Reactions To Iran Nuclear Deal About What You’d Expect

The Iranian nuclear accords are barely 24 hours old and some people have already made up their mind about them.

Iran Nuclear Accord Photo Op

It’s been just under twenty-four hours since the negotiators in Switzerland for the so-called ‘P5 plus 1’ talks concerning Iran’s nuclear program announced their framework agreement and the reactions from the expected parties have been pouring out steadily notwithstanding the fact that we’re essentially heading into a holiday weekend. Both on the domestic political front and internationally, the responses so far have been about what you’d expect.

Republicans on Capitol Hill, for example, were denouncing the deal before the ink was dry, and possibly before they’d had any real opportunity to think about the terms of the agreement:

Republicans on Thursday ripped the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) demanded that lawmakers be able to review details of the framework before any international sanctions are lifted.

“After visiting with our partners on the ground in the Middle East this week, my concerns about Iran’s efforts to foment unrest, brutal violence and terror have only grown,” Boehner said in a statement after leading a GOP delegation through Israel, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

“It would be naïve to suggest the Iranian regime will not continue to use its nuclear program, and any economic relief, to further destabilize the region,” the Speaker said.

Meanwhile, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) vowed to press forward with legislation allowing Congress to put its fingerprints on the Iran deal, saying “the administration first should seek the input of the American people.”

Defense hawks on Capitol Hill blasted the deal as too weak and warned that it would essentially put nuclear weapons in the hands of the Iranian regime.

“Iran remains the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism. Iranian aggression is destabilizing the Middle East. And Iran continues to hold multiple Americans hostage,” said freshman Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who earlier had penned a controversial letter to Iranian leaders in a bid to derail the nuclear talks.

“I will work with my colleagues in the Senate to protect America from this very dangerous proposal,” he said, “and to stop a nuclear arms race in the world’s most volatile region.”

Senator Mark Kirk went even further than most of his colleagues, and officially became the first Republican politician to analogize the accord to Munich and the Nazis:

Sen. Mark Kirk blasted the nuclear deal with Iran on Thursday, saying the Obama administration’s diplomacy was worse than Britain’s attempts to appease Nazi Germany and predicting Israel would soon be pulled into a war with Iran.

The Illinois Republican trashed a deal struck by global powers with Tehran, concluding in a phone interview “that Neville Chamberlain got a lot of more out of Hitler than Wendy Sherman got out of Iran,” a reference to a top State Department negotiator on the deal.

But Kirk wasn’t done, forecasting that lifting any more sanctions on Iran “dooms the Middle East to yet another war,” one that Israel will have to clean up, perhaps in a nuclear fashion.

“We should be a reviewing presence to see how this unfolds,” Kirk said of Congress’ role, adding: “Which we all know is going to end with a mushroom cloud somewhere near Tehran.”

Kirk’s office called to clarify that Kirk was referring to a nuclear test in Iran.

Things are pretty much the same among the Republican candidates for President:

[T]he fledgling 2016 GOP field appears united in their skepticism of Iran’s intentions.

“The reported details of the Iran deal include significant concessions to a nation whose leaders call for death to America and the destruction of Israel. Iran remains a major destabilizing force in the region, working against American interests,” former Florida governor Jeb Bush said in a statement Thursday. “Nothing in the deal described by the administration this afternoon would justify lifting US and international sanctions, which were the product of many years of bipartisan effort. I cannot stand behind such a flawed agreement.”

Former Texas governor Rick Perry also accused the White House of making too many concessions to Iran and hinted at the additional strain the deal could put on U.S.-Israeli relations.

“Americans and our allies are right to be wary of a nuclear deal w/ Iran that is riddled with concessions by the Obama Administration,” he wrote in a tweet Thursday.

In a Fox News op-ed, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina stressed her belief that the Iranian government cannot not be trusted to honor the conditions of the deal.

“The Iranian government has repeatedly, flagrantly violated sanctions put in place by the United Nations. We know that they have flat-out lied about every nuclear facility they have built over the last three decades,” Fiorina wrote. “This is not the behavior of a potential ally or of a partner. These are the actions of a country trying to bluff its way into persuading the United Nations, the United States, and its allies to allow it the freedom to develop a nuclear weapon for military purposes.”

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who is slated to announce his presidential bid in a matter of weeks, conceded Thursday evening that he had not reviewed the details of the deal but nonetheless said it seemed like the White House was “spinning diplomatic failure” on twitter.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker went a step further, calling the deal “dangerous” in a tweet published Thursday. That opinion mirrors language used by the administration’s critics, who have suggested the agreement is a threat to Israeli national security.

And, of course, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came out with his expected response almost as soon as he was finished speaking with President Obama yesterday afternoon:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the framework agreement announced Thursday by six world powers and Iran to curtail the latter’s nuclear ambitions “would threaten the survival of Israel” and pave the way to an Iranian nuclear bomb.

Netanyahu, who has threatened to use military force to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, spoke with President Obama on Thursday night and expressed Israel’s strong opposition to the preliminary agreement, according to the prime minister’s office.

Netanyahu said the framework’s parameters “would legitimize Iran’s nuclear program, bolster Iran’s economy, and increase Iran’s aggression and terror throughout the Middle East and beyond.”

If finalized, the preliminary deal would not block Iran’s path to the bomb, he added. Rather, he said, “it would pave it.”

Israeli Minister of Intelligence Yuval Steinitz told reporters earlier that Israel would counter any Iranian nuclear threat through diplomacy and intelligence. But, he added, “if we have no choice, we have no choice. . . .The military option is on the table.”

