think she could negotiate a better deal than this. I think everybody on our side could, except Sen. Rand Paul."

Graham, and other critics of an Iran deal, have never explained why they believed countries like the U.K, Germany, and France, all of whom face a greater threat from a militarized Iran than the U.S., would go along with President Obama simply to secure an end-of-term victory for his legacy.

Graham also acknowledged he was wrong in his assessment of the interim deal struck in April to get negotiators to this day. "I'd keep the interim deal in place because it has worked better than I thought,"  Graham said. "But if you close this deal out – if this becomes a binding deal, you've ensured a nuclear arms race and you've taken the largest state sponsor of terrorism on the planet and you've given them money to increase their terrorist activities."

Graham's position is informed by his politics, not his interpretation of reality. His line about anyone but Rand Paul doing a better job than President Obama is not new—he said the same in April, before the contours of a deal were known.

As Shikha Dalmia explained this morning, the deal struck with Iran is better than no deal—it delays Iran's nuclear abilities longer than any kind of military campaign short of a ground invasion could, and provides mechanisms to test Iran's adherence to the limits imposed on its nuclear program. Assuming the primary effect of the lifting of sanctions and the freer trade that comes with it is that Iran's government will have more cash is economically naïve.

 Sanctions against Iran were not holding anyway with countries that have traded with Iran before—lifting them closes that black market and opens Iran's consumers to Western companies. And freer trade is a far more effective way to promote stability, security, and prosperity within the Iranian population, than sanctions and the threat of military force, which generally work best to reinforce the position of the Iranian regime and its stranglehold on the Iranian people and economy.

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  1. I think everybody on our side could, except Sen. Rand Paul

    Feel the hate flow through you. Good. Goooood.

    1. hmmm… something else that sets him apart from the pack? The members of the pack don’t like him… why would that be?

      1. You know who else members of the pack didn’t like at first?

        1. Mowgli?

        2. I think Lindsey likes a lot of members.

        3. White Fang?

          1. Sorry, but I was looking for Edward Cullen. Edward Cullen is the correct answer.

  2. What a fucking douche.

  3. it delays Iran’s nuclear abilities longer than any kind of military campaign short of a ground invasion could

    Really? *Any* campaign?

    1. We’ll subject Iran… to an American-style political campaign! Two years of prepping followed by two years of fluffing, every four years. FOREVER. *cackles maniacally*

      1. Well, I was thinking more along the lines of an Israeli airstrike, but I suppose yours would do it.

      2. I’m pretty sure that’s against the Geneva Conventions.

  4. Then why did you take away the Senate’s ability to reject the deal you feckless moron?

  5. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

    1. Suffering leads to John…

    2. Stupidest line from the trilogy.

      “Fear” is often the only path to making rational decisions. And rationality hardly defines the dark side.

      I’m not saying fear should be a determining factor in all envisions, but fear can make people take a less perilous, and therefore more sensible, path. Only an immortal would view fear as a handicap in an absolute sense. Immortality or megalomania.

      1. Sorry, the dumbest line in SW is the retarded shot at Bush that resulted in a logical contradiction.
        “Only the Sith deal in absolutes”

  6. Somebody get the little lady some smelling salts already.

  7. Can we all go back to the good, old days when we just made fun of Lindsey Graham?

    1. Did we ever stop?

  8. As Shikha Dalmia explained this morning, the deal struck with Iran is better than no deal?it delays Iran’s nuclear abilities longer than any kind of military campaign short of a ground invasion could

    I haven’t read Shikha’s piece, I’m going to assume her commentary on Naval and Air Strategy and Tactics are as well informed and thought out as her commentary on Hillary’s political tacti… most everything.

  9. One great thing about Paul is how much other candidates feel the need to insult him.

  10. The real way to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is to import our style of government inside their borders. The idiots running our nation* are so fucking incompetent and the regulatory burdens so great that they’d never get a fucking thing done and they’d be tits up financially in a generation.

    *”running” as loosely defined.

    1. You misspelled “ruining.”

  11. Jesus, just suck Rand’s cock and get it over with, Lindsey.

  12. Okay, I wouldn’t trust anything the EU thinks is a good idea. They still think a monetary union without a fiscal/political union is a great idea.

    1. It’s a great idea. If you’re Greece or any other nation benefiting from the largess of the other nations.

  13. countries like the U.K, Germany, and France, all of whom face a greater threat from a militarized Iran than the U.S.,

    I don’t really get why they’d be more threatened by a militarized Iran. The US is the country that would have to do all the heavy lifting in the event of any confrontation with Iran, and Iran’s immediate neighbors like Saudi Arabia would be the countries most likely to face more posturing and provocation from an Iran with a nuclear “shield”, with US bases in those neighbors being a likely target for retaliation against US actions.

    I guess Europe is technically more readily within Iranian missile range, and is a somewhat easier target should Iranian nukes fall into (or be shared with) terrorist hands, but I’m skeptical of the idea that their threat assessment is somehow more acute than that of the US — that they wouldn’t be perfectly happy to ignore a problem for reasons of short term profit or political expediency that they’re secure the US would ultimately have to bale them out of anyway.

    They’re the international geopolitical version of “Too Big To Fail”.

    Note: All of the above is an argument for US disengagement from the role of “world’s policeman”, not for playing tougher in it.

    1. I don’t really get why they’d be more threatened by a militarized Iran.

      Because Iran actually has missiles that can reach Europe?

      1. And now they get to buy many more from Russia and China.

      2. Serious asking this question, which Umbriel alluded to, is Iran remotely likely to use them against those European nations? Compared to the likelihood they use them against Israel, in their proxy war in Yemen, or against US military bases over there.

  14. And, once again, the establishment Republicans prove they would rather have a Dem than an insurgent/Tea Party Republican win any race between the two.

  15. As Shikha Dalmia explained this morning, the deal struck with Iran is better than no deal?it delays Iran’s nuclear abilities

    Well, first off, I don’t see how it is going to delay Iran’s nuclear anything.

    Second, it sounds like Shikha has drunk the State Department Koolaid “A bad deal is better than no deal.” Which is so obviously wrong and stupid that only somebody who was very sheltered indeed would believe it.

  16. The American people are sick of war and the neo-cons can and will say that this is the end of Rand Paul but it really is no different than the NSA/Patriot Act take down. They ALL lined up against him then; they all said he was sunk then and he’s still at the top of the polls today and the only one beating Hillary in five swing (purple) states. I have no doubt that a lot of people are going to be wrong on this again. Whether it’s any one or all of the other candidates or anyone in the media, I’m pretty confident that Dr. Paul will carry the day on this. He knows where the American people stand and it’s not necessarily in synch with neo-conservative wing of the Republican Party. He has been skeptical of this deal but he isn’t so fast to beat the drums of war as are all of the other 15 candidates. I would say that his position is more in line with how the average American sees the deal. Never a moment’s doubt! Rand Paul for President 2016!

    1. Bonus points for correct usage of any one and anyone in an internet forum.

  17. Graham is a closed minded GOP establishmentarian who wouldn’t trust anyone who refused to kiss the Party’s a$$.

  18. Hmmm, must have more wars……

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