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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Thomas Friedman, "Deal or No Deal?": How Dumb Do They Come?

And here I thought that David Ignatius's Washington Post opinion piece of today's date about achieving balance beween Shiite Iran and its Sunni neighbors by asking Saudi Arabia and the UAE to focus on their own internal affairs was asinine . . .

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Deal or No Deal?," Thomas Friedman, another would-be Middle Expert and Obama apologist, writes:

"But what is hard to implement is a complex arms control deal with an adversary you don’t trust — like Iran or North Korea. Each moving part requires some good will from the other side, and, because there are so many moving parts, the opportunities for cheating are manifold. It requires constant vigilance. Are the United States, Russia, China and Europe up for that for a decade? After the Iraq invasion, we took our eye off North Korea, and it diverted nuclear fuel for a bomb. With Iran, the U.S. Energy Department is planning to put a slew of new, on-the-ground monitoring devices into every cranny of Iran’s nuclear complex, which should help. But there also has to be zero-tolerance for cheating — and a very high price if there is."

Query: How do you install on-the-ground monitoring devices in facilities in Iran which are unknown to the US? Or to which Iran is not willing to permit access, e.g., the Parchin military base? Or in locations which are outside of Iran, e.g., in North Korea?

Friedman continues:

"Iran, with about 80 million people, is simply a more powerful and dynamic state today than most of the Sunni Arab states to its west, half of which have collapsed. Iran, even if it had good intentions, almost can’t help but project its power westward given the vacuum and frailty there. When Nixon opened to China, and helped unleash its economic prowess, China was largely surrounded by strong or economically powerful states to balance it. But an Iran enriched by billions in sanctions relief would be even more powerful vis-à-vis its weak Arab neighbors. Our Gulf Arab allies are deeply worried about this and are looking to the U.S. for both protection and more sophisticated arms. I get that. But unless we can find a way to truly ease tensions between Shiite Persians and Sunni Arabs, we will find ourselves unleashing Iran to the max while arming the Arabs to the teeth. Maintaining that balance will not be easy.

These are not reasons to reject the deal. They are reasons to finish it right."

Or in other words, let's find a way to end Sunni/Shiite enmity and mistrust lasting almost 1,400 years over the next 70 days.

Yeah, right.

1 comment:

  1. What criteria define Iran as a more "powerful and dynamic state today " than Egypt?

    so many false assumptions to pump Iran up as a responsible regional hegemon.

    and end that Sunni/Shiite enmity with Tom's magic wand.

    ReplyDelete