Iran

Obama's Nuclear Deal with Iran is the Worst Option, Except for all the Others

Hawks have nothing better to propose except more huffing and puffing

|

Security hawks will no doubt pan the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran that'll be signed in Vienna today. They'll say that it won't prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon — and they'll be right. They'll say that

Nuclear Tweets
Zoolcar9 / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

it'll help Iran build its conventional weapons program – and they'll be right. They'll say that Iran will never fully honor its word — even as the West lifts sanctions against it, and they'll probably be right about that too.

But here's the bottom line: This option is better than anything they've put on the table.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already denounced the deal as a "historic mistake" — and there will be many, many in America who will agree. The Iranians are tough negotiators and there is no doubt that John Kerry and his team were, by contrast, innocents abroad, as I wrote here.

But, here's what the hawks need to grok: America might be the lone superpower right now, but it does not have God-like powers to command the world to its will. Hence, if preventing — or slowing — Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon is a worthy goal, then a less-than-perfect deal is better than no deal — because the alternatives are worse.

All the details of the deal, which still needs to be approved by Congress before America could lift its end of the existing sanctions, are not yet clear. But the ones that are likely to become bones of contention for hawks, as per an account in the Wall Street Journal, are as follows:

  • Iran will be required to give up only two-thirds of its centrifuges, not all of them. It will be allowed to keep the first generation centrifuges that supposedly can't be used to as quickly enrich weapons-grade material as the state-of-art ones*
  • Its Arak nuclear facility won't be dismantled, just be used to produce less plutonium (and, presumably, it'll have to open its secret Fordo facility to inspections to ensure that it is being used only for peaceful purposes)
  • After 10 years of restraint on its nuclear activities mandated by the agreement, Iran will have a free hand to ratchet up its nuclear program
  • The ban on conventional arms sales to or from Iran will end after five years—or earlier if the U.N. nuclear agency, the IAEA, gives its final, full all-clear that Iran's nuclear program is purely peaceful. Likewise, a ban on trading ballistic missiles and parts with Iran will expire after eight years, earlier if the IAEA gives it an all-clear.

All of this, combined with $100 billion-plus worth of sanctions relief, critics fear, will allow Iran to recover its economic footing and become an even more belligerent power in the region. It'll get the material means to fund even more proxy fights through its minions such as Hezbollah but without having to permanently abandon its nuclear ambitions — just postpone them a little bit.

All of this might be absolutely what Iran's mullahs intend but what's the alternative?

The reality is that the sanctions regime is already dead. For about three years, this regime managed to impose an international boycott on Iran's oil exports and limit Iran's access to refined oil while barring international banks from doing business with it.

But such sanctions are always shortlived because they are not costless for the imposing parties. Hence, unless their economic downside has a huge political upside for these parties, they fall apart. In this case, Western powers, for whom the political upside was arguably greater than the econonmic downside, had to do some major arm-twisting of China and Russia, Iran's major trading partners, for whom the situation was arguably the exact reverse, to get them to go along. However, with Russia's relations with America in the toilet after Putin's aggression in Ukraine, and China eager to boost its wavering economy by obtaining lucrative deals to develop Iran's oil fields and refinery capacity, America wasn't going to be able to prevent them from dumping the sanctions for a whole lot longer.

So if this deal had fallen apart, the world would have returned not to re-imposing a tough sanctions regime, as the hawks hallucinate. Rather, the world would have returned to overtly or covertly trading with Iran but sans any constraints on the mullahs' nuclear ambitions.

And what about the military option?

For starters, nothing in this deal actually prevents Israel from working with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, who are also spooked by Iran's nuclear ambitions, from launching a strike. Sure, it'll have to contend with America's irritation, but if Iran truly poses an existential threat to it — as well as others in the area — surely that would be a price worth paying?

But here's the problem with the military option (apart from all the unintended consequences), regardless of who resorts to it: A sustained airstrike that is not backed by a major and messy ground offensive — something that literally no one is suggesting — will degrade Iran's nuclear capacity by only four years. That's because much of Iran's nuclear infrastructure — like the Fordo facility — is buried under 200 feet of rock – or shielded in civilian areas and therefore out-of-reach of aerial bombs.

By contrast, the inspections regime in this deal will box Iran in for 10 years. It'll also increase Iran's "breakout" time — the time required for Iran to acquire enough fissile material to build a nuclear bomb — from the current three months or so to a year.

Critics will contend that all of this assumes that Iran will actually lived up to its end of the deal and open it self up to intrusive inspections. However, if Iraq under Saddam Hussein and North Korea under the Kims are any indication, the more likely scenario is that Iran will turn the inspections process into a cat-and-mouse game, opening up some facilities but not all while railing, with a clenched fist, against Western imperialism.

But here's the thing, if Iran does that, America and Israel et al will have a far stronger hand at that point to persuade the world to either reinstate the sanctions regime or join them in launching a military strike. Right now, if the deal falls apart, America/Israel will be isolated while the world slowly but surely restores ties with Iran. Obtaining international cooperation is not about trying to show the world that we are the good guys. It's vital to the success of any effort to contain Iran.

So the best case scenario with the deal is that it'll give the world 10 years of a nuclear-free Iran, during which, who knows, may be the country will make some small headway toward abandoning its mullahocracy and embracing democracy (which might make its possession of nuclear weapons somewhat less problematic). And the worst case scenario is that the whole thing will fall apart because of Iran's duplicity, which will renew the world's will do so something about it.

* This sentence has been modified to acknowledge the possibility of weapons-grade enrichment by old centrifuges

NEXT: If it becomes possible to safely genetically increase babies' IQ, it will become inevitable

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “…something that literally no one is suggesting…”

    Nor are they figuratively suggesting it.

    1. I think you mean “figuratively no one is suggesting it.” As in, anyone that is suggesting it is a nobody?

  2. “Innocents”? Not really. They’re perfectly aware. They came in desperate and determined to make a deal no matter what. And they did. I love being on the other side of the table from someone who is desperate.

    1. Quit flirting with Dalmia.

      1. I’ve got a spot that gets me hot, but she ain’t been to it.

        1. I thought you were banned from elementary schools?

        2. +1 Dynamoe

  3. How exactly will the inspection regime “box Iran in for 10 years”? The inspections are announced and Iran can refuse them. If they say “no”, the matter goes to an arbitration board that includes Iran as a member. When the inspection is finally allowed, of course they’ll find nothing at that specific site.

    This deal is better than just selling Iran nuclear warheads, otherwise it seems worse than sanctions and negotiations for a real deal.

    1. And the deal gives them immediate access to $150 billion dollars. How about we just not make the deal and let them stew in their own poverty a little longer?

      It says how bad this deal is that even Reason has to admit it is a terrible deal and engage in the worst sort of sophistry by pretending that the only other option is going to war.

      The bottom line is the Iranians are going to build nukes, which will trigger a nuclear arms race in the middle east and likely result in a nuclear war.

      If you really hate Arabs and Muslims and want to see millions of them die, this is a good deal. Otherwise, it is an historic disaster.

    2. Because sanctions have worked so well over the last 10 years…

      1. Actually, yes, they have.

        1. If sanctions worked, Israel and you neo conservatives wouldn’t be biting at the bit to bomb Iran.

          1. I am pretty sure no one has bombed Iran as of yet. And I thought the evil Neo Cons were lying and just wanted to go to war. Now you are telling me they are right and the Iranians are going to get nukes and that is why they want to bomb. Which is it?

            1. John, I want to apologize. I thought you hit Peak Stupid in a comment on another thread. I was wrong- jahgro managed to say something even stupider. I had no idea that stupid went that deep, but I’m slowly learning.

              1. Candy, if you think I hit peak stupid that is only because you were looking down from the heights of stupid.

                1. Directionally challenged as well. Nice. When you go to the urinal, do you find yourself opening your shirt, then peeing in your pants?

                  1. No I don’t. Considering your commentary here old man, I assume you are asking because your experience with it.

                    1. I love it, a cat fight between two morons.

          2. Wow, that’s some amazing hallucinations you have there, dude. Want to help a bro out and score some more for me?

          3. The Iranian government has put the welfare of their people below the importance of gaining nuclear weapons. You can’t argue with people who are willing to make their own people suffer in order to gain something – whether that’s nuclear weapons or 50 A380’s to make a fancy national airline.

            Sanctions have worked as well as anything could keeping Iran in a box. They are determined at the expense of their own people to have nukes. The sanctions merely stopped them from having them a long time ago.

            A good deal would have stopped their production, and if the REALLY wanted nuclear energy, it would have created an environment where someone would have sold them only non-weapons grade Uranium and they would have done zero enrichment.

          4. NOBODY is “biting at the bit to bomb Iran”,we much prefer Iran would dismantle the illegal sites and equipment,and get back to full compliance with the NPT,having NO path to nuclear arms. But they have absolutely refused to do that,leaving us no choice but to destroy them ourselves,and that means bombing,aka “war”.
            Iran AND the IAEA can’t be trusted to keep honest with their enrichment of uranium,or the operation of a plutonium producing heavy water reactor. The IAEA has failed miserably at verification and compliance,Iran built multiple sites and 1000s of centrifuges in secret,the IAEA never learning about them until other sources told them. LOTS of work and material was processed without IAEA inspection,and that’s even going on today. the IAEA said it cannot verify Iran has no nuclear weapons program,and that is one of their PRIMARY tasks.

            1. You seem confused on who the aggressor is there.

            2. Yeah, nobody except for the entire republican party. You neo cons aren’t fooling anybody.

        2. The only reason Iran sat down to negotiate!

      2. They don’t have nukes don’t they? And if they haven’t had any effect, why do the Iranians have any interest in lifting them?

        Even if the sanctions are not a perfect solution, how are they not better than just surrendering? Hell, why not just send the Iranian ICBMs?

        1. The Iranian government wants the sanctions lifted. Once they have their money, and the rest of world is comfortable making money trading with them, Iran will continue to build them bomb, confident in how hard it will be to reimpose the sanctions.

        2. Iran is building ICBMs because they are for delivering NUKES.
          an ICBM is far too costly to deliver a puny 2000 lb conventional bomb.
          It’s pretty clear Iran is developing nukes,from the evidence we’ve seen so far.
          Iran was caught by the IAEA running computer simulations to increase nuclear BOMB yields. that is NPT-prohibited weapons work. Iran was caught with complete nuclear bomb plans,that would fit on a missile. We have indications Iran tested neutron initiators and did test implosions,that have NO peaceful nuclear application. MORE NPT-prohibited weapons work.

        3. They were in the process of building them genius. Which is why Obama decided to try to negotiate.

          You aren’t very smart.

      3. Yes, they have. Moire would be good.

  4. A sustained airstrike that is not backed by a major and messy ground offensive ? something that literally no one is suggesting ? will degrade Iran’s nuclear capacity by only four years. That’s because much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure ? like the Frodo facility ? is buried under 200 feet of rock

    Those furry little bastards do dig their shires deep.

    But a B61 in MOP ordinance case will say hello to our little Hobbit friends quite easily no matter depth they dig their shire.

    1. “A sustained airstrike that is not backed by a major and messy ground offensive ? something that literally no one is suggesting ?”

      Who do I go to, to suggest a sustained airstrike that is backed by a major ground offensive?

      If it precludes a nuclear arms race followed by a nuclear war, it sounds like a better alternative.

      1. “A sustained airstrike that is not backed by a major and messy ground offensive ? something that literally no one is suggesting ?”

        Personally, if I were Emperor and considering ‘strikes’ on Iran over their nuclear facilities, I would go total asymmetrical on their towel-headed asses.

        See, Iran has a fucked up deal with their petro industry. They sell subsidized gasoline to their own people (current price ~$1/gallon), but don’t have enough refining capacity for internal demand. So these clowns have to import refined petrochemicals at world market prices, then sell that shit for a huge loss to keep political market satiated (these fuckers riot over their fuel subsidies).

        So blow up their unguarded refining capacity; then grind the air defense system to dirt, then turn Iran’s oil bidness to ‘off’ elsewhere on the supply chain, then start plinking the atom-bits.

        Then let the chumps stew for a couple months under a no-fly zone and no petro exports.

        Then negotiate.

        1. One hopes they gave an internal revolution. They’ve been close twice in just the last decade.

    2. Using a nuke to blow up nuke facilities would be an incredibly stupid idea.

      1. They want nukes; so then they’d have them.

        Everyone happy!

      2. Why? Seriously, what makes using. Nuclear bomb on a nuclear facility particularly silly? It’s just another bomb.

        1. So, our answer to a country building a nuke would be to nuke them, since nukes are evil, in order to avoid one being used, we would have to use one?
          huh.

          this is why we dont have friends.

          1. Your analysis makes me think that maybe your head is the opposite of being dimensionally transcendental.

          2. nukes in the hands of the twelvers is evil

      3. How so? do you think it’s going to cause their fissionables to make a bigger blast? LOL.
        we’d only need to use a nuke on the deepest nuclear sites,that’s 1 or 2 targets,and it would be a penetrator,so it wouldn’t disperse their fissionables,being so far underground. Even if it did,well,they shouldn’t have been doing that stuff,and they had a really decent chance to negotiate a realistic and peaceful solution,but chose the opposite,so tough for them.

        1. Yeah! We haven’t committed enough aggression there yet.

    3. the B-61 Mod 11 is already designed to be a deep penetrator. it was created to hold Russian command centers at risk.

  5. “They’ll say that Iran will never fully honor its word ? even as the West lifts sanctions against it, and they’ll probably be right about that too.”

    Probably? How about certainly.

    The best way to make a deal with Iran is to shoot a missile up the Ayatolla’s ass before asking what they are willing to give.

    1. And Iran not honoring its word means Iran building nukes. So she admits the deal doesn’t accomplish what it is supposed to. Yet, we must do it.

      1. Because, somehow, the only other option she sees is war. How the hell does anyone come to that conclusion.

  6. It might not be comfortable for me to admit it to myself but I guess whatever the United States would have wanted, the Mullahs were going to win.

    1. So we got something. Maybe better than nothing, maybe not.

      1. No, it’s worse than nothing. Far worse.

  7. Since the (Republican) Senate has turned the treaty provision of the constitution on its head (instead of requiring 2/3 of the senators present to approve the treaty, it now requires 67 votes to override a presidential veto), Obama is going to get this deal.

    The Senate under the Republicans just gave up their constitutional authority. More power has now devolved to one man.

    1. The Stupid Party earned its name for sure on this one.

      Given the attempts for climate-clownery that awaits in Paris later this year, the Senate must be careful on precedents set regarding ‘treaties’ as they stumble through this mess.

      1. The especially stupid Republicans to blame here: Corker and Graham.

        I don’t know: both sides seem to be in on the game. Can we start calling the Republican Party evil yet?

        1. But they get to claim they opposed it.

          Though to be fair, supposedly Obama set this up so it didn’t need 67 votes anyways.

      2. If Democrats in the Senate were smart, they would vote against this treaty on the grounds that this is a power grab by the Executive at the expense of the Senate. The shoe will be on the other foot if Republicans win the Presidency in 2016. I doubt they (or any other members of Congress) think that far ahead, though.

        1. The shifting of power from Congress to the Executive is entirely because the political parties are thinking ahead, in my opinion.

    2. The problem is that Obama is in no danger of ever being held accountable. So, you tell Obama to fuck off and the deal doesn’t mean anything. That is great and all except that he will just ignore the law and turn the Iranian assets lose and there is no way to fix that once he does. You can’t get them back later even after a future President rightly renounces the deal.

      If we had anything but a state run media and a Democratic Party that was in any way willing to hold Obama accountable, he would be risking impeachment by doing that. Since we have neither, he has no risk and will do it and tell the country fuck you that is why and there will be nothing anyone can do about it.

      The Republicans made the deal in the foolish hope that they can get enough Democrats to vote it down forcing Obama to back down. First, they won’t get enough Dems and even if they did Obama is such a lawless asshole at this point, I doubt it would matter. So they should have told him to fuck off and insisted on a proper review.

      1. Obama wouldn’t have released their assets.

        The phants caved for no reason at all.

        1. You don’t think so? Why wouldn’t he? Getting this deal is his legacy.

          I am not saying you are wrong. I just can’t see why he would have not just not sent the deal to Congress and gone ahead with it. I am curious to hear why you think otherwise because I can’t see it.

          1. He wouldn’t do it because even the donkeys and media realize that it would be completely idiotic and not celebrate his doing so.

            1. At worst they would just not report it and pretend it wasn’t a big deal.

      2. The Republicans had another constitutional mechanism in their corner and they just gave it up. Under the constitution, Obama is required to get 2/3 of the Senators present to approve the treaty. The Republicans (Corker, Graham and with McConnell’s blessing no doubt) flipped it on its head so that now the burden is on the Senate itself to muster 2/3 of its members to override a presidential veto. The Republicans gutted the constitution.

        In other words, there was no need to make a deal with Dems to force Obama to do anything. The burden was already on him to muster the votes for his deal, which he never would have got, even if the Dems goosestepped behind him (as they surely would have). Talk about not being able to fix anything..there is no way to stop this deal now.

        1. I agree. I just think Obama made it clear he didn’t give a shit and just wouldn’t submit it to Congress and release Iran’s assets anyway. VG thinks I am wrong in that. But I can’t see how I am.

          The GOP should have told Obama to fuck off and not made that deal. I can’t figure out why they did it. They clearly don’t want Iran to get nukes. There is no political downside to voting it down.

          I get it they are cowards and all of that. But voting this down is both the popular and right thing to do. So being a coward should not have prevented them from doing it.

          1. Whatever Obama chooses to do, the Republicans should not be complicit in his unconstitutional behavior by giving up their treaty provision power as they did. They should have made him muster the votes. If he couldn’t have done so (and he wouldn’t have done so) and he he then chose to go full tyrant, they should have then stood up for the constitution and rule of law.

            It seems to me that whatever is going on here they are in on the game. I am not sure what that game is exactly, but judging by their behavior it involves centralizing more and more power into the hands of one man. Perhaps they’re looking forward to wielding that power once they regain the presidency?

