2 Reasons to Be Happy About the Iran Deal, and 1 Reason Not to Be

The good that will come out of this agreement cannot be overstated. But the agreement has a significant downside too.


European External Action Service (EEAS)/Flickr

The nuclear agreement with Iran is good for two reasons: it reduces the chance of war, and it promises relief from sanctions for the Iranian people.

Although American officials still say that war is an option, the chance of it has now shrunk. Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows that his military alone cannot deal a death blow to Iran. For that he needs America, and he's far less likely to find a willing partner now.

That the Iranians will have sanctions lifted is something all humane people will welcome. President Obama says the sanctions "crippled the Iranian economy… Their economy has been cratering as a consequence of the sanctions." But he is wrong. "Economy" is an abstraction; it cannot be crippled or cratered. What has been crippled and cratered are the lives of innocent Iranians, who have had a difficult time obtaining food and medicines. The sanctions regime is a form of warfare against noncombatants. Moreover, as Gareth Porter shows, it did not even achieve what Obama says it was intended to achieve.

The good that will come out of this agreement cannot be overstated. The radically diminished prospect for war—which would set the Mideast aflame and inflict hardship on the rest of the world as well—and the improvement in the everyday lives of decent Iranians are causes for rejoicing.

But the agreement has a significant downside too, in that it reinforces American hegemony. It does so by the very fact that the U.S. government is regarded by the media and others as the legitimate prosecutor, judge, and probation officer of Iran's government. The U.S. government, of course, commands overwhelming military power, and in that respect alone it has the ability to impose demands on others. But that does not mean an American president has the moral authority to do so.

By what standard of a morality may a government make demands on others when it has wreaked death and destruction on countless societies with its military might, including the dropping of two atomic bombs on innocent Japanese noncombatants; launched wars of aggression; supported some of the worst dictators in recent times; made possible the use of death squads and other forms of terror; tortured people; overthrown governments (including Iran's in 1953) in order to install puppet regimes; underwritten aggressive wars (such as Iraq's war, complete with chemical weapons, against Iran in the 1980s; Israel's against Lebanon, which spawned Hezbollah; and now Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen); facilitated or waged covert, proxy, and cyber wars (e.g., against Iran); and backed the occupation of innocent people's land (most relevantly, Israel's occupation of Palestine through ethnic cleansing and military conquest, which spawned Hamas)?

Iran never threatened the United States or Israel. It has not tried to build a nuclear bomb, and even if it were to do so, the weapon would be of no value except perhaps as a deterrent. Yet the nuclear-armed United States, and its ally Israel—the Mideast's nuclear monopolist—haughtily presume to tell Iran what it may and may not do. The system of state sovereignty we suffer under is illegitimate, but as long as it exists, the U.S. government will only cause mayhem by violating the "sovereignty" of other nations. Under prevailing rules, Iran is a sovereign nation, so the U.S. government should have no more authority to demand that Iran open itself to inspections of its military and scientific facilities than Iran has to make that demand of the U.S. government. (Actually, maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing.)

It's especially outrageous for Israel, which has aggressed against its neighbors, to stand in judgment of Iran. Iran signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and was subject to inspections before the latest negotiations. Israel has not signed the treaty. It won't even admit what has long been known: that it has hundreds of nuclear weapons, which were built with smuggled components thanks to the connivance of law-breaking American officials and supporters. Israel, like the United States, also opposes making the Mideast a nuclear-free zone, which Iran supports.

So lift a glass to the agreement. But let's not rest until the American hegemon is caged.

This piece originally appeared at Richman's "Free Association" blog.

NEXT: TSA Sued Over Failure to Issue Set Rules for Use of Invasive Body Scanners

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 or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Well,well,well. An actual libertarian commentary on this deal at Reason, rather than partisan politics. You know, human rights, markets over military, and a challenge to the typical pin-heads eye view of the world from the shores of America. Ron Paul could have written it. Well done, Sheldon!

    1. I might add this…anyone who knows anything about Iranians knows they are Persian, not Arab, and have ALWAYS been much more western in their attitudes than their mid-east neighbors. Every internal report says the Iranian people have been clamoring for a better relationship with the U.S., and this deal gives them voice and a start. After all, the genesis of a theocracy there was the our support of the tyrannical regime of the Shah.

      1. Everyone on these boards knows that most Iranians are ethnically Persian, not Arab. Did you just learn this? I ask because you post it every chance you get. You seem really excited about it.

        1. What I am excited about are actual libertarian analyses at Reason, rather than knee jerk criticism that must always go toward anything associated with Obama. Got it? But I’m glad you actually understand who Iranians are.

        2. There’s a strong dose of Dunning-Kruger running through joe’s droolings. It’s a safe assumption that anything he writes comes off talking points put together by the same people who do the stupid posters every good Prog shows on their Facebook feed.

    2. joe, your endorsement of Richman is consistent with the general opinion of him around here. He’s easily the most idiotic writer on their staff and you’re easily the stupidest person commenting.

    3. Totally agree. This is the most libertarian thing I have read on Reason for while. It’s right there, in the first sentence. Anyone that disagrees with that first sentence of the article, or with the rest of it, does not understand the essence of the libertarian path. And you are right, this does feel like something Ron Paul might have written!

      1. The libertarian path: We’ll go to our graves – and very soon – to uphold the NAP.

        But our Karma will be awesome.

    4. You know Richman is against ACA and uninterrupted free trade?

      1. interrupted free trade

  2. I agree with Richman that the deal seems likely to be the better of alternatives that are out there. War is always the health of the state, and the GOP saber rattling ‘get tougher!’ approach is less ideal for that reason. Sanctions are a moral quagmire too.

    I will say I can see from articles like this why there are some complaints about Richman. I can appreciate that he’s willing to criticize the US and its foreign policy, both now and today. It draws a lot of anger from the ‘America, Heck Yeah!’ crowd here who seem to love our country the way a child loves their parents: with quick anger towards the slightest criticism. And I can appreciate criticism of Israel and it’s out of whack influence on our foreign policy. However, Richman focuses his criticism solely on the US and Israel, he seems to have none for Iran. It seems to me that a grown up view can find that the US and Israel make mistakes and should be called on them, but that the mullahs that run Iran are ultimately far less liberty friendly. I can see some abstract hypocrisy in the US and Israel criticizing and coming down on Iran for trying to gain a nuclear weapon, but I think it’s a failure to not see how empowering the current Iranian regime would be a blow to liberty ultimately. Richman’s failure to at least acknowledge this is what invites at least some of the criticism he gets here.

    1. Richman gets hate because of sentences like this:

      By what standard of a morality may a government make demands on others when it has wreaked death and destruction on countless societies with its military might

      Countless??? Because he follows it up with a fairly exhaustive and very countable list.

      Meanwhile, as you said, he ignores not only the awful stuff the Iranian government has done (which, OK, two wrongs don’t make a right, but it’s still extremely disingenuous), but he ignores the hard realities that led to some of that “countless death and destruction.” The atomic bombs are sort of the classic examples there.

      Richman reminds me of that smug kid in high school who thought he was sooooo smart and sophisticated compared to all his immature peers.

      1. I don’t fault him on the ‘countless’ I took that to mean ‘there’s lots more I can cite.’

      2. Everyone with half a brain knows that the word “countless” is being used here in a figurative sense. No one in their right mind would interpret that as saying that the military atrocities of the United States government cannot be put into a one-to-one correspondence with the set of integers. This is all the more true when you realize that the set of all events that ever occurred in the universe is a countable set if expressed as a chronicle of discrete events.

        1. Uh…what you defined is “uncountable” which is an actual mathematical term not “countless”. Rational number are countably infinite, irrationals are not.

