[Rushtalk] Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal

Tom Matiska tom.matiska at att.net
Mon Sep 21 23:54:59 MDT 2015

So Ismael Hossien Zadeh thinks rational concerns about the nuke treaty are hysterical..... go figure....  Tom
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Carl Spitzer <lynux at keepandbeararms.com> wrote:

>Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal
>        By Ismael Hossein-Zadeh | CounterPunch| August 28, 2015
>The hysterical campaign launched against the Iran nuclear deal by the
>flag-waving militarist partisans in and around the US congress has
>terribly obfuscated the issues included in the deal. Not surprisingly,
>the campaign has created a number of misconceptions regarding both the
>actual contents of the deal and the main disagreements between the
>advocates and opponents of the deal.
>One such misconception is that the deal is, or must be, more
>advantageous to Iran than the US and Israel; otherwise, the simple logic
>goes, there would not be so much opposition to it. Such impressions,
>created simply by all the hue and cry on the part of the opponents of
>the deal are patently false. Even a cursory reading of the nuclear
>agreement reveals that, as I pointed out in a recent article on the
>issue, it is highly skewed against Iran. Not only does the agreement
>downgrade and freeze Iran’s peaceful nuclear technology, it also limits
>the scope of the county’s scientific research and development,
>jeopardizes its national security or defense capabilities and, perhaps
>most importantly, undermines its national sovereignty.
>So, considering the fact the deal represents a big win for the US and
>its allies and, by the same token, a major loss for Iran, why all the
>uproar against it?
>A number of reasons can be thought of for all the war party’s feverish
>hullabaloo. The main reason, however, seems to be that while the deal
>obviously represents a fantastic victory for the US and its allies, it
>nonetheless falls short of what the war party projected and fought for,
>that is, devastating regime change by military means, similar to what
>was done to Iraq and Libya.
>The second misconception that the war party’s vehement opposition to the
>nuclear deal has created is that their ultimate goal vis-à-vis Iran is
>significantly different from that of the Obama administration and other
>proponents of the deal. In reality, however, the difference between the
>opponents and proponents of the deal is largely tactical; strategically,
>both factions pursue the same objective: regime change in Iran.
>While the advocates of the deal have in recent years switched their
>tactics from direct military intervention and regime change from without
>to soft-power methods of regime change from within, the opponents of the
>deal continue to insist that overwhelming military force and escalating
>economic strangulation are the more effective means of regime change in
>Tehran, that is, regime change from outside.
>This does not mean that the advocates of the nuclear deal have ruled out
>the military option altogether—by no means. As President Obama,
>Secretary of State John Kerry and other administration officials have
>frequently pointed out, the military option is on the table when/if
>needed, that is, if Iran fails to carry out all the punishing
>obligations under the nuclear deal.
>The tactical switch by the proponents of the deal from military to
>soft-power methods of regime change did not come about overnight, or by
>an epiphany. For over thirty years since the 1979 revolution in Iran,
>which significantly undermined the U.S. influence in that country and
>elsewhere in the region, these proponents, like their counterparts in
>the war party, pursued policies of regime change from outside. These
>included instigation of and support for Saddam Hussein to invade Iran,
>training and supporting destabilizing terrorist organizations to attack
>Iran from all corners of the country, constant war and military threats,
>efforts to sabotage the 2009 presidential election through the so-called
>“green revolution,” and systematic escalation of economic sanctions.
>Not only did these evil schemes fall short of their nefarious goal of
>“regime change” in Iran, they in fact drove the country to become a
>major power in the region.
>In the face of the brutal economic sanctions and constant military
>threats, Iran embarked on a relatively radical path of a
>public/state-guided economy that successfully provided both for the war
>mobilization to defend its territorial integrity and for respectable
>living conditions of its population. By taking control of the commanding
>heights of the national economy, and effectively utilizing the
>revolutionary energy and dedication of their people, Iranian policy
