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Opening Arguments

Nothing in writing

It was bad enough that President Obama decided to call a deal with Iran "an agreement" instead of a treaty to get around that pesky problem of congressional consent. Now there is this:

PARIS — If an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear capability is reached by deadline in the next seven days, one thing may be missing: an actual written accord, signed by the Iranians.

Over the past few weeks, Iran has increasingly resisted any kind of formal “framework” agreement at this stage in the negotiations, preferring a more general statement of “understanding” followed by a final accord in June, according to Western diplomats involved in the talks.

Should that position hold — one of the many unknowns of the coming days — the United States and its five negotiating partners may find themselves in the uncomfortable position of describing the accord as they understand it while the Iranians go home to offer their own version.

Nothing in writing? Just walk away with each party believing what he wants to about what the agreement is, with no official document spelling out anything? A handshake deal with a terro-sponsoring state that wants to go nuclear? This is just Alice-in-Wonderland bizarre.

The scariest part is how the story, in The New York times, just sort of calmly accepts it and reports on it as if it were just a knotty political problem the administration has to solve. Oh, well. This will make it tougher for Obama to convince people he's on the right course. Ho hum.

These people aren't just misguided. They're stark, raving mad, and knowing our foreign policy is in their hands should have us all hiding under the bed.