The Netanyahu-AIPAC-GOP Congress cry this week continues to be “a bad deal is worse than no deal at all”. These well tuned words underline an important difference of opinion, and quite frankly display flawed logic. Let me explain.
“No deal” is the current state. There are economic sanctions which have strangled the Iranian economy. The West lead by the US and abetted by Israel threatens the very Iranian existence claim the more conservative Iranian elements. The Iran Government, however, finds ways to continue pursuing nuclear technology, enriching uranium, developing missiles, deploying its troops and supporting its allies Hezbollah and Hamas in regional conflicts. Not a pretty picture to me.
So what can happen with the current situation? Iran, of course, could have a change of heart (like Kadafi and Libya did) and voluntarily destroy their nuclear facilities. Not likely.
More certain would be a continuance of the current nuclear programs with the ultimate development and deployment of nuclear weapons. The price of Middle East poker would go up.
Both Israel and President Obama (speaking for US policy) have said they will not allow Iran to development or obtain nuclear weapons. Hmmm. That must mean military intervention at some future time.
So what happens with a “bad” deal?
Iran could “cheat” or at least not follow the implied meanings of the “deal”. Sooner or later, under this scenario, Iran would in secret develop nuclear capability and deploy it on weapons. Hmmm. That sounds a lot like doing nothing…
The kindest words that can be said about all the rhetoric in opposition to the “deal” announced last week is that opponents want to characterize Iran as untrustworthy and those who would trust a deal are politically naive. Opposing the deal is a “no lose” position.
If the deal works, the world is better off. If the deal fails, the world is no worse than it is today but these opponents gain enormous bragging rights about how shrewd they are (and by implication why they should be elected).
It must be acknowledged that the “deal” is not done and awaits detailed, yet to be negotiated language. It is fully possible that no deal may emerge. It is also fully possible that a detailed document does emerge and Iran either cheats or interprets the document differently. And should the GOP gain the White House in 2016, it is not out of the question that a new GOP Administration might renege on the “deal” and Iran would restart its program.
Another argument against the “deal” being put forth by Prime Minister Netanyahu is that other Middle East countries will begin their paths to the bomb if this deal goes through. And Netanyahu wants us to believe status quo will prevent this possibility?
One thing the “deal” does accomplish is to squarely expose the Israeli flawed position on its negotiations (or lack there of) with the Palestinian Authority. No negotiation eliminates the need to make a “deal” and making a “deal’ opens the possibility that the deal could fail.
But I wonder whether no deal is a bad deal?