            1. The only game I can see is the various crony billionaires who are going to make a lot of money by ending the sanctions. So the Republicans are selling out our security figuring their cronies will get rich and Obama will be the one to blame when it goes wrong.

              1. The problem is that those crony billionaires are all non-americans. After the sanctions are lifted, the US will still have its own laws in place that prevent American companies from doing business with Iran, as a state sponsor of terror. So that means European and Aisian companies are going to get all the business.

                The idea that this is part of a conspiracy to give trade to non-american countries is even worse.

            2. Republicans are stupid and timid. They want to be seen as opposing bad deals, but they don’t actually want to be successful doing so.

          2. Congress wrote the bill the imposed the sanctions. The president cannot, by executive actions, make that law null and void. He needs Congress’ approval, but apparently they will give it to him on a 1/3 vote.

        2. “Under the constitution, Obama is required to get 2/3 of the Senators present to approve the treaty”

          Its not a treaty. Its something else that doesn’t require a Senate vote.

          This is the whole reason the GOP did that deal.

    3. We’re going to need a LOT of woodchippers to fix things.

  8. So Iran can refuse to allow inspections at its military sites where they are working on developing a nuclear weapon, and this is somehow a defensible deal?

    I would like Kerry and President Not My Fault to come join my next poker game at the house. We could use some free money stooges.

  9. From my little knowledge of the situation, it seems like China and Russia were most definitely going to cave on holding Iran to sanctions. The US had to make some sort of deal to save a bit of face prior to Russia/China ending their sanctions.

    Or am I totally off here?

    1. From my little knowledge of the situation

      Since when did “little knowledge” stop anyone here from expressing an opinion or, in John’s case, a pronouncement?

      1. Yes, yes, BW… we know you love your Lord and Savior, Obama.

  10. The argument from the “hawks” is that we got no meaningful concessions, and only the appearance of concessions. Caveat-heavy inspections programs don’t work, and only tangle the United States into a role as enforcer when (not if) the rules are flouted. A Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush would certainly relish that role.

    A better deal would have kept sanctions in place. If the sanctions were as untenable as the author asserts, there would have been no need for a deal in the first place.

    1. We have been down this road before with Iraq. When the Iranians ignore the rules, what then? They have gotten all of their money back. We will have no leverage to make them abide by the rules except through war.

      This deal is likely to lead to war. I seriously doubt any US President, even a President Hillary is going to let the Iranians get nukes. So in a couple of years after the Iranians get their money back and it is clear they either have built nukes or are about to, the only recourse will be war.

      I don’t see any way around that. The only way to avoid war is to somehow hold off them getting Nukes long enough for the people of Iran to rise up and put in a new government. Ending the sanctions ends any hope of that happening.

      So peace loving Reason is actually endorsing a deal that makes war much more likely.

      1. It’s time to admit that the Cosmos are Progressive Socialists pretending to be libertarians.

        1. In this case they are just stupid. They can’t understand that weakness is what leads to wars and just because you say the magic words and go through the magic ritual of negotiation and signing an “agreement” doesn’t mean the conflict is actually resolved.

          1. Yeah, funny how their stupidity is always in the direction of anti-Americanism and more power to the government. It’s also funny how all the writers move on to openly leftwing publications when they leave reason.

            1. I am reading Alistair Horne’s classic account of the fall of France in 1940 To Lose a Battle He covers the history of interwar France. It sadly reminds me of the debates going on now about Iran. France spent 20 years disarming itself and lying to itself about both German intentions and the strength of its deteriorating military. You can pretty much write the Reason editorials had Reason been around in 1930s France.

              1. God, that book is amazing.

                Did you read the other two books in the trilogy (written after, but setting the stage)? Paris 1871: Siege and Commune, and Verdun 1916: Price of Glory. They excellently explain the whys of 1940, including why the interwar politics were as they were.

                1. I have read Price of Glory Pan and that book is great too. I need to read the commune one. Horne is just an unbelievable writer.

    2. Why do I have to be a ‘hawk’ to be against this deal? It’s a worthless shitty deal. Doing nothing would be better. And I would go much farther. I would squeeze them in every conceivable way imaginable. Plus, give the cunts a taste of their own fucking medicine and start blatantly sponsoring a violent insurgency in THEIR country. And I’m sure there are lots. Of other options that do not involve going to war. We need to start playing a lot rougher. Bad guys respect strength and ruthlessness. So be strong and ruthless.

      1. “Plus, give the cunts a taste of their own fucking medicine and start blatantly sponsoring a violent insurgency in THEIR country.”

        I don’t even know where to begin.

        1. I do. Help the oeopke that have been ready to revolt against this despotism. That would be a good start. If you need more help figuring things out, let me know.

    3. “If the sanctions were as untenable as the author asserts, there would have been no need for a deal in the first place.”

      I think the author implies that maintaining sanctions that are not working could well damage US interests.

  11. Actually having an agreement with Iran is more dangerous than not since an agreement must be backed up by force so when Iran fails to meet its part of the agreement which it will then whoever is president at that time will have to act. of course If Obama is still president he will just move the line. Lets also not forget that Iran is already not allowing the IAEA to inspect their sites so I doubt that anything will change with a new agreement.

    1. And this agreement is very clear. So let’s see what the Arabs do now.

      I think Obama will find out that having tow nuclear foes with 30 second “use it or lose it” windows is a bad idea.

      1. Iranians are not Arabs, they are Persians.

        1. That sounds about as accurate as saying Polish aren’t Russian.

  12. Any deal that lets Iran enrich their own uranium is bad for U.S. security.

    Iran has a mature ICBM program, and it won’t be long before they can hit the U.S.

    The only reason to capitulate on Iran enriching its own uranium was so that Obama could parade some kind of legacy accomplishment.

    “Peace in our time” is not an accomplishment if it opens up another front in the Cold War.

    And the Cold War’s mutually assured destruction wasn’t a good time for people trapped under the thumb of the Soviets’ thumb.

    It wasn’t a peaceful time for the people of Vietnam, Korea, Angola, Uganda, El Salvador, or the Middle East either.

    American just became less secure, and what we got in return is mostly just a chance for Obama to toot his own horn in the short term.

    Over the long term, Obama will go down as the worst President since World War II–worse than Carter, Johnson, Nixon, or Bush the Lesser–and this “accomplishment” of his will be one of the reasons why.

    1. Iran has a mature ICBM program, and it won’t be long before they can hit the U.S.

      That is the least likely scenario.

      1. What?

        That they develop ICBMs?!

        They’ve already successfully launched satellites using multistage rockets.

        1. In terms of actual use, it remains the least likely.

          Regimes like this will, if they use nuclear weapons, use them initially in a manner where there is plausible deniability. If they launch an ICBM with a nuclear warhead, they’ll get return fire from the US (in theory, in practice maybe not anymore).

          But if they hand the nuclear weapons to an organization like Hezbollah, they can have enough plausible deniability to claim their fingerprints aren’t on the act.

          1. 1) I prefer impossible to unlikely, and it was impossible for Iran to hit us with a nuclear weapon when they couldn’t enrich their own uranium.

            2) You’re ignoring the fact that the Cold War was a terrible era for both American security and people outside the United States.

            When mutual assured destruction stopped the U.S. and the Soviet Union from engaging each other directly, it made proxy wars not just more likely–but absolutely unavoidable.

            How many thousands of American troops were killed in combat during the Cold War?

            How many civilians died in proxy wars?

            1. I don’t disagree with any of those points. I’m certainly not defending the deal, merely pointing out that I think should Iran decide to deploy a nuclear weapon against someone, they’ll do so through the plausibly deniable means if only because they fear the retaliation from a superior nuclear arsenal.

            2. Think of it this way:

              Since elements of what eventually coalesced into Hezbollah attacked our marines in 1982, Hezbollah has never targeted Americans specifically.

              Do you imagine that’s just a coincidence?

              If Iran has made Hezbollah reluctant to attack Americans directly for fear of American retaliation against Iran, what happens when Iran no longer fears any such retaliation?

              Use your head.

              1. “Since elements of what eventually coalesced into Hezbollah attacked our marines in 1982, Hezbollah has never targeted Americans specifically.

                Do you imagine that’s just a coincidence?”

                No, I don’t. I think it is because there haven’t been any marines in Lebanon since 1982.

                1. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, and they’ve orchestrated attacks all over the world; for example, they blew up a synagogue in Argentina.

                  That they have refrained from attacking Americans or American targets specifically for more than thirty years simply isn’t attributable to the fact that there haven’t been any American troops in Lebanon–especially considering that there have been plenty of American civilians in Lebanon all that time.

                  They use suicide bombers, for Pete’s sake! They’re basically unscrupulous. They avoid provoking America for a reason. Part of that reason is because they’re afraid we’ll take Israel’s leash off, and part of it is because they’re worried about what we might do them if they ever engaged us directly.

                  1. “Part of that reason is because they’re afraid we’ll take Israel’s leash off”

                    When has any American in authority threatened to take Israel’s leash off?

