Friday, August 14, 2015
It was not part of some grand scheme on my part to have my month-long look at radioactive comics and such coincide with the current debate in Congress over the proposed pact with Iran about their nuclear program. But it's a coincidence which does afford me an opportunity to opine a bit about how the that's developing.
As I write this there's no guarantee that the deal between Iran and the P5 + 1 (United States, China, Russia, United Kingdom, France plus Germany) to limit Iran's immediate access to a nuclear weapon will pass the United States Congress. In fact most speculate it will fail and then be passed when the President vetoes that result and the Congress is unable to overcome that veto. But things could change.
I don't pretend to know what the end result of such a deal is. If you'd like to see what the proposal is check out this link to the White House which outlines the deal. The unfortunate thing I see in the current discussion is the same lack of recognition of reality which informs too much of modern debate. All too often ideologues encourage the unrealized perfect to become the enemy of the good. A good deal which accomplishes many of the goals outlined in the original effort is better than no deal which falls completely short too of accomplishing those ideals.
War is always a final resort, but never should it be an initial resort. Keeping the sanctions on is not workable and tying the limitation of nuclear technology to other political outcomes is detrimental to the core interest of the United States and its partners. Stopping the nukes is job one, and slowing that down is the first step. If later it becomes necessary to press the issue with military might, we always have the leverage, though anyone who imagines it will be the cakewalk that Iraq was is dreaming.
Some want to drop bombs, but few experts think that will work. The world might need in the future to invade Iraq, but let's not be eager to do so. (I'm always bemused that those who seem eager to fight are rarely those who have done so.)
The hope (perhaps slim but a hope nonetheless) is that in the time this deal buys the world, Iraq will open up the world, driven by its younger-than-average population with a desire for more than the severe ethos of Islamic extremism. Hearts and minds once upon a time was something we hoped to win, but all too often these days we seem to be happy with drone strikes.