          1. Correct. Now explain how “uncountable” and “countless” are different. Can something be countless and countable?

  3. Iran never threatened the United States or Israel.

    And this is when I realized that Sheldon Richman is either a pathological liar or is losing his mind.

    I wonder why it was that sanctions were put in place to begin with. Is it because the US doesn’t like Muslims? Maybe it was because Iranians aren’t WASPs and we’re all super racist.

    Oh, no, that’s right, it was because Iran was developing nuclear capability while at the same time threatening to annihilate one of our closest allies in the region with said nukes following a history of sponsoring terrorism and burning us in effigy.

    You know, Sheldon. Threats.

    Intelligence reports and IAEA investigations showed that Iran was steadily developing a nuclear weapons program throughout the past decade. Funny, because we’d destroyed their greatest threat in Iraq and replaced it with a regime largely seen as a puppet of Iran. So, who were those missiles going to be pointed at, pray tell?

    Has any of that changed as a result of these negotiations? Nope. Did the Iranian government ever take steps that would have resulted in the end of sanctions, such as allowing weapons inspectors to verify that they were not producing weapons-grade uranium? Nope. So, explain to me how removing the one bit of leverage the world had to try to convince the Iranian regime to stop their nuclear program will somehow magically convince them to do so.

    1. Oh, no, that’s right, it was because Iran was developing nuclear capability while at the same time threatening to annihilate one of our closest allies in the region with said nukes following a history of sponsoring terrorism and burning us in effigy.

      I’m pretty sure Iran having nukes or not is an issue for the Middle East to deal with on its own terms.

      Also, fuck Israel. What’s this so-called “ally” ever do in return for the US anyway?

      1. I’m pretty sure Iran having nukes or not is an issue for the Middle East to deal with on its own terms.

        Then you are an idiot who hasn’t paid attention to post-Cold War policy in the ME.

        1. Then you are an idiot who hasn’t paid attention to post-Cold War policy in the ME.

          Yeah? And how’ve those policies worked out so far?

          1. Quite well by and large.

            1. Lol

              1. Shut the fuck up, tulpa.

                1. With your GOP talking points you’re more likely to be Tulpa. Our ME policy has worked out “Quite well by and large”. Thanks Billy Kristol!

                  1. Shut the fuck up, tulpa.

                    1. Whatever Billy.

                2. Ah yes, the high level of discourse and mutual civility is why I keep coming back. You know there is a real person behind those comments. Would you say that to his face? Wait, don’t answer that….

          2. Yeah? And how’ve those policies worked out so far?

            Is this relevant? There’s no sign they are changing anytime soon. That’s the point. I wasn’t making any positive statement about America’s policy choices at all. I’d rather deal with what I think will be the realistic results in the world we actually live in rather than the fantasy one you would like.

        2. Then you are an idiot

          You could have stopped typing right there. Richman threads attract the Taki commenters like steaming shitpiles attract flies.

          1. You have to love Billy’s insular paranoia. His site is being ruined by nefarious joe’s, Tulpa’s and invading hordes of ‘Taki commenters!’ Poor fellow.

            1. You have to love Billy’s insular paranoia. His site is being ruined by nefarious joe’s, Tulpa’s and invading hordes of ‘Taki commenters!’ Poor fellow.

              Holy. Fucking. Shit.

              You literally don’t own a mirror, do you?

    2. how long have US politicians been saying to bomb Iran? Who was that presidential candidate who sang a rendition of a Beach Boys song about Iran?

      1. It wasn’t a Presidential Candidate – just some DJ making a parody. That parody was well-received because Iran had committed acts of war against the United States and people were pissed.

        1. He sings it right here on video

          1. Never heard that – whatever, he’s an idiot.

            I’m old enough to remember this – got a lot of radio play in ’79.


            1. “Never heard that”

              Yes, I bet you didn’t.

              1. Wow. What a smarmy ass.

                1. Yes, McCain is that.

                  1. Was referring to you, but you have a point about McCain.

                    1. Yes, I knew that, I was having a joke at your expense.

                    2. I know that was your aim. Just fell flat.

                    3. Of course the butt of a joke usually sees it that way…

                    4. Sometimes a person makes himself the butt of a joke without realizing it because he has no self awareness…

    3. So, who were those missiles going to be pointed at, pray tell?

      I do think it’s likely that Iran wants nukes less as an active offensive capability and more as a deterrent, a la North Korea. They see the Kims and Putin running roughshod over international norms and basic human decency and no one touches them. Why? Because they have nukes. You know who didn’t have nukes? The Taliban, Sadam, Qadhafi, Assad.

      1. They probably also see that countries without nukes get invaded quite a bit, those with them don’t. Another problem with the bellicoise foreign policy conservatives have pushed.

        1. Yeah, conservatives. Clinton in Bosnia, current regime in Libya, etc. Warmongering is all one sided.

          1. I certainly agree Democrat Presidents of late have had their murder-happy interventions too, though their scope has been smaller. Point conceded.

            1. Scope is smaller? Vietnam, LBJ.

              1. When I said ‘of late’ I didn’t go back to Vietnam. That’s kind of purposefully because the entire foreign policy of following Democrat administration’s has been ‘don’t ever do anything that looks like Vietnam!’ Their smaller interventions are not due to some virtue of their’s re: non-intervention, it’s because they’re once-bitten-twice-shy.

                1. They aren’t, and neither are conservatives. They are both wholly convinced about the righteousness of their causes and interventions and the wrongness of the other side’s. The left, for the most part, are just as enthusiastic about war, if it is “the right war”.

                  1. The left has a pretty strong aversion to large scale ground wars since Vietnam though. Tallest midget and all, it’s still preferable imo.

                    1. Air wars are no less expensive or bloodless. Current regimes drone strikes and Arab Spring interventions bear that out. Choosing the lesser evil is acceptable, if it is really lesser.

                    2. I’m not sure they are not less expensive, and they’re usually less bloodless for America.

            2. WW I — Democrat
              WW II — Democrat
              Korea — Democrat
              Vietnam — Democrat

              What were you saying about scope?

              1. Why would I tell you what I said about scope when you failed to get what I said about ‘of late’ in the same comment?

                1. Well, it’s certainly more convenient to limit your period of historical scope to the only one in history that favors your narrative.

                  1. Well, it’s certainly more convenient to limit your period of historical scope to the only one in history that favors your narrative.

                    Especially when you are a disingenuous piece of shit.

                2. If you think “since Carter” is “of late” you have a very myopic view of history. Historically speaking, World War I was yesterday. We’re still feeling the aftershocks and still dealing with the fallout of the Wilson Presidency.

                  Starting your “Democrats don’t make big wars” timeline right after the last Democrat-started big war is pretty disingenous. I’d call it an arbitrary point, except it’s not arbitrary at all why you chose that point.

                  The Democratic party has been the party of Big Government and Big Warfare for its entire existence. Trying to disown that is like them also trying to disown that they’re the party of slavery, segregation and the Ku Klux Klan by setting the date at “that day we decided that wasn’t good PR.”

                  1. It is Tulpa, that is how he rolls.

                  2. Without Wilson, there would never have been a WW2*.

                    *Or it would have been unrecognizable to us.

                  3. I’ll pile on here. They even change from Progressive to Liberal when inconvenient associations with fascism and eugenics put them on the spot. I might add the eugenics hasn’t stopped either…what with selling baby guts on the black market.

                    1. …and the fascism hasn’t stopped as well.

                  4. “Historically speaking, World War I was yesterday.”

                    Historically speaking, WWI was a cake-walk compared to the civil war, which saw over a half million Americans lose their lives. A war prosecuted by Republicans.

                  5. We are still reeling from the deals that Wilson had nothing to do with. France and Britain had the deals all worked out where they would split the Middle East between each other-that is the true history of the matter. Wilson wanted no part of the treaties/games of European politics of the time; so it would be unfair to blame hime as you do..

      2. Possible. I still believe they will use them offensively, but they might have the idea to use them as a deterant (sp? ).

        1. I doubt Iran’s irrational enough to marginalize themselves by actively using nukes. Nuclear deterrent is their more likely angle.

          1. This. A major premise of those against the Iran deal is we should just ‘get tougher’ with sanctions because that will influence Iran, then many of these same people say they think Iran will offensively use nuclear weapons, which of course would be the kind of thing to trigger real, universal sanctions (and of course more than that).

            1. Again, assumes the theocrats are rational.

              1. If they’re not rational then more sanctions or ‘getting tougher’ or ‘better deals’ are not alternatives either. That pretty much leaves war, the health of the state.

                1. Not necessarily. More sanctions could lead to another uprising, hopefully one that was more than college students.

                  1. Honest questions: have sanctions *ever* led to a mass uprising against an oppressive government? It seems like instead, they give those governments an outside enemy to use as an excuse to tighten domestic control.

                    1. Right, I think it’s more likely that increased trade would undermine the regime than increased sanctions.

                    2. +1 trade

                      It may not undermine the regime but it could cause it to soften. The communists still control China but they aren’t the same communists of 30 years ago.

                    3. Nope, they’re younger totalitarians that still are peachy keen with gulags, forced abortions, religious persecution, imprisoning and killing political opponents, torturing dissidents and using their political prisoners as body part stores. But they love money and haven’t conducted any really big mass murders lately.

                      Much better….

                    4. Oh, and now they have Hong Kong.

                    5. China is no friend to liberty, to be sure. But what improvements they have shown have been from trade, not sanctions. Life has improved for a lot of Chinese people. I doubt that would have happened under a sanctions regime.

                      My only point is that trade is preferable. It’s not a panacea.

                    6. True, I said possible, not likely. I don’t see any alternative here that doesn’t suck.

              2. True, leaders are not always rational. But if they wanted to bring about some sort of mass martyrdom for all of Iran, they could do that now by launching a chemical or even conventional attack on Israel.

          2. OK, imagine this scenario.

            Suitcase or van-carried nuke blows up in Times Square.

            Analysis immediately traces it back to Iran.

            Iran maintains that the material was “stolen.” They vow to join the international community to try to track down the terrible, terrible miscreants to attacks the Great Satan, um, I mean the United States and appeal to the U.N.

            Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela and half the Middle East and African nations say “Sounds legit to me,” and back them.

            If we had a president as weak as Obama, you think he’d go ahead and retaliate anyway? Knowing that this would cause Iran to let loose with more nukes “in self defense?”

            1. They could also simply provide intelligence, expertise, enrichment and equipment to terrorist groups, while advising them on obtaining the actual uranium from sources that couldn’t be traced back to Iran.

            2. That’s what Ohio class subs are for.

  4. Iran never threatened the United States or Israel…

    Really? Are you sure about that?

  5. I agree that war isn’t the solution, but really Richman? The president of Iran said Israel needed to be wiped off the map. You really think the theocrats running Iran will actually keep good faith? You are living in a dream world. This deal is a waste a paper.

    1. I agree that war isn’t the solution, but really Richman? The president of Iran said Israel needed to be wiped off the map. You really think the theocrats running Iran will actually keep good faith? You are living in a dream world. This deal is a waste a paper.

      Israel is perfectly capable of fending for itself when it wants to. No reason the US should be acting like its protective big brother.

      1. Never referenced Israel. They aren’t the only ones who could be harmed by nuclear capable Iran. Most likely target? Probably. Only target? No.

        1. Most likely target?

          No. Don’t start with the assumption that there’s a target.

          1. Fair point. Conceded.

    2. Well,that is Richman’s patronizing bigotry. Muslim nations cannot be held accountsble for their rhetoric. They are like the mentally disabled that way.

  6. Bo and Jackand Ace love this article. Let’s review the actual facts here.

    No one within the region views this deal as legitimate. That’s ALWAYS a great way to start a treaty!

    This subjects Iran to (weak) treaty obligations and (pre-warned) weapon inspections that American Presidents now get to try and hold Iran to. Why, that sounds familiar. Can anyone tell me how with such a program in place we ended up invading Iraq?

    You could also argue that it will be far, far more difficult to put those sanctions back onto Iran, and that a bad deal now (which this is – it’s a toothless paper tiger) will almost certainly lead to escalated conflict down the road because the diplomacy thing was already tried.

    A treaty with a nation you neither trust that has no teeth or consequences for said country if it violates it, and which everyone who has to deal with the immediate consequences of hates is not a good treaty.

    Yes, doing nothing was better.

    1. Pt. 2 is short. Richman is an ass who spends a good portion of the article moralizing. Like, two small paragraphs at the start really explain why thinks this is a good deal. He never justifies his faith that Iran will stick to it without balking, and won’t give future American presidents reasons to be bellicose. Must be because he thinks there is no weapons program in the first place.

    2. I’m betting you were against the treaty before it even came out, like most of the GOP faithful, and therefore your citing of the failings of its provisions are less than trustworthy.

      1. I don’t see an argument here on the terms at all. Just an ad hominem that I’m some insidious GOP type. What version did you use, Bo? Salon’s “5 Reasons Obama’s Iran deal is the greatest foreign policy achievement since FDR beat Hitler?”

        Name a country in the region that is happy with this treaty outside Iran, Bo.

        1. Let me ask first, why would that be some criteria of whether the deal is a good one or not? Who cares if Sunni tyrannies are happy with our deal with a Shiite nation?

          1. Because they are the major actors in the region, and their anger has consequences like setting off an arms race, and intensifies their proxy wars elsewhere?

            Iran’s nukes aren’t a threat to us. They are a threat to regional security. So, how legitimate the rest of the region views the treaty matters. A lot. But I suppose not as much as Obama’s attempt at a cheap legacy play.

            1. We don’t let the Sunni nations in the region dictate our relationship and dealings with Israel, do we?

              1. Do you have any sense of history at all? The idea that an agreement signed with Iran is merely a matter of relations between Iran and the West is absurd and stupid. Israel is a completely different subject matter and do not make much sense on their own right from just a geopolitical perspective, either.

        2. Name a country in the region that is happy with this treaty outside Iran, Bo.

          The only proper response to him is, “Shut the fuck up, tulpa.” Don’t engage trolls or treat them like humans.

          In any case, to your point (which is 100% correct), there’s a non-zero chance that the positive outcome of this is an alliance among the Arab states and between them and Israel.

          1. “there’s a non-zero chance that the positive outcome of this is an alliance among the Arab states and between them and Israel.”

            Keep those comedy stylings coming Mr. Kristol!

            1. Well, Saudi Arabia already has a (not so) covert alliance with Israel.

          2. Well, I may learn that at some point. I don’t mind the argument.

          3. Why is Bo a troll? He’s earnestly engaged you and others here and is rarely the first to start with the ad-hominem attacks. Those of you who would rather this commentariate remain a right-libertarian/GOP circle jerk don’t realize how desperately this pot needs to be stirred.

      2. I’m betting you were for it before it came out. Just like Richman, you are saying this is a good deal because the only alternative is war. Maybe, just maybe, not totally caving by lifting any restrictions placed on Iran for violating the last agreement they signed. They could have at least got back the 4 or 5 Americans being held in Iran.

        1. I’m betting you were for it before it came out.

          Thanks, swami, but I don’t think you know me any better than Bo does.

