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How To Read The Iran Debate

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How To Read The Iran Debate

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WASHINGTON — Deals involving limits on weapons, nukes, or otherwise, are intricate and technical. Only a limited number of people among arms-control connoisseurs fully grasp the meaning of every detail.

Yet in a democracy, these matters are and should be the subject of debate. Those engaged in the argument sometimes pretend to more knowledge than they have, tossing out a raft of numbers — readily available courtesy of your favorite newspaper — on centrifuges, enrichment, and the like. Others are somewhat more candid in acknowledging that their view is shaped by what they thought before a single fact was published, though they, too, will rattle off a few data points just to enhance their credibility.

And so it was with the framework of the agreement announced on Thursday designed to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, or, at the least, kicking the prospect of a nuclear Iran down the road a decade or so. The fact that it’s a “framework” and that the final deal won’t be reached for a few months creates wiggle room for everyone. And the United States has been far more forthcoming than Iran in disclosing details, suggesting there are still fuzzy parts.

Just to be clear, I am not immune from my own critique. I welcome this deal, or pre-deal, because going in, I supported the idea of trying to get Iran to postpone getting a weapon. This is better than the alternatives, including war or an effort to keep sanctions going with allies who are not likely to support them, especially if the United States scuttles the talks.

I also see the possibility — not a probability, but a chance — that an agreement could open Iran up and strengthen those inside pushing for more freedom. Lest you think this is foolish, consider that both Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher thought that betting on Mikhail Gorbachev could lead to change in the Soviet Union. (“I like Mr. Gorbachev,” Thatcher said. “We can do business together.”) Many of their traditional supporters thought they were dangerously wrong, possibly naive. But they were right.

Moreover, I don’t think that we should give Saudi Arabia or other Sunni states a veto over our foreign policy, and I do think that in the long run, Israel will be safer, not in greater danger, if we can contain Iran in this way. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphatically disagrees, but I suspect that if the U.S. gets the deal it wants, many American supporters of Israel will take issue with him.

But there is something else reassuring about this first round: The outline is tougher and more specific than many skeptics thought it would be. Yes, Secretary of State John Kerry and the Obama administration managed expectations well. But among open-minded skeptics, the tilt was toward pleasant surprise.

It’s true that the facts as we know them are being read differently, depending on the orientation of the reader. President Obama says the inspections envisioned will be “robust and intrusive.” His critics say they aren’t nearly intrusive enough. Supporters of the deal note that the number of centrifuges Iran will be operating to enrich uranium is being cut from 19,000 to 5,000. Critics say Iran will still be running 5,000 centrifuges and is not being asked to destroy the rest. And they worry that the sanctions on Iran will be removed too quickly and not in stages.

Nonetheless, even some who are far from sold on the framework acknowledge it contains some useful measures: limits on the enrichment of uranium, the conversion of the underground nuclear facility at Fordow into a “research center,” and keeping a reactor in Arak from being able to produce weapons grade plutonium. I offer this paragraph not to pretend to any expertise on these matters, but to suggest the utility of a kind of intellectual triangulation: If even those inclined to be skeptical of a deal think these are positive elements, they are almost certainly steps forward.

You’d like to think that on a matter this important, those involved in the debate would acknowledge ambiguities and uncertainties and that each side would admit it’s placing a bet — on hope or skepticism. I’m not holding my breath. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is normally a sensible sort. But referring to the State Department’s top negotiator, he told a radio interviewer that “Neville Chamberlain got a lot more out of Hitler than Wendy Sherman got out of Iran.” It’s not a promising way to start.

E.J. Dionne’s email address is ejdionne@washpost.com. Twitter: @EJDionne.

Photo: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif of Iran in Vienna, Austria, on November 23, 2014, before the two begin a one-on-one meeting amid broader negotiations about the future of Iran’s nuclear program. (U.S. State Department photo/ Public Domain)

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E. J. Dionne

Besides contributing to The National Memo, E.J. Dionne, Jr. is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, and a university professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University.

His most recent book is Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent (2013).

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64 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila April 6, 2015

    The most important part of the nuclear weapons development agreement reached in Switzerland is not so much numbers, but the spirit of cooperation and the desire to find a solution to an impasse that has been with us for decades, and that has served as a catalyst for unnecessary tensions and debate over military “solutions”.
    As promising as agreeing to a framework to finalize an agreement is, the most encouraging news are the promises made by Iran’s President Rouhani since the agreement was reached about Iran’s determination to comply with the terms of the agreement, and expand its scope.
    Debate to ensure all bases are covered, and unnecessary risks are avoided, is an integral part of major changes in paradigm, such as this, but that does not mean we should continue to emulate and repeat the claims made by Israel’s PM Netanyahu, and his predictions of doom and gloom he has been making for well over a decade. The best way to determine the effectiveness of an agreement like this is to give it a chance.

