Over the course of this siege, American policy makers have been very explicit about their goals. Foremost, to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Second, as John Kerry has said, to force it to dismantle a large part of its nuclear infrastructure. Third, to take away its power to enrich uranium.
Fourth, as President Obama has said, to close the Fordo enrichment facility. Fifth, as the chief American negotiator, Wendy Sherman, recently testified, to force Iran to come clean on all past nuclear activities by the Iranian military. Sixth, to shut down Iran’s ballistic missile program. Seventh, to have “anywhere, anytime 24/7” access to any nuclear facilities Iran retains. Eighth, as Kerry put it, to not phase down sanctions until after Iran ends its nuclear bomb-making capabilities.
As a report from the Foreign Policy Initiative exhaustively details, the U.S. has not fully achieved any of these objectives. The agreement delays but does not end Iran’s nuclear program. It legitimizes Iran’s status as a nuclear state.
This is what our president says is the best deal we could get--retreat on every objective we said we had.
And this is from David Brooks, who was taken in by the whole hope and change frenzy back in 2008.
No wonder the Iranians signed this deal. It is a total victory, lacking only Secretary Kerry paraded blindfolded through Tehran before a frenzied throng chanting "Death to America!"
Yes, I know, Iranian hardliners are expressing outrage. But the hardliners run Iran. If they truly opposed the deal, Iran would not have signed it.
As I've long said, the difference between Iranian "hardliners" and "moderates" is that the former wear turbans, loudly speak Farsi, and refuse to bow to American demands; while the latter wear Western suits, softly speak fluent English, and are willing to pretend that they aren't as hardline on substance as the "hardliners."
And now the president wants Congress to put its stamp of approval on this awful deal. To dilute the blame on him when it goes wrong, I assume.
I find it amusing that in an article totally about the Iran deal, the New York Times editors chose a headline ("3 U.S. Defeats: Vietnam, Iraq and Now Iran") designed to subtly rebuke Brooks by associating complaints about the Iran deal with the Iraq War and the Vietnam War, which trigger hate by our left with a passion matched only by the death of lions.
Of course, both wars have a common thread--a Republican president won them on the battlefield while Democrats (in Congress for Vietnam and our president for Iraq) undermined the ability to hold the win after the battlefield victories. In Vietnam, North Vietnam was able to quickly take advantage. In Iraq, our enemies could not take advantage of our disinterest quickly enough to avoid shaming our president into sending troops back to Iraq to avoid losing on his watch and being blamed for it.
Turn down this deal. Return to the negotiating table with our national security objectives in mind rather than looking ahead to the glories of a signing ceremony in a stunning Swiss castle and Nobel Peace Prizes passed around like cigars.
Senator Schumer says he is against the deal. We'll see if he really works to oppose it or is willing to let President Obama win this battle while saving his record from an unneeded vote of approval.
UPDATE: Very relevant:
Like much political rhetoric, President Barack Obama’s speech in defense of the Iran nuclear deal at American University August 5 contained trenchant insights, but also falsehoods and half-truths. This blog post aims to correct several of the speech’s most erroneous claims.
I'll suspend judgment on the claim about trenchant insights by the president because I'm in a foul mood right now.
NOTE: I corrected my error on blaming a Democratic president for Vietnam's loss. I knew better but wrote quickly ...
UPDATE: Ouch, I glossed over Brooks' own reference to Vietnam and Iraq as defeats. While it is significant that the editors picked out that one small part for the title--for the reason I suggested--perhaps Brooks, too, is trying to miminize his sin against the faithful by attacking the Iran deal.