Critics of Iran nuke talks had no interest in ‘better deal’

graham-ftn-485x321The latest line taken by critics of the preliminary deal over Iran’s nuclear program is that they would have cut a better, stronger deal than President Obama did. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing that notion hard, arguing that even now, hitting Iran with tougher sanctions wouldn’t drive them out of negotiations in frustration, but instead would force them to accept much harsher terms.

Naturally, Republicans are echoing the claim.

“Is there a better deal to be had?” U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said over the weekend. “I think so. What I would suggest is if you can’t get there with this deal is to keep the interim deal in place, allow a new president in 2017, Democrat or Republican, to take a crack at the Iranian nuclear program.”

“The best deal I think comes with a new president. Hillary Clinton would do better. I think everybody on our side except maybe Rand Paul could do better.”

But here’s the thing:

— These negotiations exist largely because President Obama came into office telling the Iranians that he was willing to at least talk to them. They exist because with a lot of hard work, Obama was able to build broad international support for sanctions that are far more punishing than anything that previous administrations had been able to organize. He wielded the stick; he dangled the carrot. Graham’s comments suggest a petty reluctance to let Obama harvest what he and others, including Secretary of State John Kerry, have sown.

— We know for a fact that Netanyahu, Graham and the rest could not have negotiated a better deal. We know that because to negotiate a deal, you have to actually talk with the other side and negotiate. And throughout this process, they have objected to the very notion of negotiation and done everything they could to make it fail.

When the current round of negotiations was announced in November 2013, along with an interim deal to freeze and roll back portions of the Iranian program, Netanyahu condemned it as a “historic mistake” and immediately began to try to undermine it. He expressed no interest whatsoever in seeing the talks succeed, in part because he does not believe that any deal can be verified.

If you don’t believe that a negotiated deal can be verified, then you cannot support a deal, period. Your only solution is to take total control of the country.

Graham is no better. He too strongly opposed the 2013 interim deal negotiated by Obama, ironically the very same interim deal that he now proposes should be kept in place indefinitely until Obama is gone as president. The South Carolina Republican also made clear back then what his “negotiating style” would look like: “Once you get them to the table, you let them know what the final deal will look like and say ‘Take this, or else!’”

And of course, it’s that “else” that Graham really wants.

As far back as 2010, Graham has been publicly advocating not just “a surgical strike on (Iran’s) nuclear infrastructure,” but a major war that destroys Iran’s navy, air force and Revolutionary Guard. “I think we’re to the point now that you have to really neuter the regime’s ability to wage war against us and our allies. …,” he said almost five years, warning that an Iranian bomb was imminent. [We must] destroy the ability of the regime to strike back.”

In fact, as a sign of the seriousness with which the GOP took the 2013 discussions, here was the reaction of John Cornyn of Texas, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican:

cornyn

 

 

 

It’s important to point out that Graham, Netanyahu and others might still prove correct. It is all too plausible that a final deal can’t be reached, that hardliners in Iran will succeed in stopping it just as hardliners in this country are attempting to do, or that once a deal is in place, Iran proves unwilling to live by the agreement.

But if that happens, all of the options available to us today, including military action, would still be available to us then. In fact, if Iran is caught cheating, we and our allies would enjoy considerable international support for doing whatever is deemed necessary as a response.

The opposite is not true.  If we are the ones who walk away from a deal, or if we take military action against Iran without fully exploring every other option, any hope of a negotiated resolution would vanish. And that’s just fine with certain folks. As U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton admitted during a January speech to the Heritage Foundation:

“Certain voices call for congressional restraint, urging Congress not to act now lest Iran walk away from the negotiating table, undermining the fabled yet always absent moderates in Iran. But the end of these negotiations isn’t an unintended consequence of congressional action. It is very much an intended consequence. A feature, not a bug, so to speak.”

