When making peace takes more courage than making war ….

Well, we’ll see.

Iran and six major world powers, including the United States, have announced a tentative  and potentially historic agreement in which Iran will allow intensive, ongoing inspections of its entire nuclear program, cease some aspects of that program and surrender a stockpile of highly enriched uranium. In return, the tough international sanctions that drove Iran to negotiate will be relaxed as it carries out its obligations.

Skepticism is still justified, even mandatory. We’re still a long way from a final deal. And for some in Congress, of course, this deal won’t be deemed acceptable because they believe that no deal would be acceptable. The only resolution that they are willing would be regime change in Iran, with the current Islamic dictatorship replaced by a government that is friendly to the United States.

Certainly, that would be nice. Many things would be nice. The problem is that advocates of that coures have yet to explain how such a lofty goal might be achieved or how Iran’s nuclear program could be stopped while that long-off goal of regime change is pursued.

Let’s also put this into context: Back during the 2008 campaign, then-Sen. Barack Obama took considerable criticism for saying that if elected president, he would agree to negotiate with his Iranian counterparts. Later, as his administration attempted to work with Russia and China to cooperate on imposing tough sanctions against Iran, critics dismissed such cooperation as impossible, arguing that those two countries would never be willing to help us. Once those sanctions were in place, with Russia and China’s full cooperation, critics insisted that they would never succeed in driving Iran to negotiate.

Once negotiations began, they insisted that Iran would cheat on its obligations under the interim agreement to surrender nuclear material, cease operations and allow inspections. Once again they were wrong: Iran did not cheat. And even as Iran continued to meet its obligations and continued to negotiate in apparent good faith, critics claimed that in the end, Iran’s leadership would never accept the highly intrusive, longterm inspections and other steps that were outlined today.

As Obama noted in announcing the deal, it will be the United States, not Iran, whom the rest of the world will blame if Congress decides to undercut it. In the wake of such a tragic mistake, it would be all but impossible for the United States to rally the rest of the world to reimpose sanctions. Nor would they join us in taking military action. We, not Iran, would be the rogue nation. And those who made a negotiated outcome impossible would become responsible for what would come next, which would likely include the threat of a major war.

It would be deeply, profoundly irresponsible to allow this deal to be destroyed by partisan interests and an instinct to deny Obama any accomplishment, without at least taking an open-minded look at what the deal contains and what our remaining alternatives might be.  Yet some in Congress appear eager to do exactly that. It was remarkable, for example, to see 47 GOP senators write an open letter to Iranian leaders last month, warning them that the United States could not be trusted to honor any deal they might reach, before they even knew what such a deal might be.

And it was downright chilling to hear Sen. John McCain on the floor of the U.S. Senate last week, implying that Israel ought to destroy any chance of a negotiated settlement by acting on its repeated threats to launch a military attack against Iran:

“Here is my advice to the Israeli government, along with every other country being treated disdainfully by this crass administration: Repay contempt with contempt,” McCain said. “The Israelis will need to chart their own path of resistance. On the Iranian nuclear deal, they may have to go rogue. Let’s hope their warnings have not been mere bluffs. Israel survived its first 19 years without meaningful U.S. patronage. For now, all it has to do is get through the next 22, admittedly long, months.”

There is something deeply disturbing, and disturbed, about such comments. I do not understand them or comprehend them, but I do know that it would be extremely dangerous to turn control of our nation’s foreign policy over to such people. There has to be a better, saner course.

Reader Comments 0

750 comments
straker
straker

Lenin - "that maintains an illegal occupation"


Please explain exactly what that means to you.

straker
straker

Captain Oblivious - "remove the word Republican"


How about "compassionate conservative"?

straker
straker

Peachs - "they go with their gut instead of their brains"


An excellent description of many Republican voters.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Mullah: I'll gladly allow inspections Tuesday for no sanctions today. Death to America!

Bammie: Okay!

Peachs
Peachs

The luggage of having freedom reminds me of the reporters and personnel kidnapped and executed by the Muslin extremist.If you told these people they could not travel abroad for obvious reasons they would be outraged that their freedom had been taken away. We give them their freedom with a stern warning that if something like this happens we cannot jeopardize the rest of the country by paying your ransom. Then it is a bored look and off they go for an adventure till they realized a gun in their back and some voice telling them to just keep walking. Mama is on every network telling anyone who will listen how sorry this government is for letting her child die.

