Follow by Email

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Nicholas Burns, "What Should Obama Do Next on Iran?": Actually, What Obama Should Have Done First

In a guest New York Times op-ed entitled "What Should Obama Do Next on Iran?," Harvard professor and former under secretary of state Nicholas Burns tells us that he "testified in favor of the [Iran nuclear] agreement before four congressional committees, and talked with many members individually during July and August." Informing us that Obama now has sufficient support from Democrats in Congress to override majority opposition to his deal with Khamenei, Burns acknowledges that "Republicans have been right to highlight the deal’s principal weakness — it could permit Iran to emerge stronger 10 to 15 years from now as restrictions on its nuclear program begin to lapse." To overcome this weakness and "win the long-term struggle with Iran for power in the Middle East," Burns recommends:

  1. "Mr. Obama could reaffirm President Jimmy Carter’s doctrine from the 1970s that the United States will defend its vital interests in the security of the Persian Gulf region against any aggressor."
  2. "Mr. Obama could state in unmistakably clear terms that the United States would use military force to strike Iran should it violate the nuclear agreement and drive toward a nuclear weapon."
  3. "Mr. Obama could announce the expedited renewal this autumn of the United States-Israel military assistance agreement, set to expire in 2017."
  4. "[T]he administration could reaffirm America’s commitment to form a strong regional coalition with moderate Arab states, Turkey, the European allies and our Asian allies to reimpose sanctions on Iran, should that be necessary."

Question: Shouldn't Obama have announced these measures prior to reaching agreement with Iran? Oh, that's right: These measures would have killed any agreement with Iran in its infancy, they are anathema to Obama, and he has no intention of implementing them.

But Obama thanks you anyway, Nicholas, for providing avid support for this legacy-establishing undertaking, which ensures that Iran will ultimately be only weeks away from an arsenal of nuclear-tipped ICBMs.

1 comment:

  1. perfect timing to publish Burns', day after Sen. Chris Coons said yes:

    "...Coons, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, previously expressed some of the harshest criticism of the deal of any Democrat, and was viewed as one of the likeliest members of his party to vote against it. In his speech Tuesday, he reiterated his concerns, saying, “Frankly, this is not the agreement I hoped for,” and listing a number of concerns, including the flow of cash Iran would receive in sanctions relief and U.S. ability to enforce the terms of the deal. Those issues, however, didn’t trump his belief that reimposing sanctions and returning to the negotiating table would be a failed strategy. ..."

    Last night, TCM channel aired the WW2 series "Why We Fight", with a poignant intro over the failure to stop wars of aggression by the League of Nations, and the Kellogg-Briand Pact. Seems no one at this WH told the State Dep't historian to revise history:

    "...It soon became clear that there was no way to enforce the pact or sanction those who broke it; it also never fully defined what constituted “self-defense,” so there were many ways around its terms. In the end, the Kellogg-Briand Pact did little to prevent World War II or any of the conflicts that followed. Its legacy remains as a statement of the idealism expressed by advocates for peace in the interwar period. Frank Kellogg earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 1929 for his work on the Peace Pact...."

    fwiw, the episode on "The Battle of Russia" was uploaded to YouTube by the US National Archives on March 15, 2015, which is interesting timing because it is probably Putin's favorite movie, a masterpiece of propaganda that never mentions Stalin's communism, or how Russia became a great, ethnically diverse land empire:

    As Ethiopia's Emperor Haile Selassie said "It is us today. It will be you tomorrow."
    Statement after his speech before the League of Nations (30 June 1936)