Colin Powell Backs Iran Deal as ‘Israel Lobby’ Crumbles

Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell (Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty)
Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty

Former Secretary of State and Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell backed the Iran deal on Sunday. The retired statesman, who played a key role in the push for war in Iraq, later supported Barack Obama for president.

Powell made his announcements on NBC News’ Meet the Press on Sunday. “My judgment…is that it’s a pretty good deal.” Powell said that while Iran could continue working toward a nuclear weapon when the deal expires, the agreement would at least slow that down. “We have stopped this highway race that they were going down.” Powell added that “they get nothing” in terms of sanctions relief “until they show compliance,” which repeats a White House talking point, but ignores the fact that sanctions will be lifted when Iran has only begun to show compliance.

In his speech at American University last month, President Obama said that “many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal.” The implication was that support for the Iraq war ought to disqualify those same people from opining on the Iran deal. That rule only appears to apply in one direction: Powell’s role in the Iraq War did not prevent the White House from touting his support for the Iran deal.

Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schulz (D-CA) literally cried on CNN’s State of the Union as she spoke about her “Jewish heart” and rejected the idea that she “sold out Israel.”

And Jonathan Chait of New York magazine gloated over the collapse of the “Israel lobby” in Washington, DC.


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