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?