“It’s either this or war.”
War?! Well, jeez, if those are our choices everyone better get on board, pronto.
According to Politico, this false choice is the central political argument the White House plans to use to convince members of Congress, voters, and allies that capitulation to Iran is the best course of action. It’s not surprising since that’s been the standard rhetorical ammo used by Left since Iranian negotiations began. If you’re not as anxious as others to help an apocalyptic, terror-funded, destabilizing regime reach the threshold of nuclear weapons, you, my friend, are the warmonger.
So what happens if the “framework for an understanding of a potential agreement” falls apart? The Iranians are, after all, notoriously unreliable in negotiations, with a long history of lying about their intentions and breaking agreements. How soon will Obama, who can barely get himself to say an unkind word about the Iranian regime, deploy ground troops to take care of business? Maybe someone will ask him.
As a political matter, this Obama standby–my economic plan or ruin, my climate plan or Armageddon, my health-care plan or death–makes the very act of coming to any “deal” palatable because the alternative is unfathomable. It’s also an easy way smear the enemies of peace–Israel and Congress, in this case–and dismiss any legitimate concerns they have regarding security as inconsequential because no matter how bad this deal looks, the imaginary consequences of not doing it are far worse.
“This is very complicated. A lot of this is hard to talk about to the American people,” one senior administration told Politico. “This is tough stuff to put your mind around.” So they will simplify it for you.
Iran will have its enriched uranium and it will be on the threshold of becoming a nuclear state. It will not get rid of its centrifuges. This isn’t really argued anymore. Iran will get sanctions relief in exchange for inspection enforcement that depends on international organizations like the IAEA, who have already told us that the Iranians manipulate and lie about their enrichment program. And any portion of this deal can be broken at any time without any real consequences.
Remember when Susan Rice told an AIPAC audience: “Now I want to be very clear: a bad deal is worse than no deal. And if that is the choice then there will be no deal. We are not taking anything on trust. What matters are Iran’s actions, not its words.” Read the Politico piece. The administration’s argument is now the opposite.
There are many alternatives available. The sanctions which Obama keeps telling everyone worked to bring Iran to the table–the ones he fought to constantly weaken–can be strengthened and more international pressure can be brought. Yet, the same administration that has attacked Benjamin Netanyahu for overreacting and overstating the threat of a nuclear Iran now argues that this very moment is the last chance to save the Middle East, no matter how much we have to forfeit in negotiations.
Or, you know, war.