A very wise and kind friend of mine recently challenged me to write a blog post that was no more than 400 words—less than a tenth of my usual length. So I am tackling that challenge this week, and look, I’ve already wasted 51 words just telling you about it.
For those who’d like the usual Russian novel-style treatment of this week’s topic, the long form version of this essay can be found here.
There’s no need for me to rehash the particulars of the Very Stable Genius’s moronic decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as they have been thoroughly covered, and by more expert analysts than me.
I have already written at length on the foolishness of thinking we can bully aspiring nuclear powers into abandoning their quest for the Bomb. That the JCPOA was our best bet for constraining Iran’s ambitions was the consensus not just of diplomats and policy wonks, but hardnosed military and intelligence professionals like John Brennan and General (Ret.) Barry McCaffrey. Even those—like McCaffrey—who are critical of the specifics of the deal itself believe that for the US to withdraw now would be a colossal strategic mistake.
We can have a substantive debate over the merits of the JCPOA. We can talk about how pulling out of it will actually hasten, not hinder, Iran’s capability to acquire nuclear weapons. We can point out how it drives a wedge between us and our allies, destroys American credibility, diminishes American influence, and heightens the risk of war.
But the decision to pull out of the deal was not driven by a substantive debate.
It was driven by the juvenile impulses of a willfully ignorant fourth-rate game show host…..a pathological liar with a temperament that could not be more ill-suited to the presidency if it had been deliberately designed that way…..a vindictive, petty manchild who is by all accounts consumed with rage 24/7.
It was driven by an irrational, all-consuming hatred and envy of Barack Obama, a damn-the-torpedoes desire to undo everything he did simply because he did it, and ordered by a man who surely hasn’t read the agreement and doesn’t begin to understand even its broad strokes let alone its minute details.
That we as a people saw fit to make this man our leader (to the extent that we did so) will never cease to amaze me. When I see headlines like “Trump Weighs Whether to Pull US Out of Iran Accord,” I sometime have a hallucinatory moment in which I have to slap myself and reckon with the fact that that is not something out of a “Twilight Zone” reboot, but actual reality.
Gee, who could have foreseen that putting a demented, boastfully uninformed, narcissistic cretin in charge of US nuclear policy would take us down this deadly road?
OK, that’s exactly 399 words, not counting the intro and the outro. Again, the long form version is here if you want it.
4 thoughts on “Kakistocracy and the Iran Deal (short)”
Thank you for your comment, and I apologize for the delay in responding; it was only just now brought to my attention. I appreciate you reading my post and replying. (You may also be interested in the much longer version of that post, which goes into my argument in much more detail: https://thekingsnecktie.com/2018/05/11/kakistocracy-and-the-iran-deal/)
You don’t really mount a defense of the withdrawal from the JCPOA—only claims about the unfreezing of Iranian assets. So my main question to you is: What do you propose in lieu of the current Iran deal that you think would better prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons?
As to those assets, I’ll cite three sources here that rebut your argument, all of which—Snopes, Factcheck.org, part of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at Penn, and the Pulitizer Prize winning Politifact—ought to pass any reasonable standard of non-partisan objectivity.
More broadly, it’s very ironic that you sneer at opponents of Trump for being resistant to “facts.” You are obviously an intelligent person; can you possibly deny that this president and his enablers regularly traffic in the most egregious denials of objective truth, from climate change to Trump’s own personal benefit from the tax cut to Mexico paying for the wall to the size of the inaugural crowd to their repeated insistence that there were no contacts with Russians even as more and more evidence emerges of exactly that, to name just a few? If not, I am very curious to hear why.
Lastly, I’m curious about this remark in your bio: “I support President Trump for one reason: he’s making us think for ourselves.” In what way do you think that is so? I suppose one might argue that he is doing so by spouting the most insane, counterfactual nonsense on a daily basis, forcing rational humans to deploy actual reality-based logic by way of response. But—at the risk of putting words in your mouth—I suspect you’re going to say something about the “liberal media.”
I welcome your response to all these issues, if you are game. While you and I are obviously on different sides of the political divide, I am all for healthy, vigorous, civilized debate with fellow Americans, which is in sort supply in our current hyper-partisan times. After all, I presume we both share the same broader goal—that which is best for American democracy and humankind at large—even if we differ on what constitutes that state of affairs, or how to achieve it. Thanks again.
Hi King, no worries about the delay in replying – we all have lives. I myself and on a business trip this week in California. As I drink my cheap white wine out of plastic cup in a 3-star hotel that costs my company $224/night, I’ll try to reply back to all the questions. 🙂
Here’s what I believe and what I know (which are interchangeable):
– DEFENDING THE MOVE: JCPOA was another one of Obama’s deals he made bypassing congress. He dropped charges against major arms targets, despite the optics. He even softened the optics by referring to these men he freed as “citizens/businessmen who violated trade embargo”. One thing I’ll say about Obama, he sure knows how to put a spin on things. Don’t take my word – take Politico’s. https://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/24/obama-iran-nuclear-deal-prisoner-release-236966
– PROPOSAL: That’s a great question, but I’m an arm chair quarterback at most. I have every faith MadDog and Trump will find a way to hold Iran accountable. But I gotta say – if you think Iran doesn’t already have nuclear weapons, I’d really be surprised. Remember, Iran is in bed with the Soviets, there are claims that Soviet warheads have gone missing and others claiming both the warheads and delivery systems were stolen from Kazakhstan.