                    “and part of it is because they’re worried about what we might do them if they ever engaged us directly”

                    Hezbollah knows by experience what US does when she engages directly. It led to the bombing of the Marines and their subsequent withdrawal.

                    1. “When has any American in authority threatened to take Israel’s leash off”

                      It’s a funny thing.

                      My Muslim friends have a hard time seeing this point, too.

                      On the one hand, they see Israel as a brutal occupation force without scruples, and they don’t understand why America continues to back them.

                      On the other hand, why do they imagine Israel holds back? They’re either unscrupulous or they aren’t, right?

                      The answer is the United States. Israel holds itself back because of their relationship with the United States, and we put pressure on them to hold themselves back.

                      It works that way elsewhere in the world, too, although it’s seldom advertised.

                      Why did Pinochet hold elections despite his unpopularity and abide by the results when he lost? It wasn’t because he was a nice guy. It was in no small part because the United States pressured him to do so, and he had a strategic relationship with the Untied States.

                      One of the biggest reasons why South Korean hasn’t invaded North Korea long ago is because of South Korea’s relationship with the United States.

                      It’s the same thing with Israel. Some people are so deluded. If we cut off our relationship with Israel tomorrow, the result would not be Israeli capitulation to Palestinian demands. More likely, the result would be Israel flattening Gaza into a deserted parking lot.

                    2. “More likely, the result would be Israel flattening Gaza into a deserted parking lot.”

                      I think you underestimate Israel. They act according to their own perceived interests but they understand that their image as the good guys in the US and Europe is very important. That doesn’t stop them from committing atrocities though, and flattening Gaza is something they do on a fairly regular basis. I very much doubt the reason why Hezbollah is not targeting Americans is because they fear America will unleash Israel. Israel’s military actions against Hezbollah have neither been restrained nor successful. Hezbollah’s quarrel is with Israel and other actors in the region. I don’t believe they see any advantage to taking on the US as well.

                      Another thing that keeps Israel on the leash is that she is a democracy, and like all democracies at war, she loathes casualties, and is willing to do just about anything to keep them down. Trading 1000 terrorists for one captive IDF soldier should give you the picture. Israel can’t afford to commit to any action that will lead to IDF casualties. That’s what keeps Israel on the leash as much as anything else.

          2. In terms of actual use, it remains the least likely.

            The point of ICBMs is as a deterrent. If Iran cannot hit the US, then Iran has to always consider that the US can meet their conventional military moves with conventional military moves. Each country under their ICBM shadow will be less likely to interfere with any military moves they make locally. Annex part of Iraq? Afghanistan? Escalate further harassment of shipping lanes? The number of countries willing to object and defend against these actions is proportional to the number of countries that cannot be hit by Iranian nukes.

            Look at it this way- would Russia be as successful in its incursions into the Ukraine and Georgia if they didn’t have world reaching ICBMs?

            1. Iran already has a proxy army in Hezbollah.

              1. Not sure how that is relevant to the point I made. Yes there is a proxy army that can cause trouble for Israel. It does not allow Iran to take oil fields or put vast swaths of other citizens under its direct control. Hezbollah is largely a light infantry army. Iran has heavy combined armor, a modern airforce and significant navel assets. If that army were allowed freer movement by a nuclear umbrella, Iran could do the same as Russia is doing today.

                1. “Not sure how that is relevant to the point I made.”

                  Even in Russia’s case, they ostensibly made their moves into Ukraine (and Georgia) via proxies.

                  Iran has proxies, too. They already have a proxy army.

                  It isn’t even theoretical. Iran has already done in Lebanon by way of Hezbollah what you’re talking about–without a nuclear capability. Once they have a nuclear capability, you can expect Hezbollah to become much more active regionally.

                  I’m reinforcing your point, in other words.

          3. I’m pretty sure we can tell where uranium was enriched. There would be no plausible deniability.
            Also, MAD wouldn’t work with the ayatollahs, because they don’t fear destruction; it’s their goal. They are trying to trigger the return of the 13th mullah or something like that.

        1. That’s not their purpose in developing nukes. They also know that the likelihood of successful delivery and escaping vaporization is zero.

          I think you miss the point of WHY Iran would want nukes.

          1. I have a family member that survived the holocaust. The great lesson that he took away was to believe people that repeatedly say they want to kill you.

            Iran has been saying exactly that about the US for more than 3 decades now and funds terrorist to attack US interests, allies and our citizens directly.

            But you just know that the rulers of that country don’t really mean it, right? Because they are just so rational in every way.

            1. They’re rational enough to know that they can’t.

              1. Can’t what?

                You’re assuming that fear of retaliation will prevent them from killing as many Americans and Jews as possible.

                Which is a bad assumption given that they have openly said that they love death more than we love life.

                1. Can’t what?

                  Can’t successfully attack the US. They don’t need to, anyway.

                  Which is a bad assumption given that they have openly said that they love death more than we love life.

                  I think that was the Palestinians speaking about the Israelis.

              2. Old Man With Candy|7.14.15 @ 12:01PM|#

                They’re rational enough to know that they can’t.

                Since when are government leaders always rational or even if they are guaranteed not to make decisions that while rational to them are not rational to you?

                Was it rational for North Korea to invade the South? Was it rational for Hitler to invade Poland and start a second world war?

                If rationality ensured peace, there never would have been any wars. Nations blunder into wars all of the time. The idea that just because Iran is “rational” whatever that means assures that they will never use nukes if they get them is frankly insane.

                1. Since when are government leaders always rational or even if they are guaranteed not to make decisions that while rational to them are not rational to you?

                  The mullahs have shown themselves to be quite rational. They’re very good at it, and this “negotiation” is further evidence.

                  1. Again Candy, if being rational meant peace there would be no wars. You totally miss the point or just don’t like it and can’t respond to it so you ignore it.

                    1. if being rational meant peace

                      That was the voices in your head saying that, I never did.

                    2. I think your error, John, is equating “war” with “nuclear war.”

              3. The people in charge believe that the 12th Imam will return from hiding to rule the world, but only if they start a world war first. That’s their rationality.

            2. “I have a family member that survived the holocaust”

              In other words “fight my wars, goyim!”

      2. No one has to “hit the U.S.” because EMP would do more damage and that doesn’t require accuracy.

        1. There is that. And understand the about the third of the price of a single Obama stimulus, we could harder the entire power grid against such a thing. And we have not done a single fucking thing to do that. Our leaders are murderously incompetent.

          1. You old libertarian, you.

      3. The most likely scenario is the Gulf Arabs get their own nuclear deterrent.

        Then we can all watch on tenterhooks as two religious based nuclear states face off within a 1 minute missile flight time.

        All it will take is Ahmed mis-reading one radar image as a first strike, and then Abdullah has 30 seconds to decide to use his nukes or lose them.

        Again, this scenario does not need to involve anything complicated, Israel, or America.

        1. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran all compete for leadership of Islam in the area of the Middle East. Once Iran looks to be on their way to acquiring nukes, the Egyptians, Saudis and Turks will be peddle to the metal as well.

    2. Over the long term, Obama will go down as the worst President since World War II–worse than Carter, Johnson, Nixon, or Bush the Lesser–and this “accomplishment” of his will be one of the reasons why.

      In a sane world, this would be true. But in a sane world Obama would not have been President, or at least not re-elected.

      1. Oh, if we end up in a new Cold War–but this time with all the Middle Eastern states pointing nuclear weapons at each other and us? Everyone will see this differently.

        The Saudis will want nukes if the Iranians have them.

        The Egyptians will want nukes if the Iranians have them.

        No question about it.

        1. Agreed. It seems like this will open up the ME to a new arms race.

          1. But the important thing is that Obama gets to toot his own horn.

            He’s the new Jimmy Carter, now, doncha know!

        2. and the key here is the more random pairs of nuclear armed enemies, especially those close apart, the more likely a spasm accidental war.

          This is why America forced Taiwan and South Korea to stop their nuclear programs.

          Not because we worried about crazy Taiwanese, but because the decision window is very small.

          1. But then those countries wanted our nuclear umbrella to cover them. Are we prepared
            to defend the rest of the Middle East against Iran?

        3. “The Saudis will want nukes if the Iranians have them.

          The Egyptians will want nukes if the Iranians have them.

          No question about it.”

          The question I have is why won’t the Egyptians or Saudis want nuclear weapons if Israel, a Zionist entity on their borders with whom they have fought numerous wars over the years, has these weapons? And they do by all accounts.

          1. Mostly it’s the legacy of the Cold War.

            The Egyptians, the Saudis, and the Israelis were all on the same side during the Cold War, and the Egyptians and the Saudis just aren’t at the top of Israels’ security threat list.

            Has there been any indication that Israel wants to invade Egypt? As far as the Sinai is concerned, Egypt probably considers the people there a bigger threat to Egypt than Israel thinks the Sinai is a threat to Israel. They’re in total agreement on that one!

            When Egyptian troops go to the Sinai, they’re treated like an occupation army.

