Bush National Security Adviser Backs Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal

Former Bush National Security Adviser Brent Snowcroft
Former Bush National Security Adviser Brent Snowcroft

As Jeb Bush pushes torture as a feature, not a bug of his future presidency, his father’s former national security adviser, Brent Scowcroft, is telling Al-Monitor that “To turn our back on [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA] would be an abdication of America’s unique role and responsibility, incurring justified dismay among our allies and friends.”

Jeb, infamously, could not decide whether the invasion of Iraq was a feature or a bug of his brother’s administration. He finally hemmed and hawed his way into acknowledging that, knowing what we know now, it was a mistake. That didn’t stop him from saying Dubya, the man who brought the world to the brink of ruin in 2008, is his most trusted adviser.

Maybe, while he’s taking a break from ordering torture and launching nukes at Iran, Jeb can stare vacantly into space while enemies launch terrorist attacks on our country. Or he and Dubya can stare together. You know, a family thing.

Carl Levin and John Warner, two former senators, one a Democrat and the other a Republican, published an op-ed at Politico yesterday, arguing for the deal. These two senators have a lot of experience in foreign affairs and their voices deserve to be listened to.

They write,

We both were elected to the Senate in 1978 and privileged to have served together on the Senate Armed Services Committee for 30 years, during which we each held committee leadership positions of chairman or ranking minority member. We support the Iran Agreement negotiated by the United States and other leading world powers for many reasons, including its limitations on Iran’s nuclear activities, its strong inspections regime, and the ability to quickly re-impose sanctions should Iran violate its provisions.

However, they have a reason perhaps our collection of chickenhawks might even understand if they could understand that the military has value even when it is not being actively used:

“But we also see a compelling reason to support the agreement that has gotten little attention: Rejecting it would weaken the deterrent value of America’s military option.”

They point out that “it’s highly unlikely that our traditional European allies, let alone China and Russia, would support the use of the military option since we had undermined the diplomatic path.” We would be effectively isolating ourselves from the allies we would need in the event we felt military intervention necessary. The senators are talking here about “access rights, logistics, intelligence, and other critical support.”

Imagine that. We’re stronger with allies than without. Even Dubya knew that, for all his devotion to cowboy diplomacy and his asserted right to attack anybody who at any future date had a chance of becoming a threat to the U.S.

It is difficult to admit, but there is ample reason to believe our current crop of Republican leaders are even more myopic than George W. Bush. Bush understood – belatedly – that calling his Iran War a holy crusade was maybe a little over the top. But Republicans today, a decade later, positively relish the role of holy avengers, smiting uppity Islam in the name of their god.

What is it the New Testament says about the value of allies? You only need one: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Oh yeah, and there was that thing the crusaders liked to say while they were hammering their Muslim foes: “Deus Vult!” God Wills it!

These Republicans have a crusader’s knee-jerk reaction to anything Islamic and this hatred is fed by Darth Netanyahu in Israel. It doesn’t matter that Netanyahu’s own military and intelligence people disagree with his assessment of Iran. Netanyahu is trying to cover this up and Republicans are covering their ears.

Netanyahu is talking the language they like and that’s all they’re going to listen to. Surprisingly, they’re not the only ones listening, and Gallup tells us that Obama gets “low marks for his handling of Iran.” Only one in three Americans approve.

Apparently, Fox News has convinced Americans that “Iran’s development of nuclear weapons pose[s] a “critical” threat to the U.S.”

And what isn’t a critical threat for Republicans? They can’t accumulate enemies fast enough: Russia, Iran, ISIL, Ebola (ISIL + Ebola), Mexicans (Mexicans + Drugs), Democrats, Women, Liberals, Progessives, Blacks, Gays and Lesbians, Transgenders, Atheists. How do these creepy old white people live in the world they have created for themselves?

And how can we escape its consequences? You know, those of us who are sane?

The P5+1 agreement, the JCPOA, is a good deal. The only option Republicans have to offer is a war nobody wants, a war that would only serve to isolate America (as did the Bush administration) from the world. No problem for chickenhawks. Nobody is going to be shooting at them, after all.

Democrats, with one or two exceptions, back the president, and that’s as should be. He, after all, is our president, not Benjamin Netanyahu. It is a bug of Republican governance that they do not know who is an American and who is not unless they are crossing the Southern border. Then they are pretty quick to oppose anything foreigners want.

Republicans must realize they work for the American people, not for Benjamin Netanyahu, and that, as John Kerry put it, we don’t live in a world inhabited by Unicorns. Obama, forced to be the adult in the room yet again, recognizes this. Brent Snowcroft and others who support the Iran deal recognize this.

It is a shame congressional Republicans and sixteen presidential candidates prefer a fantasy world of their own making to our shared reality. The need to understand that peace isn’t just something that happens if you fail to declare war. You have to work for it. You have to give it a chance.

As Snowcroft points out, there is always the military deterrent as a last resort. It doesn’t have to be the first resort to work, and as we saw in Iraq, it doesn’t always work anyway.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Snowcroft was NSA to George W. Bush when in fact he was NSA to George H.W. Bush.

22 Replies to “Bush National Security Adviser Backs Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal”

  1. “Snowcroft” or “Scowcroft”..; what’s th’ dif, eh? Just an historical figure in the evolution of the 20th Century and doesn’t deserve proper recognition.

    Your lack of attention is just another indication of the sloppier approach all media has sliden down in the devolution of the media.

    “Bah.., HUMBUG” !!!!

  2. Sanity is relative. There is Republican Sanity- which largely appears to be picayune when it comes to other’s mistakes, yet they swallow camel sized mistakes from their own without so much as a grimace.

    Democratic Sanity- is relative. We are obsessed with equality for all, as opposed some being more equal than others.

  3. Mr. Scowcroft makes some very logical points. The problem is, Republicans haven’t paid any heed to common sense and logic for over thiry years and it’s getting worse, not better due to Fox “News” and other right wing hate spewers. The MSM(now just another entertainment business) then repeats it as if it’s fact.

  4. …Jeb is a signatory of the PNAC…he is a hardcore NeoConArtist with a side o’ Teatard…
    …Mr. Scowcroft proves that those who use facts support the treaty…those who only have Idiotology want war…and don’t CARE about the backlash…or the consequences…

  5. …Sen.Schumer’s a Zealot…Israel above all else…how he can justify that when Israels own findings {which Nutty-yoyo is trying to suppress} and the former head o’ Mossad is in FAVOR of this deal…no Idea…perhaps the only way to truly commune with Nutty-yoyo is to shove your head up your ass, and that’s the posture we currently see Schumer in…

  6. Former chairman of the Foreign Relation Committee Senator Richard Lugar (R) and Former Chairman Energy and Natural Resources Senator J Bennett Johnson (D) gave a pretty point blank fact base op-ed on why they disagree with C. Schumer: http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/08/13/why-we-disagree-with-chuck-schumer-on-the-iran-deal/
    Nancy Pelosi urged her colleagues to read the intelligence assessment: http://democrats.intelligence.house.gov/press-release/current-and-former-house-intelligence-committee-members-urge-colleagues-review
    Why Iran Deal Matter (by Milt Shook): http://pleasecutthecrap.com/the-iran-deal-matters/

    IMO, poll numbers shows how easy people can be misled. For instance, before the final deal was sign and the betrayal of the 47 traitors was revealed. Polls was in favor the deal.

  7. By July it became more imminent the P5+1 and Iran had achieved the impossible. The narratives shift, started with republicans doom and gloom and Netanyahu making the rounds every news show, then whpc repeating their talking points (Bibi AIPAC repubs) at every press conference incl. PBO press briefing and Tapper (CNN) famous smack-down, 24/7 pundits repeat with no expert analysis because at this point neither pundits or the opponents read the agreement. So they turn political.
    Next came CNN poll showing favor against. Yet, 9x out of 10 people really didn’t know what was in the deal or the consequence. Just what they heard and seem on TV or radio.

  8. That’s why I have no patience with people and their nonsense about the deal. They couldn’t even take time to read it

  9. “It is difficult to admit, but there is ample reason to believe our current crop of Republican leaders are even more myopic than George W. Bush. Bush understood – belatedly – that calling his Iran War a holy crusade was maybe a little over the top. But Republicans today, a decade later”

    This is materially incorrect. Change it to the “Iraq War” and it will fix it.

  10. I guess that there are about 80 members of congress or senators going to Israel, courtesy of AIPC. I just read an article on Alternet website – called – places they won’t take the senators.
    As an old lady I wish someone here could do a link to the article for the readers her, or re-print the article, it is an eye opener.

  11. DJ, Schumer’s decision is not at all surprising. He’s a dual citizen, and his strings are pulled by AIPAC. He doesn’t deserve to be the Senate leader of Democrats, as he is hoping to be.

  12. Oh wait… In your haste to post first (nice for you), you just schooled us above about how the “sloppier approach all media has sliden down” apparently disappoints you. Now please tell us all what your own sloppiness (or “devolution”) in spelling says about your post here.

    Shall we play a game? You, try to find the word(s) that I have misspelled here in my own post. Having fun yet? Carry on.

  13. Veteran Israeli analyst, Nahum Barnea, has penned a piece entitled “On the edge of the abyss” which details how Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is desperate to do whatever must be done in order to kill passage of the Iran deal in Washington.

    According to Barnea, this includes threatening the Obama administration, or more accurately, those members of Congress still weighing their decision on the Iran deal. The threat? That a passed nuclear agreement will result in one thing: a last-resort war launched by Israel to save itself. Here is Barnea:

    Israel is willing to invest quite a lot in putting the military option back on the table. Defense Minister Ya’alon threatened last week in the media that Israel will resume targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. It was strange, because in the past, Israel didn’t make its threats in the media – according to foreign reports, it conducted its assassinations in secret. Ya’alon’s comments were not for Tehran’s ears, however, but for Washington. There were other moves, more concrete ones. It’s important to Israel to create the impression in Washington that approving the agreement would lead to war.

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