Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Obama Tries To Sell His "Peace For Out Time" Deal With Iran

If Obama were to make a deal with Iran that would permanently prevent them from gaining a nuclear arsenal, no one would have cause to complain. But this abortion that he is trying to sell now does not accomplish that. It does not come close to accomplishing that. Indeed, it virtually ensures that, within two decades, we will be faced an Iranian theocracy armed with nuclear weapons and the capacity to deliver them anywhere in the world. And it ensures that we will face nuclear proliferation among the unstable regimes in the Middle East that Iran threatens.

This is an existential issue for us. That anyone can think to support this deal is simply irrational. We are talking putting nuclear weapons in the hands of a regime that, in many ways, resembles that of Hitler's. This is not something that we or the world can afford to get wrong, nor is it something that can simply be corrected in a decade or two when, by the terms of its sunset provision, Iran emerges from the strictures of this deal with the ability to create a nuclear arsenal.

This is not an issue where we can roll the dice and hope that, despite no evidence whatsoever that the Iranian theocracy has moderated it's bloody ways, it's genocidal hatred of the Jews, or its threat to the U.S. and all other nations since 1979, that somehow after this deal is inked, the theocracy will moderate. One definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result. This is the flip side of that equation, that doing an act with no basis for expecting a particular desired result is equally insane.

Obama did an interview today with the NYT's Tom Friedman. The straw men Obama raises in that interview to justify this deal are simply ridiculous.

. . . “You take a country like Cuba. For us to test the possibility that engagement leads to a better outcome for the Cuban people, there aren’t that many risks for us. It’s a tiny little country. It’s not one that threatens our core security interests, and so [there’s no reason not] to test the proposition. And if it turns out that it doesn’t lead to better outcomes, we can adjust our policies. The same is true with respect to Iran, a larger country, a dangerous country, one that has engaged in activities that resulted in the death of U.S. citizens, but the truth of the matter is: Iran’s defense budget is $30 billion. Our defense budget is closer to $600 billion. Iran understands that they cannot fight us. ... You asked about an Obama doctrine. The doctrine is: We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities.”

Okay, does Obama realize that, in the story of David and Goliath, Goliath was the one killed? Nuclear weapons are the great equalizer if one is willing to use them. Our defense budget is not a nuclear shield. We do not have a capacity to stop a nuclear first strike, and the horrifying reality is that it would take a single nuclear weapon, detonated at, say, a height of five miles at a position a hundred miles or so off the coast of Maryland, to send half of America back into the stone age for about a year, crippling our nation, perhaps permanently. But it doesn't have to come to that. What if the theocracy merely decides to give nuclear material to, say, al Qaeda, with whom they've partnered in the past. It doesn't have to be a nuclear weapon. A dirty bomb blown at the docks in NYC or Los Angeles would cripple the American economy. It is simply not possible to minimize the threat of an Iranian theocracy that continues to enrich uranium.

The fact that our responsive attack could make the rubble bounce in Tehran only works if the theocrats of Iran can be dissuaded by the thought of Mutually Assured Destruction. What basis does Obama or anyone on the left have for believing that would be the case? Does anyone think for a moment that if the theocracy in Iran is threatened, internally or externally with its imminent end, the mad mullahs wouldn't push the button and send nuclear missiles against Israel, if not the U.S.?

The short video below includes the West's premier orientalist, Bernard Lewis, addressing the danger of the made theocrats of Iran if armed with nuclear weapons. The takeaway quote: "For them, [MADD] is not a deterrent, it's an inducement."

As for protecting our Sunni Arab allies, like Saudi Arabia, the president said, they have some very real external threats, but they also have some internal threats — “populations that, in some cases, are alienated, youth that are underemployed, an ideology that is destructive and nihilistic, and in some cases, just a belief that there are no legitimate political outlets for grievances. And so part of our job is to work with these states and say, ‘How can we build your defense capabilities against external threats, but also, how can we strengthen the body politic in these countries, so that Sunni youth feel that they’ve got something other than [the Islamic State, or ISIS] to choose from. ... I think the biggest threats that they face may not be coming from Iran invading. It’s going to be from dissatisfaction inside their own countries. ... That’s a tough conversation to have, but it’s one that we have to have."

Yes, Saudi Arabia has huge internal problems. And yes, their brand of Islam, Wahhabism, happens to be the ideological basis for the ISIS and al Qaeda. What President Obama neglects to mention is that Saudi Arabia is now starting to pursue its own nuclear weapons program in response to Iran's. The only thing more frightening than Iran with a nuclear arsenal is a nuclear armed Saudi Arabia. That is something Obama cannot ignore. He has to address the nuclear proliferation issue.

On Congress’s role, Obama said he insists on preserving the presidential prerogative to enter into binding agreements with foreign powers without congressional approval.

Funny, I must have missed that clause in the Constitution. Does anyone know if it comes before or after Article II, Section II, that says: "[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur . . ." This President is out of control.

Since he has acknowledged Israel’s concerns, and the fact that they are widely shared there, if the president had a chance to make his case for this framework deal directly to the Israeli people, what would he say?

