www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

What is and is not child abuse -9/22/2014, 9:30 AM

Cannabis politics and research -9/22/2014, 9:30 AM

Future of The Mall -9/21/2014, 6:14 PM

Multiculturalism is a failure -9/19/2014, 9:52 AM

State education rankings -9/19/2014, 9:52 AM

Kobach gone wild -9/19/2014, 9:52 AM

Bias prevents civil discussion of education issues -9/18/2014, 9:35 AM

Immigration is American -9/18/2014, 9:35 AM

Costs to states not expanding Medicaid -9/17/2014, 10:14 AM

Medicare threats -9/17/2014, 10:12 AM

Green fields in northwest Kansas -9/17/2014, 10:12 AM

Consolidation by starvation -9/16/2014, 9:54 AM

School mergers tricky -9/16/2014, 9:54 AM

Hotel tipping -9/16/2014, 9:54 AM

Abuse video revealed nothing we didn't know -9/15/2014, 9:20 AM

Lessons from 13 years ago -9/15/2014, 9:20 AM

The zero option -9/14/2014, 1:31 PM

Why branding ISIS matters -9/14/2014, 1:31 PM

School efficiency -9/14/2014, 1:31 PM

Favors and loot for sale -9/12/2014, 10:10 AM

The 'college experience' -9/12/2014, 10:10 AM

Ellis schools -9/11/2014, 10:10 AM

Hold on, Mr. President -9/11/2014, 9:26 AM

The best bathroom -9/11/2014, 9:26 AM

The day the world stood still -9/11/2014, 9:26 AM

No one can play your part -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

Playing candidate dress-up -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

Congress at work -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

Schmidt is the answer -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

The liabilities of cannabis use -9/8/2014, 9:21 AM

Downtown decision -9/8/2014, 9:21 AM

Why are red states so far behind? -9/8/2014, 9:20 AM

Taylor's next move -9/5/2014, 10:16 AM

Consider trees to spruce up yard -9/5/2014, 10:15 AM

Washington takes action to reform VA -9/5/2014, 10:15 AM

Umbehr stands out -9/4/2014, 12:25 PM

Leadership education -- it's not a scam -9/4/2014, 12:24 PM

Not supporting Brownback's re-election -9/4/2014, 12:23 PM

A fair fair debate -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Suicide in today's age -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Regulation overreach -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Sharpton, Kobach's common ground -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

In charge of all -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Pocket-book debate? -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Educating voters on education -9/2/2014, 9:33 AM

Crazy election season in Kansas -9/2/2014, 9:33 AM

An erosion of authenticity -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Blasphemy, free speech and the 'black mass' -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Labor Day -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Flexing muscles -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

Blacks must confront reality -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

The leadership scam -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

Green monster -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

The resurrection of Rick Perry -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

Senate campaign -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

Right to be heard? -8/26/2014, 10:08 AM

Over-covering Ferguson -8/26/2014, 10:07 AM

Figuring out the tax debate -8/26/2014, 10:07 AM

An obvious ploy -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Not-so-beautiful sunset -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Cannabis therapy -- Why bother? -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Business climate of Kansas -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

James Foley: Courage in the face of danger -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

Festering wound -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

Big banks settling -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

Tuition pays for this -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

College textbook scam -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

Policing a riot -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Evil strikes back -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Art appreciation -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Abuse of power -8/20/2014, 8:22 AM

Ferguson police arrest reporters for reporting -8/20/2014, 8:21 AM

Don't 'got milk' -8/20/2014, 8:21 AM

Another road map to success? -8/19/2014, 10:05 AM

It's the abuse of power, stupid -8/19/2014, 10:04 AM

Riots in Ferguson, and what they mean -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

One of billions -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

The GOP presents: Barack-nado -8/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Media and Missouri: What's going on? -8/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Answer the bell -8/15/2014, 8:58 AM

Get ready for denials -8/15/2014, 8:49 AM

Mental illness -8/15/2014, 8:49 AM

Mindless drones -8/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Can-do attitude -8/14/2014, 9:27 AM

