Home | About | Donate

Obama's Real Achievement With the Iran Deal


Obama's Real Achievement With the Iran Deal

Trita Parsi, Reza Marashi

One cannot help but feel sorry for President Barack Obama. After twenty months of painstaking negotiations with Iran and America's coalition partners, hours of hearings on Capitol Hill, countless closed briefings for lawmakers, and scores of articles and opinion pieces about the nuclear deal, few if any have taken note of the President's real achievement: Yes, he has blocked all of Iran's pathways to a bomb. But more importantly, he has proven to America that security is better achieved through diplomacy than through militarism.


"When I ran for President eight years ago as a candidate who had opposed the decision to go to war in Iraq, I said that America didn't just have to end that war - we had to end the mindset that got us there in the first place," Obama said. "It was a mindset characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy."

So, how does Mr. Parsi and Mr. Marashi explain Obama's role in Libya, Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, Gaza???


The photo of the soldier with the peace sign on her/his hand brought me back to a demonstration I attended at Ft. Dix in New Jersey in 1970, a few weeks after the shooting at Kent State. Society was pretty divided at the time. A lot of people saw issues such as Vietnam and the Black liberation struggle as us vs. them. You were part of the problem or you were part of the solution. Very undialectical but we were young and ideologically underdeveloped. So you can imagine my surprise when one of the soldiers marching toward us with M-16 in hand, turned his palm around to reveal a peace sign. To this 18 year old kid, this act upset my thinking tremendously, in a good way. It really was transformational for me. I realized right then and there that GI's weren't the enemy but that in many ways they were victims of an unjust system like the rest of us (people were still getting drafted but my number was too high). Also that life was complicated and not black and white. But you brought back that day in New Jersey, because of the photograph in the article. It's also nice to see soldiers are still drawing peace signs on their palms 45 years later.
Joel Schwartz
Staten Island, NY


Right now, Obama is using words to sound impassioned about the critical demands imposed by global warming while at the SAME time granting Arctic oil drilling leases to all the usual Energy Offenders.

Hillary, who must depend on the same deep pocket donors as "the other team" has to talk a good game about Progressive values when ultimately, she will cater to her moneyed sponsors.

This, too, is double speak. For on the one hand, it talks about militarism NOT being the solution while the same Military-Industrial Complex that Eisenhower warned about 55 years ago has, by this time, morphed into a gargantuan entity with tentacles in every state. To keep this Beast alive, wars must be carried on. And these wars now "guarantee jobs."

"The Iraq war mindset is one where strength above all else produces security. An attitude that, in the words of Obama, "equates security with a perpetual war footing." This mindset, in turn, produces a fear of not projecting strength; of looking weak. As the president pointed out in his speech, "Those calling for war labeled themselves strong and decisive, while dismissing those who disagreed as weak - even appeasers of a malevolent adversary."

In all of these instances that could not matter more, the language betrays the actual species of content, policy commitment, and likely net result.

The Bible was right on this one--no individual can serve two masters particularly when their intents and purposes are diametrically opposed.


In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Unlike Iran, Israel refuses to allow inspections at all, refuses to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, has hundreds of nuclear weapons, has advanced delivery systems.

Noam Chomsky


I still don't understand what "threat" Iran imposed on the USA so that the USA should feel its security threatened to the pint where the USA needed to threaten war against Iran.......

  1. They don't allow the big Oil Companies to take their oil.

  2. They support Hezbollah in their resistance to Israeli war, occupation and injustice in southern Lebanon.


Yes; but the USA buys oil from Saudi Arabia so can't it buy oil from Iran as well?And the USA supports democracy, freedom and justice, so what's the problem with stopping Israeli occupation and injustice in southern Lebanon?


"But more importantly, he has proven to America that security is better achieved through diplomacy than through militarism."

AIPAC is betting $40 million to prove that isn't the case.

"Aipac expects to spend some $40m on an ad campaign in about 40 states, focusing on vulnerable Democrats, turning up the pressure on them in their home states over the summer recess. Its liberal, pro-deal counterpart, J Street, can only hope to spend up to $5m.

The imbalance becomes even more skewed once Sheldon Adelson, a multibillionaire casino tycoon, major Republican donor and hardliner on all matters Israeli, pours his considerable funds into the fight. According to some unconfirmed accounts he is ready to spend over $100m on the campaign, about as much as he spent unsuccessfully trying to get a Republican elected president in 2012. He has split with Aipac and now channels his money through the even harder-line Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC)."


Must be nice to be able to throw so much green after losing causes. Just think of all the positive things that could have been accomplished with that much money. What does he do to have such much disposable "income"?

This deal aint done yet, but if it happens, it is my new happy thought that both AIPAC and Adelson will be that much poorer and didn't get their way.


It used to, but not in this century. A buck's a buck for a' that.
* Nothing must come before profit and power.
* And war is the most profitable job on the planet, for those who supply it and direct it.


Obama is doing the right thing, but little has changed. No sooner than the agreement is signed, the Israeli lobby and the military lobby will push to make Iran's life even more miserable and push for more punishing sanctions. The change necessary needs to be a sea change, the permanent reversal of the State and Defense Department's roles where the State Department is our face to the world, not the Defense Department and where small powerful groups cannot move our elected representatives to turn their backs to what is in our national interest... Doable? Of course. Difficult, very.


Yeah, give the Nobel Peace Prize to Kerry, that will bump its credibility.