BackgroundTo its credit, the Obama administration has consistently rejected calls for military action against Iran and has engaged the country's leadership in an attempt to negotiate a agreement. This marks one of the few instances where the public good is being served by an administration that has otherwise been unfalteringly loyal to the substantial political and economic interests that dictate most of US policy. The issue is urgent because of the need on the one hand to eliminate sanctions against Iran as soon as possible, as sanctions tend to do far more harm to civilians than to national elites (recall Iraq), and on the other hand to reach an accord with Iran that prevents the further proliferation of nuclear weapons, preferably before war-pigs in both the US and Israel have a chance to escalate the confrontation beyond the possibility of an agreement, as civilians would also be the ones to suffer the most in the case of military conflict.
Anyone who has been paying attention to US politics over the past five years or so is aware of the lengths to which Republicans in Congress have been going to undermine the Obama administration, despite the fact that the bulk of the administration's policies and actions differ only from those of Republicans in rhetoric. This obstinacy has further pushed those of us--incidentally the majority of the US population--who believe that Obama's policies are not progressive enough (e.g., those of us who support universal health care, international cooperation, and adequate social services) into the political margins.