If the only choice for dealing decisively with Iran in the urgent mission to stop it becoming a nuclear power is the deal Obama has made with the regime or war, then war is by far the better choice.
Obama, Kerry and many Democrats insist that it is the only choice.
This is from the heavily left-biased Los Angeles Times, by Doyle McManus:
The nuclear agreement the U.S. and its allies concluded with Iran on Tuesday isn’t perfect; diplomatic compromises rarely are. The deal allows Iran to continue enriching uranium within limits, but the limits begin to phase out after 10 years. It lifts the international arms embargo on Iran after five years. And it relies heavily on inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency to make sure Iran doesn’t cheat.
All of those provisions are worrisome, and not only to the mostly Republican critics who lined up to denounce the 159-page deal before they had time to read it. There are skeptics in both parties, and many of their concerns are legitimate.
But President Obama and his aides are relying on a three-word question to protect the agreement from congressional interference: “Compared to what?”
“That’s the killer argument,” one of the U.S. participants in the negotiations told me.
They’re right. Anyone who proposes rejecting this nuclear deal should be required to lay out an alternative course, and to show clearly that the alternative is both feasible and better.
The deal’s opponents haven’t really done that — because there are no easy alternatives. They called on Obama to halt the talks, but they never quite spelled out what he should do on Day Two. Now that Obama has concluded a deal, they want Congress to block it — but they rarely talk about the real-world consequences.
“I think we should have walked away from the table a long time ago and pressed the pause button to get back to that original goal of stopping Iran from developing any nuclear weapons capabilities,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Okla.) said this week. And just how would we achieve that goal? Beyond imposing more U.S. economic sanctions on Iran, Cotton and his colleagues haven’t gotten very specific.
Here’s the main problem, one many American politicians hate to acknowledge: The sanctions that prodded Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, into a deal were imposed by a huge international coalition — one that included Russia, China and India as well as traditional U.S. allies. If the U.S. walks away from an agreement its allies have enthusiastically embraced, that coalition will almost certainly collapse.
Obviously, they could have been maintained and increased instead of negotiating a deal.
“Sanctions are only effective if we are able to bring the world with us,” an Obama aide said Tuesday. “A vote to kill this deal could potentially be a vote to kill the sanctions regime.” Yes, Congress could maintain or even escalate U.S. sanctions — but Iran could shrug them off and sell its oil to China, India and other buyers. Sanctions imposed by only one country rarely work; they certainly can’t cripple an economy that has oil to sell.
A second potential consequence of walking away from the table was outlined by Obama on Tuesday morning. “Without this deal, there would be no agreed-upon limitations for the Iranian nuclear program,” he said. “Iran could produce, operate and test more and more centrifuges…. And we would not have any of the inspections that allow us to detect a covert nuclear weapons program.”
That doesn’t mean Iran would sprint toward a nuclear weapon; most Iran-watchers think Tehran would probably be cautious, if only to avoid provoking new sanctions.
But without inspections, fear of Iran’s nuclear capabilities would inevitably grow in Israel and the United States — and eventually lead to renewed pressure for military action against Tehran. In 2010, the last time nuclear negotiations hit a dead end, Israeli officials openly discussed the possibility of launching airstrikes to prevent Iran from building a bomb.
“Put simply, no deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East,” Obama said.
Or, in Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s phrasing: “What’s the alternative? Go to war now?”
Answer: Yes. Go to war now. Bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities with the new deep-penetrating bunker bombs that the US has developed and could easily deploy.
One Democrat who gives this same answer is Senator Bob Menendez from New Jersey.
We quote an editorial at Investors’ Business Daily:
Critics of the nuclear pact with Tehran are exposing what should have been in the forefront of Americans’ minds all through these misguided negotiations: the ultimate need for a military solution.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Democrat Bob Menendez of New Jersey, appearing on ABC News on Sunday, pointed out, “We have gone from preventing Iran having a nuclear ability to managing it.”
When President Obama announced a deal to negotiate a deal with Iran in November 2013, the press treated it as if the hard part was done and what lay ahead were just formalities. Obama called it “a new path toward a world that is more secure — a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon”.
Secretary of State John Kerry and America’s P5+1 negotiating partners, of course, have caved on that requirement. This deal very much leaves Iran with the ability to build a nuclear weapon. …
Iran still gets to have a plutonium reactor, and “we have uranium enrichment deep inside of a mountain”, as Menendez said. “That doesn’t happen for a peaceful civilian program.”
Even under a deal, the senator said, he hopes that Obama “makes a very clear statement to Iran that as it relates to the future, we cannot accept Iran having a nuclear weapon, period. That’s the premise we started on. That’s the premise we should finish on.”
Does he really hope that? Does he really understand so little about Obama? We doubt it.
Which means we’re likely back to where we were before any talks or deal — having to attack Iran sooner or later before the world’s foremost terrorist client state becomes the world’s sole nuclear-armed terrorist state.
These negotiations have been a colossal bait and switch. The people of the United States and the other P5+1 countries were under the impression that their negotiators would bring home a deal that would, as Obama claimed, “prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon”, a viable alternative to a “rush towards conflict”.
The infamous White House “fact sheet” after the 2013 announcement promised “a comprehensive solution that would constrain Iran’s nuclear program over the long term, provide verifiable assurances to the international community that Iran’s nuclear activities will be exclusively peaceful, and ensure that any attempt by Iran to pursue a nuclear weapon would be promptly detected”.
Like so much else promised by this president, it was too good to be true. If we can detect violations, a big if, any serious attempt to re-impose sanctions would mean exposing the deal as a failure — an admission that roughly 18 months of talks were a dangerous waste of time. It won’t happen.
We have foolishly delayed the inevitable. A pre-emptive military operation to prevent a future atomic 9/11 that would incinerate millions of innocents is one of the few options left.
We emphatically agree.
Actually, we don’t think there is or ever was a real choice. The Iranian nuclear facilities need to be bombed out of existence.
There is no alternative if nuclear war in the near future is to be avoided.