Monday, September 29, 2014

Keep Your Eye on Iran, Not ISIS

Iran Outwits Obama in the Middle East - Seth Mandel

[A] theme has emerged in the Middle East: long engaged in a proxy war against America, Tehran is now, in the age of Obama, simply running circles around Washington.

America is more or less acting as Iran’s air force: in Iraq, that comparison is made directly; in Syria, it is by acting essentially as Bashar al-Assad’s air force–and Assad is an Iranian proxy hanging on to power in large part through Iran’s investment.

Israel fought a summer war against Hamas, an Iranian client firing Syrian missiles delivered by Iran. Far from understanding what was taking place, the Obama administration played right into Iran’s hands by distancing itself from Sisi’s Egypt and not only pressuring Israel to give in to Hamas’s terror but even sending Secretary of State John Kerry to Cairo with a ceasefire agreement reflecting the wishes of Hamas’s patrons. When Israel objected, President Obama took retribution against Jerusalem, withholding arms transfers while Israel was under fire.

And then there is the direct American engagement with Iran on its nuclear program. On this, the Iranians saw early on that Obama and Kerry wanted a deal of some sort that would kick the can down the road while enabling the president to claim progress. It’s doubtful any such plan was more obviously bush league than begging the Iranians to disconnect some pipe rather than dismantle the program. But the limitless diplomacy, in which deadlines float past with nary a thought, has done its damage as well by giving the Iranians additional leverage–and a powerful bargaining chip–on other issues on which the U.S. would want Iranian cooperation.

Tehran has continually played Washington, setting fires and then offering to help Obama put them out, for a price. It’s a predictable racket, but Obama keeps falling for it.
Hat tip: Joel B

Criticisms of the U.S. ISIