by P. David Gardner
To watch the conservative talking heads and Republican politicians, especially the 2016 Presidential candidates, speak of President Obama's 3-year-in-the-making and groundbreaking deal that he and Secretary of State John Kerry brokered with Iran, along with the cooperation of diplomats from the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany ... well, it's quite the show.
And it really shouldn't be.
The deal, now being battered about in the media by angry conservatives, is quite the rational and correct one, yet each opponent predicts doom and gloom. No one should trust Iran to keep their end of the bargain, they say. Obama should have sent them in instead to broker a "better" deal, though the specifics of just what a "better deal" would actually be has yet to be defined. Congressional conservatives are currently seeking to gain a 2/3rds majority to overturn the deal, and all are licking their lips in anticipation of the fight.
In Obama's interview on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show on Tuesday, Obama outlined some of the reasons the deal should go through. He was quite rational as usual, and amply demonstrated his command of the English language in arguing his points.
Reactions in the media, on the other hand, range from the simplistic to the outright outrageous.
House Speaker John Boehner vows that he will do "everything possible" to stop the deal from going through, citing his belief that the deal is a horrible one for citizens of the United States.
"While the president's Iran deal may have been applauded at the United Nations," Boehner said, "I think he faces serious skepticism here at home, Let me just assure you that members of Congress will ask much tougher questions this afternoon when we meet with the president's team, because a bad deal threatens the security of the American people."
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker told Kerry,"From my perspective, Mr. Secretary, I'm sorry ... I believe you've been fleeced."
He went on to further state that he believes that the agreement allows Iran to eventually develop a nuclear bomb.
Republican Presidential candidate Scott Walker promises that he may have to bomb Iran on the first, or maybe second, day of his presidency.
There is outrage in Israel as well. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will only settle for "total capitulation." He complained that under the current deal, Iran will have a working nuclear weapon in 10 or 15 years, yet earlier he told his own people that Iran was months, perhaps weeks, away from having the bomb. You think he'd be just a little pleased at pushing the deadline forward so dramatically, but apparently not.
So is this the best deal we can get?
Obviously, many people do not like the deal and will seek to scuttle it at their earliest opportunity, but it's just a bit unclear as to why it seems a bad deal to them, other than the fact that it's Obama who brokered it. Others believe that the deal is a good one, because of the intensive monitoring program that Iran has agreed to for the next 10 years to ensure that they cannot develop or otherwise obtain nuclear weapons.
On The Daily Show, Obama cited the historic deal brokered between the United States and the U.S.S.R. during the cold war. Had conservative politicians of the time stood firm and blustered about as we see today in our conservative press and political figures, the world may well have been destroyed in the 1950s. Instead, cooler heads prevailed and a peace deal was brokered that kept the world from the brink of destruction in balls of poisonous fire.
This deal, Obama said, is much the same.
Diplomacy is the key, not the unyielding drawing of lines in the sand. If we make that kind of standoff a reality, nuclear war in the Mideast will quite likely erupt, and sooner rather than later.
Time will tell whether opponents of the deal will win and prevent it from going through. One can only hope that this time, cooler heads will prevail once again.
How can you help? you may wonder. Let your Congressmen know how you feel, and do it now. The problem in Washington today is of our own making, whether we like to admit it or not. We, the common citizens, are so busy with the intricacies and difficulties of our daily lives that to think of acting on a national level seems quite impossible.
And because we are silent, the looneys dominate the press and, more importantly, the ears of the government. The radical conservatives don't mind telling Congress how they feel, and so the politicians in Washington, operating in a near public vaccuum, begin to believe that the majority is speaking to them, telling them to start wars and bomb the hell out of Iran. No one else is speaking up to say otherwise, or at least not enough to counter the sheer lunacy that dominates American politics these days.
So, speak up!
P. David Gardner is a long time writer and reporter, as well as a graphic designer and photographer. And he creates terrific web sites too. For more details, see pauldavidgarder.com.