      1. It was a bad description on my part. It’s early.

  7. It’s too early for this much stupid

  8. it reduces the chance of war

    Right there you know you’re reading something so idiotic and delusional that you’ll lose IQ points if you go any further.

    1. Needs more Neville Chamberlain!

      1. Shut the fuck up, tulpa.

        1. Ladies and gentlemen, Mister Billy Kristol!

    2. “It reduces the chances of war.”

      No doubt, just like the last nuclear inspection agreement we signed with a Middle Eastern country with a four-letter name that included an “I”, an “R” and an “A” reduced the chances of war in that country. Right, Sheldon?

      And while we are on the subject of true libertarianism versus partisan politics, since when are we accepting the Obama taking point that the “only alternative” to this deal was war? Really? That was the only alternative? Not a different deal?

      I reserve judgment on this “peacekeeping deal” until I read the fine print. We’ve had too many experiences with this administration in which the media-proclaimed version of agreements, proclamations, etc., do not match up with what the actual legal documents say.

  9. Ron Paul on the Deal

    “The Iranian nuclear deal is a big step toward world peace, and Republicans would be praising it if one of their own had negotiated it, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul told Newsmax TV’s “The Hard Line.”

    Paul told host Ed Berliner that the deal echoed Ronald Reagan’s deal with the Soviets in the 1980s. Paul’s biggest problem with the deal was that the United States had to work under the confines of the United Nations and NATO.

    “There’s something to be said about moving in the direction of at least talking to people instead of saying, ‘All right, you’re scoundrels, we’ll keep our $100 billion we’ve taken from you and all options are on the table, like if you don’t do what we tell you, we’re allowed to use our nuclear weapons against you,'” Paul said. “The tone has been changed. It’s to our benefit; it’s to the benefit of world peace.”…..z3g3ikn9rT

  10. The thing is, the Iranian government has no reason to keep it’s word, and probably won’t. This is only fair, since Obama, being a typical Liberal, will only keep HIS word if it’s convenient. So what we have os a piece of paper promising peace in our time. Oh, good.

    IF we can get trade going with the Iranian people, great. The passel of highbinders and nutballs that passes itself off as the Iranian government is fundamentally untrustworthy, and will cause trouble.

    I’m very much afraid that were we are going, agreement or not, is an Iranian attack on Israel, followed by a far more effective and comprehensive Israeli attack on Iran (and whatever sundry Islamic groups are stupid enough o stand in the way). And when that happens the International Community is going to wring its hands in horror and generally act as if Israel wasn’t totally justified. If you can’t tell, BTW, I consider the terms “International Community” and “Simpering Hypocritical Idiots” largely interchangeable.

    So, my real objection to an Iranian Agreement is not what it pro ports to agree to, but the belief it embodies that the people running Iran are worth making agreements with. They aren’t. They are certain to break the agreement in an embarrassing and very public way. Further, the agreement will serve largely to limit the options of whatever Republican may win office before the Iranians renege on it (the Democrats will do whatever they damn please, and the Media will cover for them).

    1. It’s much, much more likely that there will be an attack by Israel on Iran (to qualify: a conventional military attack, Iran indirectly supports attacks on Iran through its support of various Lebanese and Palestinian groups). Iran is in no position to fight Israel and Israel has a history of attacks on nation’s they think are developing dangerous weapons capacities.

      1. And, frankly, anything Israel decides to do along those lines is substantially justified. The “Arab World” (or whatever collective term you want to use) has forfeited any right to outrage by its attacks on Israeli civilians, its failed wars, and it’s treatment of its treatment of its Palestinian pawns.

        The pressure on Israel to be “reasonable” is so much bullshit; the smug moralizing of people whose children are not at risk. Of the nation in the area circa 1950, two were worth being treated with some kind of respect. Lebanon we allowed to be swamped by the barbarism of Islamic ambition. Israel has stayed afloat largely by NOT doing what the hand-wringers want. The rest would be better off if Colonialism had never ended. Sadly, there is nobody who could take up the reins of Colonial administration. The countries that did it are no longer of the right temperament.

        The anti-Colonioal intellectuals have a lot of death and misery to answer for.

        1. “or whatever collective term you want to use”

          I don’t use collective terms. If an Arab group attacks Israel, or supports those that do, then they deserve reprisal, but those that do not, don’t.

          “The rest would be better off if Colonialism had never ended.”

          Yes, if only the West had coercively forced them to be more free…

          1. I’m not concerned with making them more free. I don’t, at this late date, give a fat damn about their freedom. I never had much hope for them acting modern and responsible (hell, I don’t expect that much of the French). I would be content if somebody would make them act civil.

            Islam is barbarism. Maybe it can reform, and maybe it can’t. Right now, it is unworthy of respect.

            The Indians learned from the Raj, eventually and imperfectly. Maybe in a couple more centuries, the ISlamic world could have too. Or not. I really don’t care. the decades that have followed the end of colonialism have convinced me that these countries are not fit for self-government. I have no theories about why, and don’t care. If they were con ten to know on their own vitals, I would be ready to leave them alone; I have no drive to rule them “for their own good”. But their idiocy keeps spilling over onto others.

            I don’t want to rule the middle east. I can think of no fate messier. I WOULD like to start establishing that coming to our negative attention has nasty consequences.

            We should have taken down Iraq’s government and left. Same for Afghanistan. We should seriously consider doing that for Iran. Diplomacy only works with people who understand the costs of breaking their word.

            1. “I don’t, at this late date, give a fat damn about their freedom. ”

              That’s pretty clear. I do care about their freedom like I care about everyone’s freedom, and whatever problems they have over there I’m pretty sure coercive rule by foreign powers is not the answer to anything.

              “Islam is barbarism.”

              That’s collectivization. There’s been chunks of history where Islamic areas were less ‘barbaric’ than Christian ones, and there have been places like Malaysia where Muslim majority societies were fairly civilized.

              “Diplomacy only works with people who understand the costs of breaking their word.”

              Jar jar is always worth trying.

              1. “I do care about their freedom” ”

                Why? Unless we want to invade and impose a modern Raj (which I don’t think would work), there’s little we can to to affect it. The freedom of their rulers is, based on recent history, a bad thing.

                “like I care about everyone’s freedom, and whatever problems they have over there I’m pretty sure coercive rule by foreign powers is not the answer to anything.”

                I don’t want to rule any of that region. I can imagine few more thankless tasks. What I WOULD like to see is a doctrine whereby the local strongmen and nutters are assured that if they annoy us we will reduce their power structure to so much rubble. And then leave the rubble for the people who live there to deal with. Will that result in another Strong Man state? Sure. But that’s what we have now, and the new strong man will have the object lesson of his predecessor before his face. Do we owe the people these strong men batten on better? Arguably. Come up with a plan that doesn’t involve us moving in for two centuries (until the locals are accustomed to something better, and know how to keep it), and has some chance of working (which out Nation Building in Iraq didn’t) and I’ll think about it.

              2. Cntd.

                I think the best we can manage is to make it clear that certain kinds of behavior are not acceptable, and that indulging in them anyway has unpleasant consequences. The best we can to is muzzle some of the warlords.

                I don’t LIKE it, but I’m unwilling to engage in “diplomatic negotiations” that I am sure are wasted effort or “Nation Building” that I’m sure will fail expensively just to appear more moral.

        2. “The anti-Colonioal intellectuals have a lot of death and misery to answer for.”

          Colonialism in the middle east ended largely thanks to terrorism. It’s the terrorists who ended colonialism. Aden for example. A terrorist attack on British colonial officials and a few years later they pull out. They were only repeating the pattern they experienced in Israel and that of the French in Algeria.