    Reply
    1. mike April 6, 2015

      Iran has lost little to nothing of its nuclear program, ICBM program not mentioned, aggression ignored, and you think it deserves a chance. Only on their terms, right? Sanctions released and watch the monies flowing not to education and the people but to support terrorism.
      Last week, Senior Iranian.official said “destruction of Israel is unnegotiable”.

      Reply
      1. S.J. Jolly April 6, 2015

        Iran has it’s zealots, and “un-negotiable” issues. Same as us. The real question is, which public statements are real, and which are just to keep the political base happy? Neither the Iranian Army commanders not the mullahs ruling the country have shown any great urgency to go to Allah.

        Reply
        1. mike April 6, 2015

          The issue is not negotiating but negotiating just to have deal. Look at the present agreement, Iran basically gave up nothing. Many sticking points with the parties
          far apart.
          Nor are commanders/mullahs feeling the urgency of worrying about Spineless Obama!
          Senior officials have continually said, “Israel most be destroyed to have a free Palestine”.

          Reply
          1. bobnstuff April 6, 2015

            You real need to stop watching Fox, this is their line. Iran has agreed to let the UN into places they never have let anyone before and they have lost faced in doing so. Just what have we given up in this deal? Nothing. We still can blast them off the face of the earth anytime we want. We gave nothing.

            Reply
          2. mike April 7, 2015

            And you need to quit watching MSNBC!
            Obama 2012, I will stop Iran’s nuclear program. Obama 2015, Iran’s nuclear program continues.
            What you your sources won’t admit is those so called inspections are qualified, some site inspections must be announced a head of time, no spontaneous inspections. Also, to reimpose sanctions, Iran can litigate before sanctions can be imposed again.

            We have no idea if there are other secret sites and enrichment programs.
            What you also ignore is the fact they have broken other agreements in the past.

            Reply
          3. bobnstuff April 7, 2015

            I watch Fox Non News. It’s great, what ever they say is probably a lie so all I have to do is find the opposite and I have the truth. I find it interesting just how you know what’s in the agreement when the Senator who heads the committee that will deal with it doesn’t and is waiting for more information before judging it.

            Reply
          4. mike April 8, 2015

            What are you smoking? Obama has given his sales pitch, Iran has given their version, France and Germany have given their concerns, nuclear watchdog organizations who have watched Iran over the years have given the major sticking points. Has Obama given the committee a copy? What he is concerned about are the under the table, wink wink agreements that are not in writing.

            Reply
          5. bobnstuff April 8, 2015

            I think you had better pay attention to what is really happening instead of what the right wing folks are saying. First there isn’t an agreement yet, only a framework, second the head of the senate foreign relation comity said on Sunday Morning that he would reserve judgment until he saw an agreement. As of right now nothing is finale I think it’s stupid of people to be against something before they have seen it. The bought and paid for
            senate will fight it because it’s going to cost their over lords a
            bunch of money because oil prices will drop again.

            Reply
          6. mike April 8, 2015

            I never said there was final agreement, an agreement to continue is what we have now.
            “I think it’s stupid of people to be against something before they have seen it”. your words. We have seen the basic content given by Obama, the Iranians, other countries, nuclear watchdogs and there are many problems with it at this point.
            It is just as stupid for people to be for it having not seen it.
            R3emember Obamacare, Pelosi “we have to pass it before we know what’s in it”. Obama lied on at least three of the major points before implementation and the American people found him to be a liar.

            Why should reasonable people believe he is telling the truth now???

            Reply
          7. bobnstuff April 8, 2015

            I was thinking about the “you have to vote for it to see what’s in it statement”. You know the republicans could have stopped that vote if they wanted to. Also after a bill is passed there is a finale review when it comes back from the printer. It’s not all that uncommon to pass a bill with out a hard copy.

            Reply
          8. mike April 8, 2015

            You idiot the democrats controlled all three branches.
            Republicans could do squat.

            Reply
          9. bobnstuff April 8, 2015

            You should spend some time learning about how the congress works, you don’t seem to have a very good working knowledge of it. Making congress postpone a vote only takes one person. I have come to the conclusion that very few people really know the basics on how a bill becomes a law and even know how the
            congress rules work. It doesn’t help when the media keeps feeding us misinformation.

