The Deal

First, what are the conditions of the nuclear deal with Iran? Charles Pierce explains:

This is the biggest gamble yet for an administration that appears to be reacting to its lame-duck status by ignoring it entirely. An administration that, as we have pointed out previously, has upturned its big bag of fks and discovered that it has no more there to give. The Republicans — especially those running for president — are going to go indiscriminately up the wall, and Benjamin Netanyahu nearly beat New Horizons to Pluto after having given it a nine-year head start. …

… (Strumming the same tune on this side of the world is Senator Huckleberry J. Butchmeup, who has hit the fainting couch with the impact of an anvil dropped from an airplane: “You’ve ensured that the Arabs will go nuclear. You’ve put Israel in the worst possible box. This will be a death over time sentence to Israel if they don’t push back…You put our nation at risk.” And the alternative is another war, somewhere down the line. You first, senator.)

Central to the knee-jerk dismissal of any agreement with Iran regarding nuclear weapons is the belief that the Iranian regime is fundamentally suicidal, that its leaders actually would commit themselves to a course of action that would result in the complete annihilation of their country. In 2012, at a campaign event, Rick Santorum said this flat-out, that the Iranians would launch a nuclear exchange, which they surely would lose, because they don’t fear such cataclysm based on their belief that it would bring about the arrival of the 12th Imam. Santorum — and have I mentioned recently what a colossal dick Rick Santorum is? — was not laughed off the stage. This is exactly the same kind of nonsense we heard during the Cold War when the nuns assured us that the Russians didn’t fear nuclear war because they were atheists anyway.

OK, that doesn’t exactly explain what’s in the deal, but it’s damn funny.

You know that the Right would denounce any deal made between President Obama and Iran, because it’s President Obama and Iran.  It’s hard to say whom they hate and fear more — an Islamic republic or their own President.  In any event, Republicans wasted no time rushing to microphones to denounce the deal they hadn’t had time to study.

Andrew Rosenthal:

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who reportedly has been getting briefings on foreign affairs because he’s the governor of a Midwestern state with no actual experience in the area, announced: “The deal allows Tehran to dismantle U.S. and international sanctions without dismantling its illicit nuclear infrastructure — giving Iran’s nuclear weapons capability an American stamp of approval.”

Actually, no. It requires Iran to dismantle a great deal of its “illicit nuclear infrastructure” before sanctions start to be lifted, would restore them and impose more if Iran cheats, and keeps in place many sanctions based on Iran’s human rights record and its support for terrorist organizations.

“Shame on the Obama administration for agreeing to a deal that empowers an evil Iranian regime to carry out its threat to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ and bring ‘death to America,’” said Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor.

Mr. Huckabee, like the rest of the G.O.P. field, offers not a clue as to how he would prevent Iran from doing those things, which don’t actually require a nuclear weapon, which the United States and Israel have, by the way.

Just go read all of Rosenthal’s piece; it’s one of the snarkier things I’ve yet to read in the New York Times, outside of Krugman’s blog.

Miss … I mean, Senator Lindsey Graham — may have won the competition by declaring the deal was “akin to declaring war on Israel and the Sunni Arabs.” It’s still about a year before the nominations, and LG alone has just about depleted the global supply of hysterical hyperbole.  Where can they go from here?

The runner up is Scott the Power Tool, who is not running for President. And why the hell not? He called the deal “Munich for our time,” which by itself is depraved enough to win him a place in the GOP debates, candidate or no.

Ian Black of the Guardian says the winners of the deal are Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani; President Obama; Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin. The losers are Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of ISIS; King Whoozitz of Saudi Arabia (I wish they’d all go back to being all named Abdullah) and Binyamin Netanyahu. Mostly a win, I’d say.

Here’s a roundup of reactions from all GOP candidates. Oh, and here’s a fairly clear walk-through of the agreement.

19 thoughts on “The Deal

  1. “akin to declaring war on Israel and the Sunni Arabs.”

    Wait now the Sunni Arabs are OK, aren’t ISIS the Sunni Arabs? I can’t keep up!

  2. Obama kept the Iranians from getting the Bomb AND made the Repugs apoplectic simultaneously–what a great week to be alive! Of course, the more the clown parade stamps its feet and turns red in the face, the deeper they dig their own graves– they will remind people of the two gratuitous, COSTLY wars their last President got us into. Obama is not running for another term, of course, but he is making it easier for Clinton or Sanders to mock the other side.