'Poor door' -- a symbol of a truth we all know -8/13/2014, 9:19 AM

Eyeing the Ogallala Aquifer -8/13/2014, 9:19 AM

The slacker congress -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

CIA vs. Senate -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

The cannabis conundrum -- we against us -8/11/2014, 8:55 AM

The debate is over -8/11/2014, 8:54 AM

The 'Almost' Revolution -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

Is cross a history lesson or state religion? -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

Another downgrade -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

State economy plays critical role in the future of FHSU -8/10/2014, 2:09 PM

Building on past successes for a stronger future -8/10/2014, 2:09 PM

Will Palin's channel rival Comedy Central? -8/8/2014, 9:25 AM

Western anti-Semitism -8/8/2014, 9:25 AM

Patrolmen without borders -8/7/2014, 10:13 AM

Not a choice -8/7/2014, 10:12 AM

Ebola politics -8/7/2014, 10:12 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Take the win in Iran

Published on -7/21/2014, 8:57 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

With Barack Obama's approval ratings getting dragged down by a floundering foreign policy, we might miss one of his biggest successes in a place no one expected -- Iran. Whether we extend the interim anti-nuke deal or reach a longer-term agreement to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, Obama has backed our enemy into a corner. But fans of cynicism, failure and partisanship should take heart, because there's still time for Congress to turn what should be a win-win for the United States into yet another loss.

What we call "the free world" agrees Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. What we disagree on is how to stop them. The Dick Cheneys and John McCains of the world believe belligerence, saber rattling and bombings are the wisest course of action, while liberals prefer economic sanctions and diplomacy. And as much as negotiating with Iran seems foolishly naive, it seems to be working.

I've got a confession to make. I didn't think it was going to work, either. Because of the hostage crisis, I grew up hating Iran even more than the Yankees. Later, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's insane claim Israel must be "wiped off the map" convinced me the only thing that would bring that country to its senses was a crash course in smart bombs.

That's why I was among those Democrats who quietly thought Obama was foolish about foreign policy when he was running for president. It was one thing to want to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but when he said he would meet with rogue states including Iran "without precondition," his reasoning came across like the lofty logic of an ivory-tower egghead with no chance of success in the real world.

"And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration -- is ridiculous," Obama said.

Still, I wanted him to win, especially since McCain was wrong about Iran, Afghanistan, the economy and just about everything else. But I shut my pie hole even though I feared McCain was dead-on about Iran.

"Sen. Obama's desire to meet unconditionally in his first year at the presidential level with Iranian leaders" was "reckless, and demonstrates poor judgment that will make the world more dangerous," McCain said.

Since that election, Obama has been proven right. Last year, United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany signed a first-step agreement with Iran to put their nuke program on hold while they negotiated a permanent treaty. Conservatives, including McCain, howled. How can we trust Iran? This won't stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. And dumbest of all, negotiating with mullahs shows Obama is weak.

Poppycock. During the interim, Iran has destroyed its stockpile of highly enriched uranium, stopped building new centrifuges, halted work on its heavy-water plutonium reactor at Arak, and granted full access to the International Atomic Energy Agency for video surveillance and surprise inspections. In exchange, we let them have access to their frozen accounts in London banks and lifted some sanctions.

How good was that deal? It would be like Jack making a trade for magic beans in exchange for letting the old man keep his own cow.

Now that six-month interim deal expired Sunday, but before Republicans start rooting for failure, know this: America can't lose. Either we get a long-term deal that keeps Iran from developing nuclear weapons permanently, or we keep the interim deal in place. Heads we win the game, tails we keep Iran's nuclear program on deep freeze.

No one, including me, thought there was any point in talking to Iran, much less prospects of success in taking the diplomatic route that has led us here. But a treaty requires Senate approval, which means McCain -- not to mention Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and others -- still could screw this up. Demanding new sanctions or engaging in mindless partisan obstruction could fumble a diplomatic victory I never thought was possible. Let's take this win.

Jason Stanford is a regular contributor to the Austin American-Statesman, a Democratic consultant and a Truman National Security Project partner.

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News
AP Nation-World News

View this site in another language.

Kansas News