In a controversial address to Congress last month, in which he challenged President Obama’s efforts to strike a deal with Tehran, Netanyahu warned against a “bad deal.” He argued that more economic sanctions should be deployed against Iran, until the Islamic republic dismantles its uranium-enrichment program.

Israeli officials and defense analysts here say now that a loose framework agreement has been reached, Israel will press hard to persuade the United States and other nations involved in the negotiations — such as France, Germany and Britain — to either walk away from a final deal or insist on harsh measures to compel Iran to yield to intrusive oversight of its nuclear program.

“The most important thing that Israel can do now is to make sure that a deal with Iran can give as much . . . breakout time as possible,” said Meir Javedanfar, an expert on Iran at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, a college and research center, referring to the time it would take Iran to construct a nuclear bomb.

As I said above, none of these reactions are entirely surprising. Congressional Republicans have been critical of the very idea of negotiating with Iran to begin with, unless of course it involves negotiations where Iran agrees to give up everything and the West gives up nothing. Senate Republicans made that clear last month when, for no particular reason other than what could only be characterized as a conscious effort to undermine the Administration’s negotiating position, 47 of them signed on to an “open letter” to Iran that essentially told Tehran that they shouldn’t believe that the United States would actually live up to whatever was agreed to in Switzerland. Long before then, of course, Republicans like Senator Corker, along with many Democrats, started working on legislation that is still pending in Congress that would tighten sanction on Iran and attempt to give Congress a veto over whatever the President agreed to on behalf of the United States. Many of the Republican candidates for President signed on to this letter, either as Senators or in subsequent statements, and the GOP talking points on the deal were essentially set long before the terms of this agreement were ever announced. The one exception to that was Rand Paul who, bizarrely, said after the fact that he had signed the letter to “strengthen” the President’s bargaining position even though it should have been obvious beforehand that it would have the opposite effect.

As I said yesterday, while the outline of the accord seems promising on paper, whether or not it actually turns out to be a good deal will depend on whether or not its complied with, both by the Iranians and by the international community. If the Iranians balk on inspections, or try to complicate the work of the IAEA then the rationale for the deal is going to fall apart fairly quickly. At that point, the United States will likely be faced with the need to reimpose whatever sanctions have been lifted, and consider imposing even tougher sanctions. A collapsed agreement would also strengthen the hand of those forces, both in the United States and internationally, who clearly seem to believe that the only solution for the Iranian nuclear “problem” is military action. But all of that is in the future, and we can’t say for sure what will happen. The deal could be a stunning success, after all, and lowered tensions with Iran could be just what the Middle East needs to deal with ISIS, which honestly seems to me to be the more immediate threat not just to nations that could be the target of international terrorism but to the nations of the Middle East whose territorial integrity is threatened by a force like ISIS. In any case, rather than condemning the deal before the ink is dry, it seems to me that the more rational response is to wait and see what happens. If the Iranians are serious about complying, then that will be good for everyone, well except for the warmongers that is.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Congress, Middle East, National Security, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came out with his expected response

    I posted this on the other thread but I think it bears repeating. Netanyahu has been wrong about everything for decades. You might as well listen to Bill Kristol, or Dick Morris, or Karl Rove.

    Almost two decades ago, in 1996, Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress where he darkly warned, “If Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons, this could presage catastrophic consequences, not only for my country, and not only for the Middle East, but for all mankind,” adding that, “the deadline for attaining this goal is getting extremely close.”
    Almost 20 years later that deadline has apparently still not passed, but Netanyahu is still making dire predictions about an imminent Iranian nuclear weapon. Four years before that Congressional speech, in 1992, then-parliamentarian Netanyahu advised the Israeli Knesset that Iran was “three to five years” away from reaching nuclear weapons capability, and that this threat had to be “uprooted by an international front headed by the U.S.”
    In his 1995 book, “Fighting Terrorism,” Netanyahu once again asserted that Iran would have a nuclear weapon in “three to five years,” apparently forgetting about the expiration of his old deadline.
    For a considerable time thereafter, Netanyahu switched his focus to hyping the purported nuclear threat posed by another country, Iraq, about which he claimed there was “no question” that it was “advancing towards to the development of nuclear weapons.” Testifying again in front of Congress again in 2002, Netanyahu claimed that Iraq’s nonexistent nuclear program was in fact so advanced that the country was now operating “centrifuges the size of washing machines.”

    We have a terrible habit, in this nation, of lending great credence to people well after they have been fully dis-credited. We need to stop it.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    What Republicans and their Likud allies need to figure out is that international sanctions only have an impact so long as they remain genuinely international. Whatever Iran needs from us they can get from China or Germany or Britain if the sanctions regime collapses – which it would if Congress kills the deal.

    The net effect of the Republican/Likud approach would be:

    1) Sanctions collapse.
    2) Iran loses any incentive to limit its program.
    3) And if they decide to weaponize, we face a war.
    4) Which will turn out to be an unholy sh!tstorm that would dwarf the Republican fiasco in Iraq.
    5) And Iran would still get their bomb.

    Thank God for Mr. Obama and our allies.

  3. Hal_10000 says:

    Partisans gotta partisan. If Bush had reached this deal with Iran, these same chuckleheads would be praising him to the skies.

    @michael reynolds:

    Well, Russia especially. Russia really likes having Iran in their corner and they would love to see a further estrangement between Iran and the West.

    I will remain cautiously pessimistic until the inspections happen. If this works out, it will be good not only for curtailing Iran’s nuclear program but for thawing relations between the two countries. I really think the success of any peace in the region is going to be heavily dependent on establishing a better relationship with Iran. The most important aspect of the growing Sunni-Shia cold war, as far as the US is concerned, is that we not take one side (e.g., Saudi Arabia’s).

