29 November 2013

Atomic Clock

“A couple of minutes after 9 p.m. on Saturday,” Dana Millbank of the Washington Post wrote, news wires reported that the U.S. and five European allies had reached an agreement with Iran to slow its nuclear enrichment in exchange for somewhat reduced economic sanctions.

It took only until 9:08 P.M. for former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer to tweet that Barack Obama had presided over some sort of “abandonment.” Fleischer of course had no knowledge of the details of the agreement. His statement was clearly a knee-jerk reaction.

It took only until 9:11 P.M. for former Dick Cheney staffer Ron Christie to call the treaty a “disgraceful deal.” Again, he had no way to knowing the details of that deal, only that the Obama administration had agreed to it.

It took only until 10:15 P.M. for Sen. John Cornyn (R–Tex.) to suggest that the whole diplomatic initiative, years in the making and involving seven large countries, was just a way to distract from problems with the Healthcare.gov website.

President Obama described details of the agreement for the press shortly after 10:30 P.M. As of today, less than a week later, UN inspectors have been invited to view an Iranian heavy-water facility for the first time. Diplomats are looking ahead to possibilities of a more permanent agreement.

Responsible people can oppose this agreement based on its provisions or the record of the parties involved. But people with OIP Derangement Syndrome don’t need to go into such factual details. They can announce their opposition within minutes because whatever President Obama does, they’re against it. As Millbank wrote: “This president could negotiate a treaty promoting baseball, motherhood and apple pie, and Republicans would brand it the next Munich.”

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