>makers at the time also succeeded in taking significant steps toward
>economic self-reliance, which further thwarted the geopolitical plans of
>the US and its allies to bring Iran to its knees, or to overthrow its
>Having thus failed at its plots of “regime change” from without, a major
>faction of the US ruling class, headed by the Obama administration, now
>seems to have opted for regime change (or reform) from within; that is,
>through political and economic rapprochement with Iran—using the nuclear
>negotiations as a starting point, or transitional channel.
>What has made this option more promising in recent years is the rise of
>a well-organized, Western-oriented neoliberal capitalist class in Iran
>whose chief priority seems to be the ability to do business with their
>counterparts in the West.
>Many of the once revolutionary leaders who successfully managed the
>1980-88 war economy have now become business entrepreneurs and
>prosperous capitalists. Having effectively enriched themselves in the
>shadow of the public sector economy, these folks are now ready to do
>business American style, that is, follow the neoliberal/austerity model
>of economics.
>It is thus understandable why major factions within Iran’s ruling
>circles, represented largely by the Rouhani administration, have no
>stomach for a regimented, war-like economy; and why they support the
>highly disgraceful compromises made by Iran’s nuclear negotiators to the
>United States and its allies. For the rich and powerful elites of these
>circles issues such as nuclear technology or national sovereignty are of
>secondary importance to self-enrichment, or profit motive.
>It follows that the Obama administration and other US advocates of the
>nuclear deal opted for negotiation with Iran only after they came to the
>realization that (a) continuing on the path of regime change from
>outside tended to be ineffective, or even counterproductive, and (b) the
>rise of a pro-US, collaborationist capitalist class in Iran increasingly
>promised to be a more effective vehicle of spreading the US influence in
>Iran and, ultimately, of regime change from within.
>Indeed, the Obama administration’s recent approach of relying primarily
>on business/market forces of regime change, or modification, without
>ruling out the military option is likely to be more effective in
>achieving its goal than the war party’s reckless insistence on
>escalating sanctions and military threats.
>The effectiveness of this approach lies in the fact that, as pointed out
>earlier, the nuclear deal would significantly limit Iran’s military and
>defense capabilities. The deal would also avail the US extensive
>knowledge of Iran’s economic, technological, security, and military
>capabilities and, therefore, vulnerabilities. This means that if at any
>time in the future Iran defies or resists the heavy-handed imperialistic
>designs of the United States, the US can then employ its war machine
>more effectively as it would have the necessary information on strategic
>places or targets to be attacked or bombarded.
>This is no speculation or conspiracy theory. It is, indeed, a scenario
>projected by the Obama administration officials and other advocates of
>the nuclear deal as they promote it ahead of the next month’s critical
>vote in Congress. “In meetings on Capitol Hill and with influential
>policy analysts, administration officials argue that inspections of
>Iran’s nuclear facilities under the deal will reveal important details
>that can be used for better targeting should the U.S. decide to attack
>Iran” [1].
>Commenting on this ominous depraved scheme, Representative Adam Schiff,
>the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told Michael
>Crowley of Politico, “It’s certainly an argument I’ve heard made. . . .
>We’ll be better off with the agreement were we to need to use
>force” [2].
>To see how this menacing projection is not simply an abstract or
>partisan argument, suffice it to remember the fact that this is exactly
>what was done to Iraq and Libya. In both cases, the United States and
>its allies used disingenuous negotiations with Saddam Hussein and
>Muammar al-Qaddafi as pretexts to collect information about their
>military/defense capabilities and, then, used the information thus
>acquired for targeted bombardment and effective invasion.
>[1] Michael Crowley, The ultimate argument in favor of the Iran deal:
>The agreement would make it easier to bomb Iran, administration
>officials have told lawmakers.
>[2] Ibid.
>Ismael Hossein-zadeh is Professor Emeritus of Economics (Drake
>University). He is the author of Beyond Mainstream Explanations of the
>Financial Crisis (Routledge 2014), and The Political Economy of U.S.
>Militarism (Palgrave–Macmillan 2007).
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