Supporters of the Iran deal speak out (on NPR)

NPR had a couple of fascinating interviews lately with the supporters of the Iran deal.

First, there was an interview with a rare bird indeed, "an Israeli who thinks the nuclear deal with Iran is good ... Efraim Halevy. Years ago he ran the Mossad, Israel's intelligence service, a job to which he was named by Benjamin Netanyahu. Now in retirement, he views Iran differently than his former boss."

Mr. Halevy's reason for optimism came toward the end of the interview, when he was asked whether Iran's strategy could be simply based on "waiting until it [the agreement] ends and ramping up nuclear production again."  The answer is remarkable: "In international relations, a decade is like eternity. What'll happen in 10 years from now, I have no idea.  Nobody has any idea.  And I think therefore, the question of what would happen after 10 years or after 15 years is a moot point."

Except that it isn't; ten years isn't an eternity at all.  In ten years between 1933 and 1943 Germany went from having no armed forces to speak of to conquering all of Western Europe and a goodly hunk of Eastern one, with tens of millions killed.  And to anyone who witnessed the attack of 9/11, it feels as though it happened yesterday – and the intervening years saw the rise in power of Hezb’allah and the sudden upsurge of the Islamic State, the appearance in Africa of Al Shabaab and Boko Haram, and collapse of governance in parts of North Africa and the Middle East.

None of which is a positive development, yet when it comes to Iran, optimism reigns supreme, and the thinkers of Mr. Halevi's ilk hope for positive change.  In fact, the hidden expectation for some kind of "regime change" is palpable: "there will be contacts which will grow between Iran and the world at large.  And there will be other interests which will be very important for Iran to protect if the Iranian economy is able to recover and to raise the standards of living of the people in Iran.  This is going to be a very important factor, an extremely important factor."  In other words, the regime will change its goals from spreading Shia Islam across the globe to being concerned about the well-being of its citizens.  Yeah, right.

And then there’s the interview with "Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA," who is a "Jewish Democrat, and the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee."  His is even more fascinating in its utter bizarreness: his support is based in the expectation of the strike against Iran if an attempt of weaponization is detected by the intelligence fifteen years from now – after Iran legitimately ramps up its nuclear enrichment and is a screwdriver’s turn away from a bomb, and has a fleet of ballistic missiles, so it can credibly threaten a nuclear strike in retaliation!

In other words, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA’s vote is based on the hope that in fifteen years, Americans will elect a president with spine enough and guts enough to risk a nuclear strike on the homeland to rectify the spinelessness and wobbliness of Obama and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA, who have no guts to take on an Iran that is still a few steps away from a nuclear bomb.  One can only imagine the pressure from the White House on Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA, and his fellow Ds to persuade him to make such a fool of himself by publicly airing such utter drivel.

Come on, guys – get real and start thinking straight.  Don’t hide from the upcoming horror of Iran’s atom bomb behind the fool’s hopes of Iran’s sudden regime change – or the equally foolish gamble on a change of heart of the current regime.  And don’t pin your hopes on the messianic second coming to presidency of some super-Reagan.  Either reject this deal, or – if that is a fool’s hope – at least be honest.  Ronald Reagan honestly put it once: "here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We winThey lose."

If you vote for this deal, at least be honest enough to admit, "Iran won.  We lost."

NPR had a couple of fascinating interviews lately with the supporters of the Iran deal.

First, there was an interview with a rare bird indeed, "an Israeli who thinks the nuclear deal with Iran is good ... Efraim Halevy. Years ago he ran the Mossad, Israel's intelligence service, a job to which he was named by Benjamin Netanyahu. Now in retirement, he views Iran differently than his former boss."

Mr. Halevy's reason for optimism came toward the end of the interview, when he was asked whether Iran's strategy could be simply based on "waiting until it [the agreement] ends and ramping up nuclear production again."  The answer is remarkable: "In international relations, a decade is like eternity. What'll happen in 10 years from now, I have no idea.  Nobody has any idea.  And I think therefore, the question of what would happen after 10 years or after 15 years is a moot point."

Except that it isn't; ten years isn't an eternity at all.  In ten years between 1933 and 1943 Germany went from having no armed forces to speak of to conquering all of Western Europe and a goodly hunk of Eastern one, with tens of millions killed.  And to anyone who witnessed the attack of 9/11, it feels as though it happened yesterday – and the intervening years saw the rise in power of Hezb’allah and the sudden upsurge of the Islamic State, the appearance in Africa of Al Shabaab and Boko Haram, and collapse of governance in parts of North Africa and the Middle East.

None of which is a positive development, yet when it comes to Iran, optimism reigns supreme, and the thinkers of Mr. Halevi's ilk hope for positive change.  In fact, the hidden expectation for some kind of "regime change" is palpable: "there will be contacts which will grow between Iran and the world at large.  And there will be other interests which will be very important for Iran to protect if the Iranian economy is able to recover and to raise the standards of living of the people in Iran.  This is going to be a very important factor, an extremely important factor."  In other words, the regime will change its goals from spreading Shia Islam across the globe to being concerned about the well-being of its citizens.  Yeah, right.

And then there’s the interview with "Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA," who is a "Jewish Democrat, and the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee."  His is even more fascinating in its utter bizarreness: his support is based in the expectation of the strike against Iran if an attempt of weaponization is detected by the intelligence fifteen years from now – after Iran legitimately ramps up its nuclear enrichment and is a screwdriver’s turn away from a bomb, and has a fleet of ballistic missiles, so it can credibly threaten a nuclear strike in retaliation!

In other words, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA’s vote is based on the hope that in fifteen years, Americans will elect a president with spine enough and guts enough to risk a nuclear strike on the homeland to rectify the spinelessness and wobbliness of Obama and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA, who have no guts to take on an Iran that is still a few steps away from a nuclear bomb.  One can only imagine the pressure from the White House on Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA, and his fellow Ds to persuade him to make such a fool of himself by publicly airing such utter drivel.

Come on, guys – get real and start thinking straight.  Don’t hide from the upcoming horror of Iran’s atom bomb behind the fool’s hopes of Iran’s sudden regime change – or the equally foolish gamble on a change of heart of the current regime.  And don’t pin your hopes on the messianic second coming to presidency of some super-Reagan.  Either reject this deal, or – if that is a fool’s hope – at least be honest.  Ronald Reagan honestly put it once: "here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We winThey lose."

If you vote for this deal, at least be honest enough to admit, "Iran won.  We lost."