About Those High-Pitched Squeals You Heard Yesterday…

If you haven’t already, check out President Obama’s speech on the Iran nuke deal. He makes a convincing argument for supporting the agreement and provides a plausible overview of what will happen if Congress doesn’t approve it.

Come for the well-reasoned summation, but stay to hear PBO strip the bark off the always-wrong neocons. Here’s an excerpt that explains the high-pitched squealing you heard yesterday, as if a million neocons suddenly cried out in rage and were suddenly silenced:

Between now and the congressional vote in September, you are going to hear a lot of arguments against this deal, backed by tens of millions of dollars in advertising. And if the rhetoric in these ads and the accompanying commentary sounds familiar, it should, for many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal.

Now, when I ran for president eight years ago as a candidate who had opposed the decision to go to war in Iraq, I said that America didn’t just have to end that war. We had to end the mindset that got us there in the first place.

It was a mindset characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy, a mindset that put a premium on unilateral U.S. action over the painstaking work of building international consensus, a mindset that exaggerated threats beyond what the intelligence supported.

Leaders did not level with the American people about the costs of war, insisting that we could easily impose our will on a part of the world with a profoundly different culture and history.

And, of course, those calling for war labeled themselves strong and decisive while dismissing those who disagreed as weak, even appeasers of a malevolent adversary.

More than a decade later, we still live with the consequences of the decision to invade Iraq. Our troops achieved every mission they were given, but thousands of lives were lost, tens of thousands wounded. That doesn’t count the lives lost among Iraqis. Nearly a trillion dollars was spent.

Today, Iraq remains gripped by sectarian conflict, and the emergence of al-Qaida in Iraq has now evolved into ISIL. And ironically, the single greatest beneficiary in the region of that war was the Islamic Republic of Iran, which saw its strategic position strengthened by the removal of its long-standing enemy, Saddam Hussein.

[snip]

I recognize that resorting to force may be tempting in the face of the rhetoric and behavior that emanates from parts of Iran. It is offensive. It is incendiary. We do take it seriously.

But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts or even provocations that can be addressed short of war. Just because Iranian hardliners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. In fact, it’s those…

In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican Caucus.

The same people who have spent the last six years baselessly accusing the president of being a stealth-jihadist, anti-American, Israel-hating, limp-wristed appeaser / power-mad dictator haven’t been silenced, of course: They are meeping all over the Internet like schoolyard bullies who just took a shot in the stones.

But it’s a somewhat muted meeping. Like his predecessor Harry S. Truman, President Obama didn’t give them hell; he told the truth, and they thought it was hell.

172 replies
  1. 1
    boatboy_srq says:

    But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts or even provocations that can be addressed short of war.

    There was a time when the GOP understood this. I think it was 1916.

  2. 2
    dmsilev says:

    as if a million neocons suddenly cried out in rage and were suddenly silenced:

    Sadly, I’m pretty sure even building a Death Star and blowing up our entire planet would not be sufficient to silence the neocons.

  3. 3
    bystander says:

    First question at the “debate” tonight: Can you show us where Hussein Obummer hurt you?

  4. 4
    Redshift says:

    Yeah, I needed a cigarette after that speech, and I’ve never smoked.

  5. 5
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @dmsilev: Came to comments to post the same thing. Seconded.

  6. 6
    Cervantes says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    If so, perhaps it was because the US was not a superpower in 1916.

  7. 7
    Cervantes says:

    @dmsilev:

    It might if we were on the Death Star and they were on the planet.

  8. 8
    debbie says:

    Between this and the growing conspiracy theories about Trump being a Democrat plant to screw the GOP, more than heads will be exploding. Head for shelter!

  9. 9
    the Conster says:

    @debbie:

    Yeah, that story about Bill Clinton telling Trump to run has so many RWNJ trolling possibilities. Well played, Bubba, well played.

    The Iran speech was masterful. I’m already anxious about him not being president anymore.

  10. 10
    SRW1 says:

    I hear Dick Cheney had palpitations. But it was not enough.

  11. 11
    Betty Cracker says:

    @the Conster: While listening to the speech, I thought more than once: I’m going to miss PBO. Even if, FSM willing, Democrats retain their hold on the White House for the foreseeable future, it won’t be the same.

  12. 12
    Botsplainer says:

    Yer with us or agin’ us. Freedom fries!

  13. 13
    debbie says:

    you are going to hear a lot of arguments against this deal, backed by tens of millions of dollars in advertising

    NPR reported this morning that AIPAC had bought time on TV in 23 states.

  14. 14
    NonyNony says:

    @the Conster:

    Yeah, that story about Bill Clinton telling Trump to run has so many RWNJ trolling possibilities.

    I’m trying to figure out who leaked it and why. It’s a bit early for Jeb! to be leaking it, because Trump is doing a great job of sucking up oxygen from the rest of the clown car. But he’s the one that I’d expect would have the extensive oppo research group and connections to do it (and it was in the WaPo – who have historically always lurved the Bush family and seem to consider them unofficial royalty).

    Maybe his handlers thought that Trump needed to be taken down a peg? Or maybe someone else in the GOP establishment itself got ahold of it. But I’m wondering if it will backfire – if Trump gets asked about it at the debate he’s going to just go off in full angry privileged billionaire mode and scream about how he can call whoever he wants whenever he wants and if he wants to call up Bill Clinton and ask him what being President is like, well, that’s his fucking business and none of the elitist jackasses in the Republican Party elite can tell HIM what to do.

    I wonder if the GOP bosses understand that the 27% or so of GOP primary voters that are Trump’s supporters hate the GOP bosses slightly more than they hate Democratic party bigwigs or the liberal media. If Trump can successfully pivot and turn this leak into an attack on him by “Republican Party elites” and the hated “liberal media”, he might be able to push his support up to as much as a third of the GOP…

    (Which suggests that Trump HIMSELF might have leaked it in order to have the “liberal media” dutifully perform their “hit job” before the debate so that he can have something to be angry about. But that sounds a bit too proactive and 11th-dimensional-chess for Trump.)

  15. 15
    Jeffro says:

    In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican Caucus.