            Meanwhile, Iran has been on the other side and against Egypt and Saudi Arabia since the Cold War, as well. The reason we originally started putting bases in Saudi Arabia was because the threat that the Iranians would invade and occupy the Saudi oil fields. Saudi Arabia is still more worried about a theocratic government in Iran trying to take over the Muslim holy land than they are about Israel invading. Because of Saudi Arabia’s effective alliance with the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel are practically allies.

            1. “Because of Saudi Arabia’s effective alliance with the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel are practically allies.”

              I agree with you here, it’s American friendship with these parties that have made their ‘nuking up’ unnecessary. So, if it worked for KSA and Egypt with respect to Israel, why not the same with Iran? A warmer, less antagonistic relation between US and Iran might have the same effect. In any case, a good relation with Iran could well be beneficial to the US regardless of how Israel or Egypt or KSA see it.

              “The reason we originally started putting bases in Saudi Arabia was because the threat that the Iranians would invade and occupy the Saudi oil fields.”

              I think this is completely wrong. Large numbers of US troops were deployed to KSA after Saddam’s move on Kuwait. Until then, I don’t think the US troops were significant, probably only to service the numerous weapons deals and base construction.

              1. Why wouldn’t a warmer relationship work? I guess you missed the part where their parliament was outside the room chanting ‘death to america’

                1. ‘death to america’

                  Get back to me if they get up to anything besides their scary chanting. “Watch their feet” is the sound advice once given by a famous basketball coach.

            2. Egypt and Israel are working together on the arms blockade of Gaza.

              Egypt and the Saudis have a degree of trust with the Israelis that they do not have with Iran

            3. Egypt, Turkey and the Saudis know that Israel wants their peace of turf, perhaps a security buffer, but they aren’t out to conquer their Muslim neighbors. Iran does envision itself as the leader of the worldwide Caliphate of Islam, in which their neighboring Islamic governments no longer exist. Those countries see themselves in Iran’s cross hairs as much as Israel does.

              1. “Those countries see themselves in Iran’s cross hairs as much as Israel does.”

                Maybe the US can persuade them otherwise. Hysteria is not going to help.

    3. And the Cold War’s mutually assured destruction wasn’t a good time for people trapped under the thumb of the Soviets’ thumb.

      It wasn’t a good time for anyone. It was utter madness that nearly destroyed the world. How anyone could think going back to that with a country much less competent and much less sane than the Soviets is a good idea is beyond me. MAD was insane. And now every peace loving, right thinking person in our political establishment thinks going back to it with Iran is the right thing to do and just no big deal.

    4. If it came down to it, I would have zero problem nuking Iran out of existence to protect our own country. And No, their is no equivalency.

  13. This is probably the “best” deal we could be expected to get out of this administration in the aftermath of Libya.

    I said it at the time and I’ll say it again and again: the biggest tactical blunder of Libya wasn’t even handing vast swaths of that country over to Islamists, it was completely ruining the ability to negotiate non-proliferation.

    When other states see that the last guy that played ball got overthrown and executed, they’re not likely to play ball themselves.

    1. The status quo was better than this deal.

      In the status quo, Iran couldn’t enrich its own uranium.

      The embargo drove Iran to the negotiating table.

      The Iranians burned through their foreign currency reserves because of the embargo.

      That was the status quo.

      Who says you need a new deal when the status quo is better than the new deal.

      If Iran wanted us to support lifting the embargo, then they should have offered us something better than what we have now.

      Obama shouldn’t have capitulated on American security just to get–something worse for American security than the status quo.

      At least Chamberlain thought he was getting something for British security that was better than the status quo. Obama isn’t even getting that!

      1. “Who says you need a new deal when the status quo is better than the new deal.”

        ^^^^^^^^^^Absolutely, yes to this^^^^^^^^^^^^

      2. I agree. The deal is bad and worse than the status quo. But presidents will try to get “deals” as a means of establishing their legacy.

        My entire point was that, with the logic of Libya established, the partners to any party in a non-proliferation deal have every incentive to refuse anything that will actually inhibit their progress towards obtaining a nuclear weapon.

        1. “The deal is bad and worse than the status quo.”

          That may be true. But don’t make the mistake of assuming that this status quo you are so desperate to maintain is something that is maintainable. Relations with key US partners in the region, KSA and Israel have deteriorated. Sunni militancy has never been stronger. Is this the illusory status quo that you feel is so valuable? US interests are served by warmer relations with Iran.

          1. Yur a liar.

            Obama is the popularist prez in recent history. Basically if a country is run by a dictator, they think Obama is an ok guy.

            The more Eastward and South you go, the more worldwide support the guy had in his elections.

            Don’t try and tell me his diplomacy is too weak. He’s proven it with a nobel peace prize. People like him, especially muslims that he has bowed to when meeting them.

            He’s real popular, and he talks good.

            1. ” and he talks good”

              I could never understand those who consider Obama to be a powerful orator. I prefer the rhetorical stylings of Bush, his predecessor, the muslim monarch kisser. What Bush lacked in polish, he made up for with sincerity. Obama’s speeches leave me unimpressed.

      3. Maybe what we are getting is Iranian help against ISIS. The fact is that other than the Kurdish forces, the only force making any headway against ISIS is the Iranian backed shia militia. So if ISIS is a threat (and while it is a threat to the Middle East, I am not sure it is a major direct threat to us) you probably want Iran cooperating.

        In any event, I am a Reaganite and like Reagan I am for arms control — trust but verify. So long as the verify part is serious, I say go for it.

        1. “Maybe what we are getting is Iranian help against ISIS.”

          I don’t believe Iran is holding back in its ongoing fight against ISIS.

          Most of the fighting being done against ISIS in Syria is being done by Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Army.

          Iran has already been doing everything it possibly can to fight against ISIS in Syria and defend their ally Assad.

          I don’t believe there is much they could do against ISIS that they’re aren’t already doing.

          They’re already committing everything.

        2. The supposed strategy is to build up Iran as a counterweight against Sunni islam.

          Then we act like Britain in Europe, as a balancer of power.

          Maybe on the way to slowly getting out completely.

          I don’t think this works out so well.

      4. But Obama finally got something done in Iran!

    2. Yes Libya was a complete disaster for that reason. And to top it off, our intervention made things worse for the Libyan people.

  14. “In your dream, Obama is not a scam”
    “In your dream, George Bush was not a scam”
    “In your dream, Clinton was not a scam”
    “In your dream, Reagan was not a scam”
    “In your dream, all the rest were not a scam”
    “In your dream, the constitution was not a scam”…….”

    But by all means, dream on!!!! 🙂

    Quotes from original music and lyrics: “Dreams[ Anarchist Blues]”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0o-C1_LZzk

    Regards, onebornfree.

    Personal Freedom Consultant:
    http://www.freedominunfreeworld.blogspot.com

  15. Always amazed how many people are fearful of American markets actually gaining acceptance in other countries. Our ability to let China’s economy become intertwined with ours has worked wonders to cool things down between our nations. And the same will happen with Iran. So many here really aren’t that confident in freer markets, and what they can accomplish.

    1. Our ability to let China’s economy become intertwined with ours has worked wonders to cool things down between our nations.

      yeah, I mean it is not like China just hacked OPM and is closer to war with Japan than it has been since the 30s or anything. I mean it has done wonders.

      Jesus fucking Christ Joe. I know you are silly and ignorant but my God do you think the people on this board live in a fucking cave? Even by your low standards, that statement is epically fucking stupid and at odds with reality.

      1. Glad to see you still hang on my ever word!

        Yeah, we never hack anyone, do we? Oh wait, Germany, France…

        1. No Joe, you are like the elephant man of intellectual discourse. Your thoughts are so hideous, you just can’t help but look. You make the board into a circus side show.

          Shreek and Bo and the like are trolls and sock puppets. You in contrast are real and actually are this hideousness stupid and sad. We shouldn’t look but we can’t help it.

          1. You don’t have to read them, do you? But you can’t help yourself. You’re fixated!

        2. There is no equivalence. What a fucking obtuse thing to say.

    2. You haven’t been paying any attention to SE Asia, have you? Unsurprising.

    3. “And the same will happen with Iran. So many here really aren’t that confident in freer markets, and what they can accomplish.”

      I’ve long argued for offering Iran a NAFTA deal.

      Absolutely great idea–Obama would rather eat his own fingers than do that, though.

      And, oh, by the way, there’s no such free trade deal on the table for Iran. The unions would go bananas.

      Can you explain to me why a free trade deal couldn’t be contingent on Iran not being able to enrich their own uranium?

      Why couldn’t they get their enriched uranium from the U.S. or their Russian allies?

      Why do they have to enrich their own uranium, and why is being free to enrich their own uranium so important that they’d rather devastate their own economy than forgo the ability to do so?

      Can you answer any of those questions?

      1. “Why do they have to enrich their own uranium, and why is being free to enrich their own uranium so important that they’d rather devastate their own economy [for a decade] than forgo the ability to do so?”

        Fixed!

      2. They are a country like any other. They never were going to do everything America wanted. They also are Persian, not Arab. They’re populace has a much greater desire to be western than other mid-east nations. And this deal pits them on that path. This starts giving that populace greater voice for internal change. And we have limited their ability to enrich uranium.

