Nuclear deal with Iran

Announced today – discuss it here.

I’m pleased that it happened, based on the details that have been released so far. From what I understand military sites can be inspected but not with no warning – this is certainly far from ideal, but far better in my mind than no deal (which would obviously have no inspections).

I don’t know if this is the absolute 100% best deal we could have gotten. I do believe that getting a deal gives us the best chance of preventing Iran from nuclear weapons – better than continuing sanctions or military strikes (because I believe that any country that really, really wants nukes is going to get them, regardless of sanctions or military strikes).

So I’m cautiously pleased, while awaiting the full details of the deal.

We should all keep one question in mind when the agreement comes under criticism: how did that critic view the 2003 invasion of Iraq? If they enthusiastically supported it, they probably are terrible at foreign policy. If they strenuously opposed the invasion and think this is a bad deal, that’s something to consider. But I haven’t heard a lot of criticism from such people, at least so far.

Well, we won’t get them from Rouhani. I’m watching him give his speach in Iran (interpreted on BBC) and the man is rambling like crazy person.

I know Bebe is having fits over this deal. But nothing short of turning Iran into a parking lot would make him happy.

I agree that a mediocre deal is better than no deal at all. It will hopefully lead to improved relations between Iran and the west.

And I think we can further separate them into three groups in descending order of whether their analysis should be considered (at least in terms of their views on Iraq): folks who opposed the 2003 invasion at the time (Obama, for example); folks who supported it at the time but later realized their mistake and have expressed regret (Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, for example); and folks like Bill Kristol, Lindsay Graham, John McCain, and others who supported it at the time but still think it was a good idea.

Here is a good analysis of a lot of the criticism, I think. In short, it’s very hard for some to come to terms with the idea that the US “cannot bludgeon Iran into submission” – that any military action or even increased sanctions is likely to increase Iran’s resolve to acquire a nuclear weapon rather than the opposite.

If this leads to a lifting of sanctions and conseequently to an economic recovery in Iran, chances are that it will strengthen the position of the pro-western part of society. I consider that to be a good thing.

Whether or not the terms are sufficient to ensure that Iran does not secretly develop nuclear weapons after all is something for an expert to answer. As far as I am concerned, if it is good for the IAEA, it is good for me.

NB: I do not think the “bludgeon Iran into submission” scenario was ever seriously on the table.

If you’re talking about military strikes, then I agree, though some critics have advocated for them. I think more broadly, though, is the idea that the US can’t metaphorically “bludgeon” them into submission – through bluster, ‘tough talk’, threats, and sanctions – that bothers some critics.

Well, some critics believe that the US is omnipotent and has the abiity and god given right to impose its will on any nation on the globe.

Good idea - always poison the well proactively.


The interest now shifts to Saudi Arabia-will they make an attempt to get nuclear bombs?

Seems reasonable to me to use past analysis failures as part of one’s determination of whose analysis is worth paying attention to.

If the shoe fits…

This is pretty much a textbook definition of ad hominem. If the analysis is poor it should be shown to be poor on its own - not based on who put it forward.

I supported the Iraq war in 2003. That was a mistake. I based my support on misinformation that was pushed by the administration. What misinformation do you think is being pushed now, the day the announcement was made? I don’t know if the deal with Iran is good or not. It seems too soon to tell.

Since there will be thousands offering analysis, I think it’s reasonable to winnow the chaff, so to speak, unless one actually wants to read literally all of it. So I have to have some method of picking and choosing with analysis and criticism is worth reading – and using their record on the Iraq war seems like a reasonable place to start.

It also seems like a good way to filter out most of the people who are inclined to disagree with you and have a merry chat with the rest.

Alternatively, we can judge the quality of their argument they make, and how well it’s backed up by facts. Anyway, that’s what I plan to do.

Absolutely. That would be a terrible way to go about picking whose analysis you read, unless you want to build an echo chamber. It would, however, exclude John Kerry!

Oh, so you don’t believe in credibility? I’m going to make a note of this for future debates.

By your measure, perhaps we should ask Curveball if he has any inside scoop on Iran’s nuclear programs.

No, the interest doesn’t shift to Saudi Arabia. Because there’s a deal coming together to STOP Iran from getting the bomb, most likely. If the negotiations had failed, or if the deal fails in the future, then people will start asking about Saudi Arabia.

I’m not sure – most people, even those who supported the Iraq war in '03, now recognize that it was a mistake. I don’t think I’ll see a problem with listening to these folks and seeing what they have to say, and I’m sure plenty of them will disagree with me (and each other). I probably won’t pay much attention to Bill Kristol, or Lindsay Graham, who in my view have, by continuing to insist that Iraq was a good idea, shown themselves incapable of reasonable judgment with regards to war and intervention in the Middle East.

Doesn’t that depend on Saudi Arabia’s view of how good the deal is? Just because we think it’s good doesn’t mean they will.

As long as you’re judging the quality of arguments, perhaps you’ll pay careful attention to the words I used.

I did not say that those who supported the 2003 war should be ignored, not listened to, or tarred and feathers. I said those who “enthusiastically” supported the war “are probably terrible at foreign policy.” This is more or less the same as regarding Dr Andrew Wakefield as “probably terrible at medicine.” How carefully do you assess Dr Wakefield’s research claims?