Sunday, July 26, 2015

Again on the Iran Deal

Sorry to keep circling back to the Iran deal, but it just seems kind of mind-boggling that a lot of people keep arguing that we would be better if Iran continued expanding its nuclear program than if it reduced it.  Let's not forget that they made the same objection when Iran agreed to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for limited and temporary sanctions relief and the beginning of talks.  Then, too, Iran hawks denounced the deal as appeasement and a grave danger.  Does anyone think we are better off with Iran continuing to expand its nuclear program than freezing it?  Does anyone think we are better off with Iran's nuclear program at current levels instead of reduced?  How is that supposed to work?

Of course, we know their real reason.  They don't care about the specifics of the program at all.  What matters is that the deal is with Iran.  Their policy toward Iran is regime change.  To sign any deal whatever with the Iranian government is to tacitly acknowledge its legitimacy and abandon our policy of regime change.  Thus critics of the deal say they are not in favor of war and they may very well be telling the truth.  They are in favor of regime change.  Whether the Iranian government has an active nuclear program is a whole lot less important than maintaining this commitment.

It is rather like argument at the end of the First Gulf War that Saddam Hussein had to go because he was just as much a danger as before.  In other words, he was just as dangerous whether he had an army or not.  It seemed uncommonly foolish to me, but at least that time around we first destroyed Saddam's army and then proclaimed him equally dangerous without it.  In other words, we were merely pretending there was danger when it was long gone.  This time Iran hawks are effectively saying that the Iranian government is equally dangerous regardless of what sort of nuclear program it has and are therefore blocking and steps to restrict its nuclear program.  That seems even more foolish to me.

At the same time critics want to refute accusations that they are opposed to any deal whatever.  They will agree to a deal that amounts to de facto regime change.  Well, here's a hint.  Dealing with a hostile regime by turning our backs and hoping that it will go away is not a very effective policy.  It wasn't effective against the Soviet Union before WWII.  It wasn't effective against Communist China. It wasn't effective against the Communist government in Vietnam.  It still isn't effective against Cuba under the Castros.  And it didn't stop North Korea from getting nuclear weapons.  There is no reason whatever to believe that it will be any more effective against the Ayatollahs.

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