If we reject Iran pact, war is the inevitable alternative

AP880540970157-640x480Earlier this week, President Obama said explicitly what a lot of us have been pointing out for a long time about nuclear negotiations with Iran:

“Let’s not mince words: The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy and some form of war — maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon. How can we in good conscience justify war before we’ve tested a diplomatic agreement that achieves our objectives?”

As Obama also noted, much of the opposition to the Iran diplomatic approach has come from the same folks who pushed us into war with Iraq, promising us that we would be greeted as liberators, that Iraqi oil would pay for the whole thing, that we would be out in a matter of weeks if not months and that the invasion would lead to new era of stability as the Arab world opened itself to democracy.

Oh, and the demonstration of overwhelming American military muscle in Iraq would force the mullahs in neighboring Iran to cower with newfound respect.

It is remarkable to me that the same people who were proved so profoundly wrong about almost everything regarding Iraq, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are still treated by some as fonts of wisdom about Middle East policy. As Obama pointed out Wednesday, they have been proved wrong in every stage of the Iran nuclear negotiations as well.

They claimed sanctions would never bring Iran to the negotiating table; they claimed that Iran would never agree to surrender its stockpile of highly enriched uranium; they claimed Iran would not honor the commitments it made in the early stages of the agreement. They have been proved wrong, wrong and wrong.

Now those same people who claimed that negotiations weren’t worth trying and could never succeed are trying to claim that the negotiations would have gone even better if they had been in charge. They claim that the work product of these long, painful negotiations with other world powers and Iran — a deal endorsed with a unanimous vote of the U.N. Security Council — can safely be abandoned as a whole new negotiating and sanctions regime is put into place.

It is utterly nonsensical, and they know it. They know what Obama knows and what any rational observer of the Middle East knows: “Congressional rejection of this deal leaves any U.S. administration that is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option — another war in the Middle East.”

And foes of this nuclear agreement, including the current leadership of Israel, want that war fought by and paid for by the Americans. They still believe, as they believed before the invasion of Iraq, that through war they can redesign the Middle East to their liking, replacing antagonistic regimes with puppet regimes and intimidating the region into quiet acquiescence.

And when you point out that such an approach has proved an absolute failure in Iraq, compounding rather than reducing the problems that we face, they reply as ideologues will always reply. They will tell you that their policy in Iraq failed not because it was strategically and historically ignorant, but because it was not pursued ardently enough, violently enough, aggressively enough.  It wasn’t a failure of analysis, but a failure of will. If $2 trillion, four thousand American dead and more than eight years of occupation wasn’t enough, surely $4 trillion, eight thousand dead and 16 to 20 years of occupation would have produced the promised outcome.

It’s nonsense.

“There are times when force is necessary, and if Iran does not abide by this deal, it’s possible that we don’t have an alternative,” Obama acknowledged. “But how can we in good conscience justify war before we’ve tested a diplomatic agreement that achieves our objectives; that has been agreed to by Iran; that is supported by the rest of the world; and that preserves our options if the deal falls short? How could we justify that to our troops?  How could we justify that to the world or to future generations?”

We could not. I’ve said from the beginning that an invasion and occupation of Iraq would be the biggest American foreign policy blunder in our history, and that has proved accurate. A rejection of this nuclear treaty, and the war that it would probably make inevitable, would make our Iraq mistake seem almost minor by comparison.

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Corey
Corey

29 U.S. Scientists Praise Iran Nuclear Deal in Letter to Obama  

Twenty-nine of the nation’s top scientists — including Nobel laureates, veteran makers of nuclear arms and former White House science advisers — wrote to President Obama on Saturday to praise the Iran deal, calling it innovative and stringent.

The letter, from some of the world’s most knowledgeable experts in the fields of nuclear weapons and arms control, arrives as Mr. Obama is lobbying Congress, the American public and the nation’s allies to support the agreement.

The first signature on the letter is from Richard L. Garwin, a physicist who helped design the world’s first hydrogen bomb and has long advised Washington on nuclear weapons and arms control. He is among the last living physicists who helped usher in the nuclear age.

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

I'm out for a while...got some shopping to do

LeninTime
LeninTime

@josef 

Are they suggesting that the president was engaging in one of those smears?

-

Yes, no, and in between.  What has been happening is that those with Jewish or Jewish sounding names are the ones who most often are the ones called by name.    