The right chokes of this freedom like a jealous husband and a beautiful wife. They imagine a world that does not exist and form solutions with that input. Every vibration is an affront to them, someone is trying to take something away from them and just like the stubborn crusader to foreign lands they go with their gut instead of their brains and then expect the rest of the country to pay for their shallow thinking by blood and money.

The real man is the president who doesn’t take the bait, disciples himself to this logic and stays the course. We are lucky to have a great president no matter how little the idiots in this country appreciate him.

CommonSenseisntCommon
CommonSenseisntCommon

Help me out here


What President said "Trust but verify"? it's on the tip of my tongue :-)

straker
straker

The Muslim leader who actually rules Iran regularly issues statements explaining why Israel has no right to exist.


Keep this in mind when deciding if Iran will live up to an agreement about the bomb.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

You mean he's another Harry Reid? That even more worrisome.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@straker 

The Muslim leader who actually rules Iran regularly issues statements explaining why Israel has no right to exist.

***
Does a country that maintains an illegal occupation, that steals land constantly from its neighbors for its expansive goals, that launches attacks that slaughter civilians in the thousands at a time have an unqualified 'right to exist'? In what is that right grounded if not an international law that it constantly tramples on?

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@straker "The Muslim leader who actually rules Iran regularly issues statements explaining why Israel has no right to exist.  Keep this in mind when deciding if Iran will live up to an agreement about the bomb."


FWIW, I don't recognize *any* nation's 'right to exist,' the USA included.


IMO, only individuals have rights.  Not nations and certainly not corporations.


Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@straker 

That's why the "verification" part of the agreement is so important, and why no sanctions will be removed until there is verification of compliance.  Also, sanctions will "snap back" if compliance is violated, in my understanding.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Tuna Meowt @straker 

IMO, only individuals have rights.  Not nations and certainly not corporations

***
That's not true. At least not under current international law. Nations do indeed have rights.

TomMiddleton
TomMiddleton

@Philo_Farnsworth 

Oh they say “Death” to everybody. It's just what they do when they get in front of the cameras. Keep your eyes on the Iranian people more than those leaders saying their stupid stuff.

The people want to come out and be a part of the world, one of the chief reasons we need an agreement instead of a hate-producing war.

TomMiddleton
TomMiddleton

@Captain-Obvious @TomMiddleton @Philo_Farnsworth 

Yep those, corporal. It's hard, not easy, to throw off institutionalized oppression. Our founders did it, but I'm not sure how they would do were they in modern-day Iran. But don't worry, they'll figure it out, and, yes, the one God of us all will help.

fedup52
fedup52

Iran's President said that he will honor the agreement if the six world powers honor theirs.


I believe the six world powers will honor the agreement and so will our current administration.


Some how I believe the Iran's president over sneeky Boehner and the 47 senate traitors.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@fedup52

believe the Iran's president over sneeky Boehner

I'd love to see how that question polls among Americans today.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

You don't have to look any farther than the nightly news or pages 1-3 of the daily AJC to understand the DEEP skepticism over any agreement with Iran. This is not a "peace" agreement, all parties are at war in reality if not by formal declaration. The supreme leader of one party to the agreement has an open pledge of "Death to America", has sworn to destroy Israel, and is actively making war with its neighbors. Any agreement under these conditions is worthless at face value.  An agreement will only be worthwhile to the extent it promotes the interests of peace and stability in the region and can be effectively verified and maintained. The probabilities for success on any of these fronts are near zero.


Worse, the approach to making this deal raises serious questions in the minds of many Americans and allies as to the true motivations of the Administration. Frankly, I'd trust a complete stranger with my future before I'd trust Obama and Kerry.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@DawgDadII @Nick_Danger 

An agreement will only be worthwhile to the extent it promotes the interests of peace and stability in the region and can be effectively verified and maintained. The probabilities for success on any of these fronts are near zero.

***

And what role do the aggressive designs of US imperialism and its Israeli client play in those low probabilities, do you think? 

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

@Nick_Danger @DawgDadII Look, if they sign a deal and it's a good deal preventing Iran from developing or obtaining nuclear weapons or weapons capability then fine, great. The odds of that playing out successfully would appear to be very low, if not zero.


No, I do not believe Iran should be fighting ISIS, except in a defensive posture. On that count there is certainly justification for them to act, but it has dangerous implications on stability and the balance of power in the Middle East. Obama inherited a FAR better posture in Iraq, but was unwilling to continue the hard work of actually maintaining a peace, as we did in Europe for decades. His mistake, now in my opinion he is doubling down on that grave mistake.

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@DawgDadII "The probabilities for success on any of these fronts are near zero."

