April 2, 2015

Scott Walker is banking on his "tough guy" bullying style to win the Republican nomination and the presidency. When it comes to foreign relations, clearly he hasn't studied Saint Ronnie's style very well.

Speaking to Charlie Sykes on a number of issues yesterday, Walker told Sykes that he would not only blow up the Iran deal on day one of his presidency, but he'd do it over the objections of our international partners.

Walker had previously said that he would undo any deal with Iran on his first day. But radio host Charlie Sykes asked him a good follow-up question, and this happened:

SYKES: You have said that you would cancel any Iranian deal the Obama administration makes. Now would you cancel that even if our trading partners did not want to reimpose the sanctions?

WALKER: Absolutely. If I ultimately choose to run, and if I’m honored to be elected by the people of this country, I will pull back on that on January 20, 2017, because the last thing — not just for the region but for this world — we need is a nuclear-armed Iran. It leaves not only problems for Israel, because they want to annihilate Israel, it leaves the problems in the sense that the Saudis, the Jordanians and others are gonna want to have access to their own nuclear weapons…

Now consider that statement in light of President Obama's remarks about this deal today.

But the fact is we only have three options for addressing Iran's nuclear program. First, we can reach a robust and verifiable deal, like this one, and peacefully prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

The second option is we can bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, thereby starting another war in the Middle East and setting back Iran's program by a few years. In other words, setting it back by a fraction of the time that this deal will set it back. Meanwhile, we'd ensure that Iran would raise their head to try and build a bomb.

Third, we could pull out of negotiations, try to get other countries to go along and continue sanctions that are currently in place or add additional ones and hope for the best. Knowing that every time we have done so, Iran has not capitulated, but instead has advanced its program. And that in very short order, the breakout timeline would be eliminated and a nuclear arms race in the region could be triggered because of that uncertainty.

In other words, the third option leads us very quickly back to a decision about whether or not to take military action because we'd have no idea what was going on inside of Iran. Iran is not going to simply dismantle its program because we demand it to do so.

That's not how the world works. And that's not what history shows us. Iran has shown no willingness to eliminate those aspects of their program that they maintain are for peaceful purposes, even in the face of unprecedented sanctions.

Should negotiations collapse because we, the United States, rejected what the majority of the world considers a fair deal, what our scientists and nuclear experts suggest would give us confidence that they are not developing a nuclear weapon, it's doubtful that we could even keep our current international sanctions in place.

TL;DR: If this deal goes south, it's doubtful we could even make sanctions stick, so we'd be at war with Iran on our own.

Further, it just highlights Walker's ignorance about how nuclear arms races actually work. He seems to think doing a deal with Iran hastens their development of a nuclear weapon, when in fact the opposite is true. Whoever is advising him on foreign policy (I suspect it's the likes of John Bolton and his ilk), has no fundamental understanding of what it means to actually get a deal where we stop the development and pieces of development moving toward a nuclear weapon and instead decelerate nuclear buildup in the region.

In Scott Walker's world, shutting down enrichment facilities in an accountable and transparent way is somehow a way to accelerate their weapon development and an arms race in the Middle East.

That's what Walker is campaigning on, and it's the reason he will not ever see the inside of the White House as a resident. When 2/3rds of the voters in this country want a deal to be done, the idea of blowing it up to stick it to Obama and the Democrats AND our global partners while sucking up to Israel is the most irrational, ridiculous promise he could possibly make.

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