New poll questions mislead on Iran “deal”

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Quinnipiac poll released today shows that most Americans polled in the swing states of OH, PA and FL don’t approve of the Iran nuclear deal.  In Florida, and Pennsylvania, 61% were against it; in Ohio, 58% opposed the deal. By similar margins, those polled thought the deal made the world less safe.

This poll comes out a time when there has been intense pressure on Congress to vote no on the deal by AIPAC, the conservative pro-Israel lobby and the GOP who oppose the President on everything. The just say NO Congress and their band of conservative presidential candidates lead by Trump have fear-mongered on the Iran “deal” question to the point that most Americans believe the deal will lead to the destruction of the world, which in my view is a far more likely thing to happen as a result of GOP climate denying.  The fringe is certain that all of Iran’s own money that will be freed up by the deal when sanctions are lifted will be spent on terrorism and building nuclear bombs, despite the fact that the deal is exclusively ABOUT nuclear disarmament.

But here’s the other thing, the poll asks the question in the wrong way, in fact all the political pundits have been talking about the “deal” in the wrong way.  It’s actually not so much a deal as an agreement and it’s more than the just an agreement between Iran and the U.S.; it’s actually an agreement between Iran and 6 countries:  the U.S., China, France, the UK, Russia and Germany.  And the agreement is called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.  If the poll question were rephrased to: “Do you support or oppose the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement concerning Iran’s nuclear program between Iran and the U.S., China, France, the UK, Russia and Germany?” my guess is that more would be in favor than opposed.

Also, the media continues to perpetuate the notion that Iran will do its own inspections, which is patently false.  This aspect concerns a side deal that has nothing to do with the agreement and pertains to a deactivated site where some testing with nuclear materials had been performed in the past.  Iran will present samples from this site to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for verification.  The main agreement covers Iran’s active nuclear sites which will be under constant monitoring by the IAEA and subject to periodic site visits.

How can a denuclearized Iran make the world less safe? What people seem to be responding to is the idea that Iran will use all the money freed up from sanctions to fund global terror.  First, how can we be so certain and how do we know they aren’t already supporting terrorist groups to achieve political objectives?  Second, have we forgotten that the Iranian people are suffering and have put a great deal of pressure on the regime to invest in their own economic and social needs.  If Iran ignores the needs of their own people, this would be a disaster and threaten the regime’s viability. Third, the prospect of a nation with a nuclear bomb that has been openly hostile to Israel poses a great threat to the world.  The agreement prevents that possibility. Last, the agreement is one that deals solely with the nuclear question.  It doesn’t tackle foreign policy objectives, the hostage situation or anything else.  If these other questions were put into the mix, there would be no deal, which is what many on the right would prefer.  And if there were no deal, the only solution would be war.  And in my judgement, war makes the world less safe and secure.  Our recent exploits in Afghanistan and Iraq should be lessons for us all that war is not the answer.

IRANT

IMG_0221In my opinion, the main reason for the opposition to the Iran nuclear deal has nothing to do with security and everything to do with politics.  The Republicans need an issue that gives them some traction in the election cycle.  The Republicans claim the deal will unleash the terror prone state of Iran to make all sorts of mischief in the middle east.  Before the agreement, the Republicans argued that the biggest threat to the middle east was the nuclear state of Iran. And so the deal removes that threat and the region is safer and we can breathe a collective sigh of relief, but the Republicans aren’t buying it and are saying things like – “we didn’t get anything for the deal” (as if a non-nuclear Iran were nothing), and that Iran will use the “signing bonus”, which happens to be their own money previously tied up in economic sanctions, “to sponsor terrorism.”  They say we didn’t get the release of American hostages, which is regrettable, but never the point of the negotiations.  46 Republicans, in an effort to derail U.S. negotiations, even went as far as to write a letter to the supreme leader of Iran saying that any deal would have to be approved by congress. Such action is unprecedented in U.S. politics and shows a complete disrespect for the President, the will of the people who support him and borders on treason. This isn’t the first time that Republicans have refused to work with the Obama administration or tried to derail policies that the majority of Americans support – in fact they have attacked him relentlessly since 2008, and not just his politics. They’ve used incendiary rhetoric, compared him to Hitler, called him a liar, questioned his birthplace, demanded his college transcripts, hinted that he was not a Christian, and now claim that the Iran deal effectively makes him a terrorist who hates America.  They’ve obstructed, filibustered, wearing out the word NO in the process, and have shown more respect to the Israeli head of state than to the their own U.S. President. Unwittingly, they’ve done such a great job of whipping the conservative base into a frenzy that a billionaire reality star and real estate mogul, is now the leading GOP presidential candidate. Surprisingly, the candidates have done very little to discredit Trump because they are not used to standing up to billionaires.  And because of the tactics of the right, the GOP is now an entertaining party of scary clowns.