The Iran deal is the best we've got. There is no "better deal".
The framework agreement that the U.S. and its international partners reached with Iran that blocks Tehran's pathways to building a nuclear bomb is only a few weeks old, yet the usual suspects have already denounced it as a "bad deal."
To the opposition of the Iran deal, President Obama recently stated, “Let’s not mince words: The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy and some form of war — maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon.” And now as the President is trying to broker the historic deal, Sen. Charles Schumer - who also voted for the Iraq war - is sabotaging the Iran deal, claiming the United States should call for a “better deal."
Schumer was wrong about Iraq and is wrong about the Iran deal.
The reality is that those calling for “a better deal” have never offered a viable plan on how to get one. Opposing this deal and offering no alternative is putting us on the path to war, which we all know will come at a tremendous cost.
Of course none of this is new. The same criticisms came months ago when the decision to make a diplomatic agreement was less than a day old.
Former George W. Bush administration official John Bolton called the agreement "a surrender of classic proportions," and for Bolton, war is the only answer.
"The inconvenient truth is that only military action ... can accomplish what is required," Bolton wrote in The New York Times last month.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposes it too. "I think this is a bad deal," he said on Sunday, adding, "I think there is still time to reach a good deal, a better deal."
How do we get a "better deal"? Netanyahu doesn't have an answer.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) also criticized the agreement on Sunday, but he went a bit further than Netanyahu. "I don't want a war, but...," Graham said. But what? The South Carolina Republican said that Iran would have to completely capitulate and agree to dismantle its entire nuclear program and address other issues that weren't part of the nuclear talks or face war.
What do Bolton, Netanyahu, Graham and a whole host of others in Washington opposing this deal have in common? They were passionate supporters of the Iraq war and continue to hold that view today.
Here's what Netanyahu told Congress in September 2002, five months before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq: "If you take out Saddam ... I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region."
And here's what the Israeli Prime Minister told Congress just last month: "The agreement ... would all but guarantee that Iran gets nuclear weapons."
Graham said in 2003 that Saddam Hussein "is lying ... when he says he doesn't have weapons of mass destruction."
And here's Bolton in late 2002: "The Iraqi people would be unique in history if they didn't welcome the overthrow of this dictatorial regime."
Of course, we all know how this played out: no WMDs, tens of thousands of Americans killed or wounded, countless Iraqi civilians dead, nearly $4 trillion spent, and ISIS on a rampage throughout the Middle East.
Why should we listen to these people again?
The reality is that there is no better Iran deal, and those calling for one never offer a viable plan on how to get there. In fact, the real alternative is war, which will come at tremendous cost.
"After you've dropped those bombs on those hardened facilities, what happens next?" former commander of U.S. Central Command Gen. Anthony Zinni (ret.) once wondered. "[I]f you follow this all the way down, eventually I'm putting boots on the ground somewhere. And like I tell my friends, if you like Iraq and Afghanistan, you'll love Iran."