***

But what I'm asking is, why does Tablet cite the Obama speech here? 

Has Obama himself or his administration engaged in such "Jew-baiting"?


LeninTime
LeninTime

@josef 

I read the article very carefully and just happened to be reading the text of the Obama speech today also. I don't see anything in the Obama speech at all questioning the loyalties of American Jews. On the contrary, the president bends over backwards, as usual, to justify his pro-Israel credentials.

josef
josef

@LeninTime @josef 

Put on your code word/phrase detectors though. Of course he's not as brazen here as elsewhere.  The point that has many unsettled is as follows 1) if you oppose the treaty you oppose peace 2) if you oppose the treaty you're not loyal to America 3) Israel and AIPAC (and other "lobbyists) oppose the treaty 4 if you oppose the treaty you put Israel's interests over America's 5.  That makes you disloyal  6.  Israel is Jewish 7. AIPCAC (and other lobbyists) are Jewish 8 Those who vote against the treaty are putting Israel's interests above America's 9. Shumer et al are Jewish. 10. Shumer et al oppose the treaty 11. Shurmer et al are disloyal.  12,  Shadowy cabals are funding the anti treaty efforts 13 Shumer et al are taking money from them 14 Shumer will vote against

THUS

15. Shumer is being paid off by shadowy organizations 16. The shadowy organizations are disloyal 17 the shadowy organizations are Israeli oriented 18. Israelis are Jews 19 Shumer is a Jew 20 Jews are disloyal


And they're for sale...etc. etc.


LeninTime
LeninTime

@josef 

Ah, ok. I did not search the site. Not sure why they didn't just link to that rather than to the Obama speech.

I'll be interested in seeing what they have to say here. Thanks.

josef
josef

@LeninTime @josef 

Understood...remember that this was being written for a specific audience which the editors assumed had been following it all along.  Sorry I did make that clear.

TBS
TBS

@josef @LeninTime


Josef

Can't speak for how moderate The Tablet (never knew about it until reading the comments today) is or isn't however the article in question is from a Sr Editor at The Weekly Standard and senior fellow of the Hudson Institute. 

To your larger point that there is antisemitism on the left just as the right I think that is a valid point.

However after reading your comment about The Tablet being a moderate source of info then reading the article you linked, I must do my EOI duties and point out that Lee Smith is no moderate. 



Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

back for a bit.

I see that Atrios has taken the kind of approach to this "Erick son-of-Erick disinviting Trump" business I might have expected from him.

http://bit.ly/1MhymII

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Visual_Cortex 

You mean he of "goat f**king" fame has found fault with something someone else said?  Oh woe is me....

/sarc/

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Brosephus @Visual_Cortex

I was curious to see how corporate media outlets are handling this bit of hilarity.

here's just one example:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election/man-cut-trump-conference-made-off-color-comments-article-1.2319206

Erickson told the Daily News that "The difference between Trump's statements and mine is that I apologized and he denied he said what he said."

yep, Erick, you apologized. And then went right on posting similarly inflammatory garbage, year in, year out.

LeninTime
LeninTime

I have a question for you, josef. In the Tablet piece, in referring to the different examples of Jew-baiting that have been observed, it comments that "Accusing Senators and Congressmen whose misgivings about the Iran deal are shared by a majority of the U.S. electorate ....or of acting contrary to the best interests of the United States, is the kind of naked appeal to bigotry and prejudice that would be familiar in the politics of the pre-Civil Rights Era South". The link points to Obama's speech this week on the Iran deal, but it's not clear to me what they're talking about. Are they suggesting that the president was engaging in one of those smears? 

josef
josef

@LeninTime 

Yes, no, and in between.  What has been happening is that those with Jewish or Jewish sounding names are the ones who most often are the ones called by name.  

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@josef @LeninTime 

Interesting and plausible use of "code." Southerners are used to this sort of "coding" also, for black people, and should recognize it as a linguistic weapon.


I wonder if LeninTime lives in the South??

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

anyhow, gotta do some outdoors stuff, back later perhaps.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@josef @Visual_Cortex 

Some of each I guess.

Can't really mow the yard in the morning when it's wet (did an hour's worth of pruning/hedge clipping then), didn't feel like waiting until after dinner and getting all grimy/sweaty again. So I grunted it out.

