November 25 2013
Home and Abroad: The Wrecking Ball Administration
The Obama administration has sacrificed the best health care system in the world to its ideological goals. President Obama has governed through executive fiat. He has blessed—or rather promoted behind the scenes—a change of rules in the Senate that undid the way that chamber had functioned for more than two centuries.
But on Saturday night we learned that the wrecking ball administration has wrecked U.S. alliances abroad by brokering a deal with Iran that makes it more likely that the tyranny run by mullahs will get a nuclear weapon. The deal relieves sanctions on Iran and leaves U.S. allies in the region surprised and endangered. Talk about transformation.
The Wall Street Journal editorial opens:
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.
U.N. resolutions stipulate that Iran should not have sanctions relief unless it suspends uranium enrichment necessary to developing a nuclear weapon. This interim agreement, as the editorial points out, doesn’t even reach that basic level. President Obama used weasel phrases in his Saturday night press conference:
As for inspections, Mr. Obama hailed "extensive access" that will "allow the international community to verify whether Iran is keeping its commitments." One problem is that Iran hasn't ratified the additional protocol to its International Atomic Energy Agency agreement that would allow inspections on demand at such sites as Parchin, which remain off limits. Iran can also oust U.N. inspectors at any time, much as North Korea did.
Then there is the sanctions relief, which Mr. Obama says is only "modest" but which reverses years of U.S. diplomacy to tighten and enforce them. The message is that the sanctions era is over. The loosening of the oil regime is especially pernicious, inviting China, India and Germany to get back to business with Iran.
The deal was preceded by secret talks between the U.S. and Iran. The agreement will be finalized in six months and, as the Wall Street Journal notes, Iran will want even more concessions:
Mr. Obama all but admitted this himself by noting that "only diplomacy can bring about a durable solution to the challenge posed by Iran's nuclear program." He added that "I have a profound responsibility to try to resolve our differences peacefully, rather than rush towards conflict." Rush to conflict? Iran's covert nuclear program was uncovered a decade ago, and the West has been desperately trying to avoid military action.
The best that can be said is that the weekend deal slows for a few weeks Iran's rapid progress to a nuclear breakout. But the price is that at best it sets a standard that will allow Iran to become a nuclear-capable regime that stops just short of exploding a bomb.
Iran’s chief negotiator was Mohammad Javad Zarif, who, according to documents quoted by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies’ Claudia Rosett, allegedly ran a money laundering scheme that violated sanctions and funneled millions of dollars into an Iranian state-owned bank when the polished Zarif was posted to the U.N. What do you bet Zarif ran circles around our eager Secretary of State John Kerry?
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton calls the agreement an “abject surrender by the United States.” It will have a profound effect on the region. It ditched Israel and so it is appropriate that Sir Winston Churchill’s speech in Parliament when the Western powers betrayed the Czechs with the Munich Agreement of 1938 has been making the rounds. The Weekly Standard has excerpts.
As for Israel, I seem to recall President Obama’s saying to our most longstanding ally in the Middle East, “I’ve got Israel’s back.” Period. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the agreement a “historic mistake.” Iran has never accepted the Jewish state and nuclear weapons could make that rejection fatal for Israel. Our new pal Iran also supports militant terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Israel isn’t the only nation threatened by the Iran deal. Saudi Arabia is terrified. The Saudis aren’t sweetie pies but they’ve been U.S. allies and now they will probably buy nuclear weapons from Pakistan as a result of the Iran deal. Very likely an arms race will soon be on in the Middle East. Reports have the Israelis and Saudis covertly cooperating on plans to strike Iran if necessary.
I heard somebody on CNN saying that it didn’t matter which side gave more. The important thing is that we have a piece of paper. Think about that.