The most intelligent critics of any deal with Iran are not really focused on the nuclear issue. Their attitude is that Iran is too powerful in the Middle East already, and too eager to pursue more power through arming rebels and Shiite militias and generally making mischief, and that lifting sanctions will only make things worse. John Boehner:
My concerns about Iran’s efforts to foment unrest, brutal violence and terror have only grown. It would be naïve to suggest the Iranian regime will not continue to use its nuclear program, and any economic relief, to further destabilize the region.Reuel Marc Gerecht:
this diplomatic process accelerates the nuclearization of the region, throws jet fuel on the war between the Sunnis and the Shia, and puts America into a much worse strategic position in the Middle East.But this sort of thinking puts the US back on the side of the Sunni dictators whose rule has kept the whole region in squalor and unrest for decades, the hopeless situation that led Bush to launch his invasion of Iraq, trying to revolutionize the Muslim world with shock and awe. I find a lot to hate about the current Iranian government. But I think the Iranian people are the best hope for peace in the region, and I agree with Obama (and the Pentagon, and the State Department) that our long-term strategy ought to be focused on waiting out the regime until the increasingly pro-western people eventually come to power.
President Obama's speech was carried live on Iranian television, the first time they have ever run such a speech unedited. Thousands of young Iranians were celebrating in the streets last night. We have all learned the hard way not to mistake big city protesters for the majority in any Muslim country, but it seems to me that the agreement can only help the people in Iran we want to be our friends and marginalize our real enemies. One tweet the Times reprinted said
In a party. Most people have a glass in one hand and a mobile with anti filter and Twitter in the other.Meanwhile the news from Kenya is that the Sunni fanatics -- the common enemies of the US and Iran -- have carried out another massacre, this time of Christian university students.
Who are the real monsters in the world right now? Where are there forces of civilization we might ally with against them?
War between the US and Iran would not only be a disaster in the short term, it would cut off one of the most promising avenues toward peace, betraying the people of Iran with whom the future of the region rests whether we like it or not.