Sunday, September 13, 2015

I Get On My Knees And Pray . . . Colin Powell Won't Get Fooled Again

     South Dakota's congressional delegation has been going through some essentially academic
Colin Powell Laying It On In '03
Yeah.  Weapons Of Mass Destruction.  Yeah, Right.
(photo from
pro forma political contortions over the Iran nuclear agreement, which, dubious as I am about it, is essentially a done deal. All three of our reps (Sens. Rounds & Thune, Congresswoman Noem) have been opposing it, with some good reason, considering its oversight and verification standards seem lax (I mean, Iran gets 24 days to prepare for an inspection of any of its research and development sites . . . this is supposed to make us feel like we're on top of things?  How come the deal doesn't have "anytime, anywhere" inspection procedures?) and that the deal basically "amounts to a postponement of Iran's nuclear ambitions."  I concede that I've only read summaries of the deal, so here it is in all its glory--I invite you to go through it and allay, if not altogether contradict, my concerns. 

     After my review, I can't fault anybody for being leery of this deal, and I support our federal reps for trying to put the brakes on it.  One of my main concerns about the political chatter created by this brouhaha is that supporters of the agreement are leaning heavily on General Colin Powell's assessment of it as "a pretty good deal."  That's what he told Meet The Press the other day and his comments have been moving with the force and speed of a prairie fire in South Dakota.  This to me is amazing, considering how Powell's duplicitous presentation to the United Nations at the advent of the Iraq war in 2003 gave so much credibility to the Bush administration's ill-conceived causus belli for sending our troops into that expensive and interminable quagmire.  
    A couple of years ago, the Huffington Post's exhaustive and comprehensive recap of Powell's activities and utterances during the rhetorical build-up to the war included phrases like "unambiguous lies," "fabricated evidence," and "deception by omission." The HuffPo piece, written by Jonathon Schwarz, is titled "Lie After Lie After Lie:  What Colin Powell Knew . . . And What He Said." Schwarz concludes that Powell has "never been held accountable for his actions and it's extremely unlikely he ever will be." That's somewhat of an understatement, considering that Powell has not only been given a pass for his egregious lapse of judgement, but has risen to the the status of an informed and influential authority on this generation's dealings with another power in that part of the world, Iran.  Powell may indeed have it right with respect to the Iran nuclear deal, but I can't trust the judgement of someone who was so easily duped by the minions of another White House that was using him as political window dressing for its schemes.  If Powell has made a point-by-point response to the HuffPo piece, I haven't seen it, but will welcome and post it here if provided to me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As to the terms of the deal, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said at his swearing-in two years ago that "transparency is the key to opening a new chapter of mutual trust."  Truer and
President Rouhani Wants "Transparency"
So How Come It Isn't In This Deal?
(photo from
more realistic words have never been spoken, which makes me wonder why the deal denies transparency to potential inspectors of Iranian facilities by giving Iran nearly a month to get ready for inspection. It's easy to utter the word "transparent" but infinitely more difficult to deliver on it.  

     Meantime, if I need to heed the words of a phalanx of retired generals and admirals who have taken the time and trouble to sound off on this deal, I have some at hand.  Here's a list of 190 and their jointly signed letter in opposition to the agreement.  Their collection of backgrounds and expertise strikes me as much weightier and more informed than Powell's, a general who has already shown himself to be a willing part of a scam that cost this country plenty.  I know it's too late to stem the inertia built into the approval of the Iran deal, but I'm glad that unlike the virtually unquestioning support that the Iraq war got, we have a solid bloc of federal reps that are on the record as saying "not so fast." 


  1. I would personally be more 'comfortable' with the opposition of the SD delegation if they, or any ranking Republican had, at any time, offered a practical suggestion toward dealing with the Iranian nuclear program provoked by the actions of the previous administration. Indeed, the only suggestions I've read were considered impractical by our allies! I am reminded of a comment by the senior American diplomat negotiating a base agreement (1944) to a skeptical member of the United States Army: This is an agreement betwixt two sovereign nations, not a contract drawn up by two shyster lawyers in the back room of a pool hall.

    As for General Powell, a Secretary of State parrots the company line when it comes to policy, or resigns. The former is commonplace, the latter has occurred twice in the whole of our history.

    Finally, whilst the process to inspect certain sites may take 24 days, that's a world of difference from saying the Iranians have 24 days before an inspection can take place. Indeed, if the Iranians were to drag out the process the other parties to the agreement would have every reason to register their disapproval in ways the Iranian government might not appreciate. In any event, please refer to the previous comment by an American diplomat who negotiated the right of the US to develop an airbase in the Azores despite the fact Portugal was a neutral nation.

  2. It seems that many overlook the fact that for the agreement to have any lasting effect, all parties involved will have to honor it. While this may not be the "best" deal it may be close to the best that could be negotiated, considering all the parties involved.

    And I don't think the American people have the stomach for another war in the Middle East, if the only other option was to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities.


  3. Iran to take Parchin military site samples with IAEA present - diplomats (Reuters)