Tuesday, July 14, 2015

If Iran the zoo

Wicked Persian fanatics plotting the breakout time for their nuclear device, scheduled for sometime during the Malia Obama presidency. Photo by Atta Kenare via Negar Mortazari.

David Sanger shakes his head, warning against excessive complacency:
Mr. Obama will be long out of office before any reasonable assessment can be made as to whether that roll of the dice paid off. The best guess today, even among the most passionate supporters of the president’s Iran project, is that the judgment will be mixed. Nothing in the deal announced on Tuesday eliminates Iran’s ability to eventually become a nuclear threshold power — it just delays the day. 
That is, we won't know for at least 16 years what happens after 15 years are up. And whoever's president in 2030 might be a Muslim, or an opponent of all international negotiations, or suddenly struck with paralysis and hence unable to do anything about it. That Obama is such a weakling! Why can't he control what happens when he's not around?

Similarly, old George H.W. Bush should never have signed that START treaty in 1991, because it had an expiration date, forcing the US and Russia to negotiate a new treaty in 2010, which they might not have done, given the difficult relationship between the two countries, although in fact they did. What a mistake that could have been if it had been a mistake, which it wasn't!

And Start II still might fail—we won't be sure till 2021, or 2026 if the parties go for the extension option. That old George totally made the world a more dangerous place with his heedless peacemaking!

It's like a Dick Cheney theory of diplomacy: you should never come to an agreement if there's a 1% chance it won't work out the way you expect. Much better to have a war, because that always gets you what you want.

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