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NYT: Obama and the Iran Doctrine

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  • Liberal Democrat
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    We have an active thread on the nuclear deal with Iran but I felt this particular topic needed its own thread. President Obama sat down for a very lengthy interview with Thomas Friedman of the New York Times that goes beyond just the Iranian deal, although much the discussion centers around that deal. Friedman probes quite deeply into Obama's thinking and rationale for that agreement and his overall worldview of the Middle East conflicts.

    For those that have the time (over 40 minutes) I would encourage you to watch it or read the transcript.

    Thomas Friedman, New York Times, April 5, 2015: Iran and the Obama Doctrine

    I know we have discussed many of these points already, but President Obama articulates the basis of this deal quite clearly. If anyone has any doubts about this deal, I suggest you listen to the interview. My only personal reservation about the interview is Obama's continuing strong commitment to Israel, but I understand politically why he has to toe that line.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Thanks for sharing, Schmidt. I'll post the full interview below.



    I thought it was an incredibly interesting interview and I hope that everyone, especially those who are railing against this deal, watches it. The President laid out a detailed defense of the deal and explained how it is the best deal for the United States, the major world powers, and even Israel. He also explained how the entire world will blame America if the deal falls through and how he is not willing to accept that.

    I'm so tired of people bashing the deal without taking the time to think critically about the possible ramifications of wedding ourselves to Israel and going to war. I think the President laid out a solid defense of this deal. Here's to hoping our members of Congress will stop spending so much time taking their orders from Netanyahu and take the time to watch this full interview. My guess is that they won't be able to find the time from their 'busy' schedules of weeks long vacations and three day work weeks to do so.
  • Liberal Democrat
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I think what is noteworthy about the whole Iran deal is how absolutely polarized public opinion is. Those falling obediently in line with the Likudist propaganda in Israel and the Christian evangelical and neoconservative propaganda in the USA emphatically stick to the talking point that any deal is a bad deal. Or they insist on putting impossible demands on a deal that effectively kill any opportunities for diplomacy.

    They refuse to even spend a few minutes studying the terms but rather put out points of concern that have been addressed extensively in the proposed agreement. In other words, don't confuse us with the facts while we're in the middle of trying to scuttle this deal. I challenge anyone that is feeling that this is a bad deal to listen to the interview with Thomas Freidman. And then suggest an alternative.

    I had a thought as I watched the interview and Obama's thoughtful answers. How would this have gone with John McCain or Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee or Jeb Bush being interviewed by Thomas Friedman on THEIR proposed policies for Iran? Sarah Palin has compared Obama's actions on this deal with the German pilot's mass murder and suicide in France. She is a sicko.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote: I had a thought as I watched the interview and Obama's thoughtful answers. How would this have gone with John McCain or Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee or Jeb Bush being interviewed by Thomas Friedman on THEIR proposed policies for Iran? Sarah Palin has compared Obama's actions on this deal with the German pilot's mass murder and suicide in France. She is a sicko.
    This paragraph really struck me. I have recently begun to think that American's don't want a smart President--they want one who comes up with good ten to fifteen second sound bites. Anything longer than that is just too complicated for them to think about. It was a really sad realization because we didn't used to be that way in this country. Critical thinking used to be encouraged, but it no longer seems to be a priority for many Americans.

    President Obama laid out a detailed and very thoughtful defense of this deal. The only thing Netanyahu and his pawns in the Republican Party have done is pan it without offering any cohesive argument explaining why they don't like it. Why, exactly, should America be against this deal? If they are so against it then they need to offer a specific plan explaining how they think they can come up with a better one. If they can't then they need to shut up and allow the adults in the room to conduct their business.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote: We have an active thread on the nuclear deal with Iran but I felt this particular topic needed its own thread. President Obama sat down for a very lengthy interview with Thomas Friedman of the New York Times that goes beyond just the Iranian deal, although much the discussion centers around that deal. Friedman probes quite deeply into Obama's thinking and rationale for that agreement and his overall worldview of the Middle East conflicts.

    For those that have the time (over 40 minutes) I would encourage you to watch it or read the transcript.