Having a cool one (ok, iced coffee) now. all's well.

josef
josef

TD posted an excerpt from this editorial last p.m. I doubt than many read it or gave it much credence, the messenger and not the message thingie which marks much of our “discourse” here on the blog.

But it is, I think, something we do need to be paying attention to.A lot of y’all think I am overreacting to gotalife and his “deport” all of them, bandying around as he (and some others) the term “traitor.”

As I said back to TD last p.m., this is one of the oldest canards in the book of anti-Semitic tricks and is never a harbinger of good things to come.

http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/192751/crossing-a-line-to-sell-a-deal?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=post&utm_content=CROSSING+A+LINE+TO+SELL+A+DEAL&utm_campaign=august2015

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@josef

Well aware of the canard. Appreciate the calm tone of the linked piece, and even willing to admit that I probably discounted it given the guy who'd posted it originally (and can ya blame me?)

That said? Chuck's a media harlot who can crank up his drama queenery on cue. And my gut tells me that he and his apologists can spare me most, if not all, of the persecution nonsense.


td1234
td1234

@josef I have been saying for a while that there is an underlying hate of Jews on the left beginning to emerge and for the most part have been blown off by most progressives. I still believe it. 

josef
josef

@Visual_Cortex @josef 

Chuck.  Again, the messenger and not the message.  This is what the polarization I rant about has led us to,

LeninTime
LeninTime

@td1234 @josef 

I have been saying for a while that there is an underlying hate of Jews on the left

**

On the left? You say that like the left side of the spectrum has a monopoly on it.

josef
josef

@td1234 @josef 

As you know, on that point you're preaching to the choir.  It has already gotten out of hand in Europe and, I fear, has now infected the American liberal-left as well,  There's an awful lot of "code word for" going on and many of those doing it, are really unaware that they are doing it.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@josef @Visual_Cortex 

Seems more like a "'twas ever thus" kinda deal from where I sit, but I hear ya.

Also, thanks for clueing me in to Tablet, seems worth repeated visits.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@LeninTime @td1234 @josef 

Well, it beats acknowledging the grotesque brand of "pro-Israel" patronizing from the End Timer wing of conservatism and why they're so very "pro-Israel."

td1234
td1234

@Visual_Cortex You can discount me posting information or not but I am one of those evangelicals that firmly believe that Israel is God's chosen people and that the rest of the world will hate the Jews because of this. I also believe in Revelations and how the world will turn on the Jews is a sign of the end of times.  

josef
josef

@Visual_Cortex @josef 

I read it regularly.  As well as news, has some great features.  Very moderate and pretty much in tune with the mainstream of American Jewry--informed and liberal.  Thus why this editorial is all the more disconcerting.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@josef @LeninTime @td1234 

FWIW, I won't sugar coat antisemitism when I see it, whatever the source, and I've called out some here on my left from time to time.

/drive-by

td1234
td1234

@Visual_Cortex Exactly why is it a "grotesque brand" to believe in end of times philosophy when the bottom line is those that do is pro Israel? 

josef
josef

@Visual_Cortex @td1234 

That is not necessarily so.  The Christ Killer canard is not a part of that particular theological interpretation,  The "rejection of the Christ the Messiah," yes.  Christ Killer is much more the mainstream interpretation and validation, though, there, too, it has met with rejection,

td1234
td1234

@josef There are a couple areas we are in agreement with: Plight of the Jews, Plight of American Indians and the need of accurate history. 


We probably come close to the same conclusions in these areas but then arrive at the decisions for totally different reasons. 

LeninTime
LeninTime

@td1234 

. I know there is a hate of Jews in some religious sectors on the right due to them having Jesus killed

***
It goes well beyond religious-based antisemitism among certain Christians. Antisemitism is a far more pervasive phenomenon than that.

td1234
td1234

@LeninTime Never said that. I know there is a hate of Jews in some religious sectors on the right due to them having Jesus killed. I also believe that that view point has been getting less prevalent over time. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@td1234 @LeninTime 

I mighta been a tad harsh earlier, td. 

I'm deleting my comment; and please accept my apologies.
 Whatever differences we may have, and whatever issues I may take with you, it doesn't excuse me implicitly attributing things to you that you've never advocated.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Doggone_GA @josef @Visual_Cortex @td1234 

No indeed. The Romans did it, who thought that Jesus and his followers who called him Lord were plotting insurrection against the "divine" Caesar. Crucifixion was a common Roman form of execution for "high treason."

