Iran deal...what deal.

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72Hardtop
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Iran deal...what deal.

Post by 72Hardtop » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:36 am

Obama’s deal with Tehran is beyond awful, but something along the lines of what he laid out in 2013 could have brought lasting peace.

To understand which side emerged victorious from the Iran talks, look no further than the words of President Obama himself. Back in December of 2013, President Obama spoke to the Saban Forum on the topic of Iran.

“[W]e can envision a comprehensive agreement that involves extraordinary constraints and verification mechanisms and intrusive inspections, but that permits Iran to have a peaceful nuclear program,” Obama said. “Now, in terms of specifics, we know that they don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordor [sic] in order to have a peaceful nuclear program. They certainly don’t need a heavy-water reactor at Arak in order to have a peaceful nuclear program. They don’t need some of the advanced centrifuges that they currently possess in order to have a limited, peaceful nuclear program.”

The president was correct at the time. And that is why it is so disconcerting that, under the announced terms of the proposed nuclear deal, the Iranians will retain every single one of these assets and capabilities. What’s more, they will now retain them with the explicit support and cooperation of the United States, receiving relief from the major point of leverage that brought them to the table, and possibly sparking a nuclear arms race that will now extend across the Middle East, to Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

You cannot blame Iran for openly gloating about this—their surrogates, Hamas and Hezbollah, are rejoicing as well. The Iranians believe they are walking away from the negotiations with nearly everything they wanted. They are getting immediate sanctions relief. They get to keep their facility deep underneath a mountain, the one likely able to withstand any ground-penetrating munitions, and they’re fine keeping a smaller amount of centrifuges, at least for the time being.

That last point may seem counterintuitive, until you understand that Iran is not interested in building a peaceful nuclear power program—they’re building a nuclear weapons program. If they wanted the former and not the latter, their priorities would be completely different. As former CIA deputy director Michael Morell and other experts have noted, the centrifuge capacity required to enrich enough material for nuclear power, to fuel a reactor over the course of the year, is very significant; the capacity needed to create a nuclear weapon is much less.

Now the very leverage that brought Iran to the negotiating table has been squandered, and is never returning.

The White House doesn’t seem to care about this. As one Iranian official said in the course of the negotiations, “It’s our moon shot,” implying a dark paraphrase on Mort Sahl’s Wernher von Braun satire: “I aim at the stars, but sometimes I hit Israel.” The Obama administration is now aiding in this moon shot, oblivious to the fact that this agreement as it currently stands is a wonderful pathway to nuclear escalation and conflict.

From the beginning of these talks, it was apparent that the concessions would overwhelmingly come from one side of the table, and that the Iranian nuclear program was not going away. Now the very leverage that brought Iran to the negotiating table has been squandered, and is never returning. Though both the White House and Iranian talking points have emphasized that there will be penalties for any violation of the agreed terms, in reality no one believes they will be imposed.

In this case, I disagree with those Republicans who believe the next president will simply tear up the agreement. There is simply no going back. The coalition of states that imposed the nuclear sanctions upon Iran is exceedingly unlikely to be re-assembled. More important, a White House that has never acknowledged significant policy error simply won’t admit a policy failure that a re-imposition of sanctions would imply. An administration that continues to tout Yemen, of all things, as a policy success is hardly about to engage in the high-profile, high-political-cost self-repudiation and second-guessing that so-called “snapback” sanctions would entail.

As for those making the case that this deal will work, this requires deliberate misreading of the natures of both the Iranian regime and the White House. Each must lie about the other, and themselves, to make the arrangement plausible. The Iranian leaders have to pretend they are peaceful and transparent, and not actually murderous fanatics who think the Holocaust was a good start. The American leaders have to pretend they are strong defenders of agreements who will go to war on principle, and not weak appeasers seeking any way out.

Many on the right have drawn comparisons to the start of World War II, and this is understandable. But the better analogy here is not to the 1930s, but to 1973 and the Paris Peace Accords on the Vietnam War. In both cases we find the same sort of mutual nation-state dishonesty: The North Vietnamese had to pretend they were good-faith interlocutors who wanted peace, and not actually conquest-driven ideologues. The Americans had to pretend they were peace-with-honor seekers who would stand by their friends, and not cowardly sellouts who’d abandon battlefield allies.

In both cases, 1973 and 2015, the outcome is the same: The bad guys get the Americans out of the way so they can complete their bloody work, which Americans know full well is happening, but is planning to cooperate nonetheless.

A repeated problem with the Obama administration has been the lack of understanding that contracts only matter if they are enforceable—and if there is a party willing to do the enforcement. The fatal flaw of the Iranian nuclear deal is that that this enforcing party, which can only be the United States of America, is effectively absent, with the U.N. Security Council empowered in a ridiculous repeat of the policy that worked so well in Iraq.