          1. The die was cast for colonialism at the end of the first world war.

    2. “the Iranian government has no reason to keep it’s word, and probably won’t”

      Couldn’t you say this about any treaty, like Reagan’s with the USSR?

      1. I consider that a possible mistake also. I’m told that it made for rifts inside the Soviet power structure. Maybe the Iran agreement will have a similar effect. Given Obama’s foreign policy track record (and that of his Sec. States, *shudder*) I’m not too hopeful.

        1. “Maybe the Iran agreement will have a similar effect.”

          That’s just the kind of wishful thinking that has characterized the US position from the revolution till now. The US can magic away the regime by doing next to nothing, like signing an agreement. It has never worked.

  11. Cato on the Deal:

    “The deal just struck between the U.S., world powers, and Iran is an historic achievement that decreases the likelihood of an Iranian nuclear weapon and forestalls the risk of another costly U.S. war in the Middle East…

    On the one side was a strikingly broad consensus of nearly the entire arms control community, which recognizes what the deal can achieve in terms of nonproliferation and regional stability. On the opposing side is the Iran hawk community, which focused less on the nuclear issue than on finding ways to isolate and ultimately destroy Iran’s clerical regime, by military force if necessary, nuclear program or not.”…

    1. On the one side was a strikingly broad consensus of nearly the entire arms control community

      Oh good. Consensus. Of the same people who thought the NK and Iraq arms control programs were without flaw. I’m sold.

    2. “On the one side was a strikingly broad consensus of nearly the entire arms control community, ”

      During my lifetime “the entire arms control community” has consisted largely of morons, Communism apologists, and dictators seeking an advantage. If a pack of hungry brain-eating zombies broke into a World Peace Conference they would starve.

      Which doesn’t make the Iran hawks right, mind.

      The argument over Iran (and Iraq, and Afghanistan, etc) is a false dichotomy between Invasion, conquest and occupation on the one side and making nice-nice on the other. There are plenty of other options. Most of them won’t WORK, but some of them will fail more cheaply.

    3. Cntd.
      I do agree that an invasion of Iran would be a catastrophe, BECAUSE WE WOULD STAY. We have no rational reason to think that staying to “Nation Build” or “Help to Stabilize The Region” would do anything good, but we would stay.

      Given that we aren’t going to adopt a Gunboat Diplomacy strategy of “We leave your government to you until it irritates us, and then we shoot it and you start over” (and we aren’t, drat it), I think our best bet is to avoid deals entirely. They aren’t going to honor one that inconveniences them one tiny bit, so why should we hobble ourselves? I don’t advocate an embargo, either. What I would do if I were running the Nation (and you should get down on your knees and give thanks that I don’t. I’ll join you.) would be to say “We make no deals with Iran. And private person who wants to may deal with or in Iran, but we will not accept any responsibility for enforcing or trying to enforce any contracts. Iran has demanded the right to go to hell in its own way. Very well, but we decline to get in the hand basket. We have enough of our own.”

  12. That the Iranians will have sanctions lifted is something all humane people will welcome.

    Cheap debating tactic. Set up your argument such that you predefine anyone who disagrees with you as “inhumane.”

    Zero points awarded.

    1. You’re always welcome to counter with ‘no, making the people in Iran collectively worse off in the hopes they might engage in a violent struggle ending in regime change is the humane thing to do’ I guess.

  13. 1) Iran won’t keep it’s word whatever they say on paper.

    2) How can anyone assert ‘it reduces the chance of war’? How insipid and naive, let alone ignoring the basic facts of history and human nature, does one have to be?

    3) Yeah. Not sure this administration is as smart as it thinks.

    4) “It’s especially outrageous for Israel, which has aggressed against its neighbors, to stand in judgment of Iran.” That’s one sickening sentence given Iran is pretty much feared by everyone in the region (Arab and Jews) and is the largest sponsors of terror on the planet.

    Nice way to insert your anti-Israel nonsense, Richman.

    1. “Iran won’t keep it’s word whatever they say on paper.”

      The exact same thing could have been said about the USSR that Reagan negotiated with, or any nation we don’t like that we engage in diplomacy with.

      1. I didn’t say don’t engage Bo.

        I said don’t go around yapping about what it will do.

        But I will say the Soviet political system, by the point, wasn’t filled with psycho terrorist religious nuts.

        1. by that point

        2. Communism was very much a psychotic religious type of ideology.

          1. I love the amount of rope you accord yourself.

    2. Hihnie, Joe and Tulpa agree with Richman so he must be right. /said no one ever

      Richman hates the jeeeewwwwws so much it blinds him to this being a precursor to WWIII. I can’t wait to see the article after the war starts from Richman on how America caused it all. Stupid and pathethic.

  14. The neo-con rage is strong in here. I feel like Krauthammer single-handedly wrote the entire comments section.

    How long are we to suffer these disillusioned republitards? How many of you actually nutted up and voted for Johnson last time around?

    Go crawl back to your Christies and Bushes, please.

    1. I did, actually. And once again, because we point out this is a bad deal, we must be for war. Not a zero sum game.

      1. I didn’t say anyone was pre-war. That aside, Iran is a country that we’ve continuously fist-fucked for going on sixty years. I’m lost as to why so many of the neo-cons in here are surprised that Iran, tyrannical theocracy or not, has taken a pointedly anti-fist-fuck position.

        We *are* directly responsible for the creation of their theocratic government, after all.

    2. Bo has a sockpuppet? This is getting so meta.

  15. This isn’t going to be a good deal like the political talking points suggest. Iran will probably build nuclear weapons as a deterrent against Western mettling and invasion. The Sunni’s will probably be up in arms about this and an arms race will ensue. Hopefully this doesn’t resemble the Iran-Iraq War attacks on shipping in the Gulf.

    With all that being said, none of the above would really matter if we could manage to not feel like we need to use military intervention constantly. TDR had it right with the idea of “walking softly and carrying a big stick.” If you do some digging on Iran you will find they are suspicious of the West for good cause. We managed to screw over the Iranian people for most of the twentieth century until they finally decided to get snippy.

  16. Yes there have been negative consequences for our actions. But I consider chanting “death to America” a threat. Iran has also most definitely threatened Israel. They gave rockets to Hezbollah and Hamas with the directive that the rockets will fired at Israel.

    This article does not address the issue on nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. Why should Saudi Arabia honor the Non-nuclear proliferation treaty now? Why should Eygpt?

    PS this article assumes that the factions attacking Israel in Lebanon would not have organized without Israel invading. But the invasion was a reaction not a genesis.

  17. NOBODY likes Obama’s cave in to get any kind of treaty. Couldn’t even get a couple of hostages released. THAT tells you what Obama has accepted.Lots of anti-Semitic hate on this blog.
    Israel is the only civilized country in that corner of the world.

    1. Is there now a Republican-Talking-Points bot?

  18. The Republican leadership has long stopped asking me for my advice on things.

    Actually they never did.

    But still IF they did, I think I would warn them of overreaching. Reagan was a fan of arms reductions treaties — just keep repeating Reagan’s favorite proverb “Trust but Verify”. Instead of attacking the plan, tear into seeing if verification procedures are strong.

    And maybe note to the Iranians that releasing those three Americans held in their jails would do a lot to engender good will on Capitol Hill.

  19. There is one point here I agree with Obama on entirely, and that’s that the only option to get rid of Iran’s nukes is war. And I mean an actual invasion. Negotiating here was not Obama’s first option.

    So, on this, I actually think Obama is pretty honest. He thinks any deal is better than no deal. I think status quo was more acceptable, though. I think the hawks would have backed down on this issue, and I don’t think a treaty necessarily deescalates the situation the way the left is arguing. Because treaties don’t always ease tension, but instead come with obligations that can lead to further episodes down the road. A treaty comes with responsibility on both sides.

