Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

December 10, 2013

Resilient Obama

(Continued)

It’s a dumb strategy: If Obamacare fails, it fails. If not, what have they got?

This brings us to the remarkable diplomatic breakthrough with Iran: potentially the Middle Eastern equivalent of the fall of the Berlin Wall. If you’ve heeded Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his chorus of American neoconservatives, Iran has been three months away from acquiring nuclear weapons for the past 20 years.

And yet, despite the odiousness of its theocratic regime, this still hasn’t happened. Under its new president, Iran has agreed to shut down the centrifuges and submit to inspections in exchange for reduced sanctions. The Netanyahu chorus invokes Chamberlain at Munich, basically the only song they know how to sing.

But President Obama grasps one big thing: The U.S. and its allies are exponentially more powerful than Iran. Worst case, he gets embarrassed and Iran goes back to furtively building nukes -- except more isolated now than ever.

If Obama’s willing to risk it, then we should be, too.

(Arkansas Times columnist Gene Lyons is a National Magazine Award winner and co-author of “The Hunting of the President” (St. Martin’s Press, 2000). You can email Lyons at eugenelyons2@yahoo.com.)

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