 

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831 comments
MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

I'm not against arrogance, per se, in a politician, such as Schumer's stand for Congress' power here, although in this case I do not support Schumer's and Bob Coker's thinking. I have no problem with the arrogance of FDR or Lincoln, for that matter.  I look at what the politician's ultimate vision entails and how he uses his power (or arrogance, if that is his/her modus operandi) to accomplish his/her higher vision. 


 The higher vision here is demonstrating to world leaders (and the world's people) the value - and productivity - in attempting at communication and negotiation with any nation, and the power that many nations, standing together, have.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

 All this administration is looking at is their legacy.

What was I tell you guys, earlier?

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

@Visual_Cortex The cynical bunch will always cop out with attitudes like this no matter what.


Thankfully people like that sit on the sidelines while other people achieve things. 



honested
honested

@Visual_Cortex 

Considering the 'legacy' their last guy left, I can't blame them for their 24/7 efforts to shift focus!

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Paul42 @HeadleyLamar @Visual_Cortex 

Exactly. 

There is no analysis of the geopolitical forces that are bearing on this situation, what's motivating this shift. Of course it's just all about Obama the man.


GreenMonk
GreenMonk

Republican war pigs waiting in the wings to send other peoples' kids to die in the Middle East.

DirtyDawg
DirtyDawg

They'll do anything to keep this President from succeeding at anything - regardless of the fact that he keeps on beating em...plus they're all 'on the take' from AIPAC and don't plan to stop now...and that includes Democrats against this deal too...'It's the money stupid'.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Tuna, from down below:

there were Jewish justices on the SCOTUS long before Justice Ginsburg

Yeah, I'm aware of those SCOTUS precedents. It's just that I heard Schumer's name mentioned here and it just struck me--hey! Jewish guy in one of the most powerful elected positions in America, for the first time ever! 

and it's seemingly just an "eh, who cares these days?" kinda deal.

Which is progress, I guess.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@Visual_Cortex "-hey! Jewish guy in one of the most powerful elected positions in America, for the first time ever! "


Kinda like VP Candidate Lieberman from back in 2000.


Aside: I understand that Senator Lieberman kept kosher and observed the Jewish Sabbath.  One wonders how that would have worked out with the demands of the VP job, had Gore assumed the Presidency.



Eustis
Eustis

Raind - "its a crap deal"


How is it a crap deal and how do you suggest making it better?

lvg
lvg

@Eustis  sell weapons illegally to Iran and walk away when Iran and Hezbollah killed 247 Marines. Also sell wmd to countries opposed to Iran.

It worked for Saint Ronald,- No war with iran .GOP should try it again.

honested
honested

@Visual_Cortex @lvg @Eustis 

Reminding those who remember what actually happened, it is our responsibility to ensure that history textbooks never reflect that myth!

honested
honested

@Captain-Obvious @Visual_Cortex @lvg @Eustis 

Who has mentioned Sam Nunn or Richard Lugar (the men who actually removed the threat of Nuclear Armageddon).

All ray-gun ever did was look into the camera and grin. We can be happy that many of the disasters his dangerous administration tee'd up never fully materialized.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@lvg @Eustis

Look, Reagan was busy bringing down the Evil Soviet Empire by himself without firing a shot, backwards and in high heels.

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

@Captain-Obvious @Visual_Cortex @lvg @Eustis  ‘History is a myth agreed upon’

- Napoleon

Reagan brought us closer to nuclear Armageddon.

All he did was spike the football while Communism crumbled under its own weight . Presumably in between naps and Nancy’s astrology lessons.

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

@Captain-Obvious @HeadleyLamar @Visual_Cortex @lvg @Eustis That was gonna happen either way.


And America had been containing Communism far longer than Ronnie Raygun was busy sleeping on the job.


All he did was stand on others shoulders and spike the football. Nothing more. 


They mythmaking of Reagan is well documented and you obviously took a great big gulp. 

honested
honested

@Captain-Obvious @honested @Visual_Cortex @lvg @Eustis 

I had graduated College before ray-gun slithered into office. I went into business during his mis-rule.

