The Society for U.S. Intellectual History is pleased to announce the results of the deliberation of this year’s Annual Book Award Committee. The committee, composed of Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, University of Wisconsin; Robert Westbrook, University of Rochester; and Howard Brick, University […]
CFP: S-USIH Panels at the OAH Annual Meeting Providence, Rhode Island April 7-10, 2016 The Society for U.S. Intellectual History (S-USIH) will present up to two solicited panels as an affiliate organization at the April 2016 meeting of Organization of […]
The Society for U.S. Intellectual History announces a new prize, to be given triennially, for the best book in the History of American Philosophy, broadly conceived. Funded by a generous grant from the John Dewey Foundation, this prize will be […]
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Reflection on the machinations and implications of the yet to be approved diplomatic deal with Iran, has placed us in yet another moment of fear. In the Austin American-Stateman, colleagues Will Inboden and Jeremi Suri offer opinions regarding the stakes involved in the deal. Inboden concludes that future American presidents will contend with an Iran that possesses nuclear weapons:
Tehran gets an immediate windfall of up to $150 billion in unfrozen assets and the right to uranium enrichment. The country retains its nuclear infrastructure. Also, it can evade disclosing past weapon development activities and dodge future inspections, import conventional arms and resume work on ballistic missiles within five and eight years respectively, and resume almost full nuclear activities within 10 to 15 years.
Suri is not so certain about what the future will bring.
What the nuclear agreement offers is time and openness — delaying the day when Iran might become a nuclear power and allowing deeper American and other Western penetration of Iranian society. This is the most realistic strategy for encouraging beneficial reforms. As in Germany, Japan, China and Russia during the Cold War, we have reason to believe that more trade, travel, media access and direct conversation will give powerful Iranian figures an interest in cooperation that outweighs the urge to be destructive…. If we want to pursue a strategic transformation of the region aimed at reform and not war, we should accept the opportunity presented by the agreement. The advocates of change, following a long and successful American diplomatic tradition, recognize that we must have the courage to work with the enemy, rather than wish him away.
What appears to divide the positions taken by Inboden and Suri is the problem of telling the future based upon interpretations of past actions. While both largely agree that Iran has acted against American interests and those of its allies, Inboden believes the world loses in this deal, while Suri sees an opportunity for a “win.” (more…)