What’s more, this deal is premised on the idea of Russia’s helpful enforcement while ignoring their practical incentives. Russia is currently the source for the enriched uranium supporting Iran’s nuclear facility in Bushehr, because Tehran can’t produce enough fuel to power the facility. The last thing we should be doing is trusting Russia to verify the peaceful nature of Iran’s program. The likeliest path forward is that Iran will insist upon a full implementation of the deal, trading their tactical concessions for our strategic ones, until we have nothing left to concede. And then, because we will not demand meaningful reciprocity, they will consider it no more than a scrap of paper.

The president, in preempting his critics, has challenged them to come up with a better deal—presenting a false dichotomy of this or nothing, and demanding that others imagine themselves doing what only he and his administration could. In that light, what would a better deal have looked like? We should take up President Obama’s challenge of spring 2015 by referring to a man who sought a much better deal with Iran: President Obama of 2013. His comments to the Saban Forum referenced above represent the bare minimum of what we should have accepted. As we know, the president initially sought much more in leveraging the sanctions regime for a total shutdown of the Iranian nuclear program. The better deal that the president implies is unavailable now is in fact the better deal that he himself sought. The much better deal would have involved the cessation of Iranian nuke-building that he himself once believed possible.

The White House riposte would be: That deal is not actually available—the Iranians wanted to keep their “moon shot.” Then there is something not as good but still preferable: the status quo. The status quo—which is not “nothing” but continued sanctions—had many flaws. But it achieved one big thing that this deal does not: It caused grievous harm to the Iranian regime and its terror apparatus, and it was painful enough to bring them to the negotiating table with the Great Satan. It would have been painful enough to curb their means and methods for years to come.

Iran was in a hurry to see these sanctions cast away, understanding that they could be imposed nearly forever. Yet this is the great mystery of these negotiations, and nearly every other episode where this president collides with a ruthless foreign power: They behaved as if they could take the punishment—and we behaved as if we could not wait to see it go.

That brings us to a more modern comparison: In spirit if not in aim, this deal very much resembles the resolution of the Syrian “red line” crisis of September 2013. There too, the president touted a peaceful resolution that supposedly achieved American aims with the support of the international community. Perceptive observers at the time understood that it was unlikely to last, both because it depended upon the goodwill and cooperation of bad actors, and also because it was widely understood that the American president was unlikely to enforce its terms.

It is better to set no red lines at all then to set them and back away. Back down once, and they have taken your measure. So it has proven once again. And so the Iranian nuclear-weapons program will endure long after Barack Obama has relinquished the presidency. It is no exaggeration to say that what the Obama administration has done here is set us on a fast track toward war based on the motivation of short-term domestic political gains.

Obama is preparing to sell this deal to the American people as “it’s this, or war”. Perhaps he should embrace the healing power of “and”.
Ben Domenech is the publisher of The Federalist.
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Re: Iran deal...what deal.

Post by airkooledchris » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:14 am

those are well formed paragraphs Ben. id add my own thoughts on the above, but that doesn't appear to be the purpose of this posts existence.
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Re: Iran deal...what deal.

Post by Bleyseng » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:35 am

Interesting read but I don't know if I agree with it as I just am not informed enough.

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Re: Iran deal...what deal.

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:45 pm

72Hardtop wrote:Obama’s deal with Tehran is beyond awful, but something along the lines of what he laid out in 2013 could have brought lasting peace.

To understand which side emerged victorious from the Iran talks, look no further than the words of President Obama himself.

Obama is preparing to sell this deal to the American people as “it’s this, or war”. Perhaps he should embrace the healing power of “and”.

Ben Domenech is the publisher of The Federalist.
Not too bad, for a member of the Heartland Institute . . .
. . . but I wholly disagree with Ben for the following reasons:

This "beyond awful" deal cannot be laid at Obama's feet. Seven nations have been struggling mightily with the exact words and parameters of every aspect of the agreement. Like the July 4th uncle-under-beer at the family picnic, Ben starts talking the classic talking points of yesterday's neo-Cons, the ones who actually did bring us war that clearly won us nothing but pain. What new thinking can possibly enter his made up mind?

This agreement, Ben, is the first time that international inspectors are being granted actual access to the entire "production line" of nuclear technology in Iran. This will have a far more realistic chance of slowing down any nefarious activities for the simple reason that it will be exceedingly more difficult to put weapons development under the existing infrastructure without the world having a whole lot better idea that something is going on.

Believe it or not, that "community organizer" Obama that you spew so much loathing and scorn on, has done a damn good job of coalescing other nations behind his every action in Egypt, Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, at no time has he not conferred with other world leaders. That is because he is not the Boss Of The World, like neo-Cons wish their manly putinesque presidential fantasy would be. Obama is a realist, and he has done a superb job of executing as well as articulating a doctrine that pretty much states, "why not diplomacy? we still have our military might as back-up, let's try to think through a more nuanced and realistic and intelligent and locally sensitive lens?" Why not? Just like Cuba. Why not?

