Let me be the first journalist or pundit or columnist or politician or radio host or prime minister to admit I have not read the entire Iran deal. I am sure a 150-page stream of international-law gobbledygook is a fine summer jaunt, but I’ll stick to Simon Critchley’s TheBook Of Dead Philosophers, which I am currently enjoying and this book on Bob Dylan’s recording sessions from 1960-1994. Good stuff. I am never going to read the Iran deal, but like all the other people who haven’t done so and probably never will, yet felt compelled to comment on it over the past few days, I will nevertheless write about it. But at least you know that I know I have not read it and have little idea of what’s in it, unlike everyone running for president and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and everyone on cable news and on the radio and in nearly every newspaper op ed page in the nation.
However, unlike those who merely agree with this thing because they support the president or disagree because they do not, I have only one agenda, which has been consistent here from the moment our purportedly antiwar president took the oath in January of 2009, stay the fuck out of Middle East conflicts. And so an Iran deal, while being ridiculously calamitous in believing will accelerate the process for an Iranian nuclear program or spectacularly naïve to think it will mark a new era in Iranian/American relations, is better than what has transpired since the CIA-orchestrated coup d’état of Mohammad Mosaddegh, the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, for the despotic Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, better known to his bosses in the U.S. State Department as the mighty Shah.
I am not going to waste much time going over the complete disaster that has been the U.S. foreign policy in regards to Iran for over six decades and 11 presidents. We all know the deal; U.S. backed bloody dictatorship followed by bloody theocratic revolution, giving asylum to bloody dictator, hostage crisis, sanctions, working out alliance with and arming bloody Iraqi dictator, Iraq invades Iran, more sanctions, secretly trading arms with Iranians to back illegal Central American war in Nicaragua, you guessed it…sanctions, war kicking out aforementioned U.S.-backed Iraqi dictator in neighboring Kuwait, “axis of evil,” second war deposing Iraqi dictator, Iranians begin nuclear program for energy, which no one on the planet believes, G.W. Bush nixes initial Iran deal to not appear weak in “war on terror,” suspected nuclear plan quadruples, diminutive lunatic President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies Holocaust, the existence of Iranian homosexuals and promises to wipe Israel off the map, U.N. (everybody together now!) sanctions, citizens discover Twitter and fake an Arab Spring, Ahmadinejad goes bye-bye, Iran deal.
Okay, I lied—minor time-waster; but you get the point.
There are two options left for the U.S., the U.N., and the rest of the oil-addicted world—deal or war. Period. I choose deal.
Of course hardliners in the U.S. and Iran will bitch about this thing. This is the aim of “the deal.” No one is happy. Would it be better if there were stronger terms on weapons-testing and did testing end up in a war in Iraq in 2003? Yup. And would it be better for Iran if the sanctions would be lifted sooner without all this “trust but verify” verbiage? Yup. But, again, this is the nature of “the deal.” People get something and give something up they would not want to give up. I find it hard to believe people over six years old would find this concept alien. How does anyone get through 40 seconds of adult life, never mind international relations, without compromise?
Now, although I think Netanyahu a buffoon, he is in a tough position—one he created by being the hard-line candidate and prime minster, but nevertheless it is a tough one. He has been saying for 10 years that Iran is weeks away from making a bomb. If I said for instance that I am sure Martians are coming next month for 10 years I would be put away. Prime ministers and presidents say stuff like this and they get re-elected. It’s just the name of the game. I do not blame him and I realize that if this thing goes sideways Israel will have to be aggressive, but I also know that all this bluster from Netanyahu is backed by billions of American dollars (our taxpaying dollars) and billions in U.S. weapons, and out of mere diplomacy, we would have to back such aggression.
This is why “the deal” makes sense. It finally puts us in the game. Instead of lip service and name-calling and grandstanding to get votes or seem morally superior, we now in a sense partner with Iran to make sure they act responsibly in the international construct or finally pay for their transgressions. It is an oil-rich, advancing, and geographically large nation. It is about time.
I want to take a moment to point out that this haughty notion of making deals with countries that ignore human rights and sponsor terrorism and/or foreign aggression being a no-no is crazier than the Martian analogy. Please see Saudi Arabia and China for prime examples of why this never seems to matter.
However, there is another key reason, and maybe the key reason, for “the deal” at this time: the growing issue with ISIS.
Aside from the Egyptians and a rag-tag army of Kurds, there is no one who has been more of an ally against the Sunni-configured ISIS than the Shiite theocracy of Iran. Just like our tentative and eventually disastrous alliance with the Soviet Union during WWII, the Iranian influence, intelligence and underground weapons’ network in the region is second to none. We need Iran to defeat ISIS, plain and simple.
This is a classic Barack Obama move. Joe Cool has been pussyfooting around with drones and “relief aid” and Special Forces for too long. He has to stick to his “no boots on the ground” rhetoric and continue to appear “weak” to hawks while also getting into the deep weeds with regards to Iraq. U.S. fingerprints will be all over the Iranian military thrust, eventually strengthened by lifted sanctions, in Iraq now. The Iran deal comes with a secret détente no one to my knowledge had sussed out: These two nations have a common interest and a common enemy; thus speeding up the negotiations now more than ever.
And if this pisses off the Saudis who are currently fighting Iran in Yemen, all the better. This should be their war, yet they insist on asking us to fight it. They had their chance. Fuck them.
So Obama gets his secret war against ISIS, which I have also vehemently opposed, seeing this is a cultural civil war that has nothing to do with us. This thing reeks of Ronald Reagan’s expedient support of Iraq in 1982, which did not end well for any of us.
But it isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.