    I’m sorry, did my President just link…Iranian loons with Republican loons…to their face? With the facts? Oh me oh my. Is there enough room on Mt. Rushmore for just one more?

  16. 16
    c u n d gulag says:

    Call me an Obamabot, but, despite his many faults, I do SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO love this man!
    In a totally manly-man, non-homo way, of course… ;-)

  17. 17
    Cervantes says:

    @Jeffro:

    Take down “Mt. Rushmore” and give the place back.

    It’s the least we could do.

  18. 18
    big ole hound says:

    Two things; are any of the warmongers not financed by the military complex and how much money did Schumer take from Israeli factions. C’mon media do some digging and follow the money.

  19. 19
    Botsplainer says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts or even provocations that can be addressed short of war.

    I’m reminded of the two guys who were trying to get into a fight over a girl at my main courthouse a month ago. Like an idiot, I stepped in to break up this random fight in the hallway. They were impervious to reason and when the bailiff emerged, taser in hand, they were wanting to be frisky with him.

  20. 20
    debbie says:

    @NonyNony:

    I’m also hearing that the debate moderators have a “secret” plan to keep Trump in line tonight. Like that won’t backfire amongst his followers…

  21. 21
    the Conster says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I’m always struck by his choice of certain words. He always chooses just the right word, that conveys the exact meaning. That’s so hard to do, and so important because everyone in the world parses everything he says. I feel like he’s really the only grown up in the world right now. We really got lucky with him.

  22. 22
    BobS says:

    I notice there is no “Bitchslapped!” tag yet.

  23. 23
    Benw says:

    That’s no moon; that’s President Obama!

    Why are we still moving toward it!!?

  24. 24
    Benw says:

    @Betty Cracker: 3rd term! 3rd term!

  25. 25
    JohnPM says:

    Looks like Obama’s bag of fucks is still empty!

  26. 26

    When I saw the headline, I assumed this would be about my Senator

  27. 27
    chopper says:

    @Jeffro:

    indeed. if we built a death star in orbit and used its laser to carve obama’s face in mt rushmore, we’d get a two-fer.

  28. 28
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: Still not sure all that big talk during the campaign was anything but just that. ;)

  29. 29
    dmsilev says:

    @debbie: I can only assume that this plan involves electroshock collars or possibly a sniper in the back row with a tranq gun.

  30. 30
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @debbie: Is that like the secret plan to end the Viet Nam war?

  31. 31
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Cervantes: … and back then, the US was wishing OTHER superpowers would stop fighting and get a clue. Although, after the Spanish-American War and the voyage of the Great White Fleet, the US did have considerable reach.

  32. 32
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Botsplainer: One does not stop and frisk a bailiff.

  33. 33
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    I do SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO love this man!
    In a totally manly-man, non-homo way, of course… ;-)

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

    There, I always wanted to say that back to a straight person.

  34. 34
    debbie says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Since it’ll be executed by incompetents, it’s probably closer to the plan for Iraq after Shock and Awe.

  35. 35
    beltane says:

    I love Obama. I have nothing but contempt and loathing for those Democrats. especially the ones in leadership positions, who are working to squelch the Iran deal. Such behavior is expected from Republicans; it is unforgivable when Democrats do it.

  36. 36
    Chris says:

    In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican Caucus.

    JFK said something during the Cold War about how the hawks in Washington and Moscow vindicated each other, propped each other up, and basically might as well be in business together. Certainly describes Washington and Tehran nowadays too.

  37. 37
    beltane says:

    What type of wine will go best with tonight’s Trump show?

  38. 38
    Amir Khalid says:

    @debbie:
    I wonder if it’s even possible for a debate moderator to control The Donald, if The Donald decides he doesn’t feel like taking orders tonight. He might prove no easier to control than a house-cat in an uncooperative mood.

  39. 39
    Chris says:

    But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts or even provocations that can be addressed short of war.

    The thing there is, countries blow off steam with angry rhetoric all the time. We certainly do it, so does everyone. Treating every one of these things as an actual act of war is neither possible nor the intelligent way to react.

  40. 40
    Chris says:

    @dmsilev:

    Sadly, I’m pretty sure even building a Death Star and blowing up our entire planet would not be sufficient to silence the neocons.

    True, especially since the neocons are likely to be the ones on the Death Star in the first place.

  41. 41
    Mayur says:

    @SRW1:

    I hear Dick Cheney had palpitations. But it was not enough.

    That is the crystallization of “begging the question.”

    Dick Cheney doesn’t have the necessary organ for palpitations.

  42. 42
    Althea says:

    Thank you for the memeorandum link. Otherwise I would not have found out that Obama attracts demons on camera

  43. 43
    beltane says:

    @Amir Khalid: Almost everyone watching, especially the Republicans watching, wants nothing more than to hear Trump yell “You’re fired!” to the moderator. The Republican base will settle for nothing less.

  44. 44
    Kropadope says:

    @beltane:

    I love Obama. I have nothing but contempt and loathing for those Democrats. especially the ones in leadership positions, who are working to squelch the Iran deal. Such behavior is expected from Republicans; it is unforgivable when Democrats do it.

    You’re right and we should primary the ever-loving hell out of them. Decline the Senate seat to lefty hero Alan Grayson too. He’s an embarrassment.

    @Mayur:

    Dick Cheney doesn’t have the necessary organ for palpitations.

    They gave him a mechanical one, much like the Wizard of Oz gave the Tin Man.

  45. 45
    Chris says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Didn’t Sarah Palin already do something similar? “I may not answer the questions the way you want me to, but I’m going to tell the facts to the American people!” when she was just not answering the question, period? I could see Trump taking that and running with it, for sure.

  46. 46
    Riley's Enabler says:

    @beltane: All of it, Katie.

  47. 47
    Betty Cracker says:

    @beltane: If the Democrats who oppose the deal had plausible alternatives, I’d call it an honest disagreement on the issue rather than rank pandering, but they don’t. Here’s some stupid that dribbled out of Steve Israel’s pie-hole when asked that question:

    He said he has no idea what will happen if the deal fails.

    “The alternative is as imperfect as the deal is,” he said. “I can’t cast my vote based on hypotheticals. I have to base my vote on what’s in my heart.”

    What a load of bullshit.

