Iran Nuclear Deal: Conservatives Have Opposed Every Diplomatic Breakthrough for Decades
How, you might wonder, could Barack Obama be so naive? And what a strange coincidence that his naiveté was shared by David Cameron, Angela Merkel, and François Hollande such that a completely preposterous deal could be agreed upon despite possessing holes that are both massive and invisible to everyone other than American conservative activists.
While the specifics certainly vary from case to case, the basic themes are always the same. Any diplomatic agreement attracts scorn for displaying a mixture of weakness (because to reach a deal indicates a preference for not fighting a war, and if you’re not willing to fight a war, there’s no way you’re going to be able to negotiate or enforce a strong deal) and naiveté (because to reach a deal involves leaving in power untrustworthy actors who might cheat) that should be rejected in favor of a more muscular approach.
These denunciations have been brought forth against Republican presidents as well as Democrats for the simple reason that officeholders burdened with the responsibility of making actual decisions generally do need to recognize that wars are costly and unpredictable and that it is worth trying to avoid them. Only during George W. Bush’s first term in office did we see a genuinely robust effort to avoid dealmaking, and the results were disastrous. But to the architects of that policy, the only history lesson worth learning is that appeasement of Adolf Hitler was a mistake and therefore all diplomatic agreements are a mistake.