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Out of Step with the World

It is not ironic that the Republicans oppose Obama’s deal with Iran – the deal that prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions against them. After all, not only do Republicans automatically oppose virtually everything Obama does, they seem to really like starting wars in the Middle East.

What is ironic about it is how virtually the entire rest of the world is strongly in favor of this deal, with the notable exception of Israel.

This is not just a deal between the US and Iran. It was negotiated by the US, France, Great Britain, Germany, Russia, and China. Getting those countries to agree to anything is pretty amazing, and their support of the deal is very strong.

Germany in particular says that if Congress derails the Iran nuclear deal, “It would be a nightmare… a catastrophe.” A top German official says that rejection would empower hardliners in Tehran who insist the US cannot be trusted. “These people will say it’s useless to negotiate.”

But wait, there’s more! The ambassadors from China and Russia have lobbied Congress on behalf of the agreement, which is notable given poor US relations with those countries. Officials from the five negotiating partners of the US met with 25 Democratic senators to promote the deal.

What about the rest of the world?

Advancing the administration’s argument that virtually the entire world supports the deal, fifteen Asian countries — including Japan, India, Indonesian, Australia and South Korea — issued a statement this week calling the deal an “important resolution” of the Iran nuclear issue that will “ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”

I can’t help but wonder why Israel is so against this agreement. Do they just have some crazy siege mentality? Are they just uninterested in peace? Or does the current Israeli government think that having perpetual war will keep them in power?

Unfortunately, Israel and the GOP just seem to be pissing off the rest of the world, including their best friends.



  1. Arthanyel wrote:

    Israel is against this deal for three reasons.

    First, the Isaraeli government is right wing (Bibby extremely so) and therefore they would prefer a “final solution” that guarantees success like physically destroying Iran’s centrifuges.

    Second, they know Iran funnels weapons and money to Hezbollah, and lifting the sanctions will give them immensely more money to funnel to Hezbollah.

    Third, the deal only prevents Iran from moving forward for 10-15 years, it doesn’t stop them forever.

    All that said, this deal is the best deal that is possible so the real choice is to we bomb Iran into the Stone Age or do we accept this deal? And since the rest of the world, and most especially China, Russia and Germany are strongly behind the deal, going it alone against Iran would have dire consequences for the U.S.

    We should take the deal.

    Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink
  2. TJ wrote:

    Have we not proven in Iraq, Afganistan, and Iraq that “bombing into the Stone Age” is not a successful strategy? What exactly happens after the bombs have fallen and the power vacuum is filled by people who are more extreme than the current guys and are also angry at the people who just bombed them? How can that actually be one of the choices?

    Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink
  3. Max wrote:

    Don’t assume that the opponents of the deal actually want to win. The best position politically is to go on record opposing it, but lose.

    Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    Max, like the Obamacare decision by the Supreme Court? Which the Republicans were all publicly rooting for, but privately they were scared to death that the Supremes would run against the ACA, and of course the GOP would get blamed.

    Unfortunately, I think there is more to it than that. I think many Congress critters (including Democrats) are truly afraid of the Israel lobby.

    Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 7:53 pm | Permalink
  5. ebdoug wrote:

    Or the Jewish vote. Schumer (D) is not supporting the Iran vote yes

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 6:33 am | Permalink
  6. Michael wrote:

    Besides just the ACA, I would point out that Max’s approach summarizes the GOP’s view of abortion. The GOP’s worst nightmare would be getting Roe v. Wade overturned, because they would immediately lose all of those single-issue voters that they’ve been exploiting for about 40 years. As it is, they can kick and scream all they want about abortion being murder, but they will never actually do anything that would outlaw it. Instead, they spend their time passing inane regulations like mandatory ultrasounds, knowing that these laws (a) make their base happy and (b) will most likely be thrown out by the courts.

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 9:28 am | Permalink
  7. John wrote:

    Another VERY important reason many far-right politicians in Israel oppose the Iran deal (it is clearly NOT the case that Israel generally opposes it) is that not having Iran to focus on will force Israelis to spend more time dealing with divisions inside Israel itself… which are considerable.

    The Israeli right understands well that Iran is not a real threat to them, as the U.S. is (obviously) committed to defending Israel against any and all comers, but Iran provides a good diversion from Israel’s internal troubles.

    Friday, August 14, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink