If you haven’t noticed, our country has split up into two separate tribes – Idiots and Morons. Each tribe has approximately 30-40% of the population. (There’s a separate group that doesn’t belong either tribe that seems to always keep its head stuck firmly in the sand. I really won’t cover or discuss the Independents.) The great thing about this tribal system is that you can take any subject, any subject, and within a few seconds you know where another American stands on every issue because we all root for our tribe. If an American is against abortion, that must mean they don’t believe in climate change… Because that’s the way our tribes work. This tribalism is so sad and so stupid. This brings us to Iran.
One of the stupidest and craziest things about our tribalism is that we are against things without even thinking about it. The best example is an Iranian nuclear deal. Let’s review – during the Bush Administration, for multiple different reasons, we decided that we were not going to directly negotiate with Iran. During the Bush Administration, Iran had somewhere around 200-300 centrifuges. During nuclear negotiations in which we never specifically took part, because at the time we didn’t talk to our enemies, we took the stance that Iran could not have one centrifuge. To us, at the time, this was a nonnegotiable position. So, Iran took the position that we were being unreasonable and continued to acquire centrifuges and nuclear materia. Now, it is widely believed that Iran has over 18,000 centrifuges. (Read more about uranium enrichment.) So, what to do?
Really, and practically, there are three options. First, we can continue on the path set out by George W. Bush. We can continue to try not to negotiate with Iran. We could let the other members of the UN Security Council try to hammer out a deal that we are not part of. (Read the Iranian nuclear timeline.)
The other thing we can do is to take the posture that this is a national security issue. Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is a direct national threat to the United States and our allies under the Bush doctrine. We could and should launch a preemptive military strike to degrade or destroy Iran’s capabilities to develop a nuclear weapon.
The final option is to try to figure out a way to negotiate a settlement in which Iran gives up the ability to make a nuclear weapon in some verifiable manner. On one hand, we get unfettered access to inspect Iran to make sure that it is meeting whatever criteria we agree upon. On the other hand, if Iran complies with these inspections, we began to ease sanctions and we began to invite Iran back into the international community.
If you’re not from one of the tribes, when you sit back and look at your three options, you really only have one option. The first option has been tried and has failed. So I think we can all agree that doing nothing and not negotiating with our “enemies” is clearly the wrong way to go about things. In my opinion, the second option needs to stay on the table, but is not something I think we need to implement now. Instead, we should wait. We should wait until the third option doesn’t work. To me this is the only course of action to make sense. Also, I might add that inspections worked in Iraq. We have irrefutable evidence that inspections did work.
What are your thoughts?