Thursday, July 16, 2015

Iran Deal Is The Best The World Could Get: So Critics Must Stop Bellyaching About It!

To hear the parade of warmongering Neocon repukes squawking, as well as Israel's deranged PM Benji Netanyahu, you'd think Obama had sold the Southern states to Iran along with Israel's  Gaza strip.  All you heard is bombastic bloviation such as out of bonehead Mitch McConnell's mouth that the ideal deal would be "one through which Iran gets no nuclear weapons" which is as full of hot air as when he claimed we needed a war in Syria 3 years ago to put Assad in his place.

Meanwhile,, perpetual Reeptard nincompoop Darrell Issa insisted the deal was "junior varsity foreign policy grounded in childlike optimism rather than clear-eyed realism".  Clearly unable to tell the difference between them, since this deal  - as I will show - is about as realistic as one can get, short of all out war which is really what most of these jabbering assholes want.

The editorial pages of newspapers split along typically Neocon v. non-belligerents' lines with The NY Times accurately calling the deal "one of the most consequential accords in recent diplomatic history" while the now neocon -contaminated WashPo claimed "it was a complex and costly deal that poses a major threat to the United States and its allies."

Meanwhile, the reactionary Wall Street Journal op ed pages featured almost end to end 'hair on fire' columns such as Patrick Kagan's  "Why The Iranians Are Cheering".   But what would you expect? Bear in mind the only viable alternative to this diplomatic solution would be war. That means millions of tons of weapons, including cruise missiles, obliterated which then have to be remanufactured - jacking up defense budgets and share values for contractors.

Then there is the low grade tabloid press, including the NY Post and  Daily News called the deal a joke, but what do you expect coming from media bottom feeders that are themselves jokes?

Anyone remotely familiar with cooperative game theory principles would understand this was the best deal we could obtain, i.e. that didn't totally shank one side. Indeed, the fact hardliners in both the U.S. and Iran are railing  against it shows it struck the exact right balance between hideous and effective.

As nuclear compliance specialist Joe Cirincione ('Ploughshares Fund' President) put it on Rachel Maddow two nights ago:

"This is a way to stop Iran from getting the bomb. without going to war. It has its risks, but those pale compared to the alternatives."

Indeed. He then elaborated on the parameters, to which most critics are oblivious when they yelp that Iranians are too "wily" and have "every incentive to cheat". (Implying the IAEA isn't up to the job of inspection).

"This is not based on trust, this is not based on good intentions. It's not based on the technologies we've used in Iraq, for example. This is 21st century technology, state of the art, fiber optics seals, cameras, sensors, audits, inventories allowing 24/7 inspections in all the declared facilities and the right to inspect suspect facilities including the military sites so much in dispute. One might possibly evade one layer of these inspections but the chances of evading all are quite remote . We can track every aspect of Iran's  production and with those inspections there's no expiration date."

This is critical because it means the harshest critics - namely the Repukes, the Wall Street Journal op-ed bunch  and Netanyahu-  are not aware of the modern in situ sensor inspection capacity, i.e. that allows the Iranian facilities to be electronically "spy"  monitored 24/7. Why hasn't more been published on this technology to reduce the widespread ignorance? Probably because the spooks like in the NSA - who use it in other venues - do not want the details known. Fair enough, but the problem is we are  then forced to listen to critics' complaints based on their antiquated perceptions from what they understood about the old time inspections using actual humans in Iraq.

Getting back to the game theory aspect let us recall again  a ‘game’ means any mutual interplay between one or more players- which could be individuals, corporations or nations – in which one stands to gain a larger payoff than the other.
In each such game, the respective players (in this case, the U.S. and Iran) make choices from respective  sets: S i   (where in this case i= 1,…n). In addition we have n-real valued functions (in this case n = 2) described as:

P i = S1 X  ………S n ® R   (i= 1,…n)

Where R defines the Cartesian space.  The set S i   is called Player i’s ‘strategy space; while P i  is called the “payoff function”. We take S i  to be the set of actions available to the character called Player i, and we insist each Player must choose some action – and even a “non-action” can be included in the set since it can provoke a response in the other Player.  Note there will also be some actions that have joint consequences,  and that  P i basically measures Player i’s assessment of the consequence.

Other basics:

Cooperative Game: One for which some kind of binding agreement is possible

 Non-Cooperative Game: One for which no binding agreement is possible.

Strategy: involves a set of rules S i which defines which action is taken at each point in the game.

A ‘strategy pair’ i.e. (a*, b*) is such that a* represents A’s best move when B plays b*, and b* represents B’s best move when A plays a*.

In a Nash Equilibrium, no player has an incentive to change strategy.

A “Dominant strategy” is optimal no matter what the other player does.

A sequential game is one which evolves in time and for which Payoffs P i  are exchanged  based on sequential actions S i, eventually leading to a denouement- or a stalemate.

From the above, we see this nuclear deal is predicated on a cooperative - sequential game. (As many have said, and I reiterate, this is not one 'done' deal but an unfolding process over YEARS.) The U.S. and its treaty collaborators (including from Europe and Russia) gain nuclear weapon neutralization while Iraq's payoffs include getting access to the global finance system and lessening of  sanctions.

In the case of the treaty template, each : S i  denotes an in situ inspection (via 24/7 electronic sensors) which then determine whether and to what extent the set of payoffs sets: P i  will be delivered.

The fact the deal is rigorously restricted to one objective  also aids in assuring its ultimate successful outcome, so there is no muddying the water with Iran's past history, whether it is a "good actor" on the Middle East stage or wants conventional weapons or whatever. It is strictly about preventing Iran gaining a nuclear weapon. As Obama put it yesterday, in an interview with Thomas Friedmann:

"We are not measuring this deal by whether it is changing the regime inside of Iran,” said the president. “We’re not measuring this deal by whether we are solving every problem that can be traced back to Iran, whether we are eliminating all their nefarious activities around the globe. We are measuring this deal — and that was the original premise of this conversation, including by Prime Minister Netanyahu — Iran could not get a nuclear weapon. That was always the discussion. And what I’m going to be able to say, and I think we will be able to prove, is that this by a wide margin is the most definitive path by which Iran will not get a nuclear weapon, and we will be able to achieve that with the full cooperation of the world community and without having to engage in another war in the Middle East.”

Let us finally acknowledge that it is primarily the reactionary Beltway bozos and poltroons  reacting negatively. Americans by significant majorities want this deal. Maddow cited a Quinnipiac poll, for example, that 73 percent favored it. And another poll showing 57 percent.

Will the politicos, especially on the Right, obey the will of the people, or go off half-cocked on their own as they have done with the efforts at gun control legislation, i.e. following the 2012 Aurora Theater then Newtown massacres? We will see!

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