The Same Right-Wing Bozos Who Lied the U.S. into Iraq Are Peddling Nonsense About Obama's Iran Deal
The same hawks who lied about the nuclear threat from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq before President George W. Bush invaded in 2003 are loudly trying to derail President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
“Doesn’t this sound familiar,” begins a short video (embedded at the bottom of this article) by Brave New Films that highlights the neo-cons’ return, followed by side-by-side quotes from before the invasion of Iraq and rants against an Iran deal. “They are trying to sabotage international negotiations.”
As the video shows, history can repeat itself.
There’s Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying a decade ago that “a nuclear-armed Saddam will place the security of our whole world at risk,” and in his address to the Congress last month, “So too, Iran’s regime poses a grave threat to the peace of the entire world.”
There’s then-Rep. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, in 2001 reciting the lie that Saddam had “procured materials that could only be used in nuclear weapons,” and today saying, as a U.S. senator, “They tried to create a nuclear program, not a peaceful nuclear power plant. They are the enemy of us.”
There’s former Bush administration U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, who recently wrote a New York Times op-ed saying we should bomb Iran. On the video, he calls the White House’s negotiated solution “an act of surrender.”
This weekend, Netanyahu appeared on three U.S. TV networks, calling it “a bad deal.” Graham, on CBS, called Obama “a flawed negotiator” and said the next president would do better. And Bolton said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was “just making things up,” as he described in a press conference what had been achieved.
“The best way to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon is through a verified negoitiated agreement,” Secretary of State John Kerry said on camera, days before the White House announced a deal framework. “It would be the height of irresponsibility to walk away from a table when and if a peaceful resolution might be within reach.”
The Brave New Films video points out what’s missing in this round of sniping between neo-cons who would rather go to war, and a White House that is seeking a diplomatic solution. The Iraq war saw more than 6,800 U.S. soldiers killed, more than 52,000 wounded, many times that number returning home with post-traumatic stress injuries, $4 trillion in taxpayer dollars spent, and more than 154,000 Iraqi civilian deaths.
Nonetheless, the country is witnessing the start of new political debate about the wisdom of using force or diplomacy with Iran. In Congress, Republican leaders are saying they want meaningful input, but whether that’s more than saying no remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu has launched a full-court lobbying effort to get the Republicans to torpedo the deal. On Monday, Israel issued a set of talking points for what it wants in the deal, most of which has been rejected by the White House as deal-breakers.
There’s another curious development that is going to impact the 2016 presidential race. In 2001, some of the earliest lobbying for a war of choice with Iraq was by the Washington-based Project for a New American Century. Jeb Bush is one of its 25 co-founders.
Nine days after the 9/11 atacks, PNAC wrote to President George W. Bush saying that after invading Afghanistan, Iraq must be next. “Even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power,” they said.
At the time, Jeb Bush was seen as lacking any foreign policy experience, Politico.com noted, so he surrounded himself with hawks tied to his brother’s White House. Bush’s recent reaction to the White House deal was to echo the neo-con choir condemning it.
“Nothing in the deal described by the administration this afternoon would justify lifting U.S. and international sanctions, which were the product of many years of bipartisan effort,” the 2016 presidential candidate told CNN. “I cannot stand behind such a flawed agreement.”
The assertion that years of sanctions are working is patently untrue, as Obama told the New York Times in a lengthy interview this weekend.
“We know that if we do nothing, other than just maintain sanctions, that they will continue with the building of their nuclear infrastructure and we’ll have less insight into what exactly is happening,” Obama said. “If we can have vigorous inspections, unprecedented, and we know at every point along their nuclear chain exactly what they’re doing and that lasts for 20 years, and for the first 10 years their program is not just frozen but effectively rolled back to a larger degree, and we know that even if they wanted to cheat we would have at least a year, which is about three times longer than we’d have right now, and we would have insights into their programs that we’ve never had before. In that circumstance, the notion that we wouldn’t take that deal right now and that that would not be in Israel’s interest is simply incorrect.”
Watch the video from Brave New Films, How Perpetual War Fuels Terrorism below: