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The Nuclear Option - Iran style

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The Nuclear Option - Iran style

Postby Huckleby » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:43 pm

The Republican criticism of the Iran deal has been withering. Republican Senators want to bring a bill to the floor that increases sanctions on Iran, an obvious symbolic "F You" to the president.

I think Kerry & Obama have made a very modest agreement that explores the diplomatic track. Contrary to misinformation, it leaves the great bulk of sanctions in place. But enough about reality.

What is the Republican vision? I get where Saudi Arabia and Israel are coming from, they want the U.S. to attack Iran. Is that what the Republicans want? It is now abundantly clear that sanctions will not stop, or even slow, the Iranian drive to a nuclear bomb. So what exactly is the endgame of increasing economic pressure on Iran?
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Re: The Nuclear Option - Iran style

Postby Donald » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:01 pm

I have a new perspective on the Iran issue after reading the book Going to Tehran by Flint and Hillary Leverett. I think everyone's interests seem to be lining up for positive results with this latest negotiation. There is a long history of negotiating these nuclear issues through various parties, and there have been near breakthroughs before. Each time Saudi Arabia and Israel have opposed settlement with the same tired excuses, and domestic politics has intervened in either the US or Iran to scuttle settlement.

I'm for giving this a shot. Iran has been our secret partner over the years on many issues, including helping us against al Qaeda, for example, but their help has not been acknowledged and is not widely known.

Republicans had their shot at settling with Iran, and blew it. They lack any credibility. The Leverett book gives lots of reasons why Democrats are as bad as Republicans on Middle East policy. We can't let the war lobby derail this movement toward settlement on the nuclear issue.

We need a moment equivalent to Nixon going to China to reshape the Middle East. There is a lot left to be done, but this could be it.
Last edited by Donald on Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Nuclear Option - Iran style

Postby Huckleby » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:37 pm

Donald wrote:I have a new perspective on the Iran issue after reading the book Going to Teheran by Flint and Hillary Leverett.


I haven't read the book, but those people are flat-out Iranian agents. I'm not being sarcastic.

I often lean towards their point of viewer, but everything I've read and heard from the Leverett's for years has sugar-coated the Iranian regime. (I have to admit that they were uniquely correct in their prediction that the Green Revolution would collapse, but they completely white-washed the brutality that was entailed in the crushing of the protest movement. I'm sure they are now cheerleading for Assad)

BTW, I generally agree with the point of view you express in your post.
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Re: The Nuclear Option - Iran style

Postby Huckleby » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:05 am

I'm on board with Juan Cole's reading of the situation:

http://www.juancole.com/2013/11/agreeme ... hment.html
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Re: The Nuclear Option - Iran style

Postby DCB » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:41 am

Huckleby wrote:The Republican criticism of the Iran deal has been withering.

Its only "withering" if you're a delicate flower. Only a fool would take them seriously, especially on foreign policy in the Middle East.
Huckleby wrote: Republican Senators want to bring a bill to the floor that increases sanctions on Iran, an obvious symbolic "F You" to the president.
What else is new?
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Re: The Nuclear Option - Iran style

Postby Huckleby » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:15 am

DCB wrote: Its only "withering" if you're a delicate flower. Only a fool would take them seriously, especially on foreign policy in the Middle East.


Yes, I am a delicate flower. Strong, tough, yet sensitive and vulnerable, like James Dean. Women can not resist me.

I take the Republicans seriously because they speak for half of America. It matters when they attack the president on foreign policy issues like this, very disappointing. But you wouldn't understand, you lack my mix of real-world toughness and sensitivity that women find so intoxicating.
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Re: The Nuclear Option - Iran style

Postby DCB » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:30 am

Huckleby wrote:I'm on board with Juan Cole's reading of the situation:

http://www.juancole.com/2013/11/agreeme ... hment.html

yup:
Juan Cole wrote:Republican critics of the deal in the US Congress, who say no to everything, said no to this negotiation as well. They accused Iran of being the world’s primary backer of terrorism.

Really? The GOP backed the Mujahidin and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, the Contras in Nicaragua, the MEK in Iraq and Iran, and are backing the extremist Sunni rebels in Syria. They aren’t even skittish about allying with al-Qaeda affiliates, even today!
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Re: The Nuclear Option - Iran style

Postby Ned Flanders » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:39 am

And to think we might have learned a lesson about dealing with these throwbacks during the Carter administration.

