The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, April 10, 2015


As we move into still another fruitless negotiating stage on the vaunted Iran framework, concern grows among foreign policy experts, a bipartisan majority of Congress, and many of us that have been following Barack Obama is his Quixotic quest for an detente with the radical Islamic Mullahs of Iran. Now that details must be committed to paper, the Obama administration relies on obfuscation, spin (another word for bending the truth) and demonization of it opponents when it proposed an ill-conceived and potentially damaging plan to the American public.

Henry Kissinger And George P. Shultz comment on some of the issues:
Negotiating the final agreement will be extremely challenging. For one thing, no official text has yet been published. The so-called framework represents a unilateral American
interpretation. Some of its clauses have been dismissed by the principal Iranian negotiator as “spin.” A joint EU-Iran statement differs in important respects, especially with regard to the lifting of sanctions and permitted research and development.

Comparable ambiguities apply to the one-year window for a presumed Iranian breakout. Emerging at a relatively late stage in the negotiation, this concept replaced the previous baseline—that Iran might be permitted a technical capacity compatible with a plausible civilian nuclear program. The new approach complicates verification and makes it more political because of the vagueness of the criteria.

Under the new approach, Iran permanently gives up none of its equipment, facilities or fissile product to achieve the proposed constraints. It only places them under temporary restriction and safeguard—amounting in many cases to a seal at the door of a depot or periodic visits by inspectors to declared sites. The physical magnitude of the effort is daunting. Is the International Atomic Energy Agency technically, and in terms of human resources, up to so complex and vast an assignment?

In a large country with multiple facilities and ample experience in nuclear concealment, violations will be inherently difficult to detect. Devising theoretical models of inspection is one thing. Enforcing compliance, week after week, despite competing international crises and domestic distractions, is another. Any report of a violation is likely to prompt debate over its significance—or even calls for new talks with Tehran to explore the issue. The experience of Iran’s work on a heavy-water reactor during the “interim agreement” period—when suspect activity was identified but played down in the interest of a positive negotiating atmosphere—is not encouraging.

Compounding the difficulty is the unlikelihood that breakout will be a clear-cut event. More likely it will occur, if it does, via the gradual accumulation of ambiguous evasions.
And now, some of Kissenger's and Schultz's questions are being answer—and not in a good way. The President of Iran said yesterday, " “We will not sign any agreements unless on the first day of the implementation of the deal all economic sanctions are totally lifted on the same day.” According to The New York Times, he also stated that "that military sites would be strictly off limits to foreign inspectors."  Hmmm.

This, after Obama assured us all that sanctions would be lifting in a phased manner once Iran demonstrates compliance with the Swiss cheese agreement that he promised would be completed in June and that the "good deal" would be absolutely, positively, unequivocally "verifiable."

Richard Fernandez comments:
Obama says his doctrine is “we will engage,” but it looks like the actual doctrine is “we will be fooled.” Of course they insist that nobody will make a fool of them, however they reserve the right to make fools of themselves.

It’s painful to watch. It’s hard not to think that Iran is out to humiliate Barack Hussein Obama. With this calculated slight [Rouhani's statement], they not only want to wipe the floor with his reputation, they want to see him crawl. And he probably will. Obama gave them Iraq, allowed Iran into Syria, permitted Hezbollah to take over Lebanon, and let them run him out of Yemen all in the expectation that Rouhani would give him his “game changer,” his “once in a lifetime deal.”

And now, after he’s handed in all that earnest money and proclaimed his purchase to the world, they won’t deliver the merchandise. He’s been had, pure and simple. They gave him a special surprise gift and he’s proudly opened it in front of relatives and friends, only to discover it contains a pile of … .

Iran knows he won’t fight, because he’s already scuttled his position in Iraq and allowed himself to be humiliated in Syria by drawing “red lines” with crayons. His “moderate rebel forces” in Syria have all defected to someone else. Iran watched America flee from Yemen, Obama’s counterinsurgency “model,” leaving a list of local U.S. intelligence agents to fall into their hands. Those men are probably being hunted down or dying in agony. Tehran probably gaped in amusement as he made enemies with their oldest ally in the Middle East, Israel, all for the sake of the agreement they have now thrown in his face.

If Obama was going to fight, he would have done so already. And now it’s too late. Who in the region will trust Barack Obama? Israel? The survivors of Yemen? A loyal remnant in Syria? Maybe someone in Anbar who fought for America and then escaped first from ISIS and then the IRG?

Maybe there’s somebody left who hasn’t been sold out.
What is truly worrisome is that Obama and his Team of 2s will not walk away. Instead, they will agree to any terms—no matter how ambiguous, no matter how difficult to verify, no matter how easy for the Iranians to cheat—just to get a deal done. The Iranians know this. And that's why this isn't a negotiation, it much more like a capitulation.