Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Iran Deal...Who Do You Trust?

The Iran deal is a start to which the president should be commended.  But it is a place to begin a negotiation, not end it.  The U.S. has negotiated as if it were in a position of weakness.  In poker terms, the president was holding 4 aces but feared Iran holding a pair of twos.  From Mr. Obama’s perspective, it is this deal or war, and this president is ideologically bound not to go to war.  Therefore, he folded with 4 aces in hand.

But this choice is false and faulty.  False because it is not a digital decision of one or the other.  We fought a 45 year Cold War with the former Soviet Union.  It was indirect involving economic, political, technological, diplomatic and covert operations.  In the end it crushed the Soviet Union.  It showcased the power of freedom and free market prosperity over socialism, communism and central controlled stateism.

Second, the choice is faulty, as the deal is woefully short of enforcement capacity and plagued with bad faith by all sides.  In the former, a friend of mine made an excellent analysis, saying verification inspections depend on three things:  access, resources and timing. He continued that Iran is twice the size of California and while we may know about many nuclear sites, we cannot know all of their weapons program facilities; some certain to be buried in mountains.  So, then how do we accomplish effective inspections? How many resources would it take? Do we have them? Then there’s the sheer logistics of access. Do we have the equipment to get where we need to go at the right time without telegraphing our intentions?

The president has assured us of inspections as necessary and when necessary.  But the matter is uncertain at best as it falls to the U.N., not the U.S., to do inspections and we have since learned there is a side agreement on inspections outside the negotiated nuclear deal.  So what confidence can we ultimately have?  The president tells us that if there is any dispute to inspections it will be resolved in 24 days – but maybe not.  According to the deal the time period “to resolve the issue . . . [can be] extended by consensus.”  How many times during the negotiations have we seen deadlines come and go.  There can be no certainty that any agreement will be resolved expediently and any violation can be given sufficient time for cover-up.

Again, my friend noted that the cornerstone of any business deal is, “good faith”.  That is, the determination made from both sides that an agreement serves their mutual interests and therefore will be honored. He goes on to say, on what basis would the U.S. negotiator’s having “zero” experience in business negotiations suddenly have the acumen to negotiate the toughest deal imaginable? And with Iranians that have a proven history of wishing us ill and make no bones about their intentions to continue doing so.  He concludes by saying the theory seems to be that if we’re magnanimous and gracious they’ll change their behavior. We have to ask, how likely is this?

We have done a 180 in our stance on a nuclear Iran.  From candidate Obama’s words of no nuclear Iran, to his assurance of inspections any time anywhere, to now acknowledging and sanctioning the Iran nuclear program thus enabling them to keep and advance their nuclear infrastructure and to the installation of a time line for them to become fully nuclear.  Rather than taking some $150 billion in frozen Iranian assets to pay reparations, the deal turns this cash back to Iran and economically enables them to maintain a despotic regime, develop ballistic missiles that could reach U.S. soil and expand terrorism.  Even if Iran lived to the letter of the deal, they would have nuclear weapons in as little as 10 years.

Iranian’s strategic agenda is to have nuclear weapons to intimidate their neighbors and dominate the region.  It doesn’t matter to them if it takes a decade. The Middle East is a region that has been ruled by dictators, pharos and tribal lords for thousands of years.  Muslims have waged war in the Middle East and Europe since the 7th century.  We are ignorant to think 10 years is a long time and we will somehow bring them into the western way of thinking that they so despise.

We are suffering from the mistakes made by President Carter in the late 1970’s that set this all in motion. We are reliving the policy of appeasement that lead Europe to WW II.  As such, we say with absolute certainty that Iran will violate the agreement.  Absolute, because it is the inescapable nature of man.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  In all of recorded history this has been consistent.  All tyrants display the same traits and we can expect, with certainty, the same from any despotic regime. 

For this singular reason the deal with Iran is certain to fail in a terrible way.  Compounding this certitude is a president who will - and has proven - to lie about this deal as he has done on almost all other major policy issues.  We can count on the Iranians to lie, and with great sadness, we can count on our president to do the same because “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.”

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