        I don’t lack confidence in who we are, and how other people want what we have. Do you?

        1. Question 1: Why couldn’t Iran get their enriched uranium for civilian/energy use from the U.S. or their Russian allies?

          Answer 1: Because neither the U.S. or the Russians will give them weapons grade uranium.

          Question 2: Why is being free to enrich their own uranium so important to Iran that they’d devastate their own economy for a decade rather than forgo the ability to do so?

          Answer 2: Because enriching weapons grade uranium as a security concern is more important to them than the vast suffering caused by sanctions.

          —-

          Do you or don’t you have better answers to those questions?

          1. Why did we enrich uranium? Pakistan? India? Israel? France? When you answer that, you will know why Iran did.

            1. Iran started enriching uranium because we were bogged down in a powder keg in Iraq at a time when the situation there was most volatile–and the fuse ran straight to Tehran.

              They started enriching uranium in secret (in direct violation of the NPT) right after their hand picked party won an outright majority in the new Iraqi legislature.

              They started enriching uranium in secret becasue they knew there wasn’t anything we could do about it at the time. We certainly couldn’t go to war with Iran when Iraq was exploding under our feet.

              It was bad enough dealing with the newly formed Sunni insurgency–no way we were going to be able to handle doing to war with the Shia factions, too, and Iran itself, as well.

              That’s why they started enriching uranium in secret in violation of the NPT.

              1. I learned about that happening–as it was happening–circa 2004. Right here on this website–from a guy named joe.

          2. By the way, they learned the trade off wasn’t worth it, didn’t they?

            1. What have they traded?

              Certainly not the ability to enrich their own uranium!

              I can’t see that they’ve given up anything.

        2. “They’re populace has a much greater desire to be western than other mid-east nations. ”

          Not in 1979.

          Maybe somethings changed.

          You do know the first Shah didn’t want to be king…he wanted to be alike Ataturk, but the mullahs opposed it.

        3. Given the state of their government this is an incredibly naive and unrealistic analysis. We aren’t limiting their ability to do shit. How have all our bargains with N Korea worked out?

    4. Free market reforms within that county have been beneficial for its people, but nothing is cooled down in terms of our relationship with that country. And with Iran, we aren’t talking about a freer market. We are talking about a bizarrely subsidized market its regime uses to manipulate its people. If you want free markets in Iran, the best card to play is sanctions that make Iranians sufficiently angry with their government they will revolt.

      1. It was that way in China, too.

        You get the leaders sufficiently invested in secure relationship with the United States, and suddenly, “Maoist rebels” describes some insurgencies ideology rather than its funding. Suddenly, China wants stability and peace in the world.

        It would happen that way with Iran, too.

        It would improve our security relationship with Iran dramatically. The last thing Iran would want would be instability in the region.

        1. You are finding equivalencies where there are none. Our cannot realistically equate Wahabism with Maoism. The Chinese have always been at least somewhat rational. The mullahs in Iran’s ruling class not so much. Seriously, think harder.

          1. The Iranians aren’t Wahhabi. They aren’t even Sunni.

            And, even so, it’s hard to make generalizations about what people would do if they were knee deep in trade with the United States, certainly not based on what they did when they were completely cut off from international trade–like the Chinese were before Deng Xiaoping’s reforms.

            If anyone should have been immune to the influence of markets and trade, it should have been the dogmatic communists in China. There isn’t anything against trade specifically in the Quran or the hadith. Mohammed was a merchant, for goodness’ sake, and Muslims have been traders between Europeans and Asia since Islam first began.

    5. I’m sorry, I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and be nice to people but this is such a fundamental misunderstanding of Sino-American relations over the past fifty years that you’ve got to be either trolling again or just completely ignorant of the topic.

      Things “cooled down” between our nations in the 70s following the end of the Cultural Revolution and the death of Mao because we had a common foe: the USSR. Trade between China and the US expanded under Deng Xiaoping because he encouraged a much more pragmatic economic policy that emphasized exports, capital investment, and so-called “market socialism”.

      So, in fact, we didn’t start trading with a hostile power. We extended diplomatic overtures to a potential ally against a common foe, and that ally subsequently began trading with us.

  16. Meanwhile, ISIL recruiters are rubbing their hands with glee.

    American imperialists would use military force to keep Israel the only nuclear power in the region. … ummm …. But if nobody else is allowed nukes, why else would Israel want them, except to launch more aggression against us?

    GOP hawks have never been very bright. Now they’re begging for another 911. Excites the goobers who remain in the GOP, for nominating candidates.

    1. A reminder to everyone that Hihn has previously declared the Jews ‘the most barbaric people in world history’ and is actively anti-Semitic in his defense of that statement.

      1. His Hihness has reported you to the relevant authorities and has added an addendum to your file.

        1. If you’re that gullible, may we assume you’re also a Birther?

      2. haters hate (and often lie)

        A reminder to everyone that Hihn has previously declared the Jews ‘the most barbaric people in world history’ and is actively anti-Semitic in his defense of that statement.

        Shame on you.

        I said the mass genocide of an entire civilization, the Canaanites — to seize their land — was the most barbaric ACT in human history. I asked anyone to suggest a more barbaric act. Nobody did. But a few goobers have been stalking me ever since.

        Same challenge repeated: Can you name a more barbaric act in human history, than the mass genocide of an entire civilization? Or are you just another thug dealing in slander and lies?

        Apparently, anyone who knows the Jews never had a right to that land is anti-Semitic (gasp)
        If I speak to Cosby’s rape allegations, am I racist?

        Oh, I also know how it was Christians (Crusaders) who both slaughtered and evicted the Jews from Jerusalem. And the Muslims who allowed the Jews back in. So what did the Muslim’s receive in gratitude? Ooops, is that anti-Semitic?

        (posted in defense of aggression)

    2. Goddamn, your statements are so full of stupid.

      1. Goddamn, your statements are so full of stupid.

        (snicker)

  17. Does anyone seriously think Iran doesn’t already have nuclear weapons? Or couldn’t have them within six months?

    1. Umm, like Bush’s WMD’s?

  18. Shikha continues to be a moron when it comes to technical or fiscal matters. She continues to spout the nonsense that Iran’s first generation centrifuges can’t enrich to weapons grade. Those units are 20-30 years more advanced than what we used in WWII. The only difference is in the amount of time it takes to reach your refinement goal.

    1. A centerfuge is just a machine that spins ore. As you spin it the heavier U237 atoms fly off and the lighter U235 atoms remain. The term “enrichment” is a misnomer. Nothing is added to the ore. In fact, the opposite is occurring as the heaver U237 atoms are removed.

      Shkha’s claim that a given kind of centerfuge can’t enrich uranium enough to make it weapons grade is completely false. You make the uranium weapons grade buy just repeatedly running it through the centerfuge until the percent of the U235 isotopes is high enough to sustain a chain reaction. So if the centerfuge is built to high enough standard to spin the ore at the right speed to enrich it at all, it can create weapons grade uranium. It just takes time.

      I am sure you knew that but it needs to be explained so people understand how stupid and or dishonest she is being here.

      1. Shkha seems to believe that the alternative to a deal with Iran is an Iraq style necon war against Iran, and she seems to be susceptible to believing just about anything to avoid such a war.

        I don’t want a neocon war with Iran either, but I do not believe that is the only alternative to capitulating to Iran on being allowed to enrich their own uranium.

        That’s what she needs to explain. Iran is desperate. The sanctions have made them burn through their foreign currency reserves. If they don’t get access to international credit markets (and the ability to leverage their oil production) soon, their economy is going to go into free fall.

        Under such circumstances, why assume that the alternative to America capitulating on enrichment is war?

        Why not assume that Iran will eventually have to capitulate.

        We hold all the cards. We’ve got a straight flush, and they’ve only got one ace–so why did Obama fold?

        1. The best possible result would be for the Iranian people to revolt and replace the Mullahs with a peaceful government. The sanctions may not be perfect but they at least give us the possibility that the Mullahs will go broke and their people will revolt before they can get nukes. All ending the sanctions does is give them the ability to continue to pay their thugs and buy off their own people to stay in power. That is it. Ending them is frankly insane.

          1. Understand that a revolt is likely to look a lot like what’s going on in Syria right now.

            The best plausible result would be if the Iran entered into a free trade agreement with Iran in return for their capitulation on enriching their own uranium, and then our security relationship with Iran might come to look more like our security relationship vis a vis China.

            I’d say Obama’s cronies in the unions would never go for a free trade agreement with Iran like that, but since Obama lets the unions dictate the terms of our free trade agreements (see our agreements with South Korea and Colombia for examples), it’s more the other way around.

            Obama doesn’t have cronies in the unions–the unions have a crony in the White House.

            1. “The best plausible result would be if the Iran [U.S.] entered into a free trade agreement with Iran in return for their capitulation…”

              Fixed!

              1. And I am no sure about the result looking like Syria Ken. Outside of small Kurdish and Arabian minorities, Iran is uniformly Persian and Shia. Iran is a real country, not a made up one like Iraq and Syria. So, I don’t think it would devolve into the kind of chaos Iraq and Syria has.