            Reply
          10. mike April 8, 2015

            Now you are being ridiculous!!
            You want to elaborate on the one person thing.
            Democrats had filibuster proof Senate at the time obamacare was passed. House had overwhelming numbers to pass without the republicans.

            Reply
          11. bobnstuff April 9, 2015

            It’s called a hold. Part of the morning rules.

            Reply
          12. mike April 9, 2015

            Thanks, but when one reads the history of this type of hold, it is effective for a short time and can be defeated by a cloture motion. It might postpone but that doesn’t mean it won’t get voted on. It doesn’t change the fact the democrats had the votes in both houses to pass whatever they wanted.

            Reply
          13. bobnstuff April 9, 2015

            If the Republicans wanted to read the bill they could have put a hold on until they had the bill in hand. That’s what it is for.

            Reply
          14. mike April 9, 2015

            As you said it only postpones the bill, the numbers were still there to defeat hold and pass bill.

            Reply
          15. bobnstuff April 9, 2015

            The really stupid part is the ACA is republican program, Written by republicans and beta tested by a republican. and stolen from the republicans 40% of the bill was changed to try to make the republicans happy but still the republicans use it to beat up on the President. It does everything a good republican would do, it gives public money to private business. It took six years for the republicans to find one sentence in it to sue over. All in all a pretty well written bill, the republicans did a good job.

            Reply
          16. mike April 9, 2015

            Which Republican plan? There were multiple plans and none were ever passed or liked by republicans.
            The rest of your post is pure garbage.

            Reply
          17. bobnstuff April 9, 2015

            I guess you did hear about the health care act that Romney passed or
            ” The concept goes back to at least 1989, when the conservative Heritage Foundation proposed an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer health care”

            Reply
          18. mike April 9, 2015

            So what?? Old news and not pertinent to this thread. Romney vetoed the bill 8 times and overridden in the very liberal state of Mass. What you ignore, good old boy Teddy made sure the state got millions from the Fed. govt..
            The ACA was not conceived by the Heritage plan, they are different not in degree but in kind. Anyone that tries to compare ACA to the Heritage plan is not only wrong but deeply pernicious. The presence of a mandate is where the similarities between ACA and HP end.

            Reply
          19. mike April 9, 2015

            So you want to use an individual(Chafee) who was way to the left even though he was called a republican at that time.
            As the article says, more a symbolic bill than an actual piece of legislation.
            Wasting my time again. “the bill is a Republican plan”, horse manure and no cigar for you.

            Reply
          20. S.J. Jolly April 7, 2015

            “We have no idea if there are other secret sites and enrichment programs.”” Meaning, military action, short of massive occupation and intensive search of Iran, would have NO guarantee of success. No?

            Reply
          21. mike April 7, 2015

            No, don’t try to put words in my mouth.
            We don’t know if there are other secret sites and if discovered, do we get immediate access to them.

            Reply
          22. S.J. Jolly April 8, 2015

            They’re your own words.

            Reply
          23. mike April 8, 2015

            I never said or used the words “military action”. Not surprised, your lack of depth is showing again!

            Reply
          24. charleo1 April 6, 2015

            Listen to our, “Senior officials.” They do, I’ll guarantee you. Some
            “high Level U.S. Official, Sen. Mark Kirk, invoked the Chamberlin/ Nazi analogy to the deal. And he’s supposedly a moderate? Tell you what. Let’s have the Right Wing step up like men, and rip the scab off this baby. Instead of talking around the issue, and arranging to scuttle the deal. Just promise the next Republican President will give the Iranians an ultimatum. Full capitulation to all our demands on dismantling their nuclear program, or a full scale attack! Tell the Ayatollah to get out of town by sundown!

            Reply
          25. mike April 6, 2015

            Such silly comments again from you, time for you to go back under the rock.

            Reply
          26. charleo1 April 6, 2015

            How he heck would you know if my comments are silly or not? Maybe you ought to wake up, and quit spouting your nonsense. What do you think these Wingers are actually proposing? And how do they believe they could get a better deal? If they can’t do that, or offer anything productive. Then they should do the right thing, and shut their mouths.

            Reply
          27. mike April 7, 2015

            What they are proposing, come to Congress, let the light of day show all the facts, not just what is not being made public.
            Remember, Obama said in 2012, “he was going to stop Irans nuclear program”, what we see is nothing close to that goal.

