|Paul Combs - US News & World Report|
President Obama and a small group of allies claim to have patched together a deal with Iran that will loosen the Islamic country's nuclear capabilities while flooding the beleaguered country with tens of billions of dollars of sanctions relief.
In other words, Iran gets a lot of what it wants, and Obama hopes he's kicked Iran's nuclear threat can down the road another 15 years, which is the life of this proposed agreement.
Bounce... bounce... bounce...
It doesn't even really matter what this deal was about. It could have been about water, or Persian rugs, or coffee beans, or crystal ornaments, or Disney cartoon characters. The point is the same, regardless of the commodity: is Iran a deal-honoring country?
What raises the stakes here is that we're not talking about water, or Persian rugs: we're talking nuclear capability. Iran's nuclear capability. And we think we can strike a deal with them over something like that?
Maybe I fell asleep at the precise moment in time that Iran became a country that honors its debts. And basic civil rights. And stopped calling for the death of America. Maybe I missed something here.
But I don't think so. The President has come out swinging in defense of his Iran deal, painting the terms to which he's consented in colors of confidence, obligations, and oversight. We're being told that one of the most reckless supporters of international terrorism and Islamic infighting will dutifully comply with scientific checks of its nuclear program. We're being told that Obama has created a safer world for whomever will be America's president in 2030. We're being told that with Obama's grand bargain with Iran, we'll be able to better negotiate with the hostile state in the future when it comes to energy, arms, and other political agendas.
Yet the humongous fallacy in all of our President's ebullient hucksterizing is that of all the nations with which we should be brokering deals, Iran is at the bottom - or close to it - when it comes to their integrity - or their lack of it. This isn't simply a Republican or conservative take on a Democratic liberal's pet project. This is raw reality. Iran is the country that held American hostages for 444 days back when a young Barak Obama was still in high school. Iran is the country ominously described by the usually-staid Condoleezza Rice as a "central banker for terrorism." It is widely believed that Iran has been actively involved in terrorist strikes within India, Palestine, Kuwait, Lebanon, Argentina, Bulgaria, and Saudi Arabia.
And we're trying to bargain with these people?
President Obama believes that his deal with Iran is the best way to avert a war with them. But how do we know war with Iran without this - or any - deal is an inevitability? For a president with a Nobel Peace prize collecting dust somewhere in an Oval Office closet, negotiating with state sponsors of terrorism seems a silly pursuit, as if war is otherwise in the offing.
Peace does not come by offering handouts to villains, does it? What in this deal prevents Iran from provoking war? What in this deal prevents Iran from satiating its appetite for violence across the globe? Iran already has one of the world's worst records of cheating on its international non-proliferation agreements. Now Obama says we can rest assured that inspections of their nuclear program will enforce Iran's compliance with this deal's terms?
What has changed with Iran? I must have missed it.