Friday, September 04, 2015

Cheney’s Iran Ideas As Sophisticated As Expected

Jonathan Chait explains in New York Magazine that Cheney’s Iran Ideas As Sophisticated As Expected

"Bush and Cheney may have rhetorically opposed the Iranian nuclear program. In reality, they allowed it to blossom. As Marc Champion explained several months ago, ‘at the start of Bush's presidency, Iran had no operational centrifuge cascades and no stocks of enriched fuel, so it had no means of making a nuclear weapon.’ Then things got bad:

By the time Bush left office in January 2009, Iran had just under 4,000 working centrifuges and an additional 1,600 installed. These had, to that point, produced 171 kilos of low-enriched uranium. Oh, and Iran had covertly built a new enrichment facility under a mountain at Qom.

Measured by results, rather than sound bites, Cheney was the greatest thing that happened to the radical regime in Iran since it took power. Michael Rubin, a former Bush administration Middle East policy adviser, has attempted to defend the administration’s disastrous Iran policy by blaming the failure on our feckless European partners, who continued to trade with Iran, undermining our sanctions. Rubin insists, ‘the problem was not too little diplomacy, but rather too much trade.’ But why were sanctions so weak under Bush, and so much stronger under Obama? Because the Obama administration used the promise of negotiations to build strong support for sanctions. Without those negotiations, the sanctions regime would be just as weak as it was under the Bush administration. The notion that simply refusing to make any concessions whatsoever could prevent Iran from advancing its nuclear program is not a novel idea. Cheney’s administration tried it. It didn’t work."

it's astounding to me that anyone still listens to Cheney. Or that in the 3 interviews I've seen of him on his book tour no one brought up that Iran started enriching Uranium under his watch. Or for that matter that during the Bush-Cheney presidency India, Pakistan and North Korea acquired nuclear weapons (usually citing aggression from the US as a motivator) and under seven years of Obama no other nation has acquired them. Just STFU already Cheney.

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