I EXPERIENCED the failures he foisted upon the United States. There is no education like first hand experience.

Normd
Normd

Good morning to all y'all...

Am I wrong about this?  If Congress does screw up the treaty, the the UN Security Council, the P5+1, will more than likely pull out and the U.S. will be left to deal with Iran alone.  Sanctions from us alone, without the help of the P5+1, will do absolutely nothing to prevent Iran from obtaining the bomb...and they will probably do this as quickily as they can because they will feel even more threatened than before.  That won't help matters any, will it?  Israel will have to be on a constant nuke war footing and we will have to be on a constant nuke terrorist footing. 

I think that calmer heads need to prevail here...The GOP is NOT thinking this through...

lvg
lvg

@Normd With North Korea getting Nukes while frat boy W was in office and with Putin making all kinds of ugly noises, US better be on a constant terrorist Nuke alert. 

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@Normd First of all, it's not a treaty...if it was a lot of this discussion would be moot.  And yes, they are "NOT thinking this through"

honested
honested

@Captain-Obvious @honested @Normd 

Having dragged the US Economy out of the pit of what was the Bush Depression is a substantial, successful 'legacy' in and of itself.

Moves to fix the Iranian mess that has been festering since the 1950's would be nice icing but certainly not the responsibility or accomplishment of one administration.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Normd  "The GOP is NOT thinking this through"

__________________


More Franks hot sauce? 

St_Simons_he-ne-ha
St_Simons_he-ne-ha

@Normd  The GOP screwed up the League of Nations. They have an unmatched record of screwing up, and are attempting new records even today as their extinction nears 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Normd


Good morning, Normd.  You have hit the nail on the head.  The strength comes from the power of many nations standing together.  Our Congress is wrong here.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Normd @KUTGF  The GOP is not thinking anything through these days.  It is more Fox/TP/extremist driven.  That is the shyte they put in everything they do lately.  ;)

SFM_Scootter
SFM_Scootter

@Normd I don't agree.I think the GOP IS thinking it through and you just don't agree with them.Which I don't either FWIW.War is the only way to stop Iran from developing a "bomb" IMO.I say let them do it.

honested
honested

@Captain-Obvious @Normd 

Unless this Administration looks good, they won't be able to run for re-election.

That is in keeping with the intelligence of the average wrong-winger.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Captain-Obvious @Normd 

But it looks good politically, which is really the goal of this administration in the long term.

***
I think that's an erroneous reading.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@MaryElizabethSings 

House minority Speaker-To-Be Chuck Shumer (spelling is off) is a disappointment to me.  Too arrogant himself, even if he is a Democrat

***
I don't think you should look at Schumer in personal terms. What he's doing now as one of the biggest pro-Israel hawks in Congress is not atypical at all, and no surprise.

Schumer is perfectly representative of his party, just as much as Rahm Emanuel is.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@LeninTime 


Lenin, I'm not looking in Chuck Schumer in "personal terms."  We see with different eyes, that's all.  Please understand how I think.  I am looking at Schumer on the basis of his character traits.  Character determines destiny, as many know.


Netanyahu supports Israel, also, (of course) and I do not support how he has handled these negotiations, either.  Too wrapped up in power, not real peace for the long haul, in my way of seeing.  Schumer may simply be following Netanyahu's lead, but this is the second time that Schumer has bucked Obama on a major policy (Obamacare).

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@LeninTime 


Btw, I'm not against arrogance, per se, in a politician.  Many said FDR was arrogant. I have no problem with the arrogance of FDR or Lincoln, for that matter.  I look at what the politician's ultimate vision entails and how he uses his power (or arrogance, if that is his/her modus operandi) to accomplish his/her higher vision.  The higher vision here is the attempt at communication and negotiation with any nation, and the power of many nations standing together..