“Well, what I’d say to them is this,” the president answered. “You have every right to be concerned about Iran. This is a regime that at the highest levels has expressed the desire to destroy Israel, that has denied the Holocaust, that has expressed venomous anti-Semitic ideas and is a big country with a big population and has a sophisticated military. So Israel is right to be concerned about Iran, and they should be absolutely concerned that Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon.” But, he insisted, this framework initiative, if it can be implemented, can satisfy that Israeli strategic concern with more effectiveness and at less cost to Israel than any other approach. “We know that a military strike or a series of military strikes can set back Iran’s nuclear program for a period of time — but almost certainly will prompt Iran to rush towards a bomb, will provide an excuse for hard-liners inside of Iran to say, ‘This is what happens when you don’t have a nuclear weapon: America attacks.’

This is a pure straw man argument. Economic sanctions with a threat of force is what brought Iran to the table. Now Obama claims that neither continued and ever increasing economic sanctions will work and use of force will only lead Obama to a nuclear weapon more quickly? That is the purest of straw man arguments. One, economic sanctions can work if given time. The negotiations ongoing now are proof.

But if we run out of time, there must be a threat of overwhelming force. The Iranian regime is wholly dependent on sales of oil and gas for it's economy. Cut them off from their oil and gas and the regime would soon fall. All of Iran's oil and gas fields are on a strip running along the western border of the country. Indeed, when Iraq attacked Iran in the 1980's, their master plan was to take control of that western border region. It was actually a workable strategy, had Saddam Hussein not been an incompetent commander. Bottom line, there is no need to attack all of Iran to bring the theocracy to its knees and destroy it. Because of its dependence on oil revenues and the vulnerability of its oil fields, it would be much easier to bring decisive force on the theocracy than it might at first blush appear. The whole concept of using force is based on the truism that you use it until the other side gives up. It's kind of been that way since before the written word. Obama's claim that force would only lead Iran to faster development of nuclear weapons would only be true if the force used were utterly insufficient and ineffective to convince the mad mullahs that they would lose everything if they continue to pursue nuclear weapons.

If their leaders really are telling the truth that Iran is not seeking a nuclear weapon, the president said, then “the notion that they would want to expend so much on a symbolic program as opposed to harnessing the incredible talents and ingenuity and entrepreneurship of the Iranian people, and be part of the world economy and see their nation excel in those terms, that should be a pretty straightforward choice for them. Iran doesn’t need nuclear weapons to be a powerhouse in the region. For that matter, what I’d say to the Iranian people is: You don’t need to be anti-Semitic or anti-Israel or anti-Sunni to be a powerhouse in the region. I mean, the truth is, Iran has all these potential assets going for it where, if it was a responsible international player, if it did not engage in aggressive rhetoric against its neighbors, if it didn’t express anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish sentiment, if it maintained a military that was sufficient to protect itself, but was not engaging in a whole bunch of proxy wars around the region, by virtue of its size, its resources and its people it would be an extremely successful regional power. And so my hope is that the Iranian people begin to recognize that.”

Clearly, he added, “part of the psychology of Iran is rooted in past experiences, the sense that their country was undermined, that the United States or the West meddled in first their democracy and then in supporting the Shah and then in supporting Iraq and Saddam during that extremely brutal war. So part of what I’ve told my team is we have to distinguish between the ideologically driven, offensive Iran and the defensive Iran that feels vulnerable and sometimes may be reacting because they perceive that as the only way that they can avoid repeats of the past. ... But if we’re able to get this done, then what may happen — and I’m not counting on it — but what may happen is that those forces inside of Iran that say, ‘We don’t need to view ourselves entirely through the lens of our war machine. Let’s excel in science and technology and job creation and developing our people,’ that those folks get stronger. ... I say that emphasizing that the nuclear deal that we’ve put together is not based on the idea that somehow the regime changes.

This is pure Obama off in fantasyland. To claim that Iran's nuclear program is aimed at anything other than the development of a nuclear arsenal is ridiculous. This is a question asked and answered years ago.

And Obama would tell Iran that they don't need to be anti-Semetic or anti-Sunni? Is he having delusions of grandeur? Sunni and Shia have been warring upon each other for over a millennium, and Obama thinks he can say a few magic words and that enmity goes away? Likewise, anti-Semitism is written into Islam's religion. Does Obama think that he can make that go away? Obama does not seem to understand what motivates the theocracy. The mad mullahs don't care about their people or their economy beyond the opportunity to spread the revolution while getting personally rich on the side. There is nothing in the history of this regime that suggests otherwise, nor anything to give one hope that this theocracy will moderate. This is insane.

And does Obama truly believe that Iran's enmity towards the West is predicated on a CIA coup three quarters of a century ago? Funny, I listen to Iranians shout "death to America" all the time and it seems to be religiously motivated. Indeed, as I recall reading Khomeini's complaints about America years ago, none of them concerned the coup. All of them concerned that we represented a competing values system.

The Iranians are not the left. The theocracy is not motivated by the socio-economic concerns of Marx. Obama does not seem to understand that.

Okay, I'm stopping there. There is more I could say in response to the inanities being uttered by Obama, but the bottom line, Iran armed with nuclear weapons is an existential disaster for the world. And this abortion Obama is trying to sell puts Iran on the glide bath to a nuclear arsenal. It cannot be allowed to come to fruition.


Ex-Dissident said...

One of your finest posts, and scary as hell.

BTW, last paragraph - glide bath or path?

GW said...

Hi praise, Vinny. Thank you.