Former Secretary of State Colin Powell once again spoke his mind instead of spouting off right-wing talking points, so another mass Republican meltdown can’t be far behind.
On this Sunday’s edition of Meet the Press, Powell was asked about President Obama’s controversial nuclear deal with Iran. By Powell’s estimation, what current Secretary of State John Kerry pulled off was nothing short of “remarkable.”
“I studied what’s in the deal and looked at the opposition, and in my judgment, after balancing those two sets of information is that it’s a pretty good deal.Now I know that there are objections to it, but here’s why I think it’s a good deal. One of the great concerns that the opposition has that we’re leaving open a lane for the Iranians to go back to creating a nuclear weapon in 10 or 15 years, well, forgetting the reality that they have been on a super highway for the last ten years to create a nuclear weapon or a nuclear weapons program with no speed limit, and in the last ten years they have gone from 136 centrifuges up to something like 19,000 centrifuges. This agreement will bring them down to 5,000 centrifuges – all of them under IAEA supervision and I think this is a good outcome.”
In his judgment, Powell’s assessment falls in line with what foreign policy experts, nuclear experts, a former Israeli head of security, and the military have been saying all along. The opposition consists of Sean Hannity and Dick Cheney.
Even more to the point, Powell noticed the best part of deal – something that Obama has repeatedly stressed to no avail: If the Iranians don’t hold up their end of the bargain, the deal goes away and the Iranians are no better off than they were before. Trust, but verify.
“I say, we have a deal, let’s see how they implement the deal. If they don’t implement it, bail out. None of our options are gone,” Powell explained.
This reasonable approach to policy, instead of mindless soundbites and partisan bashing is refreshing to hear. Powell, who was once one of the major players in the Bush administration, has since then spent years enraging his fellow conservatives with his willingness to call out his own party for political hackery. He even crossed party lines to endorse Obama in both 2008 and 2012, later saying he had no “buyer’s remorse” for what many conservatives saw as high treason.
It’s clear that Powell isn’t done stymieing easy labels as he adds a much-needed voice of reason to the overflow of right-wing nonsense being shoveled to undermine this historic deal with Iran.