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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Nicholas Kristof, "Mr. Obama, Try These Arguments for Your Iran Deal": Try These Half-Baked Recipes . . . Not!

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Mr. Obama, Try These Arguments for Your Iran Deal," Nicholas Kristof declares:

  • "It would be a catastrophe for American influence in the world if Congress killed the Iranian nuclear deal" (actually, such "influence" withered and died after Obama backed away from his "red flag" warning to Assad concerning the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and after Obama implemented America's "lead from behind" role in Libya);
  • "Critics are (ludicrously) accusing President Obama of appealing to anti-Semitic tropes" (yeah, the editors of Tablet Magazine, some of whom back the deal, are "ludicrous"); and
  • Obama's rhetoric has been "counterproductive" (yup, calling opponents of the deal "partisan" and "ignorant" is not a way to begin a constructive dialogue); 

Kristof proceeds to "urge President Obama to start over with his sales job and focus on three points":

  • "First: Sure, the deal is imperfect, but it’s the best way to achieve a goal we all share passionately — preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons."
  • "Second, it’s true that Iran may try to cheat, but it’s easier to catch and stop the cheating with the deal than without."
  • "Third, if all goes south, or if Iran is stalling us and after 15 years races to a weapon, we retain the option of a military strike."

Hey, Nick, that's a lot of profound thinking, but let's have a look at your suggestions.

The deal is imperfect, but it's the best way to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons? Sorry, Nick, but how can you possibly reach this conclusion when you haven't seen the secret side agreements governing IAEA inspections? (Don't be ashamed: Kerry, Muniz and Congress also haven't seen these side agreements.) Allowing Iran itself to provide soil samples to the IAEA from suspect military sites makes any kind of sense to you? This will prevent Iran from building a nuclear arsenal? I don't think so.

It's easier to catch and stop the cheating with the deal than without? Yeah, right. The US identified Iran's underground Fordo nuclear facility in September 2009, some three years after work had begun on the project. You see, the Iranians are not stupid (they're much smarter than Kerry), and if they cheat - which they will - you can be certain that they will do this in a manner that will not be detected, e.g., work out of North Korea.

The military option is retained if Iran races to a weapon after 15 years? After 15 years? Spare me! Moreover, Iran is laughing at these threats. As reported yesterday by Iran's Fars News Agency:

"Iranian Supreme Leader's Deputy Representative at the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Asoudi said the Washington officials' frequent resort to military threat and their boastful remarks about their ability to attack Iran has become a joke among Iranian commanders."

Bottom line:  No one in this world takes Obama seriously when he claims "all options remain on the table." Go back to sleep, Nick. Better still, how about another vacation in Iran with your children?

    1 comment:

    1. No do-overs now, Nick.

      Alan Dershowitz today:
      "A great debate is underway regarding the nuclear agreement with Iran — and the Obama administration is losing. Unhappy with the growing opposition to his legacy deal, President Obama is trying to stifle the debate by attacking the personal motives and public-communication methods of those who oppose the pact.
      Rather than preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, as the president repeatedly assured us he would do, it may merely postpone and legitimize this catastrophic outcome. ...

      Instead of disparaging opponents of the deal, the Obama administration should stand by its own promise to encourage a substantive discussion on this vital issue. With that in mind, I propose a series of TV and radio debates between supporters and opponents of the agreement. ..."

      [no do-overs for #44 - he is too dug in his bunker, seething that his politicized Keystone XL delay was a topic at Canada's election debate. His real foreign policy legacy is that he is the President who lost Canada]