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Opening Arguments

Sleeping with the enemy

Good question: Wounded vet asks, "Why are we making nuclear deals with a country that tried to kill me?"

They’re going to come back with two arguments against this, I’d guess. One is that the reason they made the deal in the first place was to make sure that other U.S. servicemen don’t suffer the same fate he did. Without this deal, Obama assures us, we’ll be at war with Iran soon enough, with U.S. airmen asked to risk their lives to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and Americans at home and abroad targeted for reprisals by Iranian agents. That’d be a fine argument if the deal actually dismantled Iran’s bomb program instead of merely postponing Iran’s enrichment process for 10 years.

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The other argument against the ad is one that Obama’s already made at a press conference on this subject last week: Namely, sanctions relief was always going to be a part of any diplomacy with Iran. It was their main demand. If you think it was worth sitting down with Iran at all, then by definition you’re open to giving Iran money knowing full well that some of that money might go towards terror. That would be an effective argument if the deal had done serious damage to Iran’s bomb program; a de facto bribe to Tehran to rid itself of nuclear weapons, essentially enabling smaller acts of terror in return for eliminating the risk of mega-terror, would be a difficult choice. But we don’t have to make that choice. The deal doesn’t ask Iran to rid itself of uranium enrichment permanently. It asks it to do so for the next decade. 

The one argument they can't make, if they have any common sense at all, is the one Obama tried to use against Republicans, that they are making common cause with Iranian hardliners in actually preferring war, making them unpatriotic. The only person who can say such ridiculous things and get away with it is Donald Trump --"John McCain is no hero," and even he felt the need to back away from it a little.

The Iranian hardliners are the Iranian leaders. They're the ones still saying death to America and wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. It's one thing to try to deal civilly with countries that used to be your enemy -- our rapprochement with Vietnam unsettled me for a time, but I got over it. It's another to do so with a country that makes it very clear it is still our enemy, in a way that presumes it won't be our enemy after the few years during which it pledges to slow nuclear development down a little.