  4. Scott F. says:

    This unhinged, spittle-flecked ranting is the unanimous response from the GOP. Has anyone seen even one “moderate” Republican give even the tepid wait-and-see endorsement Doug gives here?

    That this unopposed bellicosity is “what you’d expect” is about the saddest idea I’ve ever read.

  5. C. Clavin says:

    And another thing…
    The people in this country who do not like this deal are largely the same people who don’t like Obamacare. And like Obamacare, they have no logical reason to not like it, and they have no feasible alternative.
    Obama said as much:

    “When you hear the inevitable critics of the deal sound off, ask them a simple question: Do you really think that this verifiable deal, if fully implemented, backed by the world’s major powers, is a worse option than the risk of another war in the Middle East?….Is it worse than doing what we’ve done for almost two decades with Iran moving forward with its nuclear program and without robust inspections?”

  6. JohnMcC says:

    To the Repub side of things this has very little to do with the actual Middle East. It has everything to do with the ‘issue’ of the ME and their mission to see that they prevail and Pres Obama lose on this and every other issue.

  7. michael reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:
    If we look at US strategic interests, it’s obvious that a US-Iran detente would be enormously helpful.

    Iran shares a border with eternal problem-child Afghanistan and the failed-state-in-waiting that is Pakistan. If we made peace with Iran we could draw down forces in the Persian Gulf, have a strong supply line into Afghanistan and worry the hell out of Putin in Azerbaijan.

    Pakistan is the thing we should probably be worrying about that we aren’t. They have nukes, a population of crazy people and a thoroughly incompetent government. We’ve deepened our relationship with India and if we had a cordial relationship with Iran we’d basically have Pakistan boxed in. A secret drone and surveillance base in south-eastern Iran? That could prove useful.

  8. al-Ameda says:

    Have we had any Obama and Kerry = Neville Chamberlain analogy sightings yet?

  9. Tillman says:

    @Hal_10000:

    The most important aspect of the growing Sunni-Shia cold war, as far as the US is concerned, is that we not take one side (e.g., Saudi Arabia’s).

    “We’re a free society, we’re on the side of business. We used to be into ideologies, but our citizenry has mostly soured on it in favor of business.”

  10. michael reynolds says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Oh, sure. Poor old Neville gets dragged out for everything. Because somehow the relationship between the world’s only superpower and Iran (with a GDP equal to North Carolina,) is identical to the British Empire vs. Nazi Germany.

    Is there a bigger bunch of panicky pansies than the GOP?

  11. Scott says:

    @michael reynolds: The Chamberlain analogy is getting old but I guess it still works.

    Less remembered was that the British Empire was very unprepared for war in 1038 and had to buy time. That didn’t work out since Hitler invaded Germany in Sep 1939. Britain was still way behind in preparations.

  12. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Remember how they all cried that Ebola was going to kill everyone? Scared of their own shadows.

  13. de stijl says:

    @Scott F.:

    Has anyone seen even one “moderate” Republican give even the tepid wait-and-see endorsement Doug gives here?

    Oddly enough, Bill O’Reilly.

    @al-Ameda:

    Have we had any Obama and Kerry = Neville Chamberlain analogy sightings yet?

    Besides Mark Kirk as mentioned in the OP? 🙂

  14. de stijl says:

    @Scott:

    The Chamberlain analogy is getting old but I guess it still works.

    The thing is that the Chamberlain analogy *doesn’t work* in this scenario.

    In this scenario, it would be as if Hitler had already taken the Sudetenland, and then Chamberlain entered negotiations and got him to give 95% of it back.

  15. Surreal American says:

    “Only Nixon could go to China”

    Well, there are no Nixons going to China anymore in today’s GOP, so someone has to take up the slack.

  16. Realist says:

    Well of course the reactions have been entirely predictable just as they were predictable on opening up relations with Cuba. The days when Republicans like Arthur Vandenburg worked with Democratic presidents in the national interest are long gone. Today it’s all fodder for the partisan political battle and Republicans don’t give a damn about the national interest. And of course there is the neo con part of the GOP who want to start a war with Iran tomorrow (witness Bolton’s bomb Iran now piece in the NYT or McCain almost humorous proposals to attack something like 25 countries in the last 25 years). But this is not where the country is. The Iraq and Afghanistan fiascoes have cured Americans of the desire to embark on military adventures with incalculable consequences. Republicans in congress can whine and carp but essentially Obama can do this on his own since it’s not a treaty requiring ratification but he does probably need at least half of public opinion behind him and I think he has this. Americans are deeply suspicious of Republican motives and to be fair you are seeing some more measured comment from parts of the right.

  17. Realist says:

    @Surreal American:

    When Nixon went to China he was compared to Chamberlain by the far right of the Republican party who generally loathed Kissinger also.

  18. Realist says:

    @Scott:
    “That didn’t work out since Hitler invaded Germany in Sep 1939.”

    You mean Poland? Actually Chamberlain’s policy wasn’t irrational. The British Empire even allied with France was completely over matched by Germany. The decision for war in September 1939 was a huge gamble only surpassed by the even bigger gamble of Churchill’s decision to fight on in June 1940.

  19. DrDaveT says:

    In a Fox News op-ed, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina stressed her belief that the Iranian government cannot not be trusted to honor the conditions of the deal.

    Well, since the #47traitors stressed their belief that the US could not be trusted to honor its side, either, that at least adds some symmetry to the deal.

