President Obama stood before a convention of the nation’s Veterans of Foreign Wars and destroyed the credibility of his Republican critics with just three words.
The President said:
And I also want to make a broader point. In the debate over this deal, we’re hearing the echoes of some of the same policies and mindset that failed us in the past. Some of the same politicians and pundits that are so quick to reject the possibility of a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program are the same folks who were so quick to go to war in Iraq, and said it would take a few months. And we know the consequences of that choice and what it cost us in blood and treasure.
So I believe there’s a smarter, more responsible way to protect our national security — and that is what we are doing. Instead of dismissing the rest of the world and going it alone, we’ve done the hard and patient work of uniting the international community to meet a common threat. Instead of chest-beating that rejects even the idea of talking to our adversaries — which sometimes sounds good in sound bites, but accomplishes nothing — we’re seeing that strong and principled diplomacy can give hope of actually resolving a problem peacefully.
Instead of rushing into another conflict, I believe that sending our sons and daughters into harm’s way must always be a last resort, and that before we put their lives on the line, we should exhaust every alternative. That’s what we owe our troops. That is strength and that is American leadership.
President Obama used three words to discredit the Republican critics of the deal with Iran on their nuclear program. Those words were war in Iraq. The same people who are arguing that a diplomatic solution Iran’s nuclear weapons program is a bad idea are the same folks who told the American people that the United States could remake the Middle East in a matter of months by invading Iraq.
The President was making the connection between the failed Republican policies in Iraq and the right’s current opposition to the Iran deal. Republicans haven’t learned anything from the blood spilled and treasure lost in Iraq. The opposition to the Iran deal is based on the Republican belief that military action is the answer in Iraq.
Obama connected the dots. Republicans like to treat Iran and Iraq like separate issues, instead of admitting that their alternative to diplomacy is an even more costly war with Iran. President Obama is winning this debate because the American people are tired of war. One of the reasons that a majority of voters first elected him president was because Obama vowed to put an end to the Republican all war, all the time strategy. The diplomatic agreement with Iran is Obama’s follow through on that pledge.
This president spoke the three words that have destroyed all Republican credibility on foreign policy. No one understands the costs of war better than veterans and President Obama stood before America’s veterans and delivered a crushing blow to those who desire a return to perpetual war.