Blowing Up the Deal

I haven’t had time to look into specifics, but Iran and several world powers have agreed on a framework for a nuclear deal. Greg Sargent writes,

The preliminary deal would limit continued operation of centrifuges to one site, while converting a second one — which had been the subject of controversy — to a research facility. The Arak nuclear reactor could no longer be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium.

In exchange, sanctions against Iran will be lifted by the U.S. and European countries, after the International Atomic Energy Agency verifies Iran has taken those steps.

Naturally, congressional Republicans already are against it, because Obama. Blowing up any deal the President makes, no matter what it is, is a key litmus test among the 2016 presidential hopefuls. Because Obama.

Scott Walker told an interviewer that if he is elected POTUS he would not only blow up any deal with Iran on his first day as president, he would do so even if all of our allies want the deal to continue.

I asked Peter Juul, a Mideast analyst for the Center for American Progress, to explain what the consequences of that might be. He told me:

“The big questions would be, How would Europeans and Iranians react? It’s hard to believe that the Iranians would stick to their end of the deal. That would leave Iran open to take their nuclear program as far as they want.

“The Europeans would probably try to keep their portion of the deal in place and try to salvage it. This would place the burden of having blown up the deal on us. This would be particularly ironic, considering that a major Republican and conservative talking point is that the Obama administration is breaking faith with our allies. We would be alienating and breaking faith with our European allies right out of the gate. You’d be irreparably damaging our transatlantic relationships for however long Scott Walker were in office.

“Putin is not going to leave power anytime soon, unless he keels over. For all the talk about the Russian threat, it would be odd to throw our European allies under the bus on Iran at the same time they are facing down a Russia that is not particularly friendly.

“There would be a lot of ripple effects around wherever the U.S. and Europe have security cooperation. This is a reckless, irresponsible, shoot first, don’t-ask-questions-ever approach. It’s just not a viable strategy if your goal is to keep Iran from getting a nuclear bomb.”

But for the idiot children like Walker who hope to be on the GOP ticket, the goal is not to keep Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. The goal is to stick it to Obama.  It’s a bit like what the incoming Bush Administration did in 2001 when it assumed Clinton people like Richard Clarke, who were yammering about that dangerous al Qaeda thing, were just being hysterical.

All of this should theoretically lead to at least some kind of pressure on members of Congress who are looking to kill a deal — not to mention the 2016 GOP hopefuls — to say what they support doing instead beyond thwarting Obama. “The bottom line is that it’s unclear what Walker and others who think like him want out of this process,” Juul says. “If no deal could possibly satisfy them, they should say so.”

It’s a bit like Obamacare. Republicans keep saying they have a better way, but the better way really is to just go back to the way things were before.  And then make that even worse.

Salon has a roundup of reactions to the proposed Iran deal. The Right thinks the proposed deal with either bring back the Third Reich or usher the Apocalypse.

Paul Waldman:

I can make that prediction with certainty as well, because we’ve already heard plenty of them. But as I discuss at the Plum Line today, we should be absolutely clear what those who talk about Munich are saying:

Many of us roll our eyes and poke fun at endless Hitler analogies, but in this case their use is extremely revealing. If you believe that the negotiations with Iran are the equivalent of those in Munich in 1938, what you’re basically saying is that war with Iran is inevitable, so we might as well get started on it right away. After all, it isn’t as though, had Chamberlain left Munich without an agreement, Hitler would have retired and gone back to painting. The whole point of the “appeasement” argument is that the enemy cannot be appeased from his expansionist aims, and the only choice is to wage war.

That’s what Iran hawks are arguing: We shouldn’t pussyfoot around trying to find a diplomatic solution to this problem when there’s going to be a war no matter what.

You can call this clear-eyed realism, or you can call it terrifying lunacy. But it would be nice if they would admit that war is indeed what they’re advocating. Up until now, only a few conservatives have been willing to say so. I’d like to hear their argument, and not a bunch of “all options should be on the table” hedging, but a real case for why launching a war on Iran really is the best of the available options.

The idiot children really must be pushed hard to be explicit about what they actually intend. Over and over and over. I’m really certain the American people just want the Middle East to simmer down and stay out of the headlines, not more war.

8 thoughts on “Blowing Up the Deal

  1. Even more than Bush et all. ignoring all Qaeda, its like Bush et al.’s mishandling of the North Korean nuclear deal that had North Korea accepting inspections that would’ve kept them from building a bomb. We know how that turned out.

  2. The rethuglicans are being so childish in their desire to stick to President Obama. Whether or not they win the next presidential election, Barack Obama won’t be president any longer, unless they think he will not turn over the office. Their thinking is so absurd.

  3. “The idiot children really must be pushed hard to be explicit about what they actually intend”

    Good luck with that. I agree they act like idiots but they are doing what they are told to do, they just aren’t smart enough to do it with some tactful statesmanship. Peace with Iran would be the worst thing that could happen for them. Peace with Iran puts the breaks on the War pimps plans for rosy profit plans that a war with Iran would guarantee. Peace with Iran would mean Israel would feel pressure to end the open air prison they currently are enforcing in Gaza and the West Bank. And finally Peace with Iran would be a historic victory for that colored fella in the white house, we can’t have that can we?

  4. Ok, GOP, we get it: You’re agin’ Obama.

    But what are you fer?
    Besides war and the profits to be gained from them, I mean.

    Party over people!
    Party Over Country!!

  5. It *is* a scary thing. And what scares me is not so much the Republicans of *today*, though I’m a lot closer to being scared. It’s the ones of *tomorrow*.

    Everyone on the Republican side pushed Bush’s war in Iraq. Everyone defended him, and even when it went south, they’d still defend the decision, until it became dangerous and unpopular to do so. (Really unpopular, not just unpopular among members of the “reality based community”.)

    That was scary, but I realized that GWB just wanted to beat up Iraq, to prove he could, for whatever reason – because other Republicans cheered him, or to show up daddy, who *cares*? – so he was small potatoes, in a sense.

    But other Republicans may not be so limited. And they’re whipping up the base to be ever-crazy, and the press to go along. Mark my words, if a President Bush III were to suggest invading Iran “because we’re *sure* they’re cheating on inspections!” (Maybe they can get Colin Powell to testify to this effect…) the question won’t be “Have you guys gone completely f’in’ *crazy*?” but whether he can whip up popular support, and how will this affect the midterms?

  6. Anyone still think Scott Walker is presidential material? In the short time he has found himself towards the front of the pack he has managed to show just how stupid he is. This is what it looks like when you never, ever speak in front of an unfriendly crowd or give a press conference or even have a sit-down with anything but a friendly reporter. The Fox News candidate. I think he’s even scaring some of his own people. Can’t wait for the debates.
    FWIW, I always thot Chamberlain got a raw deal on Munich. It’s the ultimate in 20/20 hindsight to call him an appeaser. I think given the circumstances, most of us would have taken the deal. England wasn’t ready for war, the specter of WWI still loomed large in Europe and not many people knew how ruthless Hitler was, save Churchill.
    And nobody, absolutely nobody, wants another middle east war.

  7. This push for war is coming from the Clown Car wing of the GOP. Emblematic of that thinking is a statement Ben Carson made, that “we” could “sort of just slip” the Palestinians into Egypt as a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its that kind of “mind” that thinks war with Iran is desirable.

    Unfortunately war is big for business, so the business wing is disinclined to reel them in, as they did on the RFRA law in Indiana. The Clown Car republicans serve their purpose as useful idiots.

    It all comes down to profit. If there is profit to be had, nothing is a bridge too far for these people.

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