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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Thomas Friedman, "Backing Up Our Wager With Iran": Blithering, Blathering Brainlessness

Anyone who has studied contracts law knows that in order for there to be a binding agreement, there must be a meeting of the minds. However, as is becoming increasingly apparent, there is no meeting of the minds between the P5+1 and Iran. John Kerry has told the US that pursuant to the nuclear deal with Iran that Obama brokered, Iran will no longer be able to send funds or weapons to regional surrogates, i.e. Hezbollah in Lebanon, Assad in Syria, and the Houthis in Yemen. Contradicting Kerry, Susan Rice claims that Iran can only send funds to these proxies. However, contradicting both Kerry and Rice, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi stated on Tuesday, "We have told them [the P5+1] in the negotiations that we will supply arms to anyone and anywhere necessary and will import weapons from anywhere we want and we have clarified this during the negotiations."

Or stated otherwise, there is no agreement with Iran, and Iran will continue to promote terror throughout the Middle East.

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Backing Up Our Wager With Iran," a sycophantic Thomas Friedman praises Obama's deal with Khamenei. Friedman writes:

"[T]he diplomatic option structured by the Obama team — if properly implemented and augmented by muscular diplomacy — serves core American interests better than any options I hear coming from the deal’s critics: It prevents Iran from producing the fissile material to break out with a nuclear weapon for 15 years and creates a context that could empower the more pragmatic forces inside Iran over time — at the price of constraining, but not eliminating, Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and sanctions relief that will strengthen Tehran as a regional power."

The deal "prevents Iran from producing the fissile material to break out with a nuclear weapon for 15 years"? Tell me, Tom, do you truly believe that Iran will abide by the terms of the agreement over the course of 15 years and will not try to cheat in the interim? As observed by Michael Makovsky in a Weekly Standard article entitled "Iran’s Cheating":

"Iran has a long and proud history of cheating on its international nuclear agreements. Olli Heinonen, a former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) who once monitored Iran’s nuclear program, observed in 2013: 'If there is no undeclared installation today .  .  . it will be the first time in 20 years that Iran doesn’t have one.' Indeed, Iran’s main enrichment facility at Natanz was a covert facility that was only discovered in 2002, by the Mojahedin-e-Khalq, an Iranian opposition group. A year later, the European Union struck a deal with Iran to prevent it from spinning its centrifuges and beginning to enrich uranium. Yet for much of the deal, Iran was busy mastering its uranium supply chain. 'While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran,” wrote Iran’s nuclear negotiator and now president Hassan Rouhani, 'we were installing equipment in parts of the [uranium conversion] facility at Isfahan. .  .  . In fact, by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work in Isfahan.' In 2009, the world learned of yet another clandestine enrichment plant, under a mountain at Fordow, that Iran was trying to construct.

. . . .

In the past year alone Iran has violated its international agreements at least three times. First, even though the interim Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) prohibited Iran from enriching uranium in any centrifuges that were not in use at the time the deal went into effect in January 2014, last November the IAEA caught Iran operating a new centrifuge—worse still, it was an advanced IR-5 model. Second, the JPOA required Iran to process any low-enriched uranium it produced during the deal’s term from the gaseous form used for enrichment into a solid that can be used as reactor fuel, so that it would not be readily available for further enrichment and potential breakout. As of February 2015, Iran had an excess of some 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium, in violation of the deal’s terms. Third, in parallel to the JPOA, the IAEA and Iran signed a Framework for Cooperation under which Iran agreed to answer outstanding IAEA concerns about the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program. Iran answered only one question to the IAEA’s satisfaction and, for the past six months, has been stonewalling on the rest."

So, suddenly Iran is going to stop cheating? Yeah, right.

Friedman goes on to say that Obama is "betting that [the deal] will empower Iran’s moderate faction and put the country on a more favorable societal trajectory." The "moderate faction"? Oh, Friedman must be referring Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, "famous" for hanging gay men and bragging during the 2013 presidential election how he lulled the West into complacency while radically expanding Iran's nuclear weapons development program.

Tom Terrific suggest four things to increase the odds that Obama's "bet goes our way." First, Friedman calls for Obama to "appoint a respected military figure to oversee every aspect of implementing this deal." Appoint a "respected general"? That will help a lot, particularly when Iran is refusing to allow Americans to inspect its nuclear sites.

Second, Friedman says: "Congress should pass a resolution authorizing this and future presidents to use force to prevent Iran from ever becoming a nuclear weapons state. Iran must know now that the U.S. president is authorized to destroy — without warning or negotiation — any attempt by Tehran to build a bomb." Obama use force against Iran? Iran already knows that Obama is incapable of this.

Third, Friedman would have America "[f]ocus on the Iranian people" and "reach out to them in every way — visas, exchanges and scholarships." America wants more Iranians, handpicked by the Khamenei regime, in its midst? Good luck!

Fourth, Friedman declares that America should "[a]void a black-and-white view of the Middle East." He explains, "The idea that Iran is everywhere our enemy . . . is a mistake." Oh really? Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei declared on Saturday that US policies are "180 degrees" opposed to those of Iran, and that "even after this deal our policy toward the arrogant US will not change." Khamenei's speech was accompanied by chants of "Death to America!"

When will someone from Obama's inner circle burst the president's bubble? It certainly won't come from Tom Friedman, who lacks either the integrity or the intelligence to inform the president that he made a fool's wager.


  1. First rate .
    No chance of either the NYT or the Washington Post pricking the Obama-Kerry bubble. If it quacks like a duck, looks like a duck and waddles like a duck, then it's a duck.
    What is preventing Obama-Kerry-Yes-man Friedman from hearing Khamenei's repeated mantra: Death to America!
    Is it so hard to understand?

  2. I suspect that Obama and company are not functioning in a "bubble." I think this is about business. Lift the gate and McDonald's et al come rushing in and the horrific debt in the trillions gets a temporary reprieve. It is capital that is running up against a wall and the only way to cushion to impact is to open a new market. And to hell with Israel and a nuke race or there's the expectation to have to take out their nukes anyway down the line.