    Thomas Friedman, New York Times, April 5, 2015: Iran and the Obama Doctrine

    I know we have discussed many of these points already, but President Obama articulates the basis of this deal quite clearly. If anyone has any doubts about this deal, I suggest you listen to the interview. My only personal reservation about the interview is Obama's continuing strong commitment to Israel, but I understand politically why he has to toe that line.
    No, I don't agree with that last line; read the thread Connie put forward. There should be a much tougher stance against Israel. The GOP/Israel now demand that Iran recognizes Israel etc. and be part of the deal. If that is put forward, then my feeling is that there will be no deal.
  • Liberal Democrat
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Dutch -- I agree that America needs to have a much tougher stance against Israel. But right now Republicans (and a few Democrats) are threatening to scuttle the UN Security council (5 plus 1) deal with Iran because they are totally in bed with Netanyahu. Most Americans support Israel, and if Obama was to announce tougher actions against Israel, it would be a gift to the Republican propagandists.

    Despite everything that Obama has done to support Israel, it is never enough. Republicans want him to crawl with them to kiss Netanyahu's feet, and Obama won't do that. Republicans are always trying to put impossible demands on Obama, and asking Iran to recognize Israel as a part of the deal is a non-starter. They know that, but it makes for good political theater in the USA...Florida to be exact. Maybe Iran, as a apart of the deal, should ask the USA to apologize for overthrowing their democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadegh in 1953 and for their support for the Shah of Iran and his 22 year rein of terror by his brutal SAVAK secret police force that was set up with the help of the CIA and Israeli Mossad agents, who helped train the SAVAK agents in the arts of interrogation, surveillance and torture. Yeah that Mossad.

    Oh and better yet as a condition of the deal, Iran should ask that Israel give up its vast arsenal of nuclear bombs for a nuclear free Middle East.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote: Dutch -- I agree that America needs to have a much tougher stance against Israel. But right now Republicans (and a few Democrats) are threatening to scuttle the UN Security council (5 plus 1) deal with Iran because they are totally in bed with Netanyahu. Most Americans support Israel, and if Obama was to announce tougher actions against Israel, it would be a gift to the Republican propagandists.

    Despite everything that Obama has done to support Israel, it is never enough. Republicans want him to crawl with them to kiss Netanyahu's feet, and Obama won't do that. Republicans are always trying to put impossible demands on Obama, and asking Iran to recognize Israel as a part of the deal is a non-starter. They know that, but it makes for good political theater in the USA...Florida to be exact. Maybe Iran, as a apart of the deal, should ask the USA to apologize for overthrowing their democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadegh in 1953 and for their support for the Shah of Iran and his 22 year rein of terror by his brutal SAVAK secret police force that was set up with the help of the CIA and Israeli Mossad agents, who helped train the SAVAK agents in the arts of interrogation, surveillance and torture. Yeah that Mossad.

    Oh and better yet as a condition of the deal, Iran should ask that Israel give up its vast arsenal of nuclear bombs for a nuclear free Middle East.
    Schmidt yes you got it right; guess who were the stupid one's which gave Israel nuke's? By doing this Israel becomes an arrogant nation; they can do whatever they like; no one can touch us attitude; just flatten the whole of Gaza, no one blinks an eye and is of course supported by the religious zealots in this country. Our political leaders probably never heard of a " balanced" approach between all parties. It is like feeding one alligator; then the other gets upset and attacks you.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    If I look at the total mess in the middle east, then this deal means nothing. Since the fanatic elements of certain groups of Muslims are getting more power, then once the smoke clears, they will concentrate on Israel, which is the huge eye sore for them in the middle east. May be a stupid point of mine is that actually we should give Iran some nukes, instead of have them produce it. So if anyone attacks the other then the problem is solved; both countries gone.
    Maybe we can sent the whole of Israel to Mars; they will love that because they are then closer to Moses who lives there now.
  • Liberal Democrat
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    The June 30th deadline for completing the Iranian nuclear negotiations has passed, but the negotiators have extended the deadline one week to July 7th

    McClatchy, June 30, 2015: Iran nuclear negotiators extend talks 1 week as deadline passes

    There is so much distrust on both sides. The United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI) is running TV ads every day against the deal. It's nothing more than fear mongering. Like all these agreements under negotiation...what is the alternative? Endless sanctions against Iran? We will see how well that is working out when the Russians and Chinese are all too willing to undermine those sanctions if and when the talks fail. Just look at how well sanctions against Cuba have worked for the last 54 years. So more sanctions? Not really.