  20. JohnMcC says:

    @al-Ameda: But NO DRINKING GAMES!

  21. C. Clavin says:
  22. C. Clavin says:

    @DrDaveT:
    Netanyahu said the same thing about the interim deal, which Iran did honor, which eventually led to this framework.

    Israeli leaders denounced the interim Iranian nuclear pact signed by the United States and five world powers as a “historic mistake” that does little to reverse Iran’s nuclear ambitions and instead makes the world a more dangerous place.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/israel-says-iran-deal-makes-world-more-dangerous/2013/11/24/e0e347de-54f9-11e3-bdbf-097ab2a3dc2b_story.html
    Again, he was wrong. No need to listen to people who are perennially wrong.

  23. de stijl says:

    @Realist:

    And of course there is the neo con part of the GOP

    Besides Rand Paul, I can’t think of a part of the GOP who are not neocons. And Rand Paul has been sliding in that direction lately. Where are they Republican realists? Maybe Buchanan? Does Larison count as a Republican?

    Have you seen Jeb Bush’s foreign policy team? And that guy is considered “moderate?”

  24. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Things like this are why I like and respect you, and why I mourn for a party that used to be populated by a lot of others like you.

    We disagree on various elements of policy, but by G-d at least you can make a cogent argument in defense of your positions. Well done, sir. We need more like you here, instead of the various caricatures of conservatism that pass for the opposition in this place.

  25. Gavrilo says:

    The Islamic Republic of Iran has long been known as a responsible, trustworthy nation with a deep respect for human rights–a beacon of peace, and a shining example to the world. I, for one, wholeheartedly believe that Iran will fully comply with the terms of this framework.

  26. Realist says:

    @de stijl:

    You may be right but a lot of them I think are neocon fellow travelers rather than true believers. It’s all politics of the moment and temporary advantage for most of them. Like Bush supporting the IN law one day and reversing himself the next.

  27. michael reynolds says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Did we make deals with the USSR? Were they nice people?

    The essence of diplomacy is making difficult deals with people we don’t like. And we don’t have to trust the Iranians. They’ve agreed to the most intrusive inspections regime in the history of arms control. And if they renege, then we slap sanctions on them again.

  28. de stijl says:

    @Gavrilo:

    We often don’t like what Iran does, but they have behaved rationally from within the perspective of their own self interest.

  29. humanoid.panda says:

    Partisans gotta partisan. If Bush had reached this deal with Iran, these same chuckleheads would be praising him to the skies.

    That’s true about a lot of people on the Republican side, but I think the neocons would rip Bush a new one. For these guys, Iran is really Hitler.

  30. James P says:

    @al-Ameda: Interesting that Neville Chamberlain is on your mind. Nobody mentioned his name, but it seems to be at the forefront of your consciousness. Hmmm, I wonder why that is.

  31. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It’s worth noting that the only confirmed nuclear power in the Middle East is neither a signatory to the NPT, nor is it subject to inspections.

  32. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Speaking of caricatures of conservatism … 😀

  33. wr says:

    @Realist: ““That didn’t work out since Hitler invaded Germany in Sep 1939.””

    I thought the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor. At least that’s what i learmed from America’s greatest future senator…

  34. Ken says:

    @James P: I’m going to say something inflammatory but really stupid to see how many people I can get to respond

    Well, here’s one point for you from me. well done, I suppose.

  35. David M says:

    Who is more likely to break the terms of a deal, assuming the other side is upholding the agreement? The GOP or Iran?

  36. James P says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Partisans gotta partisan. If Bush had reached this deal with Iran, these same chuckleheads would be praising him to the skies.

    GWB never would have reached such an asinine deal. His party would turn on him in an instant if he did.

    The GOP did turn on Dubya over TARP (a majority of Republicans voted no). When did a majority of Dems ever vote against Obama?

    If GWB agreed to a deal allowing Iran to keep centrifuges the GOP would be first in line to impeach his treasonous rear end for endangering national security.

  37. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Ken:

    Regarding “it” – THIS. Nothing more needs to be said. 😀

  38. Ken says:

    @David M:

    Well, the GOP has already put it in writing that they intend to break the agreement the second they they have enough power to actually do it. Kind of sad when the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world is more trustworthy than one of your own country’s political parties

  39. de stijl says:

    Nobody mentioned his [Chamberlain] name

    I’ll quote myself:

    Besides Mark Kirk as mentioned in the OP?

  40. James P says:

    @David M: The Iranians will cheat and when they do the GOP will celebrate. We need this deal to be scuttled and I have confidence that the Iranians will do it for us.

    International relations make for very strange bedfellows. We partnered with Stalin in WW2 and conservatives right now are rooting for Iranian hardliners (not that I think there is such a thing as moderate in Iran) in order to help scuttle the latter day equivalent of Munich.

    I’m rooting for Iran to cheat and I imagine most conservatives join me in that hope even if they don’t have the guts to overtly state as much.

    IF this sham of a deal is in place on January 20, 2017 it will make the president’s job much more difficult. However, if the deal is scuttled he or she will have far more leverage with which to deal with Iran.

    If this deal falls apart the new president (presumably a pro-American one) can say to Iran: give up each and every single one of your centrifuges, close Netanz, Bushehr, and Fardot or you will face 4,000 daily sorties beginning tomorrow.

    My guess is that Iran will be far more willing to listen to reason if that threat is made (and they believe the US is prepared to carry it through to fruition).

  41. Realist says:

    @James P:

    Exactly. He had 8 years and did precisely zero to impede Iranian progress to obtaining nuclear weapons. However, even he was not dumb enough to allow the Israelis to bomb Iran denying a request for overflights of Iraq.

