Follow by Email

Saturday, November 23, 2013

David Ignatius, "Backstage brawl over a deal": An Agreement to Agree Is Unenforceable

Obama foreign affairs henchman David Ignatius is obviously developing a case of cold feet.

Having recently promoted a deal with Supreme Leader Khamenei that purportedly constrains Iran's nuclear weapons development program (see:, this Obama cheerleader now brings to our attention several caveats. In "Backstage brawl over a deal" (, Ignatius writes:

"If there’s a fog of war, there can also be a fog of peace — in which even the negotiators aren’t sure of the consequences of what they’ve done. Some of that murkiness surrounds the bargaining in Geneva to limit Iran’s nuclear program. There’s sharp disagreement among observers about the potential risks and benefits of this seeming breakthrough between Iran and the West after 34 years of hostility.

. . . .

Another danger looming in the fog of peace is that the agreement being negotiated with Iran is meant to be an interim, first-step pact. Yet diplomatic history is full of interim agreements that never get into second gear. Indeed, they often set the stage for a bloody new round of confrontation as each side jockeys for leverage in the final negotiation. I hope the United States and Iranian negotiators have a clear road map already set for the endgame; otherwise they may quickly lose their way."

Yup, Constitutional lawyer Obama is negotiating with Khamenei an agreement to agree. Unfortunately, it never occurred to the president that in law it is a well-settled principle that a so-called agreement to agree is void and unenforceable for reasons of uncertainty.

As Haaretz journalist Ari Shavit recently declared (see:

"If such an agreement were signed, it would represent an Iranian victory — and an American defeat. The Iranians would be able to maintain their nuclear program and continue to enrich uranium, while the Americans and their allies would loosen the economic siege on Iran and allow Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the economic oxygen needed to sustain his autocratic regime.

Yes, Iran’s race to the bomb would be slowed down — but an accord would guarantee that it would eventually cross the finish line. The Geneva mind-set resembles a Munich mind-set: It would create the illusion of peace-in-our-time while paving the way to a nuclear-Iran-in-our-time."

Unlike American Secretary of State John Kerry, Shavit is no naif.

Ignatius's conclusion:

"Don’t get me wrong: An agreement with Iran is potentially Obama’s greatest success. But it’s worth thinking unconventionally about potential risks, even as we savor the prospect of a diplomatic triumph."

Ah yes, the risks of signing a deal with Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei, who hangs homosexuals, stones to death women, murders Baha'is, oppresses Kurds, tyrannizes Sunnis and Christians, shuts down newspapers, and imprisons opposition politicians.

In fact, such a deal with Khamenei is to American overseas credibility what the Affordable Care Act is to American health care. Both are disasters in the making, whose ultimate consequences have yet to be seen.

1 comment:

  1. I spent 2007-2008 in frustration. You I see I live in New and am surrounded by ... idiots.
    The excitement was everywhere:
    - "He is a good honest person. READ HIS books and you will know. It's all there," assured me a young aspiring artist.
    - "He's not a politician. He's a wonderful community organizer and he just wants to serve us," or "He'll bring peace to the world forever," other "geniuses"asserted."
    - "He's a progressive" insisted PROFESSIONAL progressives.
    - "He's a saint, Messiah, God" declared the NYT via Frank Rich
    - my more sophisticated friends admitted that they can't stand the guy, but considering other options they of course will vote for him.
    I saw a lonely figure of a public conservative standing in the front aisle of Fairway holding an anti-Obama sign. Bravo, Gertrude.