US Opinion and Commentary

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Congress, Don’t Isolate America Again Over Iran

Posted August 27th, 2015 at 10:20 am (UTC-5)
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Our efforts to reach this deal have affirmed the view of the United States as a tough but principled leader; rejecting it would be read in many quarters as a superpower intent on inflicting pain for its own sake.

Enforcing the Iran Deal: Another Gaping Hole

Posted August 26th, 2015 at 4:33 pm (UTC-5)
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Americans have debated whether the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) gives inspectors sufficient visibility into suspected, undisclosed Iranian activities, and whether, in the event of Iranian breach, sanctions will snapback.  But there’s a bigger problem: the Joint Plan grants Iran and friends grounds to exclude from snapback sanctions long-term sales of Iranian oil and gas, […]

Debate over Iran Nuke Deal Intensifies

Posted August 26th, 2015 at 2:12 pm (UTC-5)
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Both sides in the debate over the Iran nuclear deal are in full campaign mode, counting heads in Congress for the vote in mid-September, and making contingency plans. The hashtag #IranDeal is being used to promote arguments pro and con. The White House praised last week’s endorsement by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat from New York, who is Jewish. Deal opponents point to Sen. Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York, who is also Jewish. Republicans are reportedly preparing legislation to sanction Iran if the deal is rejected by vote – or Obama invokes his right to veto.

American Jewish Lobby a Crucial Player in Iran Nuke Deal

Posted August 20th, 2015 at 4:33 pm (UTC-5)
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‘When it comes to Iran’s nuclear capability, this [deal] is the best option,” wrote retired Israeli Admiral Ami Ayalon, former head of Israel’s secret service agency Shin Bet, in a full-page ad in The New York Times newspaper. The ad, signed by more than two dozen leaders in the American Jewish community, directly opposes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhayu’s very public criticism of the accord. A Congressional vote on the pact will take place next month. In the meantime, members of the American Jewish lobby find themselves split over a deal that everyone agrees will have long-term consequences.

President Obama’s op-ed on Iran

Posted August 20th, 2015 at 12:19 pm (UTC-5)
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“From the time I first ran for president, I have said that we need to end the mindset in American politics that prioritizes military action over diplomacy and that rushes into conflict. That mindset is what led us to go to war in Iraq, and we are still dealing with the consequences of that decision more than a decade later. As commander-in-chief, I have not hesitated to use force when necessary. If Iran does not abide by this deal, it’s possible that we won’t have any other choice than to act militarily. However, we cannot in good conscience justify a march toward war before we’ve exhausted diplomacy.”

In Iran Nuke Deal, Partisan Interests Trump Security

Posted August 12th, 2015 at 3:14 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin A week after President Barack Obama passionately defended the Iran deal in a speech at American University, the political ripples keep spreading. Many commentators have complained about Obama’s tough tone and his equation of  Republican opponents of the deal with Iranian hardliners who chant “Death to America” at staged government rallies. Others […]

Iran Nuclear Deal: Inviting War or Securing Global Safety?

Posted August 12th, 2015 at 10:16 am (UTC-5)
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The arguments for and against the nuclear accord between Iran and the United States and the rest of the P+5 countries have ramped up per the open letter signed by three dozen retired generals and admirals supporting the pact and urging Congress to do the same. Others are decrying one of President Obama’s main justifications for the pact: there exists no other alternative – except war.

If Barack Obama Ever Had a Strategy for Syria, it’s Been Turned on its Head

Posted August 11th, 2015 at 12:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Faced with a crisis of such magnitude, the choice for an American president tends to be between a bad option and a worse one. But whatever Obama has chosen to do or not to do, the outcome has been far from convincing: there seems to be no end to this war.

Obama: My Way — Or You’re a Traitor

Posted August 11th, 2015 at 8:42 am (UTC-5)
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On Wednesday, at American University, Obama said the genocidal fascist freaks in Iran who chant “Death to America” are “making common cause with the Republican caucus” for opposing the deal.

In Unstable World, Is the US Pursing “Soft Power” Options?

Posted August 7th, 2015 at 5:36 pm (UTC-5)
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President Obama’s race to the White House in 2008 included a promise the get the United States out of Iraq. Just over six years later, US combat troops are back home from Iraq. But thanks to a failed experiment with US-backed democracy there, the Islamic State has taken over parts of both Iraq and Syria, pulling the US back into the turmoil.

Making the Case For (and Against) Historic Nuclear Pact with Iran

Posted August 5th, 2015 at 4:44 pm (UTC-5)
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With a September deadline hanging over the US Congress to vote on the accord, stakeholders are out in force, either selling or debunking the deal. President Obama said the choice is between diplomacy or “some form of war” during remarks in Washington. Opponents in turn burned up the web, arguing Tehran can never be trusted.

Why the Iran Deal’s Critics Will Probably Lose

Posted August 5th, 2015 at 12:50 pm (UTC-5)
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None of them, from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “historic mistake” Netanyahu to U.S. Senator Lindsey “it’s a declaration of war on Israel” Graham, has yet risen to the challenge of offering a better real-world alternative      

Obama’s Clean Energy Plan Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Posted August 4th, 2015 at 1:07 pm (UTC-5)
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The courts already have ruled that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be regulated by the EPA, and to win global cooperation in the climate battle, the United States must go into the Paris climate talks in October prepared to help lead the way. In this fight for survival, timid measures will not work.

Obama Takes a Crucial Step on Climate Change

Posted August 4th, 2015 at 1:11 am (UTC-5)
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President Obama’s Clean Power Plan has rightly been hailed as the most important action any president has taken to address the climate crisis.

Climate Change Plan Invites Praise, Criticism

Posted August 3rd, 2015 at 12:34 pm (UTC-5)
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The Obama administration has unveiled its Clean Power Plan, a set of mandates that will require states to sharply reduce their carbon emissions by 2022. Not surprisingly, there is strong opposition, most especially politicians and businesses from coal-producing states. But environmentalists are praising the “bold” new rules, which are expected to spark a series of lawsuits.