The Iran Nuclear Deal

Welp, chalk up another stunning foreign diplomacy victory for the Obama administration. He’s successfully negotiated with a country we’ve been unable to deal with diplomatically since 1979.*

Of course, the problem is, the Obama/Kerry foreign policy brain trust reached this historic agreement with Iran by simply capitulating to virtually every Iranian demand.


Worse still, our own Republican controlled United States Senate has jiggered the rules to make it virtually impossible for the Congress to halt implementation of this agreement.

One of the first effects of the deal will be the lifting of sanctions on Iran, which will result in an immediate cash infusion of about $100 billion dollars into the Iranian economy. You’ll note that the administration claims this money will go solely to improving Iran’s economy. Well, yeah, maybe. Some will undoubtedly go to funding terrorist proxies that are fighting the US and its allies. And of course, the secondary effects of an improvement in the Iranian economy include increased internal stability in Iran (lo for the days when the US might have actually supported the nascent Green Revolution and weakened or overturned the ayatollahs regime) and of course, since money is fungible, the already existing outlays by Iran to support terror will have even less domestic impact on their economy. That is, if they can afford to support terror while under economic sanctions, how will improving their economy make it harder for them to continue to export terror?

Europe, of course, is willing to go along with this, as they suspect that a fair percentage of these billions of dollars will be spent buying from Europe.  And Europe is so desperate to support their own social welfare programs that taking Iranian money makes sense to them, particularly as they labor under the misconception that the United States is and perpetually will continue to be the guarantor of their security.

Iran for its part, once in possession of nuclear weapons, need not actually employ them to achieve their foreign policy goals. Much as Pakistan and North Korea intuited, mere possession of a valid nuclear force renders any possibility of invasion moot.  Far from this agreement steering Iran to enter the fold of the nations of the world, it gives Iran a shield from behind which to further attack its neighbors and adversaries.

Of course, a nuclear armed Iran poses an existential threat to many nations in the region, particularly Saudi Arabia. A nuclear arms race is virtually guaranteed, and we already know that Saudi Arabia is likely to simply purchase weapons off the shelf from Pakistan, whose program they are widely thought to have helped finance in the first place. Other nations in the Gulf might similarly procure weapons.  And as anyone who has studies nuclear proliferation and nuclear war strategy quickly finds, the risk of a nuclear power making a decision to use a nuclear weapon goes up very quickly as the number of possessor nations increases. Sooner or later, instability or poor strategic decision making leads a “player” in the nuclear game to the conclusion that using nuclear weapons is a better option than not using them. When that eventually comes to pass, there will be no telling where it may end.

But hey, Obama and Kerry get to tout a major foreign policy accomplishment, establishing an enduring legacy of accomplishment. And that’s really the important thing here.


*With the exception of the Iran/Contra deal.

Morning Links

Before I sally forth and do yardwork, here’s some items that have been on my mind.

Democrats walk out of Benghazi hearings before victims family members testify.

Seriously? How many times have we seen Democrats offer photogenic “victims” or “advocates” to testify before hearings?  The families of the dead in Benghazi have stated over and over they just wish to be heard.  But apparently “representative” to Dems means something different than what you or I might expect.

And here’s the thing about Benghazi that infuriates me. The administration lied to me (and you) with its utterly farcical story of a youtube video.

Had the administration put forth at least a plausible story, I’d be fairly understanding. Say a statement along the lines of “Amb. Stevens and the others were engaged in a low profile effort to secure missiles and other weapons from radical elements in the post-revolutionary environment in Libya when those elements staged an attack upon our consulate.” It’s plausible. And the enemy does get a vote. And it has the advantage of likely being mostly true.

Instead, the Obama administration has found itself having to deny, obfuscate and denigrate. And the thing with lying is, you keep digging yourself in deeper. It didn’t have to be this way.


What is it with nutty professors? I support a great deal of academic freedom, and even a healthy dose of skepticism. But this dude is just nutters. FAU has enough issues they may need to rethink the value of his contributions to the school. And certainly, students and parents need to think very carefully about what kind of institutions they spend their (borrowed) money on.


13 shot in the Navy Yard- Full court press in the news for days.
13 shot in Chicago- a blurb in the local papers.


Have some splodey:


A Thought on Egypt

What’s amazing about the massive protest today in Egypt is that literally millions of Muslims are protesting the rise of an autocratic Islamist government.  The masses  have seen the results of Islamist autocrats such as Morsi and want none of it.

The BBC reports 17 million people have taken to the streets in cities across Egypt in the largest political protest in all of history.

So, which side does the administration support?

Remember this, while the immediate purpose of the invasion of Iraq was to forestall the rise of an Iraq that could potentially stage an attack on the US (or its allies), the larger strategic goal was a realignment of the Arab world. There was not a single functional democracy in the Arab world. The goal of the realignment was to deny Al Qeda and other extremist Islamic groups the fertile grounds upon which to recruit and to foster resentment and hate.

President Bush’s efforts were stymied by fierce partisan attacks by his domestic political opponents. The ever greater escalation of violence in Iraq also lead to decline in popular support at home for US intervention elsewhere.  But if the US could provide no more than encouragement and diplomatic support to nascent movements for freedom in Arab lands, it at least did that much.

But when the upheaval of the Arab Spring came, the Obama admonition’s choices of who to support and who to shun have been a mishmash.  A cynic might almost conclude that the more radicalized and Islamicist a group was, the more likely they were to receive support from Obama.

I’m pretty cynical, but for now, I’ll guess that the Obama administration’s primary goal after the departure of Mubarak was a stable regime, not necessarily the best regime.  But supporting the Morsi regime has lead to a great many Egyptians being sorely disappointed  in the US. Witness the picture above.

Of course, a lot of the support the US has given to the “Morsi regime” is in fact, support for the Egyptian military, which isn’t quite the same thing. As URR notes in the comment of the previous post, whichever way the military decides to go, that’s where the country is going.