Monday, March 23, 2015

Deal Or No Deal

The prospects of a nuclear deal with Iran hang in the balance as the March 31 deadline nears, but the Western powers, Russia and China are confident that they can reach a deal with the Iranians to limit their nuclear program to peaceful purposes and ensure that it can't be used to develop atomic weapons - something the Iranians deny they're doing.
I've long held, with some good humor, that the Iranians are telling the truth when they say they want to develop atomic energy, because that a lesser dependence on oil gives them that much more oil to sell - and, despite the drop in prices on the global market, the price will only rise again as petroleum is, ultimately, a finite source.  But Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu - who pandered and perjured his way to a fourth term in office last week - is running low on credibility.  He made overtures to the Israeli far right to secure his election in a move not unlike the underhanded campaign tactics used by re-elected Tea Party governors in America, the most notable example being on the issue of a Palestinian state.  Just before the election, he said he would never accept such an idea, contradicting his earlier commitment to a two-state solution.  Then, later in the week, he said on American television that he would accept a Palestinian state once the situation on the ground is pacified; what he meant was, he thinks it's impossible to accept it right now, so long as the Palestinian leadership refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and remains allied with the militant Islamist Hamas movement at a time when Islamic terrorism remains a huge concern in the Middle East.
Well, he didn't make that clear during the campaign, did he?  But what he made crystal clear is his refusal to accept any deal with Iran.  Although his naked politicking before the U.S Congress hurt him a bit going up into the Israeli election, his emphasis on national security at a time of economic uncertainty during the campaign enabled him to press the case against Iran at home more subtly.  And with Netanyahu returned to office, Republicans are now planning to visit Israel to stress their own continued opposition to any deal with Iran, despite their ignorance of the fact that several other countries and the United Nations have a stake in a potential deal that outweighs domestic politics in either the U.S. or Israel.  Netanyahu and John Boehner are both mendacious political hacks.  I wouldn't buy a used car from either of them.       

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