Monday, July 20, 2015

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 7/17/2015

"Shields and Brooks on striking a deal with Iran, Planned Parenthood scrutiny" PBS NewsHour 7/17/2015


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s news, including reactions to the Iran nuclear agreement, recent controversy over Planned Parenthood, the entrance of Gov. Scott Walker into the 2016 presidential campaign and more.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Next, to the analysis of Shields and Brooks.  That’s syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

Welcome to you, gentlemen.  A lot to talk about this Friday.

Let’s start with Iran.

Mark, we just heard the secretary of state, John Kerry, what he had to say about this nuclear deal.  What do you make of it?

MARK SHIELDS, syndicated columnist:  I think the president summarized it very well.  He said don’t let the unattainable perfect be the enemy of the obtainable good.

And I think this is obtainable good, the object being a nuclear — a non-nuclear Iran.  And I think this guarantees at least for 10 years that there will be a non-nuclear Iran.  It doesn’t change Iran’s — as the secretary pointed out, its conduct and what it does.  And we hope that that does change.  But this is about dealing with nuclear arms in a very troubled area.

And I think, in this sense, it’s a step, very — a positive step, and one that I think the President is at the top of his game, quite frankly, from Charleston to the press conference this week.  I thought he was compelling in both cases.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  David, what’s your take?

DAVID BROOKS, New York Times:  I’m extremely skeptical.

I start much more than Secretary Kerry, I think, with the belief that this is a theocratic, fascistic regime that wants to, A, be a big power in the Middle East, the dominant power in the region and spread a radically — radical version of sort of religious ideology.  And so I think to give that regime first the $150 billion to up their funding for Hezbollah and other terrorist armies around the region is dangerous.

To legitimize their nuclear enrichment program is dangerous.  To lift eventually the ban on conventional weapons, the embargo on the conventional weapons is dangerous.  And to have a regime that — you know, the inspection regime, people are getting lost in the details.  It is not a bad regime.  I suspect it probably will delay the nuclear program, but it’s their country.

And if they’re ideologically motivated to build this weapon, and they have every incentive to want to do so, I assume they are going to find a way to keep these centrifuges going in some form, and get a breakout after the sanctions are lifted.  So, for all those reasons, I think I’m quite skeptical of what has happened.

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