The War Option Fallacy


Leonard Zwelling

         The President of the United States would have you believe
that without the Iranian deal, we will be at war with the mullahs in no time.
He says this because he believes that the deal he and Secretary Kerry crafted is
the only option. He is highly critical of those who do not like the deal. He
says they have no alternative to his deal.

         Here’s one. Do nothing.

         Bill Clinton had successfully kept Saddam Hussein in the box
that George H. W. Bush wisely built for him when 41 threw the Republican Guard
out of Kuwait. Good. Bad for the Iraqi people, but good for us as that was one
less thing that America had to spend blood and treasure on to fix.

         Then Bush Junior got involved, broke the china and the rest
is history—bad history. Americans died in Iraq for nothing. A corrupt
government dominated by Shia entered and ISIS rose. The Kurds are still waiting
for their own country that Bush 41 implied would be theirs. What a mess!

was a made up country after WWI. It still is. We have no business getting
involved as Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and had no WMDs.

         If Bush 43 had done what his father told him to do—nothing–all
of this could have been avoided, at least for now. If others in the region had
wanted Saddam out, let them do it. Why did we have to be the ones to free the
Iraqi people? For what? This? Is the current situation in Iraq freedom?

         Now, the successful sanctions brought Iran to the bargaining
table because they extracted sufficient pain that the Ayatollah had to listen.
Just when we have the Iranians in another box, we open the lid, and out they
jump with $100 billion in freed up resources to do their mischief all over the
Middle East using Hamas, Hezbollah and others as surrogates. Who knew the
latest jack-in-the-box was a mullah instead of a clown?

         Mr. Obama is wrong. There is a third way and that is to do
nothing at all. It was working in Iraq and would probably work as well in Iran.
If the Russians and Chinese insist on breaking the sanctions and sending Iran
conventional weaponry, we would know exactly who is to blame for augmented
Middle East violence and should say so on the world stage. If the Europeans
want to sell the Iranians more stuff and thus override the sanctions, too, let
them. When the Iranians acquire ICBMs from the Russians and then threaten Paris
and London, let the Europeans send troops in to fight. If the IAEA is making side deals with Iran we will neither be surprised nor moved. Let ’em.

         The US should be steadfast in imposing sanctions on Iran and
if anything, increasing them. If the rest of the P5 plus 1 won’t, so be
it.  If the UN wants to lift sanctions, go ahead. Then find the UN a new home in Geneva and sell the old building on the
East River. It’s long in the tooth anyway.

         I am all for alliances with friends. Iran is not our friend. We have paved the Iranian path to nuclear arms by allowing them to keep
6000 centrifuges and allowing them to give us permission to do inspections.
Give me a break. The noose should not be loosened. It should have been
tightened. If the current sanctions got them to the table, ratcheting them up
would really squeeze them and squeezing is what is needed for the lemons of
Tehran if American-style lemonade is the goal.

         The President is doing with this “non-treaty” what he did
with the ACA. He claims his view is the best and only viable one, cuts off
debate, and then stacks the decks in Congress in an anti-Constitutional
maneuver. He did it with the ACA when the House passed the Senate version of
the bill and by-passed a conference committee as regular order would dictate.
He has done it here by declaring this deal is not a treaty. Thus a
super-majority is not needed to pass it. In fact, it is likely to go down to
defeat. But the congressional rebuke will be vetoed by the President, allowing
it to stand with inadequate votes to override the veto.

         This is a perversion of the rules of Congress, the
Constitution and the people’s right to have their representatives weigh in on
these two critical issues—health care and a treaty with a country that is the
largest purveyor of terrorism in the world.

am sorry Mr. President. Your way is not the only viable way. Health care needed
real debate about whether or not it is a right or a privilege, not a windfall
for the insurance companies. The deal with Iran is surely a treaty and should
go through the normal congressional process delineated in the Constitution for that
form of international agreement.

get to be President, just not the first President. We have a Constitution. It
would be nice if you followed it.

Leonard Zwelling