            Reply
          28. charleo1 April 7, 2015

            Look, if that was the intent of the Republicans all along, they should have held their fire until the deal was complete. Now they have destroyed their credibility in the eyes of all concerned, to be serious arbiters of a final agreement, by their previous actions. It’s all too clear to the signatories of any deal that eventually comes out of these negotiations. That the Right is too heavily invested politically, in tearing any proposed deal, no matter how advantageous, to sunder. And since the window is closing, the results will be the hard, and implausible choice of unilateral military action to attempt to prevent the acquisition by Iran of a nuclear weapon. Or engaging in the dim prospect of starting, over. And holding together a negotiating coalition, and sanction regime, that has already been ongoing for more than 14 years. The results of America’s dysfunctional partisan politics in the end, will not be military action, but a nuclear armed Iran. Most likely, in less than 5 years.

            Reply
          29. mike April 7, 2015

            Look at intent of Obama to ignore congress on this possible historic agreement. I have said before they should not have written to Iran leader but to Obama with copies to Iran media. What they said was correct and is too the point.
            You can not ignore Obama’s statement to stop nuclear program, and how that doesn’t exist now.

            Reply
          30. charleo1 April 7, 2015

            Let me remind you, this is not a treaty requiring a Senatorial confirmation. And I would also remind you again, of the likely consequences, if Congress, in it’s current dysfunctional, and incapacitated state, manages in the end to scuttle this deal. I can assure you, there will no consensus to be had among the remaining P-5 partners on any U.S. calls for tougher sanctions. As they will surely see the actions of Republicans in the Senate, as motivated by internal politics, and a aversion to agreeing to any deal yet another 14 years of their efforts might produce. Therefore, the period of the agreed to halt of uranium enrichment, as well as the inspections to verify that suspension, now in effect, will end. Just as surely as the demands from Right Wing American politicians in league with their hardliner counterparts in Israel, and Saudi Arabia, for further unrealistic concessions from the Iranians, will fall on deaf ears. And the opportunity to accept what is possible for now, and then work to make further assessments throughout, with the believable threat of tougher sanctions, and more isolation, remaining on the table, will be lost, in all probability for good. Then, what will they propose to do? I recall Mitt Romney’s position, and the only position on the Iranian nuclear issue, he ever took when running for President. And I quote, ” Elect me, and I guarantee, Iran will not get the bomb.” Period, stop, end of discussion. No elaboration on what he meant by that. It certainly did not promise the end of Iran’s nuclear program, in it’s entirety. Nor was that the stated position of the Bush Administration. And never has President Obama, for his part, ever made such a flat out, unrealistic assertion. As that has never been the stated goal of the talks, nor that of the UN Security Council, from the beginning. So, the elimination of Iran’s
            nuclear program, in all it’s applications, never existed at any time.

            Reply
          31. mike April 7, 2015

            Chuck Schumer said ” I strongly believe Congress should have the right to disapprove any agreement and I support the Corker bill which would allow that to occur”. Senate now is closer to a veto proof vote. At this time the senate is just short of the 67 number.
            Today state department spent time trying to clean up interview with NPR by Obama, no Teleprompter, and he couldn’t get his facts right again.

            Reply
          32. S.J. Jolly April 8, 2015

            “… Obama’s statement to stop nuclear program, …” Divine prophets, by definition, are never wrong. Politicians have to be held to a looser standard.

            Reply
          33. mike April 8, 2015

            Obama said he was going to stop Iran’s nuclear program and he is doing just the opposite. Once a liar always a liar.

            Reply
          34. bobnstuff April 8, 2015

            Aren’t you at all ashamed that our congress has to be instructed by the leader of Iran as to just what the law in this matter is and the roll of congress in it.

            Reply
          35. S.J. Jolly April 7, 2015

            Such a political platform very likely would beat Barry Goldwater’s record for political landslides. Then again, ….

            Reply
          36. charleo1 April 7, 2015

            Barry Goldwater lost by a landslide for any number of reasons.
            But the biggest reason, for my straight laced, formerly straight Republican ticket Grandparents, was Barry Goldwater scared the bejesus out of them! Especially after the Cuban Missile Crisis. And, I don’t believe Republicans have changed all that much, even in 50 years in that respect. I think this go to war vibe, played a part in the defeat of Mitt Romney within his own base. And I also think they are sealing the deal against themselves, with this war talk over Iran.

            Reply
          37. S.J. Jolly April 7, 2015

            On one hand, righties call Obama a dictator and Emperor. On the other hand, they (you) call him spineless? Not-spineless would be what, sending our overworked military charging into Iran (a country five times the size of Iraq), to seek out and destroy any trace of nuclear facilities? “Not-spineless” equals rabidly psychotic?

            Reply
          38. mike April 7, 2015

            Still full of yourself I see.

            Reply
          39. S.J. Jolly April 8, 2015

            I won’t ask what you are full of.

            Reply
          40. mike April 8, 2015

            The real world, not the delusional one you live in.

            Reply
      2. johninPCFL April 6, 2015

        Sure. The other option of course is for China to ignore the sanctions and start buying more oil. Then the Iranian hard-liners are heros and the only option is boots-on-the-ground war. But that, of course, is what the Evangelists here are counting on. Armageddon is always just around the corner for them, and the rest of us just get dragged into their mental delusion.

        Just a few data points: 5000 centrifuges produce grams per day of weapons-grade material. Kilograms of weapons-grade material are needed for a single weapon. Multiple weapons are needed for a successful attack.

        Reply
        1. mike April 6, 2015

          What you and your ilk ignore is, What Iran has now!! Only the Iranians know and they won’t say. If all nuclear stockpile are sent out of country, that is one thing, if left in gaseous form, then we have a whole new situation.
          At 3.5%, which is the hardest part of producing weapon grade, where they are at now, they only need to process the last 30% to have a nuclear weapon. With their present stockpile they have enough to make seven bombs with the last 30% completed. Wisconsin project on nuclear weapon.
          We have no idea what they have, until we do we are negotiating from a real disadvantage. They have broken agreements before, what stops them now?
          Iran can not be trusted!

          Reply
          1. mike, you don’t know crap.
            ~

            Reply
          2. mike April 6, 2015

            LMAO!
            Vacuousness is all yours!

            Reply
          3. Independent1 April 6, 2015

            Virtually every poster here is beginning to wake up to how much of total moron you really are!!! Pack it in dumbcoff!!

            Reply
          4. mike April 7, 2015

            LOL!!!
            You made the moronic statement “Bush left the WH on 911 because he knew beforehand that the U.S. was going to be attacked” and you expect me to take you seriously or with any credibility. Now that is hilarious!!!

            Reply
          5. Independent1 April 7, 2015

            You’re the moron for being such a clueless RWNJ that you have you’re head up you’re rearend so far you’re blind to reality. How many times would the CIA have to tell YOU they had credible evidence that bin Laden was planning an attack on America before YOU’D BELIEVE IT?? Seven times wasn’t enough??? Get real you RWNJ IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!

            And you still haven’t explained to me why after the 7th very impassioned plea by the CIA, both Bush and Cheney disappeared from Washington until after 9/11 happened!!

            Why did they do that if they didn’t know some kind of attack was coming??? Come on!! Let’s have your all-knowing theory on that!!! Why was Bush reading stories to school children when he’d been away from Washington for over a month?? Why???? Why wasn’t he in the oval office DOING HIS JOB???

            And why did nobody know where Cheney was on 9/11??? Why???

            Reply
          6. mike April 7, 2015

            As I said before, you are one delusional and irrational person.

            Reply
          7. Independent1 April 7, 2015

            I’m delusional, believing that two worthless humans like Bush and Cheney, who would systematically lie our country into a war; where they knew hundreds of soldiers lives would be put at risk; and who both believed in torture and also knew that one of the detainees who was being tortured had died and only said something like: that’s what happens sometimes when you’re trying to get the truth…or something idiotic to that affect. Would care one iota that maybe someone would be killed in bin Laden’s attack, given they may have perceived the attack to be something like the Boston bombing; when they wanted to use it as just one more excuse for starting the Iraq war??? Which is exactly what they did!!!! They contrived stories about Saddam being in cohoots with bin Laden when nothing could be further from the truth – Saddam hated al Qaeda!!! Go pound sand in your sandbox LITTLE BOY!!! STOP LIVING IN YOUR LA LA LAND!!

            Reply
          8. mike April 7, 2015

            Thanks for the confirmation of your mental state being certifiable nuts!!

            Reply
          9. Insinnergy April 6, 2015

            Minus points for using “ilk”.
            Try getting out of your bunker sometime. The outside air is fresh and generally conspiracy-free.
            The best possible protection from Iran is moderate political gains. You get that from normalising economic relationships and the typical general spread of culture and capitalism (alas).

            Contrast the current policy in both Cuba and Iran (Strong sanctions) with political outcomes (hardliners in charge).