            2. YEs but understand Iran will never do that without a revolution. The current government is never going to change on its own.

              1. China’s security relationship with the U.S. changed–without a revolution. And that’s what’s important.

                1. China’s security relationship with the U.S. changed

                  Yeah. They’ve gotten better at presenting a real military threat to us and out allies. Predictable, really, as it is entirely a function of their economy growing.

                  China’s strategic goal right now is to push the US Navy out of the West Pacific and strip Japan of its security. The squabble over those pointless little islands north of Japan is the first step in having China control the sea lanes that matter to, unfortunately, both Japan/the US and China.

                  1. They’re not about to start a war over that.

                    They won’t do anything that might seriously jeopardize their trade relationship with the U.S. and the rest of the world, and that is a gigantic change from the way things were.

                    They used to directly finance anti-American insurgencies all over the world.

                    Those days are over thanks to trade with the U.S. and the rest of the world.

                    1. Russia won’t invade a sovereign country just to expand it’s borders…oh my bad! We were talking about the other communist/totalitarian government.

        2. Even a war with Iran does not need to be like Iraq.

          We could model it on the punitive expedition. Land forces seize the facilities and destroy them. Any scientists and politicians are killed.

          Then you leave.

          No need to nation build.

          This would be last resort, but it could be done.

          1. “Land forces seize the facilities and destroy them. Any scientists and politicians are killed.”

            And the Iranians? They never fire a shot in anger in your little scenario. I would make this my first resort.

        3. What the US would do, if it had any brains, would tell every country in the region to destroy or forgo nuclear weapons … and that we will defend with force any country that does so. And sanction every country that does not.

          Worth it just to see the goobers freak out.

        4. We hold all the cards. We’ve got a straight flush, and they’ve only got one ace–so why did Obama fold?

          Look again. You missed tens of thousands of cards.

          We stuck our nose into a war that had nothing to do with us, between China and Japan, had our fliers shooting down Japanese aircraft over China, and suffered Pearl Harbor.

          We stuck our nose into thousand-year dispute in the middle east, which also had nothing to do with us, and suffered 9/11

          We don’t stop terrorism by beating our chest and bellowing.

          We’ve become the redcoats, marching around as guerilla fighters shoot at us from behind trees. Costing us thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, so far.

    2. “The only difference is in the amount of time it takes to reach your refinement goal.”

      That’s not the only difference. During WWII the Non Proliferation Treaty did not exist. Now it does, and no signatory nation has developed nuclear weapons.

      1. Thank you for completely missing the point. It’s your superpower.

        1. “Thank you for completely missing the point.”

          My point was that under the NPT, signatories are not allowed to divert uranium from a civilian to a military programme. I’ve yet to see any evidence they have. Had the US been a signatory to the NPT during WWII, perhaps she could have nevertheless developed nukes, but it’s unlikely, what with the inspections regime and all, that the Manhattan project would have remained a secret.

          1. Yeah, except for North Korea. Oops. Your entire point sounds remarkably like “Peace in our time.” My point is that there is nothing technically stopping Iran from enriching to weapons grade, something that Shikha herself was finally embarrassed enough to admit.

            1. “Peace in our time.”

              Don’t really get your need to repeatedly drag WWII into the discussion.

              “Yeah, except for North Korea.”

              No, North Korea is no exception. In order to proceed with their military programme, they had to withdraw from the NPT. And that’s what they did. Israel, Pakistan etc also developed nuclear weapons and they were not signatories to the NPT either.

              There is nothing technically stopping Iran from unleashing a devastating attack on any of her neighbours this very minute, using entirely conventional weapons. In their last dust up with Hamas, Israelis headed for shelters in droves, though they were facing only hand-made rockets. There is nothing technically stopping Iran from launching a fiecer attack that would cripple the Israeli economy for years.

              1. No, North Korea is no exception. In order to proceed with their military programme, they had to withdraw from the NPT.

                Right. You don’t think NK were enriching before they withdrew? HAHAHAHA. Yeah, OK. And even by your own reasoning there is nothing to prevent Iran from withdrawing at a later date, so you’ve effectively refuted your own argument–another of your superpowers.

                Iran and a devastating attack? Go ahead and pull the other one. They could barely cope with Iraq when they had vast numerical superiority. Their air force is effectively grounded for lack of parts. Really the only thing they can do is put their Silkworms to use in the Straits. They can’t project any significant power beyond that. But this agreement will sure help in that regard.

                Yes, you qualify as functionally retarded.

                1. “You don’t think NK were enriching before they withdrew? ”

                  Do you believe they were? Any evidence to back it up? The inspectors didn’t uncover anything. What sources are you relying on?

                  “there is nothing to prevent Iran from withdrawing at a later date”

                  There is nothing preventing any nation from withdrawing from the NPT. Just like North Korea.

                  “Their air force is effectively grounded for lack of parts.”

                  Hamas never had an air force. They are only a lightly armed militia which managed to send Israelis scurrying to air raid shelters in their thousands with a modest arsenal of hand made rockets. I imagine a serious attack by Iran would inflict more damage than Hamas, though you may doubt this, I may be too retarded to get it, also, I don’t understand why you insist on pooh-poohing the danger that Iran is posing right now, today.

                  1. The inspectors that were routinely ejected?

                    There is nothing preventing any nation from withdrawing from the NPT. Just like North Korea.

                    And yet that was your entire argument. So at least you now accept that the NPT really doesn’t prevent anything at all. Congratulations on applying a little logic for a change.

                    Hamas never had an air force. They are only a lightly armed militia which managed to send Israelis scurrying to air raid shelters in their thousands with a modest arsenal of hand made rockets.

                    HAHAHAHAHAHA. Yes, you are too retarded to get it. Do you have any idea what the range of those rockets are? Precisely who do you think Iran could hit with its vast arsenal? Why was it unable to devastate Iraq?

                    1. “The inspectors that were routinely ejected?”

                      Please give a source for this. You seem to be misinformed. Here’s a quote from an IAEA inspector who was working in North Korea:

                      “Mr. Abushady says during the time that IAEA inspectors were in the DPRK they were treated with respect and never feared for their safety. Their base was a simple guesthouse with basic amenities. An inspector?s mission in the DPRK would typically last two weeks, with two inspectors assigned to work together for three periods per year. During an inspection, normally they would visit more than one facility per day, which DPRK authorities would be notified about the previous evening. They would also conduct surprise inspections that were carried out within an hour.”

                      The upshot is that as long as Iran remains in the NPT, you should find something else to worry about. I repeat no NPT signatory has developed nuclear weapons.

                      ” Yes, you are too retarded to get it. Do you have any idea what the range of those rockets are? ”

                      I know I’m retarded. I’m a liar too. Get over it. No need to obsess about it. Whatever weaponry Iran has can easily strike Israel via their proxy army in Lebanon. They have already done so. Hezbollah is every bit as evil as Iran.

            2. My point is that there is nothing technically stopping Iran from enriching to weapons grade, something that Shikha herself was finally embarrassed enough to admit.

              Yeah, that fucking Iranian air force makes them a threat to America.
              Without those bombers of theirs, it would be none of our business.

              1. I realize your meds have probably worn off, but who needs a bomber when you have an ICBMsatellite launcher. They already have the ability to hit the US. What they don’t have is a warhead sufficiently miniaturized to match their throw weight.

                Then again, I never claimed that the US faced an imminent attack from Iran. That was just the voices in your head.

                1. Then again, I never claimed that the US faced an imminent attack

                  Umm, nobody said you did. Are you also delusional? Are you being treated?

                  That was just the voices in your head.

                  (laughing)

  19. Anything other than rolling over supinely is “huffing and puffing”, right?

    1. Are you aware that you actually said that in public?

  20. Was America out-negotiated? Most likely.

    Iran is a state that has existed in some form with few interruptions for approximately 4000 years and its negotiators play the long-game. It has after all seen some of the greatest empires in the world — the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Muslim Arabs, the Mongols, the Moguls, the Ottomans, the British, etc. — rise and fall around it. No doubt the Iranians believe they can wait out America’s will/ability to involve itself in the Middle East (and they’re most likely 100% right). America, who has been institutionally and politically incapable of playing the long-game since the late 1940s, didn’t have a chance.

    1. No doubt the Iranians believe they can wait out America’s will/ability to involve itself in the Middle East

      I’d say they already have, and this deal is the proof.

    2. Yeah, but there are no 400-year-old Iranians. Just because something that looks a bit like Persia is still around doesn’t mean there’s some sort of millenia-long collective wisdom. People make the same mistake about China. The age of the bottle is not in either case an indicator of the vintage of the contents.

    3. Iran is a state that has existed in some form with few interruptions for approximately 4000 years and its negotiators play the long-game. It has after all seen some of the greatest empires in the world — the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Muslim Arabs, the Mongols, the Moguls, the Ottomans, the British, etc. — rise and fall around it.

      LOL. The Greeks conquered what is now Iran under Alexander and the Arabs later ate it for breakfast before slowly starving out Byzantium and, followed by the Turks, kept it under their boot for over a millenium. Iran hasn’t been watching empires rise and fall, it’s been getting trampled by those empires.

