Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Should the Iran nuclear framework deal be called O-Bomb-A-Care?

A pattern has emerged in the nuclear talks with Iran and it's the same pattern we've seen with Obama on every issue, every policy,and every negotiation of his presidency - Obama willing to make unnecessary concessions so he can say he made a deal.

He's been doing it with Iran just as he did with the health insurance companies during the debate on health care when he agreed to drop, not a bomb, but the public option in a major concession to the health insurance industry whose actions and behavior, like Iran's, was the heart of the problem. In making those concessions to the health insurance lobby Obama all but ruined health care reform which has been a well documented failure at everything health care reform was supposed to do despite White House fabrications to the contrary. Which is why more than once Howard Dean, former chair of the DNC called Obamacare "junk". 

Similarly the framework agreement Obama is touting with Iran is also junk, not much more than nuclear O-Bomb-A-Care which is why the Iranians, like the health insurance industry executives before them, were celebrating right after  the announcement. 

The comparisons to health care reform are not far fetched.  As with Iran and the sanctions that are crippling Iran's economy, Obama held all the cards with healthcare reform. Obama had  the biggest congressional majority  of any party in 60 years and could have passed anything he wanted. There was overwhelming support for the promised public option both in the congress and in the  country.  And it was the best policy for everyone. Except  for the private health insurance lobby who leaned heavily on Obama and pressured him to cave in and drop the public option.Which, after months of promoting the public option, he did.

The problem with the Iran framework as announced is that it reeks of the same kinds of unnecessary concessions Obama made on health care reform, Wall Street reform and every other policy he tries to call a success (Yemen anyone?)  that was junk to begin with and doesn't come close to solving the problem its supposed to solve . 

One big difference in the negotiations is that Iran is taking the long view of any deal with regard to its nuclear capability while its well documented that Obama's vision for the future never goes beyond what he wants or needs at the moment and what he can claim now with no regard for the future or it's consequences. 

This is how, during the 2008 Democratic primaries, he repeatedly pledged to use only public money if he was the nominee as part of his promise to reform Washington and keep big money out of politics, then as soon as he was nominated, dumped the pledge and raised $450 million against John McCain's $88 million who did promise to use only public money and stuck to his promise. 

It's also how Obama repeatedly  promised the public option then dumped it, drew a red line over the use of chemical weapons in Syria and dumped it, said he supported a single Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel and dumped that position too as soon as the Palestinians took offense.  And a lot more. So Obama's history has shown over and over again that what he says means nothing and nothing he says can be trusted.And  even Democrats are coming around to that realization on the Iran framework with Democratic senator Chuck Schumer  joining other Democrats along with Republicans by saying any deal with Iran has to be approved by congress.

These are the main points of the framework and why a closer inspection reveals it's not what Obama says it is but more O-Bomb -A- Care than a solution to the problem that Iran poses.  

1. The US had insisted on unfettered inspections any time any place anywhere to insure that Iran, who has been caught lying and cheating before, this time can't.  In the past Iran has said no. And there is no indication that is going to change.  They will accept inspections but not as unfettered as that. For example in the past they reneged on an agreement for inspections by denying access to a military facility the IAEA suspected of nuclear research . Iran said military sites were off limits and not part of the deal, only nuclear sites. So Iran could covertly do the research to develop a bomb at a military facility and claim it's off limits making the inspections worthless.

2. The U.S. wanted to ship Iran's stockpile of already enriched uranium out of the country , to Russia. Iran said no. Obama's compromise? " Iran's current stockpile of enriched uranium will be neutralized".  What does "neutralized"  mean?  Obama doesn't say. Because Obama doesn't know.  In fact Obama has no idea. If he did he would have said so. It's to be "negotiated". But all you have to know for now is Iran is happy. 

3. The heavy water reactor. Iran gets to keep its heavy water reactor. Why? You only need a heavy water reactor to enrich uranium or plutonium to weapons grade. Nothing else. So why do they get to keep it? Forget the claim that its to be  used for other purposes. The Israelis and the Saudis wanted it dismantled.  Instead Obama is telling Iran, if you like your heavy water reactor you can keep your heavy water reactor.

4. Last but not least, the sanctions. The sanctions are why Iran is negotiating in the first place. The sanctions have crippled their economy. Iran wants the sanctions lifted now and claims their nuclear program is peaceful. Yet it's Obama and Kerry who are always walking on egg shells, afraid it's Iran who will walk away from the negotiations  if they get their feathers ruffled. Which tells Iran Obama wants the deal more than they do which hardens their position. 

Iran initially celebrated  the framework because they claimed the deal called for all the sanctions to be lifted immediately as soon as the deal is signed. Kerry now says that's not true , that the framework calls for sanctions to be lifted gradually as Iran proves its living up to their agreements. Iran has already said before that would be unacceptable. Based on this little misunderstanding that seemed to whiz by Obama as he was touting how good the deal is, there really is no deal. And no framework.  Unless Obama caves in on sanctions.  And congress, knowing Obama's history is already making clear they will prevent Obama from doing that. 

When senator Tom Harkin, a staunch supporter of the public option was asked after the health care vote what he thought of Obamacare without the public option  he said,  "Well,  it's better than nothing".

That won't fly with O-Bomb-A-Care. An Iran nuclear deal that is "better than nothing" is not better than nothing. 

So when you see the leaders of Iran including their Supreme Leader at first praising the framework much like health insurance industry executives celebrated after Obama dropped the public option that saw health insurance stocks skyrocket,  you can bet that Iran thinks it's going to get a deal that is nuclear  O-Bomb-A-Care, a deal that gives those at the heart of the problem everything  they want while giving very little  in return, that does nothing to solve the real problems and still leaves those most vulnerable unprotected. And likely to blow up in everyone's face.

ADDENDUM: 4/9/2015.

It didn't take long. A little more than 24 hours after this was initially written Iran announced in a public statement that unless all the sanctions are lifted all at once , immediately upon signing the framework deal, there is no deal. In their words they are insisting on an immediate "full and complete" lifting of all sanctions as soon as the deal is signed.

The Ayatollah statement read: " The White House put out a statement just a few hours after our negotiators finished their talks. This statement which they called a fact sheet was wrong on most of the issues".

Which makes Obama's initial statement look like buffoonery, Netanyahu's harsh criticism of the deal as understood by Iran even more valid and makes Obama and those who tried to support the deal like Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein who wished Netanyahu would " contain himself" until the deal was done look even more incompetent.

ADDENDUM#2: 4/11/2015

As speculated here when this was first published three days ago, Iran's military and political leaders issued statements today to add to their statement on sanctions,  that military facilities will be off limits to any nuclear inspections.  Which makes inspections as a condition worthless. Which means the framework deal that Obama touted and warned congress not to interfere with was non-existent to begin with. And all the face to face talking was nonsense.  Or has completely unraveled. Or was never raveled in the first place, making Obama again look foolish. 

In response and no doubt much to the chagrin of Tea Party Left groups like Daily Kos who on a daily basis has been supporting the nonsense that is the  Iran non-deal and calling Democrats who were skeptical " pro war Democrats", Secretary of Defense Carter put out a statement in response to those from Iran  that the U.S. has bunker busting bombs that can take out Iran's nuclear facilities no matter how deep underground they are and that using those bombs is not off the table. A clear bit of saber rattling by Obama . Which to Daily Kos and other  similar groups like MoveOn   must now make Obama a pro war Democrat also. Though they'll never say it. 

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