Warriors in the Wings

by Jonah Goldberg

I constantly hear critics of the GOP approach to Iran in general, and the Cotton 47 in particular, say that the choice is between a deal and war. White House flacks say it. Liberal pundits say it. Obama has said that the Menendez bill (a Democrat for the record) amounted to a march toward war. 

Does anyone actually believe this? The unstated implication is that if Obama doesn’t get a deal, we’ll have no other choice but to go to war with Iran. Does anyone believe Obama will go to war with Iran? Anyone? Anyone? Today on Morning Joe Mika Brzezinski went after Ted Cruz:

“I’m still talk about the fact that you are saying to me that what’s happening now in terms of the hardliners using the letter to stall on these negotiations was actually a part of your intention,” Brzezinski said. “It just seems extremely destructive. …I think it’s not inappropriate for Congress to have a say and to have a voice. But to interfere with a negotiation with Iran, and to actually possibly even undermine a deal in the making — basically the next step to that is to just get right down the road to war.”

Joe Scarborough intervened to explain that was a false choice, and he’s right. But I have to wonder if all of these people using this talking point understand that it is a false choice. Let’s say the talks in Switzerland fall apart. I have a very, very, very hard time imagining Brzezinski declaring, with grave regret of course, “Well, we have no choice now. It’s war.”

I expect these talks to fail. It will be interesting to see if any of the people who offered this false choice will stand by their claims when that happens. 

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