Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Iran Nuclear Deal

No doubt you are expecting some words of wisdom from me about a critical issue of war and peace, the Iran Nuclear Deal.  Sorry.  No can do.

I am ill-equipped to offer an informed opinion on the question “to sign or not to sign,” as my emphasis in political thought and deed is always domestic, not foreign, policy.

I will say this though: a major failing of the Obama administration has been its tendency to give away the farm before even sitting down at the negotiating table.  I would never trust them to win a good deal for me and I would never trust them with any of my money at a poker table.  So, NO, I say NO DEAL as the recent past makes altogether too probable that they gave away too much, even if I don’t know this and cannot prove it.

On the other hand, the Republicans were universally up in arms from the moment the deal was announced.  But they would be all over Obama if he dared to suggest that a mile is 5280 feet.  I trust them less than I do him.

I guess I am between signing and not.  But the only way to thread that needle is with not signing it.

I could be wrong and I am always open to hearing more.  But in the meantime, NO DEAL.  But I am prepared to change my mind at a moment's notice.

Michael Ramirez cartoon
Let me add now that I am not "anti-war."  Nor am I "pro-war."  I am neither hawk nor dove.  I judge each conflict on its own merits.   I'd have fought in World War II had I the chance.  I would have avoided Vietnam as it was not our war, and for reasons that you all know.  The same for Iraq-Afghanistan.  Not so sure about Iran but they have not provoked any such reaction - yet.  But I just wanted you to know that my foreign policy choices, such as they are, do not have a pro-war or anti-war bias.

Addendum: Friday, 07/24/2015 
I posted the above too soon.  Now I will make up for it.

I listened to three State Department spokespersons explain the Iran Deal on C-SPAN several days ago.  Needless to say, they explained with logic and detail why The Deal was a Good Deal.  Let me say that I was convinced!  However, I have done politics long enough to know that if one side of any argument has the stage, anyone with an open mind will be convinced of their argument.  Indeed, if on another occasion you hear the other side take the stage alone, you will change your mind to support them.  Whoever you hear last will win your support.  Politicians are not fools, they can make a good case for anything.  The only way to really be able to make a good judgment between two sides of one issue is to hear a debate by both sides sharing the stage on the common theme.  Even though, if you have been following politics for any length of time, your mind is already made up, and it will be impossible for you to hear the other side at all.  I, on the other hand, pride myself on being able to listen with an open mind, putting my prejudices aside for a time.  Nevertheless, I was convinced by the State Department spokespersons.

The other side, the Bad Deal side, argues that Iran cannot be trusted, that they have entered into any number of deals before and they have never kept their word.  That is their entire argument, as far as I can tell.  The Good Deal side might counter that if Iran breaks any agreement, the Deal is off.  So that OUGHT to pacify the Bad Deal side, but apparently it does not.

The Bad Deal side is led by the Israelis, by their Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.  Once again, Iran cannot be trusted.  “And we, Israel, have the most to lose by a Bad Deal that is not enforceable” (a paraphrase).  I have some Jewish blood in me and I can identify; the Holocaust is recent history for every Israeli, it is NOT ancient history.  I can identify.

Last, it is easier to go from a NO Deal to a YES Deal.  That simple.  Once The Deal kicks in, we are all trapped by the terms of The Deal.  We can be more flexible and able to respond creatively to new stimuli with no deal in place.  Maybe that is the real reason I lean toward the NO Deal position. 

All really hard decisions are hard because the positives and the negatives of both sides are very close to each other.  They "score" the same.  In some ways, when it is legitimately difficult to come to a decision, one may as well flip a coin and get on with it.

A lot of words and no real guidance for my readers!  Actually, I admire myself for not having solid opinions on every verdammte (German for "damn") subject.  <wink>