    If Iran is caught, or can even be made to look as if it violated the terms, what happens? What is the option after diplomacy?

    Conversely, bombing isn’t going to get rid of this situation. If it would have worked, Israel would have done it. Cyberwar did not work. Economic pressure definitely will not work, but at least made Iran suffer to get its way and probably did more to delay the process than anything else we could have done.

    1. Invasion of Iran is not necessary to stop it’s nuclear weapons program. that is a strawman. Destroying the sites and centrifuges by bombing halts it,and if necessary,we repeat it. Iran cannot afford to keep building new sites and thousands of new centrifuges,nor replace all the dead nuclear scientists and techs.

      also,there’s no need to invade to “insure we destroyed all the centrifuges”,the centrifuges are VERY delicate machines spinning at very high RPMs. interrupt their power,and they slow down,and if not controlled carefully,they self-destruct. Then all that toxic,hot,corrosive UF6 spills out and contaminates everything in the vicinity.
      Just the terrific shock of a GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator exploding nearby would cause them to fail destructively. If it didn’t collapse the tunnels on top of them first.

      1. “Just the terrific shock of a GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator exploding nearby would cause them to fail destructively.”

        The beautiful thing is, in your little scenario, the Iranians simply roll over and don’t take retaliatory steps.

    2. There is no permanent solution to this. The best we can hope for is to buy time until the Iranian regime is toppled from the inside, and we have no real idea how long that will take.

      No politician will admit it, of course.

      1. “The best we can hope for is to buy time until the Iranian regime is toppled from the inside”

        And I thought it was some inner toppling of the American regime that libertarians were hoping for.

    1. Yup its a fucking Shit Blizzard.


  20. The editors must have gotten to Richman. Title of article is changed.

  21. Clearly this wasn’t the best deal imaginable, but it was probably the best deal the Obama Administration was going to get. The Iranians know that the Obama administration is weak domestically. That it suffers from a confrontational Congress, an administration desiring some kind of legacy and at the same time a Lame Duck administration. So, they clearly had the upper hand in the short term negotiations.

    I think it’s likely that keeping the sanctions intact for another two years would have lead to a tougher deal. But there would have been a political cost for the US in keeping all the other nations on board and a humanitarian cost on the Iranian people. That being said, this is all a matter of possibilities and future intentions. It’s reasonable to predict that the US will just ignore Iran in the future, if Iran isn’t actively funding regional terrorists or obviously working on a nuclear bomb. The question is can a near future Iranian leadership constrain itself and does it even desire too?

    1. Only, Iran is still actively funding groups opposed to the United States and its allies. The entire region is up in flames, and no one likes the deal besides America. Ignoring Iran? I don’t think that’s possible for the next president. It’s not just ISIS. Iran and the Gulf States have multiple proxy wars going on right now.

  22. it increases the chance of war since all treaties are backed up by war so no that is not a good thing

  23. It is always fascinaring to see how delusional about bad actors Richman’s hatred for his own country makes him.

  24. This is a completely one-sided hitpiece against the United States. Richman fails to note that sanctions against Iran were passed by the United Nations, with support from traditional Iranian supporters Russia and China. It takes the naive view that Iran isn’t on an intentional path to build a nuclear weapon. It makes the absurd statement, “Iran never threatened the United States or Israel.”, when Iran supports military organizations like Hamas and holds regular events with chants of “Death to America”.

    Yes, Richman, we know you hate your country, but don’t let that impact your Reason.

  25. But Obama did it. “Obama bad.”^1


    1. Excerpted from the seminal libertarian manifesto, Obama Bad: 2009?2017, which expounds in rigorous detail the breadth of libertarian thought during the era established in the title.

    1. Apparently it escaped your attention that no one has used that as a justification in over 100 comments. Your comment is entirely detached from reality.

    2. I prefer Obama Punk but whatever.

  26. 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.

    1. “They have accepted defeat.”

      About time too. The revolution was almost 40 years ago, It’s high time Americans accepted reality. The regime is not going to be magicked away.

    2. “They have accepted defeat.”

      Maybe it’s a backlash against the neo-con and liberal interventionalist mindset that has produced NOTHING for us other than drained coffers and dead soldiers.

  27. “The good that will come out of this agreement cannot be overstated.”

    Statements like this irritate the heck out of me. I live in the real world where agreements with madmen ALWAYS turn out bad.

    There will be not a shred of good will. Not a bit. It will be spun as the US capitulated to Iran’s power, and they will use it to build more false power. There will not be one Iranian that says ‘Wow, thank goodness for the US. We were wrong about them all this time it turns out.’

    You just put $50 B into the hands of crazy people who wish to kill as many of us as they can. Good job! And, Richman – you’re a numbskull.


      Obama wants to know.

  28. Sanctions weren’t working and this deal probably won’t stop nukes.

    Nothing was going to stop Iran from getting nukes since we aren’t willing to risk WW3.

    This is probably the best deal Obama could have gotten and it’s hard to see how it could make things worse.

    Boy the trolls are out today!

    1. This is one of the better arguments. But if this argument is correct, we should not be gushing over how historic it is or hinting at nobel peace prizes.

  29. it’s clear that many people don’t realize that we are already “at war” with Iran.
    Because like it or not,Iran IS at war with the US. they have been ever since 1979 takeover of our Embassy. If Iran is allowed to build nuclear weapons,the US is going to suffer one of them exploding in space over the US,an EMP attack,that will cause most of or population to die in the aftermath. Because we are NOT prepared to survive under 19th century living conditions.

    Iran has discussed EMP attack –on the US– extensively,and has TESTED two methods of delivering such an attack. and the US is the sole nation able and willing to block them from their goals of aggression. We are their “Great Satan”,to be dealt with before the “lesser Satan” of Israel.

    This “agreement” does NOTHING towards preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons,it facilitates it. Wake up,people.

  30. My Lebanese wife stated the main reason to support the treaty: it increases Shia power over the Sunni. The Shia are the only ones with the will to stop the advance of Isis into Lebanon and other middle eastern areas. However, the author has naive views on the nature of war. During WORLD WAR II, both the Japanese and the Germans killed civilians with their air attacks, and you cannot win a war if your enemy is killing your civilians while you are respecting theirs. American bombing of civilians in Dresden and the atomic bombing of Japan were key elements in breaking the will of the Germans and the Japanese. Without these bold attacks, the war would have continued much longer, and it is no exaggeration to state that hundreds of thousands of Americans were saved by these attacks. The author also seems to adopt moral relativism with respect to the various countries: America is not seen to be morally superior to Nazi Germany or Imperialist Japan; in fact, it is evil for the way it won the war. I say that under this definition of evil, all victors in war must be considered evil.

    1. “American bombing of civilians in Dresden…”

      You need to study more history instead of spouting leftist lies. The Americans launched more risky day light raids against strategic targets in Dresden and it was the British indiscriminate night raids which caused most of the civilian casualties.

      1. I am not a leftist and would certainly never spread their lies. You are correct in stating that the carpet bombing of Dresden was largely a British operation. My main point was that this action is justifiable. First of all, the Germans had already killed more than 50,000 British civilians in the London air raids, and can’t be expected to merely wait until more of their civilians are killed. Second, the German people are collectively responsible for putting Hitler in power. The Germans elected Hitler, and the German Parliament gave Hitler absolute power through a democratic vote of politicians representing the German people. The reason I mentioned Dresden is to show the hypocrisy of the author. He mentions Hiroshima only because it involved the use of an atomic bomb, and fails to mention the carpet bombing of Dresden and Hamburg. The Hiroshima bomb, which killed 70,000, is hailed as an example of American evil because it was atomic, wheras the largely British carpet bombing in Germany (Dresden, Hamburg, and others), which killed about 500,000, is ignored because it involved the use of conventional bombs. To my mind, if a person is dead, he is dead; and wars are ultimately battles of political ideology, the participants being merely the pawns.

