We continue to live in a tough, violent world. Certainly, there will be occasions when we have to strike these individuals before they strike us. But I continue to believe strongly that diplomacy must always be given a chance. And even if it fails, it is a prerequisite to gaining the support of others and the effective use of force.
There's a new kind of language being used around the Iran nuclear deal recently negotiated in Vienna. We can call it "Trump Talk," defined as a drumbeat of outrageous political speech that is historically inaccurate, intellectually dishonest and even deceptive, morally and spiritually offensive and willfully tone deaf.
In recent years I have worked deeply on quiet conflict management interventions from Afghanistan to Iran, but mostly in Syria. I have watched the unnecessary suffering of countless people, the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Syrians, the greatest civilian displacement in Middle Eastern history, and I have watched it up close through the lives of my students and friends.
These ambassadors join the overwhelming majority of former diplomats and national security officials who have come out in favor of the deal to block all of Iran's pathways to a bomb. There is fierce opposition to the agreement, but most is from political figures and neoconservative groups, with few former senior officials backing them.
The Vienna agreement now offers Iran a unique opportunity to move towards the international community following decades of isolation and confrontation. It gives cause for hope that, beyond Vienna, Tehran's policy will no longer see only opponents but rather potential partners and win-win arrangements in the Middle East.