    What Israel hardliners and militarists in the USA want more than anything else is for the USA to bomb Iran. Or as John McCain so aptly put it, "bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran". That is the end game that Netanyahu and the neocons and war profiteers in the USA are pushing for.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote:There is so much distrust on both sides. The United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI) is running TV ads every day against the deal. It's nothing more than fear mongering. Like all these agreements under negotiation...what is the alternative? Endless sanctions against Iran? We will see how well that is working out when the Russians and Chinese are all too willing to undermine those sanctions if and when the talks fail. Just look at how well sanctions against Cuba have worked for the last 54 years. So more sanctions? Not really.

    This is what we get when shadowy "not for profits" are able to blanket our airwaves with propaganda. UANI might was well be called "Sheldon Adelson Against a Nuclear Iran" because he almost single handily funds this "not for profit" group.

    I also am searching for the alternative that those who oppose this deal have to offer. What they don't want to admit is that war is the only likely alternative. That may be what Israel wants, but I sure as hell don't think we need to wage yet another war in the Middle-East to make them happy.

  • Liberal Democrat
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Jared -- Yes it's relatively easy to undermine a deal. It's extremely hard to put one together in the first place. Here's an extract from the McClathy article above:

    "As an example of the complexity of the negotiation, the official cited one item that had previously been agreed to, the modification of a nuclear reactor at Arak, Iran, so that it cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium.

    "“There are myriad details involved in that, everything from how is that project going to be managed, who’s going to do it, who’s going to certify the design, how will it be monitored, what happens to the heavy water, what happens to the spent fuel, and about a hundred other details that underlie that decision – many details,” the official said. “All of those have to be agreed to. We have to understand what we have agreed to here.”

    "Other sections of the deal are even more difficult, he asserted, made additionally complicated because first the United States and its five negotiating partners must agree before an item is talked about with Iranian negotiators."

    There is nothing easy about these negotiations. Every single point has to be argued. Every single point is difficult. Those that sit at home and second guess what is going on have no idea of how complex and delicate the negotiations are...or how many compromises have to be made. But what drives the negotiators on both sides is the realization that no deal is a bad deal. They work on burning the midnight oil, but catching nothing but flack from the tiny minds of the naysayers who don't seem to give a crap or have any concept or visualization of how events might play out in the future. Adelson can go to hell and take his dirty money with him.

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    I wonder - are the only Nukes in the neighborhood: Israel, Pakistan, and India ? Obviously China and N. Korea have them but I wonder if that's all.

    Edit/add

    Wikipedia's answer to my question of who has Nukes.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_wi...

  • Independent
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    simple question. what would happen if Iran developed a weapon?
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Nothing happens if a country develops one. The only real danger is if they use one or lose control and a bomb goes rogue and ends up in the wrong hands and those persons use it.

    The fall out of a bomb sent from Iran to Palestine (Errrrrr - Israel) is the horrible effects it would have down wind. It could or would spread into all surrounding countries. It would contaminate the Med causing major loses in food supplies. Egypt would take a hard hit being so close. Southern Italy, Greece, France, Spain, and Northern Africa would get nasty contamination and fall out. Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Syria would probably get much nasty fall out. The countries to the east of Italy would get hit hard. A very bad day indeed.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Portland, OR
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    The truth of the matter is that only one country has ever used a nuclear weapon against another country.

    It just all seems a bit hypocritical for America to pick and choose who can or can't have nuclear energy/weapons. Pakistan? Sure, why not? North Korea? Sure, why not? Iran? HELL NO!

    Pakistan is responsible for the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of our soldiers fighting in Afghanistan, but we're not bombing them. North Korea threatens us with annihilation on a daily basis, but we're not bombing them. Iran hasn't done a damn thing to us other than have some students take over the American Embassy in 1979. It's been 36 years. It's time for us to get over it.

    If, and this is a big if, Iran does decide to build a nuclear weapon then what does anyone honestly think will happen? They aren't stupid and they know that they would risk total annihilation if they were dumb enough to use it. So if they ever decided to build the bomb it would be for leverage and not because they were actually intent on using one.

    It's time for us to pull up our big boy pants and accept that Iran already has a nuclear program. No amount of bombs and missiles will take that away because they will just build it back up again after the bombings stop. And if we were stupid enough to bomb them then we sure as hell better be ready for a regional, and possibly world, war that would kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. Would all those deaths be worth it just to set their nuclear program back a few years and guarantee that they actually will develop a bomb?

    So the real question is whether or not America will fall into the trap that Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to set up for us. We should not be used as his pawns who will bomb any country he tells us to. We should use our unique position of being a superpower to solve things peacefully for once.