  42. sam says:

    @Scott:

    The Chamberlain analogy is getting old but I guess it still works.

    Chamberlain.

    Hanson Baldwin — for many, many years, the military editor of the New York Times — wrote a book called Battles Lost and Won, which was about some of the great battles of WWII. In a footnote to his chapter on the Battle of Britain he says that before Chamberlain went to Munich, he was told by the senior military of Great Britain that war was inevitable with Germany and, of the very greatest moment, Britain was in no condition to resist at that time. What the military said they needed was time for the army and navy to be built up, and time especially for the RAF to be built up. Although his name has become a byword for cowardice and appeasement, Chamberlain went to Munich and got for the armed forces of Britain, especailly the RAF, the time they said they desperately needed.

  43. Realist says:

    @James P:

    Reagan, your hero apparently, of course did deal secretly with Iran…viz.

    “In 1985, while Iran and Iraq were at war, Iran made a secret request to buy weapons from the United States. McFarlane sought Reagan’s approval, in spite of the embargo against selling arms to Iran. McFarlane explained that the sale of arms would not only improve U.S. relations with Iran, but might in turn lead to improved relations with Lebanon, increasing U.S. influence in the troubled Middle East. Reagan was driven by a different obsession. He had become frustrated at his inability to secure the release of the seven American hostages being held by Iranian terrorists in Lebanon. As president, Reagan felt that “he had the duty to bring those Americans home,” and he convinced himself that he was not negotiating with terrorists. While shipping arms to Iran violated the embargo, dealing with terrorists violated Reagan’s campaign promise never to do so. Reagan had always been admired for his honesty.”

  44. HarvardLaw92 says:

    can say to Iran [Israel]: give up each and every single one of your centrifuges [bombs], close Netanz, Bushehr, and Fardot [Dimona and G-d knows what other facilities you have hidden away & refuse to allow to be inspected] or you will face 4,000 daily sorties [economic sanctions and a loss of US aid] beginning tomorrow.

    FIFY

  45. Realist says:

    @sam:

    @James P: @James P:

    In fact both Nixon when he went to China and Reagan when he negotiated arms reduction with Gorbachev were compared with Chamberlain by the hard right of the Republican party. Perhaps this is what you’re thinking of.

  46. James P says:

    @C. Clavin:

    same people who don’t like Obamacare. And like Obamacare, they have no logical reason to not like it, and they have no feasible alternative.

    Yes. While those issues are wholly unrelated it is not inaccurate to say that there is significant (say 99%) overlap. However, I do have an alternative to Obamacare —- it’s called the free market.

  47. Realist says:

    @James P:

    The US has relatively speaking the most free market healthcare system in the developed world. It is also perhaps not coincidentally the most expensive by a factor of around 100%. And it produces generally inferior outcomes. Thus we are paying Rolls Royce prices for Pinto performance in a relatively free market. The Republican definition of success?

  48. James P says:

    @Realist: True enough. Reagan was not perfect. That was one of his mistakes. Simpson-Mazzoli was another.

    I celebrate the Contra part of Iran-Contra (stroke of genius), but I condemn the Iran part of Iran-Contra. Ronaldus Magnus made a mistake

    .@Realist:

    Exactly. He had 8 years and did precisely zero to impede Iranian progress to obtaining nuclear weapons. However, even he was not dumb enough to allow the Israelis to bomb Iran denying a request for overflights of Iraq.

    That’s another entirely legitimate criticism of a GOP president. I recently finished reading “Killing Patton”. The book details how Patton wanted to attack the USSR following the defeat of the Nazis. We probably could have pushed the Red Army all the way back to Russian territory and spared the good folks of Poland, then-Czecholsovakia, and Hungary 40-plus years of agony.

    If we had attacked Iran in April of 2003 the world map would be very different. Centrifuges would not be spinning in Netanz or Fardot if we had gone after them in April of 2003. If we had taken a whack at the Ayatollah the Green Movement would have sprung up earlier and GWB (unlike BHO) would have supported it.

    Your criticisms of GWB are entirely valid. He should have allowed Israel overflight rights.

    I can criticize my president. I ripped my president over Medicare D and TARP. When have you ever criticized your president?

  49. David M says:

    @James P:

    Strong with this one, the stupid is.

  50. humanoid.panda says:

    @David M: What I don’t get is why people still respond to it.

  51. Realist says:

    @James P:

    Stroke of genius by Reagan but totally illegal. Patton was going to push the red army of around 11 million men that had just defeated the greatest army in history out of Eastern Europe? Total US forces in Europe were around 4 million at the time. I’ll leave these statements to speak for themselves as commentary on your sanity.

  52. David M says:

    @Realist:

    James P isn’t very good with numbers, especially big ones past what he can count on his hands.

  53. HarvardLaw92 says:

    If we had attacked [not engineered a coup in] Iran in April of 2003 1953, the world map [situation today] would be very different.

    FIFY

  54. wr says:

    @James P: “If this deal falls apart the new president (presumably a pro-American one)”

    Jenos,

    This sock puppet is a failure. Everyone knows it’s a sack of lies. You’re perfectly capable of being an unpleasant jerk under your other name. Why don’t you finally give this one a rest?

  55. al-Ameda says:

    @James P:

    interesting that Neville Chamberlain is on your mind. Nobody mentioned his name, but it seems to be at the forefront of your consciousness. Hmmm, I wonder why that is.

    because Neville is, predictably, the Republican go-to bogus-analogy so often

  56. wr says:

    @James P: “However, I do have an alternative to Obamacare —- it’s called the free market.”