        1. I agree with you that terror tactics can be useful. They have served the Arabs and Israelis fairly well over the years. I doubt they work in situations like WWII. The effect of totting up civilian casualties in places like Coventry and Hamburg was disappointing to the perpetrators. The survivors did not fall to pieces as was predicted, but rather they simply carried on. There were no voices raised to capitulate as a response to these attacks. By the time of the Dresden bombing, Germany was already on her knees. Thanks to successive military attacks against her army and infrastructure rather than any terror campaign against the populace. Much the same can be said of Japan.

          1. This REASON article is not reasonable for many reasons.
            1) “The chance of war with Iran has shrunk”: Obama, who is a Shia in spirit, will never go to war against Iran; moreover, it is not in the national interest to weaken the Shia and make Isis stronger.
            2) “The Mideast would be set aflame by a war with Iran”: The mideast is already aflame–is the author unaware of the Shia/Sunni conflict, the Arab/Jew conflict, the mass executions of Isis?
            3) “The U.S. is not a legitimate prosecutor, judge and probation officer of Iran’s government”: First of all, REASON should not be legitimizing a brutal theocracy, and the real issue is whether the Iran government is an enemy of the U.S. In World War II, Japan and Germany showed that they were enemies of the U.S. and Britain BY THEIR AGGRESSIVE WORDS & ACTION, and that is the reason we didn’t accept their legitimacy.
            4)”But what standard of a morality may a government engage in a policy of death and destruction (e.g. the atomic bombing of Hiroshima)? By the standard of self-defense. Obviously, we didn’t like the Pearl Harbor bombing and wanted to prevent further death and destruction on our own soil.

            1. “Japan and Germany showed that they were enemies of the U.S. and Britain BY THEIR AGGRESSIVE WORDS & ACTION, and that is the reason we didn’t accept their legitimacy.”

              The US did recognize the legitimacy of these fascist regimes. They enjoyed diplomatic and business relations, up to the outbreak of fighting, and even continuing as they fought in the case of businesses.

              You don’t need to argue the morality of terror tactics with me. I don’t have a big problem with terror tactics. As I say, terror works, though in the case of Japan, she was already finished militarily by the time of the Hiroshima bombing, and experience has shown that a civilian population doesn’t buckle under terror attacks. Hamburg and Coventry showed that it strengthens their resolve.

          2. I disagree with you regarding the will of Japan to continue before the atomic bombs. In fact, the Japanese refused to surrender even AFTER the bombing of Hiroshima. Nagasaki was bombed BECAUSE the Japanese refused to surrender after the first bomb, and only after the second bomb did Japan surrender. No one ever mentions the fact the Americans tried to save the lives of Japanese civilians by airdropping leaflets that warned them of the atomic bomb, but it was the Japanese government that forced many to stay in these doomed areas (this shows how much the Japanese government cared about their own citizens).

            1. I think your grasp of the Japanese situation is even weaker than yours of just who perpetrated the terror bombing of Dresden.

              You should read about Okinawa, a major battle that took place months before Hiroshima and saw civilians there actually collaborate with the Americans, while the fascists treated the Okinawans with shocking brutality. Okinawa finished off the Japanese navy as a fighting force and essentially the Japanese military as well.

              I notice you haven’t mentioned the Soviets. It had declared war on Japan and was making moves against her. In fact they still hold today several islands seized from Japan. This prospect put the fear of god into the regime. The loss of a few Christian ridden back waters like Nagasaki and Hiroshima simply didn’t measure up to what the fascists feared the Soviets were capable of.

              What’s important to understand is that the Japanese fascists were ruled by a warrior class, and their most important loyalty was to their emperor. It’s also important to understand that one of the first acts of the Bolsheviks was to slaughter their monarchy. It would have been entirely reasonable to assume they planned to repeat the trick with the Japanese monarchy. The Americans on the other hand were perfectly OK with letting the emperor continue to sit on his throne. I think that’s key to understanding the end of the war. The Atomic bombs make for good press and allow the possessors to maintain the illusion of ultimate power, but they were a side show.

  31. OMG. How absurd, in every respect.

  32. “The nuclear agreement with Iran is good for two reasons: it reduces the chance of war, and it promises relief from sanctions for the Iranian people.”

    The nuclear agreement with Iran does not reduce the chance of war.

    If and when Iran develops a nuclear capability, it will make conventional war more likely. Iran will be free to use Hezbollah for all sorts of things it would never have used it for before.

    Much like mutual assured destruction didn’t make war less likely during the Cold War. Vietnam, Angola, the Korean War, El Salvador, etc., etc…

    Oh, and beyond convention wars, if and when Iran enriches themselves a nuclear weapon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan will all get their own, too.

    P.S. Isn’t it funny how people can tout this “treaty” with the United States as if has some teeth, out of one side of their mouths, and yet completely ignore the consequences of Iran violating the NPT out of the other? The only reason the NPT was effective was because everyone presumed we wouldn’t relent on the consequences of signatories violating the treaty. Now that we’re letting Iran ignore the consequences of violating the NPT, why should we believe this new treaty will be effective at accomplishing anything?

    What are we going to do if Iran doesn’t comply? Hit them with sanctions?! Obama has made that threat a joke.

    1. ” why should we believe this new treaty will be effective at accomplishing anything”

      Two hostile parties sitting down together after decades of antagonism and ironing out an agreement is itself an accomplishment, one I wouldn’t have expected. Warmer relations between the US and Iran are on the horizon. Are Americans up to the challenge of capitalizing on these new circumstances?

      1. You do realize that what you just said could have been said after Munich 1938.

        I hope you are right, and you probably are as young Iranians will eventually take over, but its not clear that we have anything to really do to help Iran stop chanting Death to America.

        1. “what you just said could have been said after Munich 1938.”

          That’s irrelevant. Hitler desperately wanted war. That’s apparent in Mein Kampf. The Iranians have already had their war and I don’t see them wanting another. The sacrifices they underwent were unbelievable. Like the children who martyred themselves clearing landmines. They know what war is about. They know directly. not through what Hollywood chooses to portray. Your fear of Iranian aggression is groundless.

          This agreement only formalizes a growing cooperative relationship between the US. The invasion of Afghanistan wouldn’t have been possible without an airbase the Iranians let the Americans use. They had a common enemy you see, the Sunni Islamists. Other ways would have been found without Iranian assistance, probably, but the Iranians were there and ready when they were needed. In Iraq, the Americans looked to Sistani for moral authority and guidance and blessing. Sistani is an Iranian and the Dawa party he annointed spent the war in exile in Iran or even fighting against Saddam. As I say, US has been cozying up to Iran for some time now. This deal is just the next step.

    2. Yes, destroying the NPT is bad.

      And this deal is for 10 years only…

      So, does anyone think that in 10 years the middle east will be peaceful? Maybe.

  33. I love the way Richman starts his argument with a conclusion that the agreement lessens the chance of war. Where is the logic that leads to this conclusion. I would posit the opposite is true because Iran has demonstrated that its goal is to expand its influence, and that its preferred method is through the use of arms. This deal gives it greater resources by removing sanctions and giving it access to cash. Some of these resources will flow to Hezbollah, Al Quds, etc. . . . As they expand, there will come a time when others must resist. The reference to Munich is over-used, but very compelling in this case where you have a totalitarian regime bent on expansion surrounded by weaker neighbors.

    1. “Where is the logic that leads to this conclusion.”

