Right-wing commentary on the nuclear deal with Iran has veered from simple dismissal — a “sucker’s deal” as Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer described France’s reaction — to comparisons to Neville Chamberlain’s accord with Germany before World War II, to an act of “abject surrender.”
Two columnists — K.T. McFarland of Fox News and Breitbart.com editor at large Ben Shapiro — both reached immediately for comparisons to appeasement of Hitler.
“The question is whether it’s historic like the deal Chamberlain got at Munich or the one Nixon got in China,” McFarland wrote of the accord.
But McFarland’s general assessment that the deal merely signals a willingness to experiment, to “run it up the flagpole to see who salutes” reads tamely compared to even harsher attacks.
“But in truth, the west’s appeasement of Iran is significantly worse than its appeasement of Hitler in 1938, for a variety of reasons.” Shapiro wrote, arguing that the Iranian regime has telegraphed malicious intent more clearly than did the Nazi regime, and that the move will be rejected by American allies in the Middle East and compromises a hand strengthened by a decade of sanctions without permanently eliminating Iran’s ability to enrich uranium.
Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, writing for the Weekly Standard, took the argument a step farther. “This is not, as the Obama administration leaked before the deal became public, a “compromise” on Iran’s claimed “right” to enrichment,” he wrote. “This is abject surrender by the United States.”
Theatrically-harsh criticism of the Obama administration by the right isn’t particularly new or unexpected at this point, of course. But others have noted the pragmatism of the accord from America’s perspective.
“There is virtually no chance that the regime will collapse before Iran develops a bomb and the missiles to deliver it,” editorialized USA Today. As Netanyahu has repeatedly warned, the Iranians are within a year of going nuclear, which both he and President Obama have said they will never allow. So the choice couldn’t be more stark. Explore this initiative or prepare for war.”
Will Bunch, a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, asked whether or not this breakthrough allows the president to live up to the promise of his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, won for his work as a U.S. senator on nuclear nonproliferation.
“… all those angry Congress folks who were on the telly this morning, calling an Iran peace deal an unacceptable gamble, where were they 10 years ago complaining about the gamble that then-President Bush took, to invade an entire nation and cost hundreds of thousands of lives over weapons of mass destruction that were not even there?” Bunch wrote. “There seen to be no consequences in American politics for rolling the dice on war, even when that bet goes horribly, horribly wrong. But a measured gamble on peace seems to be something that too many people in Washington simply cannot bear.