A Bad Deal Is Worse Than No Deal

A Bad Deal Is Worse Than
No Deal


Leonard Zwelling

I understand the Iran deal reached by President Obama and Secretary of State
Kerry, the Iranians maintain their ability to use over 5000 centrifuges, do
research and development on nuclear weapons, keep all of their current
facilities open and submit to inspections, if the US and the P5+1 can discern
where to inspect. They also get to keep their ICBM missiles that are not needed
to deliver nuclear warheads to Israel, but could reach Washington, D.C., continue to export terrorism, and
continue to call for the demise of the Jewish state.

         The reason the U.S. claims that this is a good deal is that
it is better than no deal because no deal might mean the Iranians can continue
their current nuclear weapons development or that at some point in the future,
the West might have to invade Iran to prevent their development of said

         I don’t get it.

         In exchange for the lifting of sanctions by the West on Iran
that have crippled the Iranian economy and inflicted real pain, the Iranians are giving up—nothing! What a

         Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has this one right. No deal
IS better than a bad deal and ratcheting up the sanctions could get the West a
nuclear- and centrifuge-free Iran that, should the ayatollahs interfere in
Sunni countries to make mischief, would bring the wrath of the West on to their
heads. That would be a good deal.

         Fortunately, the rational world sees the Iranian ayatollahs
for the evil regime they are and will block this Obama-Kerry nonsense either in the U.S.
Congress or elsewhere. When dealing with a truly bad set of people, it is
probably best to go into any negotiations with your eyes open and your BATNA
fixed. BATNA is the “best alternative to a negotiated agreement” from the Roger
Fisher-William Ury book Getting to Yes.
The end product of any negotiation is not a deal at any cost. It is a good deal
and this isn’t one. If it were, the Iranians would have stood with the
Americans and announced the framework together. That they did not suggests that
the deal is too good for the Iranians or worse, not yet good enough for the Supreme Leader’s liking (I thought that was Diana Ross?), and the
Iranians need to go back to their bosses to get what they have negotiated
blessed. Either way, this deal does not make the world safer. It does the
opposite as the Iranians still can make weapons, hide them, promote terrorism
unabated and try to destroy Israel and the U.S. next.

         The same is true with the current situation at MD Anderson.
Shuffling Dr. Chin to Austin will not solve anything. There is no deal that can
be arrived at with Dr. DePinho that is a good deal unless his absence from
Houston is part of it.

         I really do respect what the Chancellor has done both in his
prior life and during his visit to Anderson, but like the Navy SEAL he was, he should
know he is in a war zone in which conciliation has no place, any more than it
had in Abbattobad.

         There will be no peace as long as the current Iranian regime
is allowed to disseminate its terror afar, poison the local landscape in their
own neighborhood, and call for the annihilation of Israel. Nuclear weapons are an
after thought comparatively and the deal is thus insufficient, inadequate and

         As long as Ron DePinho is President of MD Anderson, no
matter where his wife is, the well-being of the cancer center is at risk. If
the people in Austin think otherwise, good for them.

         They’re just wrong.

         I am fully aware that the men in charge and the men on the
Board of Regents have trouble saying I’m lost, I’m wrong and I’m sorry. So in
lieu of that, just blame the last guys and get the cancer center some relief.

         Please find an ad interim sane person to run the shop until
a very deliberate and faculty-centered search can be done for a new President
of MD Anderson. 

ALSO: Please see my Letter to Editor in Houston Chronicle today and one in NY Times Saturday.

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