And since you have no way to prove that assertion...like the rest of the agreement, time will tell.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

@LeninTime @DawgDadII @Nick_Danger I certainly do not subscribe to the "aggressive designs of US imperialism and Israeli client" line. Are there people that leverage our posture in the world for their profit and advantage? Sure But a lot of Americans including family members have sacrificed time, blood, and soul to establish and maintain America's posture in the world as a force for stabiliy, freedom, human rights, and sustainable peace. "Imperialism" is often a misperception or miscasting of America's willingness to invest in these causes, nobly based. And yes, our engagement brings us face-to-face with ideological and geo-political interests that are not aligned with our values and interests.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@DawgDadII @fedup52 @CommonSenseisntCommon " How can you possibly extrapolate that I am somehow an "ISIS sympathizer"?"


Quite simple; you admitted that you think that Iran fighting ISIS was a bad thing.  And since you are opposed to an distrust Iran, you must therefore be an ISIS sympathizer.


"YOU are the dangerous person."


No, YOU are.  And you should be arrested and interrogated with all possible dispatch.


Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@DawgDadII 

"Worse, the approach to making this deal raises serious questions in the minds of many Americans and allies as to the true motivations of the Administration."

So, getting together with a large group of allies to extract better-than-expected concessions from Iran makes you question the "true motivations of the Administration"?

Have you considered the possibility that perhaps the problem is with you, or with those who help you form your opinions? 

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@DawgDadII @Nick_Danger "Obama inherited a FAR better posture in Iraq, but was unwilling to continue the hard work of actually maintaining a peace"


Rejected.  Obama inherited a pre-negotiated and already-signed agreement for us to depart Iraq by a date certain.


Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@DawgDadII

all parties are at war in reality 

utter nonsense.

And this shrill garbage about how them Eye-ranians are swearing to "destroy" us that you're perpetuating really needs to be taken out and buried in a landfill.

JamVet
JamVet

Hm, my lord (hallelujah)
My, my, my lord (hare krishna)
My sweet lord (hare krishna)
My sweet lord (krishna krishna)
My lord (hare hare)
Hm, hm (Gurur Brahma)
Hm, hm (Gurur Vishnu)
Hm, hm (Gurur Devo)
Hm, hm (Maheshwara)
My sweet lord (Gurur Sakshaat)
My sweet lord (Parabrahma)
My, my, my lord (Tasmayi Shree)
My, my, my, my lord (Guruve Namah)
My sweet lord (Hare Rama)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kNGnIKUdMI

barkingfrog
barkingfrog

The SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS are courageous in their efforts at 

making peace not war.

TomMiddleton
TomMiddleton

@barkingfrog 

I'm the great-grandson of a confederate veteran who's buried in Newbern, Alabama. We never talked about it growing up, other than an occasion story my grandmother told with an occasional picture or two.

I inherited his discharge papers from the prisoner-of-war camp where he spent the last part of the war. Hey, at least he managed to survive or, you know, there wouldn't have been a me (poor y'all)...lol.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@TomMiddleton @barkingfrog 

And I am the great-granddaughter of a Union Captain, injured in the Battle of Monocacy near Washington DC and walked with a limp all his life, and was a dedicated abolitionist.  Buried in GOhio. Family rumor that he too was a POW since a POW receipt was found in his belongings, but we never knew where. 


I applaud your own great-grandfather, and the fact that he managed to survive one of those terrible prisoner-of-war camps.  I feel a tremendous sorrow when I think of that War and its waste of young life. We should honor our war dead, no matter which side they were on.

TomMiddleton
TomMiddleton

@OriginalProf @TomMiddleton @barkingfrog 

Wow, you're a lady. I had you pegged as a male. Anyway, that war should never have been fought and, of course, the South should not have won.

And the animosity that it caused through the generations is yet another lesson on how to live: We should always look for and find the alternatives with everything we are and need to become!

Bless you and your family and the legacy your great-grandfather left.

TomMiddleton
TomMiddleton

@OriginalProf @TomMiddleton @barkingfrog 

Sorry for sounding chauvinistic. Most of us southern men have far more respect for women than for men, thus the hype. I mean women are just so much easier to talk to as a general rule, and the more interesting gender by far.

TomMiddleton
TomMiddleton

@OriginalProf @TomMiddleton @barkingfrog 

I was in San Diego for 20-something years, but had to come back. There's always that sense of unfinished business in us southerners that keeps us coming home. 

We've changed a lot since the 60s, but there's still more to be done. Glad you're here; maybe you can help. God knows we need all of that we can get. :-)