The fact that the United States is so powerful that it can and frequently does wage war in this way — from a great distance, with the impunity that comes from the incapacity of the target of our aerial assault to meaningfully strike back at us — proves only that the battle will be a horrible mismatch. It’s like an adult well practiced in martial arts going out to subdue a trash-talking 8-year-old who’s wielding a whiffle bat.

America’s hawks would surely take issue with that whiffle bat analogy, since Tehran has long wanted to build a nuclear arsenal. And many conservatives believe the Obama administration’s Iran deal did far too little to forestall Iran’s nuclear dreams. But the truth is, Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal, has failed for decades to build nuclear weapons, and is utterly incapable of matching the massive arsenals of the U.S., Israel, and other Western powers.

The Iran deal, whatever its flaws and despite the president’s lies and exaggerations on Tuesday afternoon, was clearly keeping Iran from acquiring a nuclear capacity from now until the deal began to expire in 2025. If the aim is to keep Iran from building nuclear weapons, then isn’t a deal that achieves that goal for a decade or more obviously better than having no deal at all?