Friday, February 27, 2015

Be Prepared for Bibi

In a couple of days, our news media is going to be consumed with what Prime Minister Netanyahu said to Congress about a possible deal with Iran to stop them from developing nuclear weapons. As a reminder, Netanyahu has said that he "will do everything and will take any action to foil this bad and dangerous agreement."

Your assignment - should you chose to accept it - is to inform yourself about what some experts have said in support of the current negotiations and potential agreement. My purpose is to provide you with that information. So here you go:

Paul Pillar: Get Over It: There's No Better Deal on Iran's Nuclear Program

Robert Einhorn: Deterring an Iranian Nuclear Breakout

David Ignatius: A Compelling Argument on Iran

William Perry, Sean O'Keefe, Adm. James Stavridis and Joe Reeder: Let's Make the Deal With Iran

Jeffrey Simpson: An Iran Opportunity Not to Be Missed

And finally, I'll close with what Jeffrey Goldberg wrote this week.
But let's look at what would happen if Netanyahu "wins" this battle. [Martin] Indyk lays out a depressing scenario:

"What happens if the president succeeds in doing a deal despite the speech of the prime minister?" he asks. "Instead of the United States and Israel talking about ways to provide strategic reassurance to Israel, there’s going to be an ongoing fight over this deal. And what if the prime minister then succeeds in killing the deal? How will the president relate to the destruction of one of his signature policy initiatives? And if the sanctions then collapse, as seems likely, and Iran continues moving towards a nuclear weapon, how does the prime minister propose to stop Iran? He will certainly manage in the process to create the impression that he wants the United States to go to war with Iran."
The common theme in all the articles above is that - while the deal that emerges is not likely to be perfect - it will be far superior to any alternative that is actually possible. The bar Netanyahu wants to set is impossible and would leave war as the only option - which is 100% unacceptable. That's why Ignatius says that these are "the most important diplomatic negotiations of the last several decades."


  1. These sources are very helpful. I am always stunned when you turn up fairly mainstream commentators whose work I've not read other than here. I cannot explain why these voices don't have far greater traction. Consequently, since this is the most consequential negotiation of our time, the service you provide to us in giving us access is incredibly important. Many of us intuitively believe that Bibi's press is to war by the United States, but having the facts and implications laid out so clearly is essential to our having really well-informed opinions and a far richer understanding than just a hunch. I cannot say how much this means, having such solid information upon which to base my own understanding. Thank you!

  2. And then there's the response I got from my Senator Ben Cardin:

    Thank you for contacting me regarding Prime Minister Netanyahu's proposed speech to Congress on March 3, 2015. I appreciate your sharing your thoughts and concerns with me.

    I believe the manner in which House Speaker John Boehner handled the invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu was inappropriate. However, I respect the Prime Minister of Israel and will attend his speech to Congress. Should members of the Israeli opposition parties seek to meet with Congress, I believe we should give them that opportunity.

    Thank you for contacting me on this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future on this or any other matter of concern to you.

    Oh and I can't respond to that email so I have to go to his web site. He has "respect" for Netanyahu". This isn't the first time Cardin has pissed me off. He's saying Eff President Obama. Cardin won't get another vote from me.

    1. ^^This is why Dems will lose in 2016 & beyond. The outright disrespect for President Obama is disgusting!!


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