      A successful agreement between two antagonistic parties lessens the antagonism and opens the door to trade and friendship. Next question?

  34. Well Sheldon,

    Munich in 1938 was supposed to decrease the chance for war. How did that work out for you?

    The people who lived through that era are dead. The people who studied it intensively because it was near history are old.

    Preventing the next world war with a muscular foreign policy is no longer popular.

    “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”
    ? Churchill’s remark after Chamberlain returned from signing the Munich pact with Hitler

  35. So Sheldon,

    You would prefer a Chinese hegemon? Or perhaps Russian?

    1. Non Sequitur. There need not be any hegemony.

      1. Over the Hedgemony was a pretty good Disney movie.

      2. Really? Perhaps you have missed out on world power politics for the last 3 or 4 hundred years.

        You may recall that our little dust up with the Brits was a serious inconvenience in their war with France for hegemony. All finally settle at a place called Waterloo.

        1. Except that you’re ignoring all the times there wasn’t a hegemony. It happens.

          Was the US government more or less tolerable to its own citizens when it was the hegemon? How about the British government?

      3. You do know that when we don’t have a Hegemon is when the most wars break out.

        And even balance of power requires a balancer. The UK did that for a while.

        Obama thinks we should be the balancer of power between Sunni and Shia Islam.

        That sounds dumb to me.

  36. Iran never threatened the United States or Israel.

    Uh…this is major Derp-age.

  37. Wow. A fair bit of derp. Let’ condense:

    1) it reduces the chance of war, and

    [evidence needed – cannot disprove the negative – dumb statement Sheldon]

    2) it promises relief from sanctions for the Iranian people.


    3) The good that will come out of this agreement cannot be overstated.

    [….aaaaaaaaaaaand, you’re a fucking retard. That is one, dumb statement. Of COURSE “the good” can be overstated, and we’ll see just how much in the next few years when Iran tried to jam this up the US government’s ass, starts violating the agreement, continues to fund head hunters and baby killers]

    Yeah, the US govt sucks. Yeah, they shouldn’t be droning Pakistani wedding parties. No, that doesn’t give Iran a pass.


    Better than your usual effort, Rich Man.

  38. We don’t need to sign this deal. We don’t need to send the Iranians billions of dollars in aid and give them the upper hand. What kind of “deal” did we sign that prevented warfare against Iran in the last 20 years? I don’t believe the false choices set by the likes of Richman.

    Iran is a terrorist sponsor and radical Islam (organic, versatile, supported by millions in principle) is the primary source of terrorism in the modern world. No, Iran isn’t Israel. It’s not Russia. It’s not even a rogue hermit state like North Korea. Every nuclear super power of the world should demand Iran submit to meaningful reforms and inspections.

    The point of negotiation and diplomacy (not war) is compromise. You do something for the other side, and get something in return. This deal doesn’t seem to do that. What’s the point?

    If we reject the deal and return to the status quo……. they’ll be no war. Whew! If they’re suspected of building nuclear weapons, then we can explore air strikes, like the ones Clinton did ordered on Iraq.

    Reject the deal, and enter a separate negotiation regarding sanction relief, which is a more worthwhile goal. Have the Iranians release American prisoners and commit to some human rights reform, even if superficial.

  39. Richman never fails to drunkenly slobber at any chance to slander the great Satan and the little Satan.

  40. You obtain $39/houre that’s great going girl good for you! i start working at laptop to work online , be proud I couldn’t be pleasure I obtain when I want and where I want. And with a few effort I bring in $53/houre and sometimess even as much as $97/houre.visit this site for more details…..

  41. The article completely misses the main reason for supporting the Iran treaty: the Shia should be supported in their conflict with the Sunni. The Shia (by their word and action) do not support suicide bombings and the beheading of civilians. The Christian in Lebanon can work together with the Shia, and they credit the Shia will stopping the advance of Isis into Lebanon. The Shia literally saved their necks. The Sunni are the ones responsible for most of the Islamic attacks against Americans, including 9/11 and the attack today against 4 Marines.

    1. You are missing one fact about shia. They were the ones developing IED’s that so profoundly changed the physical well being of many American service members trying to liberate their fellow shia from rape rooms and nonjudicial executions.

  42. So, Iran is going to cease it’s support of terrorism, stop working towards it’s clearly stated intention of ‘Wiping Israel off the map’ and is also going to ensure the economic prosperity of the Iranian people now?

  43. Mr. Richman you have pulled a John Cleese in “Life of Brian” with this article. Long live the PLFJ! Down with the JPLF!

  44. Sheldon, are you a complete tard or what? Your conclusions are child like fantasy.

  45. Notice that 1953 intervention is always mentioned in these articles, but they don’t mention 1941, a mere 12 years earlier when the same Allies forced the abdication of the Shah’s father.

    “Mohammad Reza Pahlavi came to power during World War II after an Anglo-Soviet invasion forced the abdication of his father, Reza Shah.”

    It should also be noted that the Shah’s father originally wanted to set up a secular republic like Turkey, but the mullahs convinced him to become Shah!

    History is never as simple as it seems.

    p.s. 1953 overthrow is a long time ago. Are there any but a few ancient people around in Iran who care? The hostage crisis was 35 years ago. If we can forgive that, they can forgive 1953.

  46. Obama says this will stop an arms race.

    But he already is ready to sell more arms including a missile shield to the Gulf states and the Saudis.

    Plus, we may see them go nuclear as well.

    I hope this deal works, but let’s not jerking each other off over it.

    Frankly, a few basic confidence building measures would have put me at ease: the ending of “Death to America” chants, and the sending back of the 4 guys in jail there.

  47. Wow.

    Sheldon has outdone himself today. It’s a Progtard *explosion*.

    “Iran never threatened the United States or Israel.”

    Death to America! Death to Da Joos! Yadda yadda yadda.

  48. Sheldon Richman is a vicious self hater. The prospect of a new Nazi style government such as Iran killing six million more Jews will give the opportunity for you Rhomites to do some more holocaust denial and in a different time set, too. Don’t be to smug my self hating and antisemitic friends, your Muslim pinup boys regard appeasement of their plans as weakness and move to humiliate the kaffirum appeasers. It is not accident this attack in Chattanoga came so soon after the Iran surrender deal was linked. It is not just us Jews who will die from Islamic terrorism. You Rhomites will be killed, too. In fact, it nearly happened when John Mohammed and Lee Malvo were doing their shooting spree. Keep wisecracking about the impeding holocaust of the six million Jews of Israel, Rhomites. The Muslim will get you too and you won’t find it funny even as antisemitic and self hating as the Libertarian community is.

  49. The Saudis have war on their minds: Before Iran can get income from the deal.…..03003.html

    Who could have seen that coming?

  50. Gosh darn Sheldon Richman for making me take the time to go through the registration process. But, how could I not? This article was so insane it demanded a response.

    I don’t have time to tear it apart (everyone else already else has) but wanted to say, “Sheldon cannot possibly believe this, can he? Clearly he wrote this just to elicit a reaction, right?”

    Sheldon is a very emotional person, and I think this trait does not benefit him. When he writes things like “Iran has never threatened Israel,” I mean, the whole article just goes out the window. Sheldon has a unique viewpoint on a lot of things, but I agree with others in observing that he is almost childlike, in that he thinks he can have his own facts, entirely his own.

    I really do not think this article is what it at first appears. I think we are dealing with someone who does not believe what he is writing and is just trying to stir up the pot (could he possibly believe that Iran has never threatened Israel?), or we are dealing with a person who has shown signs of derangement in the past and may have just crossed the line. I’m not saying he is not playing with a full deck — just that his emotions sometimes get the better of him which allows him to come across as such to his peers and even his friends.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.