A president with not much to show for his years in power, other than an album of photo ops, feels the need to remind history of his greatness. So why not strike a deal with Iran and spin surrender as triumph? But, hey, it’s Barack’s World and the rest of just live in it. At least for now
Iran and the US are the best of friends now, with President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry upbeat about this alleged triumph of diplomacy, which they are trying hard to sell around the globe, starting with their own, quite unconvinced Congress. Many on Capitol Hill see it, correctly, as a dangerous agreement struck by a weakling with an outlaw state infamous for its deceit, terrorism and ceaseless, opportunistic aggression. In his narcissist’s drive to revel in the world’s admiration, an inept president has endangered us all.
To grasp the depth of Obama’s determined pursuit of folly – the charitable interpretation of what motivates him — let us recall US impotence during the Carter years, when the Tehran regime shredded every tenet of international law, attacked the US Embassy and took its diplomats hostage. The captives were released on the same day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated – a historical footnote which might have reminded Obama and Kerry that the mullahs put discretion above valour when confronted by resolve. They also seem to have overlooked that no apology, restitution, or contrition was ever made, offered or uttered.
Worse than that, Obama and Kerry chose to overlook so many other exhibits in the prosecution’s case against the Iran regime’s transparent insincerity. The US spends billions of dollars gathering intelligence, yet its Commander-in-Chief seems not to grasp that Iran openly supplies, supports, trains and directs terrorist organisations around the world, causing countless deaths, suffering, mayhem and destruction. Iranian forces are openly involved in Syria’s civil war. Tehran supplies arms, financial support and training to Hezbollah and Hamas, meddles in Yemen and Lebanon, ceaselessly repeats its determination to reduce Israel to a smoking, radio-active husk. Israel’s extinction remains a cornerstone of Iranian foreign policy, a fundamental religious and ideological objective re-iterated even as negotiations with the US proceeded.
Nor did the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue give a fig that Iran suppresses and persecutes its own population. On the homefront, Obama backs same-sex marriage. When the mullahs hang homosexuals from cranes in the public square, we hear not a peep. Before his domestic audience, Obama laments discrimination against women. Again, not a whisper crosses his lips when Iranian women are attacked by the religious police for dressing as they would wish.
When black teenagers are shot by US police, an all too frequent occurrence, Obama calls the loathsome Rev Al Sharpton and other race-baiting hucksters to his side, sympathising with the rabble and rent-a-mobs that run riot in accordance with the time-honoured scripts of polarised racial politics. A young life snuffed out is a tragedy, he says. The Iran regime deploys children as soldiers after brainwashing them into believing that the cheap plastic keys distributed before battle will unlock the gates of a martyr’s paradise.
The Iranians deliberately and openly broke an international nuclear non-proliferation treaty, (NPT) of which it is a signatory. Iran built those illegal facilities, which cannot be credibly used for anything but the production of nuclear weapons, all the while lying about its aims. In the process, Iran broke, circumvented or simply shrugged off at least nine (yes, nine!) UN resolutions censuring its non-compliance. Obama waves off such inconvenient facts as if they are of no account whatsoever.
THIS IS the nature of the regime which the present US administration deemed an adequate negotiation partner, a theocracy it asks the world to accept will honour its pledges and be deservedly restored to an honourable place amongst the family of nations. To accept that, all one has to do is ignore all evidence to the contrary.
So, what’s actually in Obama’s touted “framework”? Well, just for starters:
- Iran gets to keep roughly 6000 centrifuges, which have no credible purpose but to enrich uranium to bomb-grade quality.
- Iran gets to keep its underground plant in Fordow, the very same facility Obama formerly stated they did not need and whose continuing operation he would not accept. Now, no problem.
- After initially agreeing to surrender and ship some of its already enriched uranium to Russia, Tehran backtracked and refused to do so. This about-face has not ruffled Obama in the least.
- The Iranians agreed to rigorous verification procedures overseen by the International Atomic Agency. Except they didn’t, not in any practical sense. Off-limits to inspectors will be military bases, where Iran can pursue its nuclear ambitions without fear of prying eyes.
The actual framework content is not that important, strange as it might sound. A cause for much greater concern in what Obama yearns to present as his great triumph is, in effect, a dispensation for Iran to behave as though it already has nuclear weapons. This is the most dangerous part of this slippery slope to a war, and it has been noticed by Mideast players such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, each a staunch US ally. Both countries know they have been put on notice that they can no longer rely on the US, nor can they hope to shelter under its security umbrella.
In their headlong dash to defence self-sufficiency, the Sunni states , for the first time since their disastrous wars with Israel, have organised a joint Arab force to fight and, ideally, counter Iran’s proxies in Yemen. Sunnis in Saudi Arabia, dread an unchecked Iranian expansionism which will bring the centuries-old Sunni/Shia conflict close to their borders — indeed, actually inside them, as the country includes a substantial Shia minority. In the case of Yemen, control of the Bab-al-Mandab straight will give Iran full control of the Mideast’s oil flow. It also means that Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Kuwait’s Asia-bound shipping are open to being strangled by Iranian malevolence.
Israel, singled out by Iran as the specific candidate for extinction, is quite open about the framework, and memories of Operation Osirak are very much to the fore in Jerusalem. For those enjoying the luxury of not living within missile range of Iran, recall that Operation Osirak was Israel’s successful strike on Iraq’s nuclear reactor. The logistical difficulties of doing similar damage to Iran’s nuclear effort would be larger by a degree of magnitude, given the greater distance and bunkered facilities, but that option is clearly on the table. Expect Iran’s proxies to re-launch their rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza and Lebanon, which may well prompt a shooting war that would make the IDF’s 2014 incursion into Gaza seem trifling by comparison.
But wait, there’s more!
Now, with Iran relishing the White House wink to play with nukes, its neighbours will all want their own. Saudis will buy them from North Korea or Pakistan. Turkey, chafing at Iran’s ambitions, could follow suit – and likely will. As for the smaller Sunni states that will feel their existence threatened, they have the money and motivation to do likewise.
THERE IS much talk amongst Obama’s acolytes and apologists of his need to leave a lasting legacy, the left’s preferred testament to his acumen being a peace deal because any “peace”, no matter hollow, always plays well with the segment of the electorate that can think only in feel-good clichés. To these sorts, the Nobel Peace Prize he collected almost as soon as moving into the White House would become something more than a mere recognition of his race, rhetoric and the awarding judge’s star-struck caprice.
This sham of a framework, if sold astutely and insistently by Obama’s spin machine and media courtiers, will validate that ill-deserved Nobel. Iran will get its bomb, nuclear proliferation will be given a steroidal boost and many, perhaps millions, will die.
But the narcissist in the White House will have his legacy.
Dr Michael Galak and his family came to Australia as refugees from the Soviet Union in 1978