President Obama’s speech in defense of his Iran nuclear deal at American University in Iran is about what you would expect. A liberal dose of demagoguery populated by straw men and engagement in moral equivalency.
His main argument was that the people who opposed the Iran nuclear deal supported the War in Iraq as if the two were mutually exclusive.
As usual he resorted to outright distortions and misrepresentation of the views of his critics as was the case with the interim deal:
Now, let me pause here just to remind everybody that when the interim deal was announced, critics — the same critics we’re hearing from now — called it “a historic mistake.” They insisted Iran would ignore its obligations. They warned that sanctions would unravel. They warned that Iran would receive a windfall to support terrorism.
The critics were wrong. The progress of Iran’s nuclear program was halted for the first time in a decade. Its stockpile of dangerous materials was reduced. The deployment of its advanced centrifuges was stopped. Inspections did increase. There was no flood of money into Iran, and the architecture of the international sanctions remained in place. In fact, the interim deal worked so well that the same people who criticized it so fiercely now cite it as an excuse not to support the broader accord. Think about that. What was once proclaimed as a historic mistake is now held up as a success and a reason to not sign the comprehensive deal. So keep that in mind when you assess the credibility of the arguments being made against diplomacy today.
Other than President Obama, who has officially declared that Iran’s nuclear program was halted for the first time in a decade? The Iranian Revolutionary Guard? And who exactly are these critics of the deal that are proclaiming the interim deal to be a success? This is news to me and it is news to the world.
Let’s see Obama erect a straw man or two:
Now, there are some opponents — I have to give them credit; there are opponents of this deal who accept the choice of war. In fact, they argue that surgical strikes against Iran’s facilities will be quick and painless. But if we’ve learned anything from the last decade, it’s that wars in general and wars in the Middle East in particular are anything but simple.
Again, who are these people that are saying surgical strikes against Iran’s facilities would be quick and painless? I’d like Obama to name one person who has articulated such a position. He can’t because there isn’t. With most of Iran’s nuclear facilities underground this is certainly not a quick and painless proposition.
Here’s another whopper. Obama claims, “And because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support.” Hmmn. Last I checked the Gulf Arab states were still not on board with the Iran nuclear deal. But why would Obama let that fact get in the way of his argument? By saying that only Israel opposes the Iran nuclear deal what he is really saying is, ‘Everything would be fine if it weren’t for those pesky Jews and their money.’
No Obama speech would be complete without demonizing Republicans:
Just because Iranian hardliners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. (Applause.)
In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus. (Laughter and applause.)
The majority of the Iranian people have powerful incentives to urge their government to move in a different, less provocative direction — incentives that are strengthened by this deal. We should offer them that chance. We should give them that opportunity.
Ah yes, so Republicans and the Mullahs are in solidarity with each other. The GOP is no different than those who chant “Death to America”.
Now it’s true that not all Iranians want death for America. Many Iranians aspire for their country to be more like America. But Obama’s notion that the Iranian people have any influence on their government is simply daft. Obama acts like Iranians are free to choose their leaders. The only leaders they can choose are the ones picked by Ayatollah Khamenei and the Mullahs. If Iranians were free to choose their leaders I suspect that those leaders would not threaten to wipe Israel off the face of the earth and that we would not be in our present state of affairs.
I wouldn’t expect anything less of Obama. But I’m not expecting anything more from Congress. I don’t expect Congress to reject the Iran deal any more than I expect it to defund Planned Parenthood. What Obama wants Obama gets. Because if he doesn’t get his way then he’ll say that you have common cause with The Mullahs, are unduly influenced by donors with Jewish last names who supported the War in Iraq, that you wan’t war and want American soldiers to die. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough people in Congress, Republican and Democrat alike, who are prepared to tell Obama, “Nuts.”