            Also: Consider this quote from The Gaurdian:
            “It’s hard to take Netanyahu’s hyperbolic statements seriously when he has basically been saying the same thing – that Iran is this close to a nuclear bomb – for over twenty-three years. Even his own intelligence services don’t agree with him.”
            Source: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/04/republicans-have-no-interest-in-peace-the-iran-talks-prove-that

            Also consider the Republican retard who said something along the lines of the only way to deal with the Middle East (I think he was talking Isis… or Syria… or fill-in-the-blank… he was Republican after all) was to drop nuclear bombs on them.
            Ahh yes… here it is:
            “Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr., R-Calif., appearing on C-SPAN, encouraged Washington to get ready for war, arguing that “if you have to hit Iran … you do it with tactical nuclear devices and you set them back a decade or two or three. I think that’s the way to do it, with a massive aerial bombardment campaign.””
            – Rep Duncan Hunter Jr. R-Calif. Member of the House ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE…
            Source: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2013/12/06/rep-hunter-is-wrong-about-using-nuclear-weapons-against-iran

            … and ask yourself: Who exactly are the crazies with Nuclear Weapons?

            Seriously… try to get out more.

            Reply
          10. mike April 7, 2015

            “Moderate gains”!! And you think I am in bunker. LOL!
            Economic gains, spreading culture and capitalism, how stupid!
            They hate America, chanting Death to America, and you think they want to normalize relationships or will just stop their goal of controlling the middle east, they have major influence in 4 capitals now and you think that will all change. Such naivety.

            Reply
      3. charleo1 April 6, 2015

        Your first statement, right out of the box, is incorrect. Iran’s nuclear program will be significantly impacted under the agreement. So, this is not a deal agreed to only on Iran’s terms. Unless we are to assume the other parties, most of them we count among our closest allies, have been working on this issue for more than a decade. And are doing so, for as yet unexplained ulterior reasons to only pretend to negotiate. So, if you’re going to comment, try bringing some common sense, and facts to the discussion. Instead of vacuous mischaracterizations, learned thru the Right Wing propaganda machine, or just pulled willy nilly, out of your yin yang, to be disagreeable. Secondly, the nuclear genie has been out of the bottle in Iran, since President Eisenhower build their first reactor in the late 1950s. And anywhere it’s gotten out so far, neither we, nor anyone else, has found a way to put it back in. At least, minus the consent of the sovereign Nation. In fact, most of the research scientists working on the Iranian nuclear program today, were trained in none other than some of the finest schools available, right here in the good old U.S. of A. And missile technology is so proliferate throughout the World, private for profit companies are now launching satellites, and servicing the Space Station. That’s why it’s not on the table. And most military experts, including the ones currently serving at the highest levels in the Pentagon today, agree with General Barry McCaffery, (ret.) When he says, “That using the military option in Iran, is utter nonsense.” Air power alone won’t stop it. And the prospect of building a coalition to launch a full scale invasion, is not only insane, but undoable. From both a political, and financial standpoint. And without those, there is no capability to do such a thing at all.

        Reply
  2. John S. April 6, 2015

    E.J.:

    The problem with this framework is that it undermines the Republicans’ claim that they are the best party to handle foreign affairs. President Obama has proven them wrong again and again.

    President Obama has demonstrated that a Democrat is strong on foreign affairs as well as domestic affairs — a truly frightening thought for Republicans.

    The Democrats’ rise in foreign policy stature — resulting from the successful negotiations of President Obama’s foreign policy team — is one of the principal reasons that Republicans must undermine this framework and potential agreement with Iran. Equally important is Republicans cannot permit diplomacy to supplant military action as America’s main instrument of foreign policy.

    Reply
    1. Insinnergy April 6, 2015

      Sad but true. Well put.

      Reply
  3. S.J. Jolly April 6, 2015

    Benjamin Netanyahu’s political power is greatly based on standing strong against an implacable world bent on destroying Israel. (Sound familiar?) If enemies can be negotiated with, there is less need for him.

    Reply
    1. bobnstuff April 6, 2015

      If Iran had truly wanted Nukes they would have had them by now. If Iran had truly wanted Israel gone it would have been by now. Iran is not some third world, uneducated nation, they are a big time player in the middle east. The problem is that most of our congress men couldn’t find Iran on a map let a lone understand just who they are. Benjamin Netanyahu plans on getting a big check out of all this. He will use this issue as a excuse to get more money out of his friends in congress.

      Reply
    2. Netanyahu’s political power is based on crazy casino mogul Sheldon Adelson’s money.

      Listening to this psychopath only makes our world worse.
      ~

      Reply

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