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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Nicholas Kristof, "A Nuclear Deal With Iran Isn’t Just About Bombs": No, It's All About Ice Cream and Kisses

Back in June 2012, Nicholas Kristof bestowed upon us a risible New York Times op-ed entitled "In Iran, They Want Fun, Fun, Fun," in which he provided anecdotes from his 1,700-mile, magical mystery tour across Iran, accompanied by his son and daughter. Over the course of a journey akin to Borat's excursion across the US (yes, I know, Borat spoke English, while Kristof doesn't speak Farsi), Kristof relayed less than profound anecdotes from what he claimed to be chance meetings with ordinary Iranians. Discussions with members of Iran's persecuted Baha'i minority? Kristof didn't mention any. Exchages of views with Iran's oppressed Kurds? Again, no such thing. Dialogue with Iranian homosexuals? No way, given that homosexuals are hanged in Iran. A visit to Evin Prison to look into the well-being of political dissidents languishing in its dungeons? Sorry, not on this road trip. Better still, an off-the-beaten-track side trip to witness the stoning to death of a woman accused of adultery? No, he wouldn't want his children to see such a spectacle.

Fun, fun, fun . . .

Well, today Kristof is back with a new Times opinion piece entitled "A Nuclear Deal With Iran Isn’t Just About Bombs." Kristof begins by regaling us with fond memories of his 2012 road trip: "three Iranian women in black chadors accosted my daughter — and then invited her to a cafe where they plied her with ice cream, marveling at her and kissing her on the cheek as she ate." Well, I have traveled across the world, occasionally accompanied by my children, and not once was my daughter stopped in the street by strangers, given ice cream, and smothered in kisses. Does something strike you a bit "peculiar" about such a story in a country where the translators are reporting back to the government?

Kristof proceeds to weigh the West's options involving Iranian nuclear development and declares:

"On balance, with either the military option or the sanctions option, Iran probably ends up with a nuclear capability within a decade."

A nuclear "capability"? In fact, Kristof means a nuclear bomb. Of course, Kristof avoids mention of Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei's November 2014 tweet calling for the "annihilation" of Israel:

"This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of #Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated."

Similarly, he fails to take note of Basij militia chief Mohammad Reza Naqdi's declaration last week that "erasing Israel off the map" is "nonnegotiable." Why? Because Kristof is hoping that Khamenei is deathly ill and that when he departs this world, Iran will come to its senses:

"I’ve rarely been to a more pro-American country, at the grass-roots, and there’s a pent-up anger at corruption and hypocrisy. That doesn’t mean that there’s going to be a revolution anytime soon. But it means that there’s a chance for movement after the death of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is 75 and underwent prostate surgery last year."

Or in other words, when the monster Khamenei passes on, Iran's Revolutionary Guard, which controls much of the Iranian economy, will also just roll over and die. Yeah, right!

Kristof's conclusion:

"So, sure, a nuclear deal carries risks and will be ugly and imperfect, but, on balance, it probably reduces the risk that Iran gets the bomb in the next 10 years. It may also, after Ayatollah Khamenei is gone, create an opportunity for Iran to end its chapter in extremism, so that the country is defined less by rapacious ayatollahs and more by those doting matrons in Mashhad."

Does Kristof dwell on Iranian development of ICBMs, which will not be regulated by Obama's proposed agreement? Does Kristof consider that Iran continues to keep the secret Parchin military base outside of Tehran off-limits to IAEA inspectors, and insists upon keeping its underground Fordow nuclear facility operative? Does Kristof speculate upon the consequences of a Middle East nuclear arms race involving Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan and the UAE? No way, Jose! Instead, he places his faith in those "doting matrons" in Mashhad, who just happened to ply his daughter with ice cream.

Sweet dreams, Nick!

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