[Vision2020] Obama Responds to Trump's Iran Pull-Out

Darrell Keim keim153 at gmail.com
Wed May 9 10:50:28 PDT 2018

I can't decide whether I view it as unseemly or not, since Trump has so
strongly gone after anything Obama. And, well, Trump lies a lot.

I do find it frightening and divisive.

On Wed, May 9, 2018 at 10:34 AM, Dan Carscallen <areaman at moscow.com> wrote:

> I’m with Darrell on this.
> Doesn’t matter to me who is currently in the office, the previous guy
> commenting on his activities is a little unseemly.
> I don’t recall anyone ever doing that.  Then again Grover Cleveland might
> have, since he did serve non-concurrent terms.  Of course that was just a
> little before my time.
> DC
> On May 9, 2018, at 10:22, Darrell Keim <keim153 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Without commenting on the issue at hand, I have an observation.
> Can anyone recall a past president so publicly rebuking/countering his
> successor on a major policy change?
> On Wed, May 9, 2018 at 9:12 AM, Nicholas Gier <ngier006 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Former President Barack Obama released a statement after Trump withdrew
>> the US from the Iran nuclear deal that amounted to a point by point
>> debunking of Trump’s falsehoods about the agreement.
>> The statement provided to PoliticusUSA by Obama’s office is lengthy but
>> important:
>> There are few issues more important to the security of the United States
>> than the potential spread of nuclear weapons, or the potential for even
>> more destructive war in the Middle East. That’s why the United States
>> negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the first
>> place.
>> The reality is clear. The JCPOA is working – that is a view shared by our
>> European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of
>> Defense. The JCPOA is in America’s interest – it has significantly rolled
>> back Iran’s nuclear program. And the JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy
>> can accomplish – its inspections and verification regime is precisely what
>> the United States should be working to put in place with North Korea.
>> Indeed, at a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to
>> succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes
>> – with Iran – the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans.
>> That is why today’s announcement is so misguided. Walking away from the
>> JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our
>> country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals
>> negotiated. In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and
>> priorities from one Administration to the next. But the consistent flouting
>> of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s
>> credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers.
>> Debates in our country should be informed by facts, especially debates
>> that have proven to be divisive. So it’s important to review several facts
>> about the JCPOA.
>> First, the JCPOA was not just an agreement between my Administration and
>> the Iranian government. After years of building an international coalition
>> that could impose crippling sanctions on Iran, we reached the JCPOA
>> together with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the European Union,
>> Russia, China, and Iran. It is a multilateral arms control deal,
>> unanimously endorsed by a United Nations Security Council Resolution.
>> Second, the JCPOA has worked in rolling back Iran’s nuclear program. For
>> decades, Iran had steadily advanced its nuclear program, approaching the
>> point where they could rapidly produce enough fissile material to build a
>> bomb. The JCPOA put a lid on that breakout capacity. Since the JCPOA was
>> implemented, Iran has destroyed the core of a reactor that could have
>> produced weapons-grade plutonium; removed two-thirds of its centrifuges
>> (over 13,000) and placed them under international monitoring; and
>> eliminated 97 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium – the raw
>> materials necessary for a bomb. So by any measure, the JCPOA has imposed
>> strict limitations on Iran’s nuclear program and achieved real results.
>> Third, the JCPOA does not rely on trust – it is rooted in the most
>> far-reaching inspections and verification regime ever negotiated in an arms
>> control deal. Iran’s nuclear facilities are strictly monitored.
>> International monitors also have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply
>> chain, so that we can catch them if they cheat. Without the JCPOA, this
>> monitoring and inspections regime would go away.
>> Fourth, Iran is complying with the JCPOA. That was not simply the view of
>> my Administration. The United States intelligence community has continued
>> to find that Iran is meeting its responsibilities under the deal, and has
>> reported as much to Congress. So have our closest allies, and the
>> international agency responsible for verifying Iranian compliance – the
>> International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
>> Fifth, the JCPOA does not expire. The prohibition on Iran ever obtaining
>> a nuclear weapon is permanent. Some of the most important and intrusive
>> inspections codified by the JCPOA are permanent. Even as some of the
>> provisions in the JCPOA do become less strict with time, this won’t happen
>> until ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years into the deal, so there is
>> little reason to put those restrictions at risk today.
>> Finally, the JCPOA was never intended to solve all of our problems with
>> Iran. We were clear-eyed that Iran engages in destabilizing behavior –
>> including support for terrorism, and threats toward Israel and its
>> neighbors. But that’s precisely why it was so important that we prevent
>> Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Every aspect of Iranian behavior that
>> is troubling is far more dangerous if their nuclear program is
>> unconstrained. Our ability to confront Iran’s destabilizing behavior – and
>> to sustain a unity of purpose with our allies – is strengthened with the
>> JCPOA, and weakened without it.
>> Because of these facts, I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at
>> risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake.
>> Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing
>> choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East. We
>> all know the dangers of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. It could embolden
>> an already dangerous regime; threaten our friends with destruction; pose
>> unacceptable dangers to America’s own security; and trigger an arms race in
>> the world’s most dangerous region. If the constraints on Iran’s nuclear
>> program under the JCPOA are lost, we could be hastening the day when we are
>> faced with the choice between living with that threat, or going to war to
>> prevent it.
>> In a dangerous world, America must be able to rely in part on strong,
>> principled diplomacy to secure our country. We have been safer in the years
>> since we achieved the JCPOA, thanks in part to the work of our diplomats,
>> many members of Congress, and our allies. Going forward, I hope that
>> Americans continue to speak out in support of the kind of strong,
>> principled, fact-based, and unifying leadership that can best secure our
>> country and uphold our responsibilities around the globe.
>> Obama made a critical point
>> Much of Trump’s argument for killing the Iran deal was based on the false
>> premise that the deal was a failure if it didn’t address all of the
>> problems with Iran’s behavior, but the nuclear deal was never meant to do
>> that. By design, it dealt with Iran’s nuclear program. Republicans have
>> used this rhetorical device on the issue of health care, for example, as
>> well. It is a false argument that seeks to turn something successful into a
>> failure.
>> It is rare for a former president to come out with such a strong
>> statement against an action taken by a current president. All evidence and
>> even members of Trump’s own administration say that the deal was working.
>> For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC
>> group. <https://www.facebook.com/groups/1944900445770755/>
>> --
>> A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they
>> shall never sit in.
>> -Greek proverb
>> “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.
>> Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance
>> from another. This immaturity is self- imposed when its cause lies not in
>> lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without
>> guidance from another. Sapere Aude! ‘Have courage to use your own
>> understand-ing!—that is the motto of enlightenment.
>> --Immanuel Kant
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