I’ve been meaning to write more about the on-going farce which is the opposition to the world powers deal to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. But I just came across a hilarious story which really brings together the tragic, tendentious and hysterical (yes, both meanings) nature of this drama. I just learned that Joe Lieberman, storied Middle East hawk, has joined United Against Nuclear Iran as its new Chairman. UANI is one of several pressure groups now rolling out massive ad campaigns against the deal bankrolled by assorted billionaires.
This is not terribly surprising given the rising hysteria over the deal and Lieberman’s role as one of Washington’s arch Middle East. “UANI has led the effort to economically isolate the Iranian regime, and its bipartisan and international expertise makes it a highly respected voice on the merits of the Iran agreement. I am honored to assume this new leadership role at this important time.”
But why exactly does UANI need a new chairman?
After all, they just hired Dr. Gary Samore as chairman back in 2013. Well, Samore had to leave because he supports the deal! Yes, he supports the deal. The deal is such a Chamberlainesque catastrophe that one of the main anti-deal pressure groups had to part ways with its leader because he supports the deal.
Said Samore in the Lieberman press release (emphasis added): “I am proud to have been a part of UANI from its inception and the essential work UANI has done on the Iran nuclear issue, particularly in the area of sanctions and economic pressure. In these partisan times, UANI has been a bipartisan and thoughtful voice on these issues. If the nuclear agreement goes forward–as I believe it should–UANI will continue to play a critical role monitoring implementation and helping to maintain non-nuclear sanctions until Iran changes its behavior in these other areas.”
This little nugget captures the current, non-reality-based phase of the Iran nuclear debate in which partisanship, hyperbole and deception have entirely engulfed the debate. I totally understand why people are spooked by the financial windfall Iran will get when it receives its frozen assets. But the premise here was supposed to be that nukes are sui generis and it is critical that we prevent the Iranians from getting them. Opponents have no alternative plan. And contrary to President Obama I actually don’t believe the alternative is war. I don’t see this or a future American President actually going there. The alternative is to huff and puff and pound our chests and let the Iranians become a nuclear weapons state, just we let North Korea do so in the early years of the previous decade.
But Joe Lieberman is here to save the day.