Friday, July 17, 2015

Peace in Our Time

Jennifer Rubin at the WaPo compiles a list of seventeen ridiculous or factually incorrect things President Obama said at his press conference in defense of his Iran nuclear deal. Here are several of his statements (in quotes) with her response:
  • “With this deal, we cut off every single one of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear program, a nuclear weapons program.” Not true. After eight years, the precise restrictions end. Oops, he says it himself: “And Iran’s nuclear program will be under severe limits for many years.”
  • “With this deal, if Iran violates its commitments, there will be real consequences, nuclear-related sanctions that have helped to cripple the Iranian economy will snap back into place.” False again. The deal spells out laborious inspection procedures that include a 24-day notification period. Parchin, for example, is not even included. To snap back sanctions, a committee including Russia and China must agree by a majority.
Moreover, any contracts signed after sanctions are lifted are grandfathered in if sanctions are reimposed. No one in the world seriously believes that if Iran cheats, which they will, that this president will seek to reimpose sanctions. Indeed, nobody but the most credulous believes much of anything any more that this administration tells us.
  • “And my hope is that building on this deal, we can continue to have conversations with Iran that incentivize them to behave differently in the region, to be less aggressive, less hostile, more cooperative, to operate the way we expect nations in the international community to behave. But we’re not counting on it.” This is the most bizarre comment of all. What basis is there for hope? And if we don’t count on it, we are giving an aggressive regime access to conventional arms, billions of dollars and an industrial-size nuclear infrastructure.
  • “And for all the objections of Prime Minister Netanyahu or, for that matter, some of the Republican leadership that’s already spoken, none of them have presented to me or the American people a better alternative.” This is categorically false. Others have suggested increased sanctions, a more credible threat of force and inflicting damage on Iran’s surrogates.
  • “If 99 percent of the world’s community and the majority of nuclear experts look at this thing and they say ‘this will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb,’ and you are arguing either that it does not or that even if it does, it’s temporary, or that because they’re going to get a windfall of their accounts being unfrozen that they’ll cause more problems, then you should have some alternative to present. And I haven’t heard that.” Actually, Israel, Egypt, Jordan and other allies in the region don’t believe this at all.
  • “As for the fact that it may take 24 days to finally get access to the site, the nature of nuclear programs and facilities is such — this is not something you hide in a closet.” This is part of a long and rambling answer on why we gave Iran 24 days notice. He concedes, “This is the most vigorous inspection and verification regime, by far, that has ever been negotiated.” But that was not what he promised — go anywhere and anytime was what he said would be obtained.
  • “The only argument you can make against the verification and inspection mechanism that we’ve put forward is that Iran is so intent on obtaining a nuclear weapon that no inspection regime and no verification mechanism would be sufficient because they’d find some way to get around it because they’re untrustworthy.” That is precisely correct which is why he blew it by letting them keep their nuclear infrastructure.
Read the rest of them at the link. The president is very misinformed or delusional if he thinks the only alternatives were complete capitulation or war. He's also extraordinarily naive if he thinks that Iran is not going to do everything they can to produce nuclear weapons or that the rest of the region will not do likewise.

It's hard to see how this deal cannot but guarantee that Iran's influence will grow, that terrorism will increase, and that the region will become a nuclear tinderbox. Mr. Obama's willingness to acquiesce to an Iranian nuclear infrastructure, to give them the ability to cheat on the agreement, to free up tens of billions of dollars that'll allow them to subsidize terrorism around the world, and to accept that the U.S. gets nothing out of it, not even the four Americans being held in Iranian prisons, looks from this vantage point like one of the worst deals in history. Even the Indians who sold Manhattan to the Dutch got $24 worth of trinkets for it.