  3. Looks like I made a wise investment with my bulk purchase of Glenn Beck survival seeds.

  4. Looks like I made a wise investment with my bulk purchase of Glenn Beck survival seeds.

  5. Hey, I just got a two fer one…Is there a prize or something that comes with that feat?

  6. Speaking of two fers…I just realised after reading Miss Graham’s comments that Hillary is going to get the high honor of being the one who initiated this cataclysmic event. So not only does the right wing noise machine get to tear into Obama, they’ve got Hillary to pillory for tossing our national security away. It’s a win win for the repugs. If they couple this debacle with their Benghazi investigations Hillary’s goose is cooked.

    I feel a sort of a kinship with all the GOP presidential contenders…at least in the respect that I know what it’s like to be talking out of one’s ass. I do it all the time.

  7. While I admit I haven’t read it – yet – who knows if it’s in the library at Sing-Sing, the premise of the ‘Art of War’ is that warfare is an evil to be avoided except as a last resort. Summaries I’ve read report that the author considered long or prolonged wars to be a loosing proposition.

    Why can’t the neocons see the wisdom in a negotiated, even imperfect, settlement over war and the perpetual threat of war. The cost of military preparedness is ridiculous when you factor in what we don’t have the resources for – education, infrastructure, and the needy.

  8. As usual, Doug has a point. As we seem to be entering a major extinction event, the environmental cost of war and military preparedness is also inescapable. There is no shortage of obscenity in war, but, among the other horrors is the suicidal absurdity of expending precious resources and polluting the environment for the purpose of destruction and murder. It seems impossible to conceive of anything more evil.

    As the oligarchs tighten their grip, there will be more people in need. Those of us who comprised the counterculture so many years ago, came from the experience of a good fortune that was unprecedented. Many working class schmucks like me were the first members of their families to go to college. We had a one in four chance of transcending our class and climbing to the next. Life had immense promise, America had immense promise. This wasn’t just an illusion in the eyes of youth, it was substantial.

    The young people of today are in comparatively reduced circumstances. The necessity for a safety net, a path to education and for maintaining the infrastructure and environment will be absolutely essential to their quality of life. The cost of neglecting these in favor belligerent policies and war, well be, as Doug pointed out, glaringly ridiculous.

    That seems to be a grim sort of hope, but, that may be all we have.
    I never read Sun Tzu either, I suppose I should get around to it someday. For now I’d rather “cut the soles out of my shoes, climb a tree and learn how to play the flute.”

    AWWW, what the heck, for old time’s sake:

  9. “The cost of military preparedness is ridiculous when you factor in what we don’t have the resources for – education, infrastructure, and the needy”

    Come ‘on Doug how are the neo-cons gonna make profits on education, infrastructure and the needy? Once they succeed in privatizing all our schools and breaking all of our trade unions they might think about the first two but I fear the needy can just go f#ck themselves!

  10. In my opinion, the GOP do NOT fear Iran, but instead are green with envy. The Iranian leadership has everything the GOP has ever wanted: absolute control over otherwise well-educated people and their media sources.

  11. Maha, what do you think of the “other” deal? You know, the one where Greece gives up its sovereignty in exchange for endless debt servitude?

  12. “It’s hard to say whom they hate and fear more — an Islamic republic or their own President.”

    Maha Kotter, ask me, it’s easy!
    They hate Obama more.
    Iran is, at best, barely an existential enemy.
    Obama’s killed their mojo by not being an obsequious lame duck.

    Obama has taken away the only reason to attack Iran.

    And, if as expected, this helps empower the young people in Iran – if I remember right, more than half the population is under 30 – we could see a more democratic, less Theocratic Iran.
    Not today.
    Not tomorrow.
    But sometime in the future – maybe in my lifetime.

    And, won’t that be (another) feather in the cap of the best POTUS in my lifetime.

    ‘Suck on this, conservatives!”

  13. I was thinking about that moment from the film, “Reds,” where Jack Reed is introduced to a civic group in order to explain what the war (WWI) was about. He walks up to the podium and simply says, “profit.”

  14. Watched the Funny or Die clip, cund. Doesn’t work, cause these guys would never come even that near putting their own asses on the line. But then a clip of them writing (actually probably just dictating, or even delegating it) a crabby letter doesn’t have the same impact.

  15. Somehow, all the Repubs who screamed “Read the bill!” over Obamacare never found time to read the 159-page agreement with Iran before denouncing it as Worse Than Eleventy Hitlers.
    Shocking, really.

  16. In the “minds” of the republicans, when it comes to foreign policy, anything that doesn’t lead to war is a failure. Otherwise they would have to govern, and they don’t do governing. Besides, war allows them to rev up their base of tin soldiers, and shower their owners with loot. Death and destruction!

  17. The deal is going to get done whether the US joins in or not. You can’t ignore 80 million people and expect a favorable outcome.

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