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@OriginalProf @Doggone_GA @josef @Visual_Cortex @td1234 

and man oh man, did the early Church work their darndest to whitewash those irrefutable facts. Poor Pontius Pilate! he had SUCH a tough decision on his hand, to allow this cray-cray rabble rouser to meet an 'orrible death!

I'm sure it took him seconds to ok the deal.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@td1234 @Visual_Cortex 

However--and I am sincere here-- since anti-Semitism has been with us since Moses and the Hebrews left Egypt, how can it be a sign of the End Times?

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@Visual_Cortex @OriginalProf @Doggone_GA @josef @td1234 It probably didn't take very long...because to the Romans Jesus was just one of many such saviors to turn up in the area.  What was the miracle of Jesus was as the Bible says "their affection for him" did not die with him.  It did with the other saviors...who, now, even knows who they were?

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@OriginalProf @td1234 @Visual_Cortex Well, I don't necessarily agree with that.  First of all, the Jews are not the only Semitic peoples...Arabs, for instance, are Semitic as well.  And that far back it was more a territorial thing than a Semitic thing.  The Jewish homeland sits smack on a major cross-roads of trade routes.  It was always a prize worth gaining.

It is the "Christ killer" form of anti-Jewish that is supposed to be the sign of the end-times...though I can't state that with real conviction, because I am not a follower of end-times prophecy...since I don't believe in the end times.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Doggone_GA @OriginalProf @td1234 @Visual_Cortex 

You're taking my comment about "anti-Semitism" pretty literally...yes, of course the Semite people include many more than Jews. I was answering td's comment: "I also believe in Revelations and how the world will turn on the Jews is a sign of the end of times." It just seems to me that unfortunately the world has been "turn[ing] on the Jews" ever since they came into an existence as a people.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@td1234 @LeninTime 

Excuse me. "...a hate of Jews in some religious sectors on the right due to the completely false and scurrilous belief that they ha[d] Jesus killed." 

josef
josef

@LeninTime @td1234 

It is a fundamental of Western Civilization and cuts across all the comfortable lines we want to draw,  

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@josef @LeninTime @td1234 

Eastern Civilization to an extent, too. The Jews, a poor and nomadic people, have been wandering through all the great empires of the East and the West, starting with Egypt...the ancient empires rose and fell all around them, but still they kept their religious identity and kept on trekking...met with hatred because they would not assimilate...and here they still are today, Jews who keep their identity....

Squirrel_Whisperer
Squirrel_Whisperer

@Doggone_GA @josef @Visual_Cortex @td1234 I'll add this to say that since the death and resurrection of Jesus is crucial to Christianity, I'm of the opinion that it really didn't matter who killed him. Both the Jews and the Romans found fault with him. The Sanhedrin claimed he was guilty of blasphemy. They alluded to the Romans that he was guilty of treason. Pilate didn't really want anything to do with the whole mess and thought he was being clever by offering the people the choice of Jesus or Barabbas, but it backfired on him. 

Jesus went through six trials on that Good Friday...three were Jewish, and three were Roman. He was destined to be killed. If there had been no crucifixion, there would have been no resurrection. If there had been no resurrection, there would have been no Christianity.    

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Doggone_GA @OriginalProf @td1234 @Visual_Cortex

I've come to see The Revelation of John as nothing more or less than the kind of thing any group of people understandably cling to when their chips are down and prospects seem hopeless. It is a tale of comeuppance for those who'd treated the earliest Christians badly--you'll get yours!--and redemption for those who'd suffered.

But to take it as some kind of literal blueprint for the future? today? in 2015? Lonnng after the Church had emerged victorious and ruled vast swaths of the civilized world?

Yeah, I think that's pretty silly, to put it kindly.

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@OriginalProf @Doggone_GA @td1234 @Visual_Cortex And I still don't agree.  I don't agree that the Jews as a people have been targets since they came into existence.  The land they occupied, yes, that was a target.  But the Jews as a people were no more targets than were any other "race" of people at the time.  

Basically, all "races" were targets at one time or another in the distant past.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Doggone_GA @OriginalProf @td1234 @Visual_Cortex 

Among the Egyptians? The Assyrians?  The Babylonians? The Ninevites? The Romans?  The Alexandrians? All tried to assimilate the Jews among them, and then persecuted them when they remained Jews. They were "targets" because they would not worship the deities of the peoples among whom they resided.