Liberals have President Barack Obama’s back on the Iran deal, as Senator Al Franken (D-MN) came out in strong support of it in an op-ed published Thursday on CNN. Count Franken as a yes vote for sanity.
Franken writes that he didn’t come to this conclusion lightly, “Since the deal was announced, I’ve consulted with nuclear and sanctions experts inside and outside government; Obama administration officials, including Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz; ambassadors from the other countries that negotiated alongside us; advocates for Israel on both sides of the issue; my constituents in Minnesota; and, of course, my colleagues in the Senate.”
The Democratic Senator explained that the deal isn’t perfect, but he called it “strong”, saying it is “the most effective, realistic way to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon anytime in the next 15 years.”
Franken addressed some of the criticism of the deal which has inaccurately claimed that President Obama is just “trusting” Iran.
“You don’t have to trust the regime’s intentions to understand the reality it would face: Attempting to cheat on this agreement would carry an overwhelming likelihood of getting caught — and serious consequences if it does… But there’s no doubt in my mind that this deal represents a significant step forward for our national security.”
And what are the alternatives coming from the critics? They have no alternatives, except war. Franken wrote that their alternatives “run the gamut from unrealistic to horrifying. For example, some say that, should the Senate reject this agreement, we would be in position to negotiate a “better” one. But I’ve spoken to representatives of the five nations that helped broker the deal, and they agree that this simply wouldn’t be the case.”
That is very troubling, and a fact that should be at the forefront of this debate. There will be no better deal. That is not in the alternative plans. Franken pointed out that we would not be able to come back to the bargaining table and “… of course, Iran would be able to move forward on its nuclear program, endangering our interests in the region — especially Israel — and making it far more likely that we will find ourselves engaged in a military conflict there.”
Military conflict is the alternative to the imperfect deal.
Franken charged that some critics lusted after such a conflict and reminded them of their epic fail the last time they pulled this card, “… with one of my colleagues suggesting that we should simply attack Iran now, an exercise he believes would be quick and painless for the United States. But this is pure fantasy, at least according to what our security and intelligence experts tell us. And it’s certainly not the lesson anyone should have learned from the disastrous invasion of Iraq.”
The Minnesota Senator said prior to the historic Iran deal, our choices were dire, “… allowing it to have a nuclear bomb or having to bomb the country ourselves. This agreement represents a chance to break out of that no-win scenario.”
Liberals want to avoid unnecessary wars. All options should be explored first. President Obama’s foreign policy doctrine is diplomacy first, which was a major draw for voter support in 2008 and 2012, as the nation had yet to recover from the Bush administration’s misguided and disastrous Iraq invasion.
Senator Franken is signaling that the liberals in the Democratic caucus have examined this incredible deal (and it is incredible, to sit down with enemies and hammer something this tough out) and are choosing to vocally support and advocate for it. The House Democrats are already on board.
While the country is sighing a huge breath of relief, it must be noted that once again it is Democrats who are saving us all from another crazy Republican scheme.
Image: Associated Press file, cropped
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.