Get your political fix from an unrepentant political junkie.
July 26, 2015
Culturally and historically, political leaders in the Middle East respect strength, and they exude it regardless of if they have it. Their legitimacy depends on presenting an air of dominance. A prime example is Saddam Hussein’s fervent portrayal of his Iraqi military force as being much stronger than it was, prompting a more aggressive reaction from the U.S. and her allies in 1991. To the world’s surprise, Hussein’s forces in Kuwait fell in 100 days when faced with the U.S. and multinational powers in Desert Storm.
Every sovereign power seeks to defend and further its national interests. However, those national interests do not carry a sovereign right to eradicate another sovereign entity, namely Iran’s vow to destroy Israel and the U.S. since it 1979 theocratic revolution.
Iraq’s traditional enemy, Iran, has risen to a higher position of regional power and world nuclear threat. After two weeks of negotiations in Vienna, the Iranians stand a little taller having stood firm against the Americans last Tuesday.
President Obama stated that his primary goal was to limit Iran’s nuclear bomb capability, which it achieves for the time being at a cost in other ways. Economic sanctions of Iran were sacrificed for reducing Iran’s uranium production by 98 percent in 15 years. Sanctions are lifted, and hundreds of billions of dollars are returned to fund Iran’s terrorism, intimidation, and oppression. Meanwhile, three Americans remain imprisoned and a fourth is imprisoned in an unknown location. Human rights violations apparently did not receive even a hint of interest in the talks.
But, we digress from the president’s priorities . . .
Adding to the geopolitical games are Russia and China, who back the Iranians and see a lucrative market in selling arms to Tehran. They agreed to a five-year ban on the sale of conventional weapons and an eight-year ban on ballistic missiles – a sure sign that Congress will reject the deal. Why conventional weapons were a high priority in a nuclear agreement but American political prisoners were not is yet to be explained by the Obama-Kerry team.
After four years of negotiations among Iran and the U.N. Security Council members, U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China, Secretary of State John Kerry lowered his expectations, and this is the best he could get. In his public statement, President Obama sold the Iran nuclear deal to Americans as one of not trust but verification. That sounds stringent, but what that double-speak really means is that we cannot trust Iran to uphold this deal, and, therefore, it will inevitably fail after President Obama is no longer in office — or before, judging by Ayatollah Khamenei’s hostile comments immediately following that “U.S. policies in the region were 180 degrees opposed to Iran’s.” Chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” were added just to clarify any confusion about the supreme leader’s attitude.