Back in February, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman issued a code red warning to his readers, writing that Donald Trump was "either compromised by the Russians, or a towering fool." We have yet to discover what the Russians have on Trump. But when the Great Orange Id backed out of the Iran Deal yesterday, he confirmed that he was, indeed, a towering fool. Roger Cohen writes in The Times:
The nuclear accord, reached in 2015, was a watershed. It was not intended to end Iranian-American enmity, virulent since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but it did dent dangerous confrontation through dialogue.
It was a gamble on drawing Iran, a hopeful and highly educated society, closer to the world and so weakening the Islamic Republic’s hard-liners. It was not about Iranian interference in neighboring Arab states or about its ballistic missile program. It concerned centrifuges and Iran’s clear but never avowed quest for a nuclear bomb.
The agreement put a ring fence around Iran’s nuclear program into the second quarter of this century. It slashed centrifuges by two-thirds; virtually eliminated its uranium stockpile; capped enrichment levels at 3.7 percent, a long way from bomb grade; cut off a plutonium route to a bomb; and redoubled international inspection.
On all this, Iran was in compliance, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Its nuclear ambitions had been checked, a reason several Israeli military and intelligence officials, including former heads of Mossad and Shin Bet, backed the accord, along with former Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
Diplomacy doesn't result in perfect solutions. But, at its best, it arrives at win-win solutions. Trump doesn't know how to do diplomacy. The only rule he lives by is "I win, you lose." That is why his speech yesterday was couched in Orwellian terms:
It was not “a horrible, one-sided deal,” as Trump grotesquely claimed on Tuesday. It was not about delivering “peace,” as he absurdly suggested. It was not a “rotten structure,” as he emptily claimed.
Nothing in Trump’s speech was more scurrilous than this very Orwellian inversion of the truth: “If I allowed this deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Everyone would want their weapons ready by the time Iran had theirs.” In fact, Trump has single-handedly fast-forwarded that race by removing the constraints the deal imposed on Iran.
In the background stood John Bolton, who argued for regime change in Iraq. Obviously, Bolton has learned nothing for the Iraq War. Perhaps that's because Bolton spent the Vietnam War the way George W. Bush did -- in the Army Reserves -- knowing that if he was in the reserves he wouldn't get anywhere near Vietnam. Trump, of course, got multiple deferments -- like Dick Cheney, whose main claim to fame seems to be shooting his friend in the face.
With such limited experience and monumental stupidity, Trump and his advisors have placed the entire world on Code Red.
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