The Washington Post reports that a “clear majority” of Americans support President Obama’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran:
By a nearly 2 to 1 margin, Americans support the notion of striking a deal with Iran that restricts the nation’s nuclear program in exchange for loosening sanctions, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds.
As always, we need to know what question was asked. Here it is:
Q: Thinking now about the situation with Iran – would you support or oppose an agreement in which the United States and other countries would lift major economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons?
So the question assumes that Iran would, in fact, “restrict its nuclear program” so that it would be “harder for it to produce nuclear weapons.” Heck, I might answer that question Yes, in the abstract. The WaPo poll also shows that most respondents doubt whether an agreement would, in fact, prevent Iran from going nuclear. Presumably, hardly any of those telephoned by the pollsters realized that the objective of the agreement, assuming that Iran abides by it–a laughable assumption–is to extend the time it will take Iran to build a bomb to one year. Even assuming that objective could be achieved, which most experts do not believe, it would be a small payoff for ending sanctions, which will entrench the mullahs’ regime and increase the resources they can devote to nuclear enrichment and ICBM development, which will not be addressed in the prospective deal.
For the Obama administration, this is all about politics (unless Obama really is the Manchurian President, and he wants to empower Islamic extremists). The Hill reminds us how disconnected from reality many observers are:
Obama entered the talks as part of an effort to shift the U.S. posture in the Middle East toward diplomatic engagement — and not military involvement.
Sure, it’s either this or invade a couple of countries. What could be simpler?
“Stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program would be a major accomplishment for this or any other administration,” said Robert Einhorn, a former non-proliferation adviser at the State Department under Obama.
But of course, “stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program” isn’t even contemplated by the agreement being hammered out in Switzerland.
“There is no getting around Iran’s rise,” said Hillary Mann Leverett, a former Iran adviser at the National Security Council under George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. A deal would allow the U.S. to “recover its strategic position in the Middle East, which is now in free fall.”
I agree that our influence is now in free fall, but why, exactly, would a bad deal with Iran, which allows it to continue enriching uranium and building ICBMs, permit us to “recover our strategic position”? This is known as a non sequitur.
There are two principal parties to the negotiations that are now reaching a climax. The Iranian mullahs are determined to build nuclear weapons and ICBMs that will carry those bombs to the United States, the “Great Satan.” The Obama administration is determined to sign a paper agreement that will boost Obama in the polls for a week or two. (This is the most charitable assumption.) For the radical clerics, a year, ten years, twenty years mean little: they can wait. Who do you think is going to come out on top in that negotiation?
If, ten years from now, fifteen or twenty Iranian ICBMs deliver nuclear bombs to Manhattan, and Chicago, and Los Angeles, and elsewhere in the “Great Satan,” no one will remember that by a two to one margin, Americans favored an agreement that would “restrict [Iran's] nuclear program.”