    Says Jenos. And what’s the one personal thing Jenos has ever shared here? Oh yes, when he was hospitalized some time back, he couldn’t pay the bill so he just welched on it and let the hospital take it in the chin.

    That’s Jenos’ way of saluting the free market in health care. “I get everything I want free, the rest of you can die.”

  57. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Remember, LSE doesn’t award MAs. He forgot to do his homework before spouting that particular lie.

    It seems to be a recurring pattern with him. He evidently thinks people are too stupid to notice.

  58. James P says:

    @Realist: Why did the Red Army leave Austria? Benevolence?

    We had the bomb – they didn’t.

    I am not suggesting we should have used it against them – but we could have used it as leverage to secure greater concessions from them at Potsdam.

    We could have threatened them with it if they didn’t get out of Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. They were not a nuclear power until 1949.
    __________

    Mossadegh was anti-American. He had to go. The shah was pro-American. I’m glad we deposed Mossadegh in 53 and Allende 20 years after that.

    If BHO had supported the Green Movement when Neda Soltani murdered there’s a decent chance their centrifuges would not be spinning today.

    We got in right with regard to Iran in 53 (because we had a pro-American president) and got it wrong in 09 because there was an anti-American occupying the Oval Office.

  59. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Considering the abject stupidity of his last comment, I think we’re done with him here.

    He’s either a Poe troll or he’s legitimately this obtuse. Neither warrant our further attention.

  60. James P says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Correct. IT is a MSc — that was one of the few things you got correct. I cited a very generic term for fear of being accused of inventing a degree.

    A broken clock gives the correct time twice a day and under that aegis you were correct about the type of Masters they award. I should have spoken more specifically but I didn’t think you would have heard of a MSc as I am unaware of any US school which awards that particular degree.

    @wr: I am very blessed in that I have never been in a hospital. The last time I was in the hospital (as a patient) was when I was born.

  61. James P says:

    @HarvardLaw92: But am I Jenos or not? Some people seem to have some level of doubt on that one. Some are convinced that Jenos and I are one in the same while others have equivocated. Hmmm, a mystery.

    I’ve never denied that I am Jenos, have I?

  62. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @James P:

    You need to let that one go. Nobody here believes your educational claims, and continued bombast won’t change that state of affairs. You rolled the dice and you lost. Just accept it.

  63. James P says:

    @HarvardLaw92: You may not believe my educational claims, but guess who does? My employer and the London School of Economics both believe it.

    The fact that you do not does not negate what is hanging on my wall.

    I want to further explore whether I and Jenos are one in the same. When people realize they have egg on their face over that one they may begin to question other preconceived notions they were convinced were true.

  64. Realist says:

    @James P:

    No one has ever heard of an MSc?….an MA is a generic term?

    Q.E.D.

  65. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @James P:

    And yet, you feel compelled to constantly defend your bogus educational claims despite asserting that the opinions of commenters on here about their veracity are immaterial. Evidently you do care what we think, or you wouldn’t keep charging at the windmill. 😀

  66. James P says:

    @HarvardLaw92: That’s probably the first legitimate criticism you have levelled against me.

    I would let the issue drop, but I don’t want to leave the impression that I am backing off any of the (truthful) claims that I have made.

    If I fail to respond you and others will interpret that as me “slinking away”. I categorically state that I have not backed off any of my claims and I assert that everything I have stated is categorically 100% true.

    The issue is that people level allegations on different threads. Some may think that if I don’t respond to a lie told about me that I am stipulating to it.

    The truth is I’m a bit torn. Part of me wants to ignore you whenever you tell a lie about me, but another part of me feels that if I don’t respond that some may see that as me stipulating to it.

  67. Realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Why does Joyner allow this weirdo James P, or whoever he is, to foul the sidewalk? He’s completely nuts.

  68. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @James P:

    If I fail to respond you and others will interpret that as me “slinking away”. I categorically state that I have not backed off any of my claims and I assert that everything I have stated is categorically 100% true.

    You evidently still believe that there is hope. Let me try to assist you in that regard:

    We don’t believe you. You’re the deckhand trying to convince the passengers that the Titanic isn’t going to sink after it has already hit the bottom of the ocean.

    You rolled the dice, and you lost. Sprinkles are for winners …

  69. humanoid.panda says:

    @James P:

    Why did the Red Army leave Austria? Benevolence?

    We had the bomb – they didn’t.

    I know I shouldn’t but can’t resist myself:

    The Red Army left Austria in 1955, AFTER the Soviet Union had nuclear weapons, and as a result of diplomatic negotiations, you incorrigible moron.

  70. DrDaveT says:

    @James P:

    I do have an alternative to Obamacare —- it’s called the free market.

    Awesome. This whole thread was worth it just for that. “Kidney transplants! Ger yer kidney transplants here! Special this week!”

  71. de stijl says:

    @David M:

    Who is more likely to break the terms of a deal, assuming the other side is upholding the agreement? The GOP or Iran?

    Follow-up question: if the GOP is the party who welches on the deal will Iran be justified in attacking the US using the pre-emptive war doctrine? Will Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri be on Iranian TV gravely intoning, “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

  72. Realist says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Then of course US public opinion to whom the red army was a hero in 1945 because of wartime propaganda would have had no problem dropping nuclear weapons on Moscow and sustaining millions in US casualties as our force of 4 million battled the 11 million strong red army; and all this while we were still at war with Japan. Perhaps this genius thinks we could also have dropped nuclear weapons on Prague, Warsaw, Budapest and Vienna. The temptation should be resisted. This fellow is completely off his rocker.

