I have just finished watching a serious interview between two Harvard graduates on the Iran Deal and how the approval or the rejection of it by the US Congress could negatively or positively impact the possibility of Iran getting the nuclear bomb.
The guest was Barack Hussein Obama, the first black President of the United States, who collaborated and led the leaders of the five most powerful nations in the world who had put aside their internal squabbles, rivalries, and shifting strategic interests to unanimously to produce the monumental deal in the interest of world peace.
The interviewer was Fareed Zakaria, the brilliant and powerful moderator of the Global Public Square, a CNN talk show watched all over the world every Sunday.
Obama is an American with his roots traced back to Africa and Fareed Zakaria is another American with his roots traced back to India. They both qualify to be called the best in what they do in the melting pot that America has become.
The majority of Democrats have always demonstrated a better appreciation of the melting- pot transformation of America, They do so more than the Republicans who still act and behave as if nothing has changed in America. Democrats and the Republicans both agree that America remains the greatest military power on Earth, but they both have a profound disagreement on how that power should be projected or deployed around the world. The Republicans dominate the military industrial complex of America and they love and appreciate war more than they treasure and seek peace.
Republicans want America to remain a bully and to use her superpower status to intimidate and to force the other world powers to go along with whatever America decides even if it is against their best interest. They forget that to subdue Adolf Hitler in the Second World War, the Americans have to team up with Russia and European nations and their satellite colonies around the world to get the job done. There is a limit to how much America alone can do to guarantee the peace of the world. She is going to need all the help and collaboration she can get from the rest of the world.
The Republicans believe that America and the tiny state of Israel as allies are powerful enough to force the rest of the world to do their biddings. Israeli Prime Ministers Netanyahu is wrong to cast aspersions on a deal signed by the whole world and to pretend that that having Israel as an ally is far more important than America doing business and having credibility with the rest of the world. If America loses her capacity to influence the rest of the world, it loses everything. Israel is only safe as long as America maintains her leadership of the world.
No American President however powerful is allowed to micro-manage the Israeli Prime Minister the way Netanyahu wants to macro-manage the current American President. What is so offensive about it is that Barack Obama matches Netanyahu pound for pound in intellect, maturity and the gift of the garb. Yes. Netanyahu is a product of MIT. Barack Obama is a product of Columbia and Harvard and is married to a product of Princeton and Harvard. It doesn’t get any better than that for any American President with the possible exception of Bill Clinton. Netanyahu is laying a bad precedent that future American Presidents cannot and should never tolerate or condone.
To stop Iran from ever building a nuclear bomb, which is the ultimate goal of the deal, America would forever need the cooperation and collaboration of the other world powers that are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council like Great Britain, France, Russia, and China. If the push comes to shove it is one or two or more of those countries that have the capacity to help Iran to neutralize or minimize the impact of any sanctions that America may want to impose on Iran. Republicans forget that America cannot sanction Iran to submission if there are other powers ready and willing to help Iran neutralize the sanctions like they have managed to do for years. Iran came to the negotiating table in large part because they could no longer count on those countries to help them endure the pains of the sanctions once they became partners to the peace initiative of Barack Obama.
Those other world powers involved in crafting the Deal that the Congress is threatening to reject would be less inclined to side with America if America declares war on Iran. If Iran fails to keep her own side of the bargain in the deal they have signed at any time, Iran would have to answer not just to America, but to the 4 world powers in the United Nations Security Council. That was the crux of the interview Fareed Zakaria had with Barack Obama last Sunday. It was a great interview any way you slice it because Fareed brought out the best in Obama who showed he was on top of his game answering all the questions put to him with confidence and clarity.
Obama’s side of the debate had the greatest credibility compared to the position taken by the Republicans who may well use their majority in both Houses of Congress to reject the Deal but would not be able to muster sufficient support from the Democrats in both Houses of Congress to override a presidential veto.
The debate is not whether or not the Republicans would support the deal. It is crystal clear they have been opposed to the deal ever before it was concluded, and before most of them have even had a chance to read the fine print. They are opposed to the deal because they are always opposed to any initiative from the first black President of America because they don’t want Obama to succeed or take credit as the author of such a monumental deal, which could go down in history as one the greatest achievements of any American President.