Sadly not.
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Re: The Nuclear Option - Iran style

Postby Donald » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:51 am

Huckleby wrote:
Donald wrote:I have a new perspective on the Iran issue after reading the book Going to Tehran by Flint and Hillary Leverett.


I haven't read the book, but those people are flat-out Iranian agents. I'm not being sarcastic....

I started reading the book with your thoughts, but I came around to much of their position. I don't think the Leverett's are "agents," but they have a point of view that our policy on Iran has been wrong-headed for years. And they have paid a steep career price for trying to steer policy in a more rational direction.

I agree that excusing the Iranian government's heavy handed approach to the "Green Movement," as the Leverett's do, is not to their benefit. On the other hand, they present convincing evidence that we in the West may have exaggerated the strength of that movement. Believe me, I don't think religious-based governance is at all something that I want to see expand in the Middle East. On the other hand, Iran has shown some interesting moderation and modernity at times over the years, and maybe we need to encourage it.
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Re: The Nuclear Option - Iran style

Postby Stebben84 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:23 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:And to think we might have learned a lesson about dealing with these throwbacks during the Carter administration.

Sadly not.


Or we could do what Reagan did and support Saddam Hussein. How did that work out for you Ned? What is the current Republican stance besides offering no alternatives then say everything Obama does is wrong.
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Re: The Nuclear Option - Iran style

Postby DCB » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:38 pm

Stebben84 wrote:
Ned Flanders wrote:And to think we might have learned a lesson about dealing with these throwbacks during the Carter administration.

Sadly not.


Or we could do what Reagan did and support Saddam Hussein. How did that work out for you Ned? What is the current Republican stance besides offering no alternatives then say everything Obama does is wrong.

I think we should let the CIA overthrow the Iranian government, and install an authoritarian puppet, like say a Shah. What could possibly go wrong?
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Re: The Nuclear Option - Iran style

Postby Huckleby » Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:43 pm

Donald wrote: I agree that excusing the Iranian government's heavy handed approach to the "Green Movement," as the Leverett's do, is not to their benefit. On the other hand, they present convincing evidence that we in the West may have exaggerated the strength of that movement. Believe me, I don't think religious-based governance is at all something that I want to see expand in the Middle East. On the other hand, Iran has shown some interesting moderation and modernity at times over the years, and maybe we need to encourage it.


I agree with your take here.

I respect that the Leverett's have been right about some things, but I find them so one-sided I can't stand them. On TV, Flint Leverett comes off like an apparatchik representing Kim Jong Un. Maybe it is just personal, but the guy seems evil, he has cold, beady eyes that glow slightly.
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Re: The Nuclear Option - Iran style

Postby Rich Schultz » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:43 am

"If you like your atomic bomb program…"
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Re: The Nuclear Option - Iran style

Postby Comrade » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:30 am

Well, I can say two things;

Firstly, there is not a partisan division between proponents and opponents to the "agreement" There are both Dems and Republicans in opposition.

Secondly, there seems to be be a great deal of confusion about the agreement itself. Both sides have a different version of what this means.

An agreement where neither party can agree to what was agreed upon is probably not an agreement at all.
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Re: The Nuclear Option - Iran style

Postby Huckleby » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:51 am

Comrade wrote:An agreement where neither party can agree to what was agreed upon is probably not an agreement at all.


It is a small, entirely reversible, confidence-building measure designed to create momentum towards negotiations. The real agreement, if there is to be one, comes in 6 months to a year.

Of course both sides are going to posture and portray the preliminary deal in a light that favors their side. So what?

Criticizing this first step as being inadequate, or a "bad deal", or whatever borders on irrationality.

There have been excellent debates on Crossfire on this topic with well informed people. It all comes down to wait and see. Bill Kristol spoke very honestly, he says that it will be necessary to go to war with Iran to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons. Every honest critic of this attempt at negotiations needs to come forward and state where they stand, because you have to support one of three paths:
1) Negotiations
2) War
3) Containment - allow Iran to get nuclear weapons.

I happen to support option #3. But every single person I respect on this topic thinks this is a terrible idea. So I'm guessing I am wrong.
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