  73. Surreal American says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    The Red Army left Austria in 1955, AFTER the Soviet Union had nuclear weapons, and as a result of diplomatic negotiations, you incorrigible moron.

    In his defense, the troll never claimed to have a Ph.D. in history.

  74. Realist says:

    @Surreal American:

    Perhaps he had an MSc…lol

  75. Surreal American says:

    @Realist:

    At this point, I wouldn’t believe him if he said he had MSG.

  76. Realist says:

    @Surreal American:

    Well he did say he had worked in a Chinese Restaurant, so you can’t be absolutely definite on that point

  77. de stijl says:

    Why did the Red Army leave Austria?

    To get to the other side.
    Because it was stapled to another army.

  78. Lars the Great says:

    None of this would be happening if Ronald Reagan was still around that’s for sure.

  79. al-Ameda says:

    @de stijl:

    Follow-up question: if the GOP is the party who welches on the deal will Iran be justified in attacking the US using the pre-emptive war doctrine? Will Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri be on Iranian TV gravely intoning, “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

    just …. awesome

  80. An Interested Party says:

    If the only criticisms of this deal are coming from trolls, fools, sockpuppets, and neocons, the deal can’t be all that bad…

  81. michael reynolds says:

    @Surreal American:

    Doesn’t appear to have the Google, either.

  82. Tyrell says:

    Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan: all worked out treaties with Russia, China, and others. This is certainly no worse.
    I see that Secretary Kerry finally found his way out of the desert – his camel got lost.

  83. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Lars the Great:

    LOL, it grew (yet another) personality.

    You go, Sybil. You go, girl … 😀

  84. Stonetools says:

    James P is comedy gold. The Red Army Austria bit was AWESOME. When you think he can’t get any stupider, he makes another post. Frankly, I hope he sticks around. We need to keep abreast of what the dregs of the right wing base thinks( if thinks is the right word).

  85. KM says:

    @Realist:

    @Scott: “That didn’t work out since Hitler invaded Germany in Sep 1939.”

    You mean Poland?

    Well, to be fair to Scott: “So many people forget that the first country the Nazis invaded was their own.” Erskine had a point- they never could have taken Poland if they hadn’t taken over their home country first. He’s just fuzzier on the dates.

  86. DrDaveT says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    You go, Sybil. You go, girl

    Shouldn’t that be ‘girls’?

  87. DrDaveT says:

    @James P:

    When have you ever criticized your president?

    Lately? Over his complete failure to follow through on ‘transparency’, his forgetting that vocational programs (as opposed to “everyone should go to college” were supposed to be a big part of his education reform, his unwillingness to tell America to grow a spine with respect to terrorist threats, and his sometimes silly ambassadorial appointments.

    Your turn.

  88. James P says:

    @Realist:

    Well he did say he had worked in a Chinese Restaurant, so you can’t be absolutely definite on that point

    When did I ever say that? Please cite the quote.

    I have never worked in a restaurant of any kind – Chinese or otherwise.

    You made that up out of thin air.

  89. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Nah, they’re all the same Sybil underneath the hood …

  90. anjin-san says:

    @ James P.

    Heres a photo of the first Soviet nuclear test, way back in 1949. And here’s the first Soviet nuke to be dropped from the air, circa 1951. And here is some dandy video of the first Soviet H-bomb.

    Now in case you are still confused, repeat after me – “1949, 1951, and 1953 all come before 1955.”

    At the time the Soviets left Austria, they were in a position to devastate the west with nukes.

    Why is it conservatives actually seem to be proud of being ignoramuses?

  91. Lars the Great says:

    @James P:

    I have never worked in a restaurant of any kind – Chinese or otherwise.

    Me neither.

  92. anjin-san says:

    @James P:

    My point remains that a majority of Republicans voted no on TARP.

    Well of course. Why settle for a devastating recession when you can have the banking system collapse and get a honest-to-goodness depression?

  93. Realist says:

    @KM:

    Not all of us get our history from fictional TV shows although I recognize the practice is widespread. In fact, contrary to popular wisdom, Hitler took power in Germany entirely legitimately. His backroom deal making endorsed by Hindenburg was no different from that of Schleicher, Papen or Bruning all of whom preceded him as Chancellor. Indeed since he had the largest single party in the Reichstag elected by about 40% of the vote, he actually had a far more legitimate claim on power than his immediate predecessors who had smaller or minimal parties and ruled or sought to by presidential decrees signed by Hindenburg. Hitler allied with the conservative parties who put him in power actually had a majority. Hence Erskine, whoever he may be, was talking out of his hat.

  94. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Republican non-proliferation policy got us a nuclear armed North Korea and a wholly unnecessary war in a country that had NO (read ZERO) WMD.

    Why in Dog’s name would any person listen to any Republican at any time about any of this? (outside of mental illness I mean)

  95. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James P: I have criticized Obama on many occasions, most liberals have for one thing or another but mostly for different things. I know, I know, shocking for you to find out that liberals don’t get their talking points from a FOX news equivalent and care about different things to different extents. But I am not surprised.

    But I am surprised that you would ask the question

    Can you cite any vote in which a majority of Dems voted against Obama’s position?

    as tho that would illustrate some legitimate point. Especially when it invites the return question of “When has a SINGLE Republican ever sided with an Obama position?” You imply the Dems march in lockstep when any conscious sentient human being knows that is untrue, while it IS true the Republicans DO march in oppositional lockstep doing as their corporate masters tell them to.

