The War Candidate

May 23 2012 @ 3:18pm

Noah Millman suspects that Romney will oppose any deal with Iran. Larison wonders whether this will matter:

If Romney expressed his opposition to a deal, Obama probably wouldn’t react to that by demanding more from Iran. Iranians inside the regime already skeptical of dealing with the U.S. might seize on Romney’s opposition as proof that any commitments the U.S. makes won’t mean anything if Romney wins. Iran’s government may assume that a Romney administration would impose new demands that makes any deal they negotiate now more or less meaningless over the long term. They might or might not be right about that, but it makes sense that they would find it difficult to reach an agreement that the next administration might not honor.

I suspect the 1938 brigade to be out in force if a deal is reached. The key will be real inspections and keeping enrichment to the levels appropriate for medical use. But if those are in place, and the international community is on board, Romney is boxed in. And I think this should be a key issue in the coming election. One candidate is trying to get a peaceful deal with Iran by carefully mounting pressure and securing the kind of global support his predecessor was incapable of. The other wants another war against another Muslim country in the Middle East, as well as vast new military spending.

It's really a choice between returning to the Clinton years or the W years. But a serious and effective deal with Iran would be a cap-stone for Obama's transformation of American foreign policy after Cheney and Bolton and all the other W staffers now itching for a second ride at the wheel. This, perhaps, is where the Paulites might come in handy at the convention.