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Thursday, June 21, 2018

The historic preliminary nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers — the United States, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom — made in Geneva, Switzerland over the weekend was first announced on Twitter.

Within minutes Republicans felt the need to remind people that if there’s one thing they hate more than helping the uninsured, it’s any attempt to make peace in the Middle East.

George W. Bush’s former press secretary Ari Fleischer — who after the 9/11 terrorist attacks warned “all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do” — decided people had to know his opinion on the deal before he had even heard what was in it.

Because if anyone needed to weigh in on an historic attempt at diplomacy, it’s the guys who still think the Iraq War was a good idea.

The neocons, or the Cheneyites, or whatever the war-lusting branch of the Republican Party can be called, were waiting to respond to any deal with their usual bombast and comic inability to process how little credibility they have with anyone who doesn’t get their news exclusively from Fox, email forwards and Internet comment sections.

The Iraq War’s number one fan Charles Krauthammer savaged the deal days before it happened, preposterously suggesting that “the regime fears a threat to its very survival.” He may be confusing the regime in Tehran with the tenuous coalition built by the post-Bush diplomacy of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who were able to convince Russia and China to participate, giving some actual economic kick to the effort.

The six powers are anxious for a permanent resolution to the nuclear question, and the United States’ failure to negotiate could destroy the unity that created the economic crisis that helped encourage the Persian state to elect a more moderate leader.

Of course, Krauthammer is the same guy who said President Obama should have armed Iran’s Green Movement — “the distinctly non-violent protest movement born out of Mir Hossien Moussavi’s failed 2009 presidential campaign.”


There are substantive complaints about this deal to be made but they require some actual perspective on how we arrived at this situation, where Iran is constantly on the verge of getting a nuclear weapon.

It is the direct result of the Bush administration’s horrendous decisions after 9/11, as Israeli journalist Ari Shavit explained in The New York Times:

Mr. Bush’s responsibility for the disaster now unfolding is twofold: He failed to target Iran a decade ago, and created a climate that made it very difficult to target Iran today. The Bush administration didn’t initiate a political-economic siege on Iran when it was weak, and Mr. Bush weakened America by exhausting its economic power and military might in a futile war. By the time American resolve was needed to fend off a genuine global threat, the necessary determination was no longer there. It had been wasted on the wrong cause.

If the goal of the Iraq War was to make Iran stronger, it was an astounding success.