  21. The only problem with the claims of the author are that this is nothing more than words on paper unless enforced and anyone who thinks the UN has the authority or will to enforce it is smoking crack. Obama just gave Iran full access and his blessing to develop nuclear weapons. He has ensured the US will live again under a nuclear threat and that the entire Middle East will erupt into a full scale war within the next 5-8 years. Iran will never comply and never had any intention of complying. If ANYONE had any doubt we are watching history replay itself and that Obama is the reincarnation of Neville Chamberlain, that doubt vanished today. Like Chamberlain, Obama willingly placed the head of his country in the lion’s mouth in some childish fantasy that Iran will be our friend. With the advance in weaponry since the last World war, if the next only kills 60 million, we will be very lucky. Of course in 1945. 60 million was 3% of the world’s population. If you adjust that number for the population of the world today,Obama likely just signed the death warrants for 210 million people. I cannot believe the American people were so unbelievably stupid to elect such an utter fool twice.

    1. Heck, Iran could comply for 10 years and then get nukes, and be fully following this treaty.

    2. In descending order of “desirability” I think these are the options:

      (1) Iran, safely tucked under its nuclear umbrella, becomes the regional hegemon in the Mideast. This may be accomplished through simple coercion, or it may involve a serious regional war between Shia Iran and all the Sunni countries. But, for whatever reason, nobody else nukes up, so its fought as a conventional war.

      (2) Everyone else nukes up, and we have MAD all over the Mideast. Whether this is the best case or second best case scenario depends entirely on whether you think Mideast autocracies are better stewards of nuclear weapons than the US and Russia were, back in the day.

      (3) Everyone else nukes up, and MAD fails. If nothing else, we won’t have to worry about radical Muslim aggression anymore.

      1. some folks never realized that MAD only works with RATIONAL players.
        Iran’s Ayatollahs and mullahs are not rational by Western standards.

        Plus,they have been looking into and TESTING ways of doing an EMP attack on the US. (without it being traced back to them,thus avoiding retaliation)
        An EMP attack on the US could mean as much as 90% of the US population dying in the 1st year afterwards,from starvation and disease. It literally would mean the END of the US,which -is- a stated goal of Iran.

    3. anyone who thinks the UN has the authority or will to enforce it is smoking crack

      How many bong hits did you take before typing that.
      Iran OBVIOUSLY fears continuing sanctions or they’d be giving us the finger and laughing.
      And if the UN has no will to impose sanctions … where did the current ones come from?

  22. I don’t want to be against this deal, but reading all the articles telling me why its not that bad do not re-assure me.

    This was from Yahoo:

    “Another significant agreement will allow U.N. inspectors to press for visits to Iranian military sites as part of their monitoring duties, something the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had long vowed to oppose. However, access isn’t guaranteed and could be delayed, a condition that critics of the deal are sure to seize on.”

    Read that carefully:

    We won the right to have UN inspectors press for visits to Iranian military sites.

    Whoop=dee do/.

    We can press for visits. Wow, such confidence building!

    1. Yeah, we don’t have enough hysteria on this yet.

  23. I propose the Kennedy solution. Get rid of the processing stations or we’ll get rid of them for you, with a few nuclear warheads. You have till noon.

  24. The US can strangle Iran by blockades, etc. Dalmia is a dope. Iran cannot survive US pressures.

  25. I am absolutely sick to death of authors like this one screaming that the only other option to surrender is war. That’s THEIR comment not mine, not ours. If they want to have a discussion they should at least pretend to listen to someone else. Their idiotic reasoning I suppose should be applied to everything like rape and murder – “Cant stop all of it so let’s let it get even worse!!”

    These people are vile.

  26. One step closer to WWIII. Thanks Obama for the Hope/Change! Don’t worry, everyone will just blame Booooooooooooooshhh.

  27. Shikha,

    I think it’s a good deal– certainly better than the alternative. Imagine that something can actually get done by negotiation in this world filled with violence and war. I would say i encouraged.

    I see in the comments it’s about 90/10 against. As we all know the libertarian solution is decades of sanctions imposed by neocon bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. Followed by the inevitable war. I love the suggestion in the comments that we are about to enter a mutually assured destruction pact with a country that doesn’t have a nuclear bomb, doesn’t have a viable way of producing one, and doesn’t even have a missile system on the drawing board capable of reaching the United States. Hey, but I could be wrong and I suppose by the 22nd century Iran might have the Doomsday Device and a Dr. Strangelove willing to use it. It never hurts for the government to curtail trade and the free market to curtail any and all military contingencies.

    150,000 troops home from Iraq, an economic turn around after 8 yrs of bush, historic peace agreements with Cold War era adversaries in Iran and Cuba. #worstpresidentever #epicfail

    1. And if President Romney had achieved this deal, that ratio would be reversed. God knows John would be crowing. Everyone knows it. That’s what this place has become. I don’t get what’s libertarian about the status quo. Shit, isn’t the libertarian thing to let Iran do what it wants? We get nukes, why don’t they?

    2. Any hard evidence that they actually don’t have a viable nuclear program? And even if they didn’t, now it’ll be harder for us check any future ambitions.

      So you detest big banks and the financial institutions and want them to be regulated out of existence, but give the benefit of a doubt to a fascist government that advocates for the death of America and executes homosexuals. I bet more people died under the flag of Iran and Al Qaida than the Confederate flag.

      I’m somewhat hawkish on Iran and have quarreled with the more radical non interventionists who comment here. The fact that even THEY don’t like this deal is an indication of how awful this deal is. Unlike you and Tony, I make an attempt to understand libertarian positions that I disagree with. I don’t come here with a bunch of preconceived notions and read things selectively so I can expose libertarians as hypocrites.

      The “historic” deal with Cuba also achieved nothing, since we were already trading with them and their government controls the supply side of things. Did I mention that we released proven terrorists as part of the deal?

      Which one of our allies is enthusiastic about this deal? Russia doesn’t count.

      There has been no real economic turnaround, since your people constantly complain about lack of jobs, income inequality, gentrification. Most job growths occurred in low paying industries. Well, I guess it’s more correct to say there hasn’t been economic turnaround for most of Obama’s base.

  28. Boy, just when I think of making the full jump to libertarianism, here comes the second article in a row devoid of critical thinking. How about 140 billion reasons? How about looking out for our political prisoners over there for a start?

    1. Yeah but you notice the comentariat is against the deal. They’re the real Scottsmen Libertarians.

    2. Nevada, if you’re a hawk, like so many goobers here, you’d never be happy in libertarianism anyhow.

  29. “The reality is that the sanctions regime is already dead.”

    As belligerent as Iran has been over the course of these negotiations, it would seem that they really, really would prefer to be anywhere except there. So if the sanctions have effect at all, why do they care to even participate?

    1. Ugh, ” if the sanctions have NO effect at all…”

  30. A pretty good take down of the situation. I personally believe that the Iranian regime isn’t after nukes anyway. Much as Saddam used the “I’m gonna get’em!” strategy to make himself look badder than he already was, the goal is to relieve sanctions. With the billions added to their coffers, the opportunities open up way beyond what a costly (and vulnerable) nuke program will offer.

  31. Even if Iran had nuclear weapons, I don’t think it’d matter much.

  32. There one edited pic posted on American Thinker about the deal
    http://www.americanthinker.com…..12_27.html

  33. First of all,Comrade Obama wants to protect his “agreement” at all costs,so he will refuse to admit Iran is violating the new “agreement”,short of an Iranian nuclear bomb test. Second,to protect his “deal”,he WILL warn Iran if Israel sends any attack forces towards Iran,causing the strike to fail horribly. Then he will use that as excuse to abandon Israel as a US ally or friend,leaving Israel alone and with no support.

    I’ve noticed a trend in the pro-Iran posters;
    first they assert that Iran is only pursuing “peaceful nuclear power” and is in compliance with the NPT.
    Then they go from that disproven position to claiming the “negotiations” are going to insure that Iran can’t develop nuclear weapons.[lol]
    After that fails,they then claim that Iran has a “right” to enrichment and nuclear weapons,and that Iran only needs them for “self-defense” against the US-Israel.[more lol]
    Then they claim that Iran would never(and has never) attack the US.
    After that fails,they return to claim #1. then repeat the cycle over and over.

    some folks are SO “tired of war”,they’re essentially given up,surrendered,because they’re totally unwilling to do what is necessary,instead denying every bit of evidence,every indication that shows Iran is working on nuclear arms.They just can’t face the reality. So they make every weak excuse in the book.
    They have accepted defeat.

  34. Is the author of this piece an Iranian agent? What a crock! Iran’s government is a murderous, savage regime… the major sponsor of terrorism… they are an apocalyptic death cult who has carried out all its other threats… they are dedicated to the destruction of Israel and Western Civilization… their pursuit of the bomb, and Obama’s pathetic acquiescence in it, assures a nuclear arm race in the Middle East. Better than all the other alternatives?!!!!!! This wasn’t a legitimate analysis and opinion article, this was gibberish…. pathetic…

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.