  48. 48
    Botsplainer says:

    @beltane:

    Moderate Republican White. Made from the tears of moderate conservatives who realize that they’re forced to choose between morons who want to ban contraception and start wars of choice on behalf of the worst reactionary elements of Israeli society, and a pro-business, moderately hawkish Democrat. The tears turn more bitter with time, and mixed with soda water, make a fine aperitif.

  49. 49
    redshirt says:

    I need to know what John McCain thinks.

    I can’t even guess.

  50. 50
    beltane says:

    @Kropadope: Alan Grayson is appalling. It would be a disgrace if he won the primary on account of a few good things he said almost a decade ago.

  51. 51
    Jeffro says:

    @Cervantes: I don’t even know what that means…give it back…to nature?

  52. 52
    Jeffro says:

    @JohnPM: It is so empty, it has almost created a singularity. A Wing-ularity, as it were.

    Whomever’s planning the Dem convention better figure out how to manage appearances & expectations, and quickly. There’s going to be so much O-love going on it will be tough not to overshadow the eventual nominee. Maybe the President could speak for just a few minutes, two weeks before the convention?

    Naw, who are we kidding?? VICTORY LAP! VICTORY LAP!!

  53. 53
    NonyNony says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I wonder if it’s even possible for a debate moderator to control The Donald

    Sure – you ask him boring questions. Questions that sound serious, but where his answers will be the same as everyone else up on that stage and not terribly controversial (to GOP audiences anyway). You also have to have buy-in from the other 9 candidates that they will not attack The Donald directly or indirectly in their answers to questions directed at them.

    I don’t think it’ll happen. Mostly because I predict that at some point one of the low pollers takes a potshot at The Donald and The Donald refuses to answer the next question because he uses his time to go off on that low poller. Actually it would possibly be a good move on the part of someone like Kasich to get into a rivalry with Trump. It would give him a boost to his name recognition (“He’s the guy that fought with Trump during the debate”), and give someone for the 52% or so of the GOP who hates Donald Trump to rally around as “the guy who is actually standing up to Trump” – there really are “moderate-in-tone-at-least” Republicans looking for someone to rally around, and Jeb! and Walker both have been disappointing so far. Of course, he’d have to be clever about it and handle it with calm, cool, rationality, and pull off the “challenging Trump” while not crossing the line over into “angry nutjob just like Trump” and I suspect that Kasich can’t do that. But maybe one of the other ones can pull it off. Rubio maybe, or Huckabee.

    Hilariously I could see Chris Christie trying it. Imagining a feud between Trump and Christie sucking up ALL of the oxygen on that stage for the other 8 candidates (and making the “losers bracket” debate look like the place to be tonight) warms the cockles of my heart.

  54. 54
    Paul in KY says:

    @beltane: Agree. Think they are Israeli lickspittles.

  55. 55
    beltane says:

    @Betty Cracker: If I thought Democratic opposition to the Iran deal was based on sincere policy disagreements, I would not be so harsh. However, since this opposition is based solely on the desire to comply with the wishes of the leader of a foreign country, there are no words that can adequately convey my disgust with these people.

  56. 56
    Paul in KY says:

    @Jeffro: Indians, I think. It is in the Black Hills, I believe.

  57. 57
    Jeffro says:

    @beltane: Perry whine or Santorum whine would be best, probably right around 5:00 p.m.

  58. 58
    debbie says:

    @Botsplainer:

    What goes around, comes around, baby. You lie down with vicious dogs, you’re going to wake up feeling like a chew toy.

    They deserve every molecule of misery coming their way.

  59. 59
    Mike J says:

    @beltane: Do you remember what a scandal it was when John Kerry said[1] that we had to ask other country’s permission for our foreign policy?

    [1] No, he didn’t say that.

  60. 60
    Kropadope says:

    @beltane:

    there are no words that can adequately convey my disgust with these people.

    Words will never do. What we need is a mass coordination of box checking.

  61. 61
    aimai says:

    @Redshift: So true. Love this president.

  62. 62
    Chris says:

    @the Conster:

    I’m already anxious about him not being president anymore.

    @Betty Cracker:

    While listening to the speech, I thought more than once: I’m going to miss PBO. Even if, FSM willing, Democrats retain their hold on the White House for the foreseeable future, it won’t be the same.

    I honestly never expected to like him as much as I’ve come to. 2008 was the first election I got to vote in, and I voted for him basically because he was the Democrat – would’ve just as happily voted for Hillary, I had no dog in that fight. Nowadays – man. He is going to be an incredibly tough act to follow.

  63. 63
    beltane says:

    @Kropadope: Yes, any Democratic politician who puts the Likud party of Israel’s interest over the United States needs, at a minimum, to be kicked out of public office. They can go be lobbyists somewhere, but they have no business acting as so-called public servants.

  64. 64
    boatboy_srq says:

    @beltane: @Jeffro: It’ll be white whine regardless.

  65. 65
    Kropadope says:

    @boatboy_srq: On stage and throughout the audience.

  66. 66
    beltane says:

    @boatboy_srq: No pinot noir in the Republican whine cellar, that’s for sure.

  67. 67
    boatboy_srq says:

    @beltane: Absolutely not, on two counts: red, and French.

  68. 68
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Congress doesn’t have to “approve” the deal, and I don’t know why people are using that frame. With 2/3, Congress can pass Gitmo style laws prohibiting implementation of the deal.

  69. 69
    Kropadope says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    With 2/3, Congress can pass Gitmo style laws prohibiting implementation of the deal.

    Don’t give them ideas.

  70. 70
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Chris: Obama was the first candidate I’d ever supported in the primaries who actually won the nomination. Then went on to win the general election twice! That’ll probably never happen again.

  71. 71
    beltane says:

    @Betty Cracker: Same here. He was also the only candidate I donated to early and often. We’re not exactly swimming in money here so this was a very big deal.

  72. 72
    beltane says:

    Every time I get an email from Chuck Schumer I feel like replying with a “Fuck you, asshole!”.

  73. 73
    Roger Moore says:

    @Jeffro:

    Is there enough room on Mt. Rushmore for just one more?