So what is your plan to prevent a sovereign nation from developing whatever weapons it chooses to protect itself, 72Hardtop? Iran is absolutely no different than a gun-totin' citizen of America, "you cain't take away MY guns, I have a RIGHT." Well guess what? They do. So, what's your plan, you international liberal pacifist nanny, to take away Iran's right to defend itself?
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Re: Iran deal...what deal.

Post by 72Hardtop » Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:00 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
72Hardtop wrote:Obama’s deal with Tehran is beyond awful, but something along the lines of what he laid out in 2013 could have brought lasting peace.

To understand which side emerged victorious from the Iran talks, look no further than the words of President Obama himself.

Obama is preparing to sell this deal to the American people as “it’s this, or war”. Perhaps he should embrace the healing power of “and”.

Ben Domenech is the publisher of The Federalist.
Not too bad, for a member of the Heartland Institute . . .
. . . but I wholly disagree with Ben for the following reasons:

This "beyond awful" deal cannot be laid at Obama's feet. Seven nations have been struggling mightily with the exact words and parameters of every aspect of the agreement. Like the July 4th uncle-under-beer at the family picnic, Ben starts talking the classic talking points of yesterday's neo-Cons, the ones who actually did bring us war that clearly won us nothing but pain. What new thinking can possibly enter his made up mind?

This agreement, Ben, is the first time that international inspectors are being granted actual access to the entire "production line" of nuclear technology in Iran. This will have a far more realistic chance of slowing down any nefarious activities for the simple reason that it will be exceedingly more difficult to put weapons development under the existing infrastructure without the world having a whole lot better idea that something is going on.

Believe it or not, that "community organizer" Obama that you spew so much loathing and scorn on, has done a damn good job of coalescing other nations behind his every action in Egypt, Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, at no time has he not conferred with other world leaders. That is because he is not the Boss Of The World, like neo-Cons wish their manly putinesque presidential fantasy would be. Obama is a realist, and he has done a superb job of executing as well as articulating a doctrine that pretty much states, "why not diplomacy? we still have our military might as back-up, let's try to think through a more nuanced and realistic and intelligent and locally sensitive lens?" Why not? Just like Cuba. Why not?

So what is your plan to prevent a sovereign nation from developing whatever weapons it chooses to protect itself, 72Hardtop? Iran is absolutely no different than a gun-totin' citizen of America, "you cain't take away MY guns, I have a RIGHT." Well guess what? They do. So, what's your plan, you international liberal pacifist nanny, to take away Iran's right to defend itself?
Colin :blackeye:

It's always been the policy of the US to not negotiate with terrorists or nations that sponsor terrorism. Iran is a nation that actively sponsors terrorism. Fact. Any right they have to defend themselves should be greatly limited in any way possible.

It remains to be seen that they will even follow the agreement. They have shown before they have a way of putting their foot in their mouth. Obamas foreign policy is just that...very foreign even to himself. Just about every president in the last 50 years has used diplomacy to one degree or another. If not, we'd already had World War III, which in case you haven't noticed has been coming to a boiling point for sometime now. Hell, wars have been started rather than avoided because of diplomacy.
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Re: Iran deal...what deal.

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:41 am

72Hardtop wrote:
It's always been the policy of the US to not negotiate with terrorists or nations that sponsor terrorism.
Horse Pucky. That was a brand-new "doctrine" made up by George Bush and Dicky and Don.
We STATE such things cuz they sound real tough, but real human beings actually do talk with the crazies as desperately hopefully and earnestly as one who hates killing might be expected to. We have negotiated with every nation on Earth. And you do know that Ronnie Reagan smooched the ayatollahs with birthday cakes, and there is Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein, you do know this, you have seen this.
72Hardtop wrote: Iran is a nation that actively sponsors terrorism. Fact.
Fact. So did we. So do we. So shall we. Read up! Contras. Afghanistan. Cuba. Argentina. Nicaragua. Guatemala. Vietnam. We have sponsored terrorists who are known as "freedom fighters" when they are on our side.
72Hardtop wrote: Any right they have to defend themselves should be greatly limited in any way possible.
So you do believe in "gun control" and "limited sovereignity" after all, you ol' softie, you.
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Re: Iran deal...what deal.

