One of you writes of my position on the Iran deal (I’m strongly for it): “Is it comforting to know you’re on the same team with Al (Tawana Brawley) Sharpton?”
A word or two about Al Sharpton in a minute, but first . . .
The GOP of course is against it — Obama did it. Indeed, they were all but unanimously against it before it was struck; before they knew its terms; and even as 47 of them wrote the Ayatollah basically warning him him not to make it.
But five former US ambassadors to Israel, from both Republican and Democratic administrations are for it . . . writing that, “the consequences of rejection are grave” . . .
. . . as are a former head of Mossad, a former head of Shin Bet (read that one here) . . .
. . . more than 100 other former US ambassadors from both political parties (here) . . .
. . . more than 60 “national security leaders” like former National Security Advisor to Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Republican Senator Nancy Kassenbaum (daughter of 1936 Republican Presidential nominee Alf Landon and widow of former Republican Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker — remember moderate Republicans?), former Senator Don Riegle (whose first three terms in the House, and whose mayoralty before that, were as a Republican, but who became a Democrat over differences with the Republicans over civil rights and the Viet Nam war), former Senate Armed Services Committee Chairs Carl Levin and Republican John Warner (jointly penning, “Why Hawks Should Also Back the Iran Deal“) . . .
. . . and more. (If you read Hebrew, try this, by Uzi Even, one of Israel’s top nuclear experts. “Israeli Opposition to Nuclear Agreement — A Logical Fallacy.”)
[UPDATE: And this just in — “340 Rabbis Urge Congress to Support Nuclear Deal with Iran.”]
But best of all was Colin Powell’s former Chief of Staff Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson with Bill Maher this weekend. I’m bold-facing because you have to watch.
“The opposition to this deal is bizarre! It eliminates none of the other alternatves. There are four: do nothing; the deal; bomb; or invade. If you do the deal, the other three are still available. So what could possibly be the opposition?”
Yes, Chuck Schumer — in most things a wonderful senator — is against it. But he is also the protector of Wall Street’s outrageous “carried interest” tax break, of great benefit some of his most influential backers. So while I’m eager to believe his argument independent of any pressure he’s felt, I agree with Fareed Zakaria, that it is illogical.
And yes, we should all respect the hugely legitimate, visceral concerns of those Israelis who oppose the deal — and we should share the almost unanimous recognition that we cannot simply “trust” Iran, whose Supreme Leader is a nightmare (as religious fanatics of all stripes, ironically, so often tend to be). But, as Carl Levin and John Warner argue: even hawks should back the deal.
(And Al Sharpton? Though my correspondent may never forgive him for his behavior nearly 30-odd years ago, the Rev is a very bright man who’s come a long way, even if he’ll never be everyone’s cup of tea. Now that we have cell phone and dash-cam videos, even guys like my correspondent must be noticing that sometimes 12-year-old black kids with toy guns are needlessly murdered in two seconds by over-anxious, incompetent white cops, etc. Tawana Brawley was a bogus example — but do many today still believe blacks and whites have been treated with equal justice over the years Al Sharpton has been crying foul?)
I asked my corespondent if any of this sway swayed him.
I assume not, but live in hope.
Watch Bill Maher!
It would be a huge mistake — for America, Israel, and the world — if Congress nixed this deal.
Send this to your list and ask them to send it to their list? Thoughdifferent situations, it could be as important we not screw this up as it was that we not invade Iraq.
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Triumphant wife to down-and-out husband: I've consolidated all our bills into one missed payment.~Frank Cotham cartoon in the October 11, 1999, New Yorker
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