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

Sunday, November 24, 2013


As I listened to Secretary of State, John Kerry, late last night, I had to smile as as he announced the "historic deal" with Iran. He spoke for maybe 15 minutes in what can only be called a content-free fashion. Sprinkling defensive language that he knows opponents want to hear ("actions not words") with platitudes and empty assurances, he told the assembled press that Iran would would be given "a test" over the next six months and the results would determine further Western actions. In essence, Barack Obama acceded to lessen sanctions against Iran in return for—what exactly? The promise that plutonium enrichment would cease? Sounds good to me, after all, Iran has been oh-so-good at keeping all of its promises over the past 30-plus years. Then again, Barack Obama has been struggling with keeping his promises lately, so maybe he misunderstands what a promise really is.

In the fantasy world of Barack Obama and his supporters, Iran's mullahs have an inner "moderate" that just wants to come out. Their massive support of international terrorism, their explicit suggestion—just last week, but not for the first time—that they desire the annihilation of Israel, their continuing chants of "death to America", don't phase progressives one bit. Nah, the Iranians are really, really, just peaceful folks who want to make a deal. The sanctions were beginning to bite (why else did the Mullahs come to the table?), so of course, it was time to lift them. And there's high likelihood that we'll lift more in six months. Worse, now that we've eased up, other countries who want to skirt the sanctions will do so with impunity.

Stated simply, Obama/Kerry have done a deal that is really, really good—for Iran.

John Bolton (who understands the realities of the Middle East), comments:
This interim agreement is badly skewed from America’s perspective. Iran retains its full capacity to enrich uranium, thus abandoning a decade of Western insistence and Security Council resolutions that Iran stop all uranium-enrichment activities. Allowing Iran to continue enriching, and despite modest (indeed, utterly inadequate) measures to prevent it from increasing its enriched-uranium stockpiles and its overall nuclear infrastructure, lays the predicate for Iran fully enjoying its “right” to enrichment in any “final” agreement. Indeed, the interim agreement itself acknowledges that a “comprehensive solution” will “involve a mutually defined enrichment program.” This is not, as the Obama administration leaked before the deal became public, a “compromise” on Iran’s claimed “right” to enrichment. This is abject surrender by the United States.
But why be surprised? Obama needs a foreign policy "success" after the Syrian debacle, and now his trained hamsters in the media will give him one. Too bad it's only fantasy. Too bad platitudes and empty assurances are meaningless. Too bad this "historic deal" will almost undoubtedly lead to nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and outright war. A perfect capstone for Obama's feckless and ill-considered foreign policy.

Update (11/25/13):
I realize that it's a bit tedious to recount the continuing stream of bad policies, bad decisions, outright fantasy and pervasive dishonesty that seem to characterize the Obama administration, but they are a simple fact of life. The Wall Street Journal comments on the latest Iran deal:
President Obama is hailing a weekend accord that he says has "halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program," and we devoutly wish this were true. The reality is that the agreement in Geneva with five Western nations takes Iran a giant step closer to becoming a de facto nuclear power.

Start with the fact that this "interim" accord fails to meet the terms of several United Nations resolutions, which specify no sanctions relief until Iran suspends all uranium enrichment. Under this deal Iran gets sanctions relief, but it does not have to give up its centrifuges that enrich uranium, does not have to stop enriching, does not have to transfer control of its enrichment stockpiles, and does not have to shut down its plutonium reactor at Arak.

Mr. Obama's weekend statement glossed over these canyon-sized holes. He said Iran "cannot install or start up new centrifuges," but it already has about 10,000 operational centrifuges that it can continue to spin for at least another six months. Why does Tehran need so many centrifuges if not to make a bomb at the time it pleases?
Elections have consequences, both domestically and in this case, internationally. What a mess.