Post by 72Hardtop » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:00 am

Amskeptic wrote:
72Hardtop wrote:
It's always been the policy of the US to not negotiate with terrorists or nations that sponsor terrorism.
Horse Pucky. That was a brand-new "doctrine" made up by George Bush and Dicky and Don.
We STATE such things cuz they sound real tough, but real human beings actually do talk with the crazies as desperately hopefully and earnestly as one who hates killing might be expected to. We have negotiated with every nation on Earth. And you do know that Ronnie Reagan smooched the ayatollahs with birthday cakes, and there is Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein, you do know this, you have seen this.
72Hardtop wrote: Iran is a nation that actively sponsors terrorism. Fact.
Fact. So did we. So do we. So shall we. Read up! Contras. Afghanistan. Cuba. Argentina. Nicaragua. Guatemala. Vietnam. We have sponsored terrorists who are known as "freedom fighters" when they are on our side.
72Hardtop wrote: Any right they have to defend themselves should be greatly limited in any way possible.
So you do believe in "gun control" and "limited sovereignity" after all, you ol' softie, you.
Colin :flower:

Not negotiating with terrorists or those who sponsor them actually goes all the way back to the Reagan days.

It boils down to having to choose between the lesser of 2 evils. But we the US are anything but terrorists. We don't fire rockets into large gatherings of civilian populated areas indiscriminately. We don't strap ourselves with bombs foolishly, we don't hijack planes and fly them into buildings, we don't behead people for the sake of religion or ideologies etc...

2nd Amendment forbids gun control of ANY however slight.

I'm a bit weathered but not soft. Lest we forget that most of those in office in Washington voted for both fronts in the war on terror, Dems & Republicans.
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Re: Iran deal...what deal.

Post by Abscate » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:11 pm

When I read stuff like this I never know if this is just uninformed rant or a truly twisted choosing of “ facts” to defend positions. I guess it doesn’t matter that much as you can’t discuss things rationally either way.

It’s both in the Constitution and settled law that the 2nd Amendment is not absolute weapons rights Amendment

The conservatives squeal like pigs when they are told that Reagan bought the hostages back with money, so they twist their colons with the “ he didn’t start it” pathetic defense. ( He did not start it, we only don’t negotiate with terrorists in Harrison Ford movies)

One country's terrorist is another’s FreedomFighter indeed. If you don’t think we invoke acts of terror around the world, let’s agree to stop discussing as we don’t have the same facts base in stock.

Read Kinzers books, then come back more educated.

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Re: Iran deal...what deal.

Post by 72Hardtop » Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:51 pm

Abscate wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:11 pm
When I read stuff like this I never know if this is just uninformed rant or a truly twisted choosing of “ facts” to defend positions. I guess it doesn’t matter that much as you can’t discuss things rationally either way.

It’s both in the Constitution and settled law that the 2nd Amendment is not absolute weapons rights Amendment

The conservatives squeal like pigs when they are told that Reagan bought the hostages back with money, so they twist their colons with the “ he didn’t start it” pathetic defense. ( He did not start it, we only don’t negotiate with terrorists in Harrison Ford movies)

One country's terrorist is another’s FreedomFighter indeed. If you don’t think we invoke acts of terror around the world, let’s agree to stop discussing as we don’t have the same facts base in stock.

Read Kinzers books, then come back more educated.
Pure rubbish.
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Re: Iran deal...what deal.

Post by tommu » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:17 pm

72Hardtop wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:51 pm
Pure rubbish.
I’m going to say that this is not a winning riposte.

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Re: Iran deal...what deal.

Post by 72Hardtop » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:07 am

tommu wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:17 pm
72Hardtop wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:51 pm
Pure rubbish.
I’m going to say that this is not a winning riposte.
Short and to the point.
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Re: Iran deal...what deal.

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Nov 23, 2018 2:21 pm

72Hardtop wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:07 am
tommu wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:17 pm
72Hardtop wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:51 pm
Pure rubbish.
I’m going to say that this is not a winning riposte.
Short and to the point.

I would love a couple of short and to the point examples to better which drive the discussion.


Did Reagan communicate with Iran while Jimmy Carter was still our duly sworn-in President? 30 pts

Did Reagan illegally countenance selling arms to Iran to fund the contras? 30 pts

Can "well-regulated militia" be interpreted as a "group" of citizens that must follow certain agree-upon protocols? 40 pts essay
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Re: Iran deal...what deal.

Post by Abscate » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:28 am

On what basis can any nation tell another nation what weapons it can and can't have?

20 pts.

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Re: Iran deal...what deal.

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:44 am

Abscate wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:28 am
On what basis can any nation tell another nation what weapons it can and can't have?

20 pts.

None whatsoever . . . except for some toothless United Nations "agreement" which our newly tough guy president and his manly henchmen in Congress have endlessly decreed do not apply to us.

Seriously, I have no patience left.
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Re: Iran deal...what deal.

Post by Abscate » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:52 am

Short and to the point.
Indeed. You have made it to the Fourth Level of Grahams Pyramid of Logical Refutation, only three more to go!

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