Obama Care is one such monumental achievement much like Social Security Act, which was signed into law by another democrat, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the Medicare Bill, signed into law by Lyndon Baines Johnson, another democrat. Republicans do not want to hear that a black President ever left his footprints on the sand of American history like few of his white counterparts. They want to belittle everything Obama has ever done. They hardly ever give him credit for being the conqueror of Osama Bin Laden or for ending the two costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They could not understand how the man managed to beat them in two consecutive elections and could predictably add a third because a rainbow coalition of Americans appreciate his legacies and they want those legacies to endure beyond his tenure in office.
Obama’s position is that peace is far better than war and that if America must ever go to war she must do so as a last resort and after all diplomatic channels have been exhausted. America must first of all make effort to build world consensus against the war of the future because no nation however powerful can go it alone. Obama argued that American allies have their own strategic interest that may be quite different from that of America. He argued that America must not go to war just because it can but because it is totally unavoidable and that the decision must be predicated on her moral principles and strategic interest as leader of the Free World.
He argued that America has more to lose if the whole world goes into a war. He argued that America is better positioned to guarantee the peace and security of the state of Israel only when America leads by a set of values that the rest of the world can respect and appreciate. It is fine to have a power like a lion but using that power like a lion is a different ballgame.
Obama argued that if the Deal is rejected the alternative is war with Iran and that a war with Iran may have its appeal to the Republicans but once it starts, there is no telling where such a war could lead America. The war with Iraq was sold to America as something that would be very easy to prosecute and to win. It took more than 10 years and it has created serious instability in the most volatile region of the world. He urged the Republicans to learn some useful lessons from American experience in both wars and all the collateral damages the wars have caused to America and her allies and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan...
He made it clear that his first duty as President is to guarantee the peace and security and prosperity of Americans. He can only do that by maintaining peace and be prepared for war only as a last resort. He maintained that America under his presidency is irrevocably committed to the peace and security of Israel and his ultimate goal is to see the state of Israel live in peace and security with her neighbors in the region and that the younger generation in Israelis need peace more than they need war.
Going to war with Iran cannot bring that peace, it can only escalate it. He argued that Natanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister is wrong to claim that more sanctions against Iran or war is the only way to go. The deal signed by America and the 4 members of the Security Council with Iran is designed to assure peace both for Iran and the rest of the world. He believed that the youths of Iran want peace as much as the youths in the State of Israel.
To delay the chances of Iran having the nuclear weapon for another 25 years under the strict supervision of the whole world and the IAEA is a better option than going to war. The hardliners in Iran want a war just like the Republicans are clamoring for war but he was convinced and persuaded the deal on the table has enough provisions within it to stop Iran from making that bomb and that is why he is determined to veto the Bill if for any reason the Congress did not pass it. He assured Fareed that the Republicans were yet to provide with an alternative solution to the one he has offered. He remained an optimist and he still hoped the Republicans would allow wiser counsel to prevail and vote their hopes and not their fears when the chips are down.
Obama is putting all his emphasis on getting enough democrats to stand with him. The Deal goes through if the Republicans cannot muster enough votes to override his presidential veto. He is fully aware of the Jewish lobby on members of the US Congress on both sides of the isle but he is also aware of the wisdom and maturity of members to put the national interest over and above their own personal interest when they cast their votes. The Deal offers the world its best chance other than war to stop Iran from acquiring the nuclear bomb.
It was one of the most productive interviews I have ever watched on television. The President answered all the questions put to him without referring to any notes meaning that the man clearly knows what he is talking about.
Republicans must now appreciate that Obama did not just become President by sheer accident. He was the anointed of the Lord. God has destined him to be President and that Republicans are wasting their time to continue to put every possible obstacle on his way. They cannot succeed because when God says yes who can say no?
“Obama ti g’oke odo k’afara to ja” simply means in Yoruba that Obama has crossed the river before the bridge gave way. The Deal is going to pass if not by a narrow margin at the Congress, but thru a presidential veto that cannot be overridden. God Almighty Himself and most Americans are all for it. It is the right thing to do.