-SNOPES et al: The wroding of claims and the reality can easily be deunked. Case in point: The claim: The sky is blue. I would debunk the claim because the sky merely reflecting the tiny mollecules of air in our atmosphere. The color blue is simply a product of the way these molleculules travel. To the eye, it’s blue, but not based on a fact that the sky itself is blue. It just looks like it.
– FACTS: one of the things that actually does bother me is the exaggeration. Trump is guilty of that, just like the rest of humanity. Are they lies? I think there is a crumble of truth in everything a person says or believes is true. For example: at work today, a business executive told me that we are over budget $200M and one of my projects will not move forward in this fiscal year. What he really meant to say is that the board reduced our budget by $200M and my project was axed. When Trump says his blunt statements, there is only a fraction of what he meant reported. Climate change is real – he doesn’t deny that – he never has – what he denies is that it is solely a man-made concern and that if the US forked over trillions of dollars to these companies and foundations who want to explore it further and implement new programs to reduce the earth’s climate by .5 degrees over a 75 year period of time, that doesn’t make sense. BTW, I agree – any industry that has funded research and scientists whose livelihood rely on proving the earth’s climate is catastrophic have two choices: only report the facts that support the claim, or find a new source of income. There are more than 200 scientists who don’t believe the doomsday claim either. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_who_disagree_with_the_scientific_consensus_on_global_warming <— not a lot of climatologists in this list, but I posit that is likely because climatologists are employed directly in organizations whose revenues depend on the man-made climate industry. Note: Earth’s climate has ebbed and flowed for billions of years, right? We have 100 years of data showing it has change <1 degree. Call me a skeptic here, but I suspect my kids will see a climate change (little ice age maybe) when they’re old. But I’m not a scientist.
-ON EXAGGERATIONS: You packed a lot into that paragraph: Trump’s benefit from the tax cut? Yes, he and all the other billionaire’s should have higher profits – why blame the 1% when they pay and will always pay almost half of all taxes? After all, these 1% are the reason about 90% of us have jobs. Mexico paying for the wall? Is this like saying “you can keep your doctor?” Stupid to say something like that, but I’d venture to say that Mexico will pay for this one way or another. Maybe it won’t be directly, possibly it’ll be indirectly, say when illegals aren’t sending as much of their income back to the Mexican economy. Who knows. Size of the Inaugural Crowd: I take it you didn’t believe that the crowd (both physically present and watching televised and via live streaming) was the largest crowd? Because search as I might, I can’t find anything to show how many views of live feeds, how many tuned in on TV, added to the estimated number physically present. In today’s digital age, do you really doubt this? I don’t. Social media is huge and it’s the way Trump connects with his base. I’d be shocked if the Left who hate him didn’t tune in just to mock his speech. Contrast: I didn’t bother to watch either of Obama’s inaugurations because I just didn’t want to hear another suave speech by a junior senator.
-My Bio: Absolutely he’s making everyone think. Some of course don’t think for themselves, and that’s both a Left and Right issue. I refuse to post anything that is not based in fact – even if that fact is skewed to the Right. It bugs the crap out of me when I see my followers post things that are just opinion pieces that don’t cite sources. Argh. That and Occupy Democrats – not helpful at all. No, I don’t think he’s making everyone think because of what he actually says – it’s what the Left focuses on. Yes, the Liberal Media to an extent – my tag line is “Where happened to the Moderates” – well, I think the moderates are getting tired of the constant half-truths and political spin in their ‘news’. Like MSM, most people are too far Left and too far Right and it’s the moderates I’m trying to engage. Those who can see through the bullshit and aren’t afraid to call it out.
-POLITENESS: I’m not your typical Trump supporter. I don’t agree with everything he does or says, but I believe in America and have no doubt that he is working tirelessly to make America a nation where the vast majority of Americans live feel like they belong again. You should know I grew up in Cali, just outside of San Francisco. Third generation actually. I moved because I no longer felt a connection to the city and state I called home for 49 years. I guess you could say I identified as a fly-over state girl.
You are 💯 that we share the same goals. We may not agree on how to get there, but there is NEVER any good reason to belittle another, or tell them they are wrong. Your beliefs are yours, based on your values, and who you know yourself to be – as are mine. The minute we can no longer discuss important matters and see the other’s side, we’ve lost. And that would be a damn shame.
It was nice replying to you – and I do hope you feel free to rebut my stance. That’s how conversation happens 🙂
If I wanted an echo chamber, I’d be having this conversation on Facebook.
Thanks for replying. Be well new friend,
The JCPOA was full of capitulations. Iran is like a spoiled child who didn’t get a particpation trophy. They want the recognition and they want the Middle East (hell, they want the world) to fear them. Just like North Korea. Giving in to a nation that has created massive unrest in the region, using money we gave them, was foolish – and while it was done for the right reasons, it was not done the right way. All negotiations will have aspects that each party doesn’t like – but in this deal, there wasn’t much to like for the western civilization.