  96. Grewgills says:

    @Realist:
    Yup, no one in the US has heard of a Master of Science degree, an MS is entirely unheard of.

  97. Realist says:

    @Grewgills:

    And your point is?

  98. george says:

    @wr:

    I thought the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor. At least that’s what i learmed from America’s greatest future senator…

    The key point being that the situation requires a really futile and stupid gesture on someone’s part.

  99. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Realist: I’m pretty sure he was agreeing with you.

  100. Realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    There was no particular construction on my question.

  101. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Realist:

    He was agreeing with your broader point.

  102. JohnMcC says:

    @Realist: That 40% minority in the Reichstag led me into a major internet dust-up some years ago; I forget the site, darn it. The conservative historian Thomas Sowell had an OP making the point that Weimar debt & inflation led to a ‘victory’ for the Nazis in March ’33. I pointed out that the Nazis never got a majority in any contested election. And that the 40% of seats that they did attain was at least partly due to the terrorism that they conducted against Unionist, Communist and Socialist parties. Made the assertion that Sowell was (and is I see, at 85 yrs old and God bless him) a real historian but that conservative media has become so unserious that in this case he was merely phoning it in. I was blackballed from the site soon afterwards.

  103. Realist says:

    @JohnMcC:

    Needless to say Sowell was distorting the truth. It wasn’t the debt per se but the economic crash of 1929. The US then called in all the loans it made to Germany (the Americans largely paid any WW 1 reparations the Germans actually made…lol), followed by Hoot Smalley, spending cuts and all the rest. And naturally you got blackballed. These right wing sites aren’t about truth but feeding the prejudices of the base.

  104. anjin-san says:

    @James P:

    Hi Jenos

  105. Realist says:

    @anjin-san:

    Jenos is so dumb he doesn’t get a rather obvious joke. But never mind

  106. Realist says:

    @anjin-san:

    Apparently our highly educated MSG from the LSE has never heard of a Spoonerism

    Spoonerism

    n.noun

    1.A transposition of sounds of two or more words, especially a ludicrous one.

    LOL

  107. Realist says:

    @James P:

    Mine is the Chop Suey with rice…and make that pronto… Aladdin.

  108. bk says:

    Oh, ffs, Indy.

  109. humanoid.panda says:

    @JohnMcC:

    That 40% minority in the Reichstag led me into a major internet dust-up some years ago; I forget the site, darn it. The conservative historian Thomas Sowell had an OP making the point that Weimar debt & inflation led to a ‘victory’ for the Nazis in March ’33. I pointed out that the Nazis never got a majority in any contested electio

    And, of course, Sowell got his facts wrong. Inflation happened in 1923, and was a terrriblle experience, but it did not collapse the Republic. Bruening’s response to the Great Depression (basically, austerity as far as the eye can see) and the resultant deflation and unemployment is what finished the job..

  110. Tyrell says:

    I wonder if the issue of human rights was addressed. You have religious minorities being persecuted, and gays are executed.

  111. Realist says:

    @Tyrell:

    This is a totally separate issue. Nothing to do with the development of nuclear weapons. It’s not up to us to dictate to other states what their internal practices are. You can attempt to influence them as we have done over the years in Russia, China, etc. but that’s as far as it goes. We wouldn’t take kindly to other states attempting to dictate what our internal legal and judicial practices are.

  112. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:
    This is a framework go limiting nukes, and by all accounts of reasonable people, a good one. But it’s nothing more.

  113. Matt says:

    @Tyrell: We have no standing to make demands based on human rights….

    We execute innocent people with no regard to justice. Governors actively thwart attempts to stop executions of innocent prisoners.

    We tortured and murdered an unknown amount of people in the name of the war on terror.

    That doesn’t even get into the stuff we’ve done to Iran. Overthrowing their democratically elected government to install a brutal dictator that murdered and tortured Iranians over the course of decades.

    You know that Christians and other minorities have seats in the Iranian government right?

  114. anjin-san says:

    @Tyrell:

    gays are executed.

    If you are worried about gay folks, I suggest you join the fight for equal rights here in the USA.

  115. David in KC says:

    Moving the goalposts? Surprise suprise. Obama through Kerry, working with the major powers have hammered out a framework regarding Iran’s nuclear program, but but but, it doesn’t cover human rights issues….

  116. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    I wonder if the issue of human rights was addressed. You have religious minorities being persecuted, and gays are executed.

    It’s not as if we have a lot of moral standing in that part of the world, but as long as we’re on the subject of Human Rights:

    We supported Iraq in the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran War, and we looked the other way when Iraq used Sarin and Nerve gas to kill both Iranians and dissident Kurds. Did you know that over 1 million Iranians died in that war?

  117. Barry says:

    @Scott: “That didn’t work out since Hitler invaded Germany in Sep 1939. Britain was still way behind in preparations.”

    But better off – they were rolling out the Spitfire, they had increased the number of Hurricanes (?), and gotten the Chain Home radar network in place.

  118. Realist says:

    @Barry:

    There is a lot of debate about whether Britain was relatively better off in 1939 versus at the time of Munich. Czechoslovakia and it’s substantial military capacity were completely lost (30% of the armored weapons the Germans had in 1940 came from Czecho) as was the support of other potential anti German states in Eastern Europe. Back in Britain the rate of aircraft production didn’t increase dramatically because Chamberlain didn’t want to throw economic orthodoxy to the winds and in any case he thought he’d created peace in our time. In September 1939 there were still one million unemployed. The real crank up started in the late summer of 1939. Strategically the allies were probably somewhat weaker when war was declared than in 1938.