There are plenty of reasons to criticize the nuclear deal the Obama administration brokered with Iran, but the agreement is still better than going to war to try to stop the country's nuclear proliferation, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist George Will says.
It's legitimate to argue that the deal will be ineffective in stopping Tehran's nuclear development, Will argues in an op-ed in the New York Post
, but containing a nuclear Iran is still preferable to a waging a likely disastrous, and ultimately futile, war.
A policy of containment, he says, is America's only realistic option.
"Some advocates of war seem gripped by Thirties Envy, a longing for the clarity of the 1930s, when appeasement failed to slake the dictators' thirst for territorial expansion. But the incantation 'Appeasement!' is not an argument," Will writes.
"And the word 'appeasement' does not usefully describe a sober decision that war in an imprudent and even ultimately ineffective response to the failure of diplomatic and economic pressures to alter a regime's choices about politics within its borders."
Congressmen on both sides of the House are arguing against a deal
with Iran and are likely to clash with the White House over a reduction in sanctions.
But Will says that one element that makes the deal a success is that it constrains Israel from attacking Iran; a worthy aim, given Israel's military is ill-equipped to successfully take on its foe and an attack would do little more than stall Iran's nuclear program by a few years at most.
"The agreement will not stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons; only a highly unlikely Iranian choice can do that. The agreement may, however, prevent a war to prevent Iran from acquiring such weapons," Will writes.
He adds that even a U.S. attack could not prevent reconstitution of its program, and advocates of an invasion should recall our "disastrous" entanglement with Iraq and then consider that Iran has almost three times the population of Iraq and is nearly four times the size.
"We have two choices, war or containment. Those who prefer the former have an obligation to clearly say why its consequences would be more predictable and less dire than those in the disastrous war with Iraq."
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