    Nope, but Stone Mountain in Georgia could use some modifications…

  74. 74
    Kropadope says:

    @Betty Cracker: I mean, I don’t know whom your planning on supporting in the primaries this time, but I think I’ve settled on a candidate who is generating a lot of enthusiasm from people who aren’t normally very politically engaged. It only seems to be growing, for now. I can only hope we pull it off.

  75. 75
    Althea says:

    @beltane: The kind that gets you the drunkest the fastest

  76. 76
    Kropadope says:

    Obama:

    Now, let me pause here just to remind everybody that, when the interim deal was announced, critics, the same critics we are hearing from now, called it a historic mistake. They insisted Iran would ignore its obligations, they warned that the sanctions would unravel. They warned that Iran would receive a windfall to support terrorism.

    The critics were wrong. The progress of Iran’s nuclear program was halted for the first time in a decade, its stockpile of dangerous materials was reduced, the deployment of its advanced centrifuges was stopped, inspections did increase. There was no flood of money into Iran. And the architecture of the international sanctions remained in place. In fact, the interim deal worked so well that the same people who criticized it so fiercely now cite it as an excuse not to support the broader accord.

    Are there no depths they will not sink to?

  77. 77
    Roger Moore says:

    @chopper:

    if we built a death star in orbit and used its laser to carve obama’s face in mt rushmore, we’d get a two-fer.

    No dice. The Obama administration has officially come out against construction of a Death Star.

  78. 78
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Help me understand the difference. The president says in the speech that Congress can “kill” the deal or “support” it. How is that materially different than “approve”?

  79. 79
    Roger Moore says:

    @beltane:

    What type of wine will go best with tonight’s Trump show?

    I don’t know, but you’re going to have nine choices of whine about Trump getting all the attention.

  80. 80
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Kropadope: I’m not giving anyone ideas. That is literally the only blocking point Congress has – a law that can overcome a presidential veto.

  81. 81
    RSA says:

    @Althea:

    Thank you for the memeorandum link.

    I’ll second that; I wouldn’t have come across this remarkable late-July 2015 poll showing Trump’s net approval (“Feelings toward Donald Trump”) across different demographic groups: age, race, education, political affiliation… Net approval in only one category listed.

  82. 82
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Betty Cracker: “approve” implies that Congress has to ratify the deal. They don’t.

  83. 83
    Kropadope says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I meant the prospect of GITMO-style enforcement. I’m sure any clown who can be convinced to vote against this deal can be convinced to likewise support that. If they manage the 2/3; I, for one, don’t feel like being put in a prison camp, thank you.

  84. 84
    Cervantes says:

    @beltane:

    I have nothing but contempt and loathing for those Democrats. especially the ones in leadership positions, who are working to squelch the Iran deal.

    Loathing may be a bit much — some of them do a lot of good in other areas — but I agree that their position on this question is contemptible.

  85. 85
    Kropadope says:

    @Roger Moore:

    if we built a death star in orbit and used its laser to carve obama’s face in mt rushmore, we’d get a two-fer.

    No dice. The Obama administration has officially come out against construction of a Death Star.

    This might be the first time I felt the least bit aspirational about a Hillary Clinton presidency.

  86. 86
    Cervantes says:

    @Jeffro:

    I don’t even know what that means…give it back…to nature?

    If you don’t know what I meant, please see here.

  87. 87
    Kropadope says:

    Democratic opposition and ambivalence to the deal seems to be most concentrated in New York, California, and Florida. Juicers, please contact your Congressfolk.

  88. 88
    Cervantes says:

    @beltane:

    since this opposition is based solely on the desire to comply with the wishes of the leader of a foreign country

    I don’t think that’s it precisely. On this question most of them actually agree with him to some extent, certainly more than they agree with you, me, John Kerry, or the President.

  89. 89
    Jeffro says:

    @Cervantes: Oh good, a practical solution. Thanks!

  90. 90
    Jeffro says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Nope, but Stone Mountain in Georgia could use some modifications…

    I am so very, very tempted to start that rumor with my RW friends and relatives.

    That, or that the next NASA mission will be to plow a likeness of Obama’s face into the lunar soil. Why not – they’ll believe either version.

  91. 91
    Cervantes says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    Three counts, I think you’ll find.

  92. 92
    Cervantes says:

    @Roger Moore:

    That’s the spirit!

  93. 93
    Cervantes says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    “approve” implies that Congress has to ratify the deal. They don’t.

    Yes, they do, in the sense that sanctions against Iran have to be repealed and only they can do that.

  94. 94
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Kropadope: I was referring to the laws that prohibit the president from moving Gitmo prisoners to federal prisons. Those passed nearly unanimously.

  95. 95
    Cervantes says:

    @Jeffro:

    Oh good, a practical solution. Thanks!

    Wait — you’re the one suggesting that Obama’s likeness be added to Mt. Rushmore and you think that’s a practical suggestion?

  96. 96
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Cervantes: the deal can go forward without that and will. Other countries will swoop in to do business with Iran and only our purity pony business types will be hurt.

  97. 97
    Benw says:

    @Kropadope: ha! The original Death Star had a lot of design flaws (control panels hanging over enormous shafts; unshielded thermal exhaust ports leading directly to the main reactor?). I’d much rather spend my tax dollars on something more practical.

    Like a Super Star Destroyer.

  98. 98
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Roger Moore: a lot of contracting jobs there.

  99. 99
    Jeffro says:

    @Cervantes: You don’t think the GOP will allow it? But there’s room up there and he deserves it and everything. I’m sure they’ll listen to reason.

    lol

    Ok, good point.

  100. 100
    Chris says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Worst case scenario from the American perspective: Congress maintains sanctions, maybe even imposes new ones, and generally makes implementation of the American side of this accord impossible. Rest of the world shrugs, says “fuck it” and continues to trade with Iran, bringing us back to what was the status quo until the mid-2000s, where Iran was already under sanctions, but only from us and a couple other nations, so it wasn’t that big a deal – what they needed, they could get elsewhere.

    Iran could then either do what North Korea when we broke our word to them in the early 2000s and say that since the deal wasn’t respected, they have no obligation to live up to it either. Or, depending on how clever they are, they could double down and say that they’ll live up to their side of the deal even though we’re not doing it, to show the world that Iran has no bad intentions.

