Opinion | Morgan Liddick: A nonsensical nuclear deal with Iran
On your right
Let’s try to use that which separates humans from other animals: ability to predict the future based on study of past events. This capacity allows us to see that, yes, there will be a nuclear deal with Iran in Vienna, probably on Thursday or shortly thereafter. It will be touted to the treetops by the Obama administration, accompanied by much chest-thumping and self-patting of backs. And, it will be the most complete and dangerous loss for this country since the abandonment and collapse in South Vietnam.
It will have repercussions around the world, especially in the Mideast. The “legacy” Barack Obama will create for himself will be one of destabilization of the post-Cold War world and further weakening of America’s ability to influence affairs for the better. No problem for the president and his coterie of like-minded Lefties, who think it long past time that this country had a come-uppance. Remember that when our security goes south, and we find ourselves alone, thanks to this administration’s fecklessness, incompetence and perfidy. It won’t take long.
The shame of it is, the defeat was all too avoidable. Iran’s theocracy was hanging on by its fingernails, reverting to the thuggery used by the Shah to keep its people in line. Its economy was gasping its last, brought to a standstill by a very effective sanctions regime developed over more than a decade. Tehran’s bazarjis — merchants who were behind the last sea change in Iranian politics — were not pleased and were becoming threateningly restive. The Ayatollahs finally whispered that they might be willing to make a deal over their nuclear program.
But President “Not-My-Red-Line” rode to their rescue. Eschewing the advice of people who knew the Iranian nuclear program, the theocracy, and who had been involved with negotiations over sanctions and UN resolutions against Tehran, Obama’s first move was capitulation: He promised to ease sanctions if Iran would sit down for talks.
The effect was predictably electric. The Mullahs immediately proclaimed victory: the “Great Satan” had not only recognized Iran as a legitimate partner for “negotiations” over their nuclear program, he had given them money to come to the table. Our actions were the equivalent of walking into a shop in the carpet souk and telling the owner you can’t live without the kilim in the window. One may as well hand the merchant a blank check at that point; no further dickering is possible.
The situation was not improved in the first round of negotiations. The Iranian team would have noticed that among the first-string players for the Americans was Wendy Sherman, a principal Clintonist appeaser who guaranteed North Korea would obtain nuclear weapons without consequences. This would certainly have given them a warm-and-fuzzy. They would also have immediately understood that Obama and his chief negotiator John Kerry were in a lather to get a deal, any deal. Their lust for a piece of paper to wave at the cameras created such a reek one could smell it in Loveland. And, the Iranians gleefully pounced.
It didn’t matter that the sonorous Mr. Kerry repeatedly intoned the unbelievable line that negotiation would constrain Iran’s nuclear program. At the beginning of negotiations, Iran had some hundreds of centrifuges spinning away. They now have thousands. It didn’t matter that he and others expressed earnest faith in their negotiating partner; Iran continues to conjugate the verb “to cheat” in all its tenses: they have cheated. They are cheating. They will cheat.
Couple this with the time-honored tactics of the bazar, known to negotiators everywhere: when confronted, deny; when receiving a proposal, reject; and above all, when it looks as though your opponent is desperate, threaten to walk away. He who wants the deal more will cave, every time. Especially when one is as dubious as this president about the inherent rightness of his country’s course and when represented by bargainers of such modest skills. When these come together, there’s little to prevent a rout.
Which is sad and frustrating because it didn’t need to end like this. All we had to do was to keep all sanctions in place until a deal was reached; one which included our necessary points and was verifiable by what we said we wanted at the beginning: full, open and unannounced inspections by the IAEA. But, when Congress weighed in, instead of using their insistence on an inspection regime and stiffer sanctions, the president argued publicly with them because they evidently hurt his feelings.
So, we will get what we get, brought to us by the obsequious servants of a president befuddled by the reality of the world around him and perpetually in thrall to his considerable ego. And, we will have taken one more step toward disaster at yet another point of a crowded compass.
Morgan Liddick writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily.
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