Friday, April 3, 2015
I'm not an expert on the Middle East, especially not on Iran. I'll leave the analyses of this peace proposal up to those who are. But I do know that these negotiations have been one of the prime goals of President Obama's presidency, and now we have to sit back and see what sort of damage the opposing party will do. We already witnessed their unprecedented back-stabbing, and what I see as traitorous, behavior with their pusillanimous letter to Iran's leaders. Luckily, Iran ignored the miscreants and went forward with the negotiations.
Most of the pundits, pols, and bloggers who bellowed the loudest about these peace negotiations are the same folks who believe in the Prince of Peace who said in his famous Sermon on the Mount:
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called Children of God."
Let's see how they tell the rest of us that what President Obama did is evil.
From the HuffPost:
"[President] Obama...embarked on high-stakes negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, resulting in Thursday's improbable agreement to reduce, control and monitor Iran's nuclear program. Coming on the heels of major deals with two other longtime U.S. adversaries, China and Cuba, Obama is steadily building a diplomatic legacy to match his campaign rhetoric.
On a Thursday call with reporters, senior administration officials underscored how much of a priority Obama has made a diplomatic solution on Iran. "There's no foreign policy issue he has spent more time on," said one official. "I'd say over the course of his presidency, other than the war in Afghanistan and terrorism, Iran is an issue that he's spent more time on than any other issue. The first negotiation that he had on this started in 2009, so he's very familiar with the Iranian nuclear program and all the different elements."
New York Times:
By opening a dialogue between Iran and America, the negotiations have begun to ease more than 30 years of enmity. Over the long run, an agreement could make the Middle East safer and offer a path for Iran, the leading Shiite country, to rejoin the international community. [...]
Talking to adversaries — as President Ronald Reagan did in nuclear weapons negotiations with the Soviets and President Richard Nixon did in his opening to China — is something American leaders have long pursued as a matter of practical necessity and prudence. Yet in today’s poisonous political climate, Mr. Obama’s critics have gone to extraordinary lengths to undercut him and any deal. Their belligerent behavior is completely out of step with the American public, which overwhelmingly favors a negotiated solution with Iran, unquestionably the best approach.
In welcoming it, Obama said he accepted that Congress could play a useful "oversight role" but warned that "if Congress kills this deal not based on expert analysis, and without offering any reasonable alternative, then it's the United States that will be blamed for the failure of diplomacy. International unity will collapse, and the path to conflict will widen." We hope those words will be pondered by those members of Congress who have reflexively opposed any possible deal and who may be tempted to sabotage the negotiations. They should also take seriously another point made by the president: that the alternative to a diplomatic agreement is that "we can bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, thereby starting another war in the Middle East and setting back Iran's program by a few years." The details of a final agreement matter, but so does the alternative.
To all of the critics, the details — short of a capitulation that's incompatible with the concept of negotiation — don't matter. They prefer the aggressive confrontation of Iran's ambitions across the region, with deep U.S. involvement and a high risk of war. Given Iran's behavior, it is not an easy choice. But removing Iran's nuclear threat would be no small thing, and as diplomacy goes, the deal negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and counterparts from France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China appears at this early stage to be a significant success.