    Either way, there’s no way to sink this deal that isn’t a win for Iran. (Unless we go for the actual military option, which would not be a win for Iran but would certainly be a win for the Iranian hard-liners).

  101. 101
    Valdivia says:

    Loved the speech, he really is out of fucks to give.

    Since so many of us did, maybe we can heed Obama’s plead that we call our representatives in Congress to tell them, no matter what their position, that we support the deal and expect them to as well? I call the Maryland people who are dragging their feet at least once a week, and those who have not declared will need extra attention during the break. I know I sound like a broken record on this, but only because it really matters and Congress can still screw this up, as Obama explained yesterday.

    /activism lecture over. :)

    ETA @Chris: True about the deal not being totally undone, what would be undone is our credibility in international affairs. No one would ever again take the US seriously as a player in treaties, negotiations or anything of the sort. Not something that we can easily shake off.

  102. 102
    JustRuss says:

    @Benw: As Darth Rumsfeld said, you blow up planets with the death star you have, not the death star you wish you had.

    Alsotoo, lowest bidder.

  103. 103
    Kropadope says:

    @Benw:

    The original Death Star had a lot of design flaws (control panels hanging over enormous shafts; unshielded thermal exhaust ports leading directly to the main reactor?).

    Thus accidentally inspiring the vulnerabilities for every mechanized video game enemy ever.

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: What she said,

  105. 105
    replicnt6 says:

    @beltane: Too easy. Something luxurious, something very classy: Thunderbird.

  106. 106
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @boatboy_srq: By the time 1916 rolled around the US had been occupying Hawaii and the Phillipines for twenty years or so, not forgetting the multiple occupations of Cuba, the Panama Zone and generally messing with Mexico. Given the range of deployed military power (“shores of Tripoli”) and the populations under direct military rule by the American government I think you could call the US a superpower even back then.

  107. 107
    Roger Moore says:

    @Benw:

    unshielded thermal exhaust ports leading directly to the main reactor?

    Not strictly true. Remember, the thermal exhaust port was ray shielded, which was why they had to use proton torpedoes.

  108. 108
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Chris: worst case is veto-proof handcuffs followed by military strikes on Iran. That’s the worst case.

    Refusing to lift sanctions hurts the US, but that’s about it. Other outcomes have negative global ramifications.

    Iran actually having the bomb would do a lot to stabilize the region. Until our Republicans start pushing for “tactical” nuclear war. Which they will do in this century. But if you actually care about proliferation this deal is the best path.

  109. 109
    realbtl says:

    @beltane: Mad Dog 20 20.

  110. 110
    Paul in KY says:

    @replicnt6: I was thinking about cooking wine. A cheap one.

  111. 111
    Brachiator says:

    Even the Republicans stopping short of advocating war with Iran offer ludicrous alternatives. Here’s Congressman Ed Royce in a recent CNN op-ed piece suggesting that the US destroy Iran economically if they refuse to yield to our will.

    Congress offered a better strategy when the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, and I introduced a bill to hit Tehran with its toughest sanctions yet. Unfortunately, this bill — which passed the House in a 400-20 vote — was blocked in the Senate last year, despite the fact that it would have sharpened the Ayatollah’s choice: Dismantle your nuclear weapons program or see your economy collapse.

    It’s also strange that the Republicans acknowledge that Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany have been involved in negotiations with Iran, and yet insist that the only thing that matters is what the GOP, and maybe Netanyahu, want.

    Oh yeah, I want to see Obama continue to school these fools.

  112. 112
    Cervantes says:

    @Robert Sneddon:

    No, not compared to the Brits.

  113. 113
    Kerry Reid says:

    I won’t know what to think until Jimmy “Obama’s foreign policy successes have been minimal” Carter chimes in.

  114. 114
    flukebucket says:

    @JohnPM:

    Looks like Obama’s bag of fucks is still empty!

    They have been replaced by a generous supply of bagged salted dicks he is handing out to all who need them.

  115. 115
    Elie says:

    @Chris:

    I believe the neon-cons are and will be unable to prevent this and they know it will deprive them of strong opportunities to involve the US (and the war industry), in more useless ME wars. This agreement will allow the US to better play the ME actors off each other so that we can attend to broader market and economic issues. We need to develop our Pacific and South American relationships and NOT get bogged down in fruitless conflict. The Saudis and other players need to clean up their own shit for a change. I always snort derisively when I read about “Iran is a sponsor of terrorism”. LOL! How about that Saudi Arabia!?

    The Bushes (#1 and 2) fucked up the ME pretty damned good. Their policies either set up or led to reflecting the US as powerless in that region. We poured trillions into that ME sinkhole and all we have shown is that they US can’t really control shit. We now have a hollowed out Syria, Iraq, Yemen and in Africa, Libya and several other wanabe “failed states” that we had a hand in making that way. These are now ISIS magnets (which BTW ISIS was initiated by the Wahabis in SA). Some say that Palestine is also a possible hollowed out state that would be a target for ISIS. We have demonstrated to ourselves and the world, that we cannot fix this kind of deep tribal and religious conflict. All we can do in this situation is further impoverish ourselves and make more world wide enemies. Meanwhile, with US distracted, Putin can do what he wants, Europe is weak already and without real leadership — and China can play where it wants.

    The deal will go through. The US strategic imperatives dictate it more than anything else.

  116. 116
    Cervantes says:

    @Elie:

    The deal will go through. The US strategic imperatives dictate it more than anything else.

    By that argument, would we have invaded Iraq in 2003?

  117. 117
    Cervantes says:

    @Kerry Reid:

    I won’t know what to think until Jimmy “Obama’s foreign policy successes have been minimal” Carter chimes in.

    He said a few weeks ago — the day after he was briefed by the White House, in fact — that the deal was “a major step in the right direction.”

  118. 118
    Elie says:

    @Cervantes:

    I see your point. Probably not. But at that time, particularly during Bush 1, we still had illusions about our power and mission in the world. That was during the days when the USSR had collapsed and China was consumed with its internal issues. Europe was also not the economic and political mess that it is now… It was definitely a mistake then — but not as obvious as further ME adventurism would be now.

  119. 119
    Brachiator says:

    @Chris:

    Either way, there’s no way to sink this deal that isn’t a win for Iran. (Unless we go for the actual military option, which would not be a win for Iran but would certainly be a win for the Iranian hard-liners).

    I don’t see the logic in which Iran getting bombed to shit works out well for Iranian hard-liners. This sounds like Tea Party logic.

    @Bobby Thomson

    Iran actually having the bomb would do a lot to stabilize the region.

    Nuclear non-proliferation used to be a good thing. I don’t see how Iran with nukes introduces stability. And it would scare the crap out of the Saudis and the Israelis.

    I wonder if Iran realizes what a losing hand they have. They are now in a similar position to Saddam Hussein before Bush invaded. There are factions who desperately want a war with Iran. If the GOP wins the White House, I think a war with Iran is very likely. And even if the Democrats win in November 2016, Israeli hardliners are looking for an opportunity to launch a preemptive strike and may do so if there is anything that looks remotely like Iranian progress towards a bomb.

    And there are Republicans who not only want to undo all of Obama’s foreign policy, but they seem to be intent on sending a message that that Muslims are not and can never be friends to the US.

  120. 120
    gogol's wife says:

    @replicnt6:

    As advertised by James Mason:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xY7mBQrzXU

    My favorite YouTube video of all time. I’m reading his autobiography, and I’m delighted to find that, rather than pass over this in silence, he devotes a couple of pages to his shooting of the Thunderbird ad. He even claims to have written the line, “it’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted.”

  121. 121
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Brachiator: the US has never attacked a nuclear power. Not even North Korea. Nor have Israel or Saudi Arabia. Actually, Saudis are too rich to fight their own wars, but they can’t get their proxy to do it, either.

  122. 122
    Cervantes says:

    @Brachiator:

    And there are Republicans who not only want to undo all of Obama’s foreign policy, but they seem to be intent on sending a message that that Muslims are not and can never be friends to the US.

    One wonders how such Republicans feel about the House of Saud.

  123. 123
    Paul in KY says:

    @Elie: I think you’re a bit more optimistic than I. Hope you are right!

  124. 124
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Brachiator: also, too, the good thing about the deal is the inspections make it harder for Israel to yell for war. But nukes would make it even harder.

  125. 125
    Elie says:

    @Brachiator:

    I disagree. I think that we are unlikely to have a war against Iran no matter who enters the White House. This would be catastrophic for the US — Only the blindest of the blind would not see this. Iran is not a small country without resources. It would open a regional conflict of very large proportions and impact. We would not be able to control events or any part of the outcome (as we have already proven) Our economy is not in that great a shape to deal with this impact and it would sideline any other key relationships in the world. Yes, there will always be crazies and deluded people who will want crazy stuff — but I disagree that this is one thing that would happen. I fully recognize that I am no expert, but I do not see that…

  126. 126
    Paul in KY says:

    @Brachiator: Agree with you on prospects if, God Forbid, a GOPer wins in 2016. However, don’t think Israel would do one of those strikes on Iran. Iran is a much bigger country than Iraq and not too sure Israel would want to really wind them up like that. Their preferred strategy is to have us do it…and pay for it.

  127. 127
    Paul in KY says:

    @Elie: The economy of those who own & invest in weapons companies & associated infrastructure did quite well during the Iraq debacle.

  128. 128
    Kerry Reid says:

    @Cervantes: Fine. It would have been nicer if he’d kept his gob shut while negotiations were underway, though.

  129. 129
    Cervantes says:

    @Kerry Reid:

    I agree.

    He’s a prickly man, quite sensitive (one might even say defensive) despite his age and his accomplishments.

    The White House remembered to give him a private and personal briefing on the deal, and it was smart of them to do so when they did.

  130. 130
    Not T says:

    From the meeping that you linked to, Hindrocket has this to say:

    No American administration has ever preferred war to diplomacy.

    Funny, that’s just not how it seems to anyone who was paying attention at the time.

  131. 131
    Paul in KY says:

    @Not T: That quote is complete bullshit.

  132. 132
    Elie says:

    @Paul in KY:

    I recognize that.. and that their influence is always a risk. They are, I know, the real drive that pushes the neocons. That said, its a very different world now. They would not be able to make arguments about “easy victories without collateral damage to us” that they did before. Also, Iran is NOT Iraq and we would also be sticking a finger in the eye of all the other signatories on the currently proposed agreement. Russia would definitely assist Iran as might China — widening this to a major conflagration. Nope — I know I might be wrong — but I just don’t see it. That is why I think that the neocons are so pissed off… Even having the proposed peace plan makes their work ahead to sell a war, very very hard.

  133. 133
    Chris says:

    @Benw:

    ha! The original Death Star had a lot of design flaws (control panels hanging over enormous shafts; unshielded thermal exhaust ports leading directly to the main reactor?). I’d much rather spend my tax dollars on something more practical.

    This was hilariously deconstructed in one of the later novels, when an ex-Imperial is bragging that if the Empire were still around, it would have a strong and badass and totally effective response to the new bad guys. Han Solo thusly:

    “That’s not what the Empire would have done, Commander. What the Empire would have done was build a super-colossal Yuuzhan Vong-killing battle machine. They would have called it the Nova Colossus or the Galaxy Destructor or the Nostril of Palpatine or something equally grandiose. They would have spent billions of credits, employed thousands of contractors and subcontractors, and equipped it with the latest in death-dealing technology. And you know what would have happened? It wouldn’t have worked. They’d forget to bolt down a metal plate over an access hatch leading to the main reactors, or some other mistake, and a hotshot enemy pilot would drop a bomb down there and blow the whole thing up. Now that’s what the Empire would have done.”

  134. 134
    Kerry Reid says:

    @Cervantes: I think there are probably times when breaking the ex-president seal of omerta or whatever is a good thing. (When a sitting president is rushing us to war on flimsy and/or nonexistent evidence, for example.) OTOH, I have felt palpable jealousy from both Carter and Clinton when it comes to their criticisms of the current Dem president and it’s been less than helpful, IMO.

  135. 135
    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    Congress offered a better strategy when the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, and I introduced a bill to hit Tehran with its toughest sanctions yet. Unfortunately, this bill — which passed the House in a 400-20 vote — was blocked in the Senate last year, despite the fact that it would have sharpened the Ayatollah’s choice: Dismantle your nuclear weapons program or see your economy collapse.

    What he’s blissfully ignoring: this is exactly what we’ve just spent the last ten years doing. We got enough other countries on board to actually put some real pain onto the Iranian economy (“got enough other countries” is key, because it’s not something U.S. sanctions alone will accomplish); the Iranians came to the table, and just agreed to a fairly intrusive inspections program to ensure that there’s no nuclear weapons program.

    Of course, that was never what they wanted.

  136. 136
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chris: There are novels?

  137. 137
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chris: And yes, the whole purpose of the sanctions was to bring the Iranians to the table to negotiate a deal. It is amazing that some people can’t or choose not to see that.

  138. 138
    jonas says:

    AIPAC is to New York politics what Monsanto and the ethanol lobby is to Iowa and Illinois — a huge special interest that sets up a third rail (crossing Israel/cutting corn subsidies) that both Republicans and Democrats touch at their peril. So you get normally good folks like Kristin Gillibrand suddenly declaring that the signature foreign policy achievement of Obama’s second term is kinda fishy. Of course she doesn’t *really* believe that — she’s an intelligent woman — but there are certain forces in her state that must be kow-towed to and she is smart enough to understand that.

  139. 139
    A guy says:

    democratic senator Melendez from New Jersey says the deal doesn’t end irans nuclear program it preserves it.

  140. 140
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @A guy: democratic senator Melendez from New Jersey is incorrect.

  141. 141
    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    I don’t see the logic in which Iran getting bombed to shit works out well for Iranian hard-liners. This sounds like Tea Party logic.

    The military option usually discussed when it comes to Iran is bombing their suspected nuclear weapons sites. That would be a blow, but probably not a fatal one, definitely not enough to overthrow the regime. In exchange, any Iranian “moderate” line preaching accommodation with the West would be completely dead for a generation at least, and the hard-liners would have all the proof they need that Iran needs a nuclear weapons program – and anything else they decide.

  142. 142
    Paul in KY says:

    @Elie: You know, they didn’t really believe all that stuff they said about Iraq. They can say the same shit about Iran, if it agrees with their agenda.

  143. 143
    Paul in KY says:

    @Chris: Chris, a strike like that would be the greatest gift ever to the mullahs. How did pearl harbor affect us?

  144. 144
    Chris says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Holy Mary, yes. Star Wars had one of the most extensive expanded universes (comics, books, video games) of any franchise – I don’t know if it invented the concept, probably not, but it certainly took it very far. And unlike most franchises that do that, Star Wars actually worked pretty hard to keep all the stories in the same story, i.e. consistent with each other and with the movies.

    When the franchise was passed to Disney, that all changed, there was a massive purging where all the stories previously written were declared “non-canon” so Disney could have a free hand to do what they wanted with the franchise. But the old stuff can still be found pretty easily. (If it’s under the “Legends” banner, it’s pre-Disney-cleansing).

    Probably way more than you wanted to know.

  145. 145
    Elie says:

    @Paul in KY:

    They can say it but I don’t think that it would be believed. Most folks didn’t know enough about Iraq to have an idea. Now we know what a mess there is in the ME and our role in it — that we could not control or manage it. Nothing that has happened undoes that.. nothing. This would not be the “overwhelming force” myth that was laid out in Bush 1 and 2. We don’t have that and most importantly of all, everyone in the world now knows that. China and Russia will not be sitting quietly on the sidelines as we amp up rhetoric to support more war. This would offer both a great opportunity to put the US on even more unstable ground and guarantee our continued decline as a world power. We would have no friends in Europe on this — both because they would vehemently disagree but also because they are in no shape to help at all.

  146. 146
    Chris says:

    @Paul in KY:

    I was thinking more recently – that kind of air strike would be the kind of Christmas present to the hard-liners in Iran that 9/11 was for George W. Bush.

    Which goes back to Obama’s point about the “common cause” between American and Iranian right wing nationalist psychos.

  147. 147
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chris:

    Probably way more than you wanted to know.

    I often tend to answer the same way. Thanks for the info.

  148. 148
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Kerry Reid: Carter claimed that all countries had less respect for the US than they did 7 years ago but that it was not Obama’s fault. Hearing that Carter thought anyone respected the Junior Bush administration made me have a lot less respect for Carter than I did 7 years ago.

  149. 149
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: so is Menendez.

  150. 150
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bobby Thomson: It was more fun to leave A guy’s error in place. I should have stuck a [sic] in there though.

  151. 151
    inkadu says:

    When Obama spoke about the confederate flag recently, he finished with, “God Bless the *United* States of America.” His emphasis was on United, as in, you lost your war for the confederacy, losers.

    Today he identified himself as the “President of the *United States of America*” and said he was going to vote for the best interest of the USA, and wasn’t going to vote against its best interest because of some temporary friction with an ally. It’s a nice implicit accusation of dual loyalties. Good for him.

  152. 152
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Cervantes: Still a superpower, claiming everything in the Western hemisphere to be theirs (the Monroe Doctrine), fleets of modern warships in the Pacific and Atlantic and Caribbean, expeditionary military forces (Marines), military bases all over the world, colonies and possessions all over the world, world-spanning trade etc. etc. Maybe not equal to the British Empire at that time but not far off, and ambitious and expansionist as hell.

    But not an Empire, really. Riiiight.

  153. 153
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: you did the right thing.

  154. 154
    Elie says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    I agree. I am sure that Jimmy, and possibly a lot of the old time US warriors and believers in US hegemony, are chaffing a bit under the verifiable reality that our power is changing. IT, the global nature of economic interdependence and communications have helped to make the world a much more complex place to command than it was — if it ever was. I am sure they miss it and miss the sense of our entitled superiority. Somebody had to re-direct us and luckily, we got Obama just in the nick of time. We are still the world’s great superpower and will continue to be. Just not the policeman we were and that others want us to continue because they don’t want to do it. We have watched how hard it is to lead. We have watched Germany’s fuck up and abdication in leading Europe. That was important to see. We have witnessed both Russia’s and China’s economic woes. All weaknesses in all world leader nations are being duly noted.

    The nature of what power means is changing — moving from seizing and holding territory alone to economic and cultural political warfare – hacking, economic sabotage. Jimmy came through the naval academy in a different time and he hasn’t kept up. He is not and won’t be the only former leader who doesn’t get it.

  155. 155
    Chris says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Mein pleasure.

    @Bobby Thomson:

    It’s only been a couple times, but it nevertheless really pissed me off when Carter took these shots at Obama. Of all presidents he should know what it’s like to try to handle foreign policy when left with a mess by his predecessors and under constant fire from lunatic hard liners. And it’s not like he has a lot to brag about himself.

  156. 156
    Cervantes says:

    @Robert Sneddon:

    The “super” in “superpower” makes the latter a relative term.

    Hope this helps.

  157. 157
    Cervantes says:

    @Elie:

    Jimmy came through the naval academy in a different time and he hasn’t kept up. He is not and won’t be the only former leader who doesn’t get it.

    Bear in mind also his particular experience with Iran and the ayatollahs.

    He’s only human, just like the rest of us.

  158. 158
    Elie says:

    @Cervantes:

    Oh — so right!!!

  159. 159
    Brachiator says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    the US has never attacked a nuclear power.

    This is not the same thing as stability in the region.

    also, too, the good thing about the deal is the inspections make it harder for Israel to yell for war. But nukes would make it even harder.

    But this, sadly, is why the prospect of an Israeli strike has intensified. Israel is not going to let Iran get a bomb. Also, there are fears that proxy wars would intensify if Iran has nukes.

    BTW, if you think Iran getting the bomb would be a net positive, are you against the deal that has been negotiated?

    @Chris

    What he’s blissfully ignoring: this is exactly what we’ve just spent the last ten years doing. We got enough other countries on board to actually put some real pain onto the Iranian economy (“got enough other countries” is key, because it’s not something U.S. sanctions alone will accomplish)

    Well said. I agree. But Royce was making a lot of talk radio rounds in Southern California talking opposition to the deal. He is just blind to its value.

  160. 160
    Betty Cracker says:

    I encouraged my husband to watch the video, which he did. The mister doesn’t follow politics all that closely and can be kind of fire-baggy sometimes. But at one point, he laughed and said, “Damn, I’m gonna miss that guy!” So it’s not just us…

  161. 161
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Brachiator: the greatest threats to stability come from Israel, Saudi Arabia, their client state, and the terrorist groups they support. So yeah, it kind of is.

    Israel would go to great lengths to keep Iran from getting the bomb. Although Bibi is insane, I don’t think he’s crazy enough to attack a country with functional nukes.

    I do support the deal because I think it’s the best short-term strategy toward avoiding a conventional war with Iran, particularly if we can keep Republicans out of the White House while it gels. It’s not the deterrent that a nuclear Iran would be, but it’s a framework.

  162. 162
    Brachiator says:

    @Chris:

    The military option usually discussed when it comes to Iran is bombing their suspected nuclear weapons sites. That would be a blow, but probably not a fatal one, definitely not enough to overthrow the regime. In exchange, any Iranian “moderate” line preaching accommodation with the West would be completely dead for a generation at least, and the hard-liners would have all the proof they need that Iran needs a nuclear weapons program – and anything else they decide.

    Ah, the other thing I wanted to note here is that any military action could be potentially destabilizing in ways that no one can predict. Also, I don’t think there is as clear a line as you suggest between moderates and hardliners.

    @Bobby Thomson
    Israel would go to great lengths to keep Iran from getting the bomb. Although Bibi is insane, I don’t think he’s crazy enough to attack a country with functional nukes.

    The question is what will Israel do to prevent Iran from getting nukes. I think it is much more than “great lengths.”

    I do support the deal because I think it’s the best short-term strategy toward avoiding a conventional war with Iran, particularly if we can keep Republicans out of the White House while it gels. It’s not the deterrent that a nuclear Iran would be, but it’s a framework.

    Thanks for spelling out your views here. It will be interesting to see if this deal impacts the presidential election.

  163. 163
    Kerry Reid says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Yeah, that’s — wow.

  164. 164
    Keith G says:

    Did we get a new president?

    Me likey.

  165. 165
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @NonyNony: Rubio? Dude gets flop sweat just looking at the cameras.

  166. 166
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Betty Cracker: Tru dat. Back to the salt mines.

  167. 167
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Chris: Generation? More like multiple generations. Iranians have long memories and they’re particular about who they blame. The US–despite insults by hardliners–has skated in the Iranian imagination because they blame British Intelligence for the coup, considering the US to be the catspaw in Britain’s game.

    I don’t think Iranians blame the Iraqi people for the Iran-Iraq war so much as they blame Saddam Hussein, an absolute dictator. But the United States is a democracy.

  168. 168
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Chris: Other media science-fiction/fantasy franchises certainly had book and comics tie-ins first: Star Trek, Doctor Who, others (though many of the minor shows just had novelizations).

    But the Star Wars franchise’s insistence on the tie-in stuff all being canonical in some sense was, indeed, really unusual.

  169. 169
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    the US has never attacked a nuclear power.

    Unless you count our raids into Pakistan, which I suppose were not attacks on Pakistan in some technical sense.

  170. 170
    Cervantes says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Interesting note — thanks.

  171. 171
    AxelFoley says:

    @Keith G: Nope. Same guy we elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012.

  172. 172
    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    There have been more or less moderate or hard-line voices, and a lot of pragmatists who can change their minds based on the circumstances (you’d have never gotten the Iranians to agree to this stuff fifteen years ago, but the Iraq War made them willing to talk in 2003, if Bush had been interested… and the economic embargo’s made them interested in talking now). Khamenei’s in that latter category at least to some extent, I think.

    @Matt McIrvin:

    It was a huge part of the charm of their tie-in stuff, to me. Since the attraction of the original movies was as much in the universe they were set in as the stories themselves, I loved the tie-in stuff for all the world-building it did, one book at a time. Having followed that stuff for, like, fifteen years beginning in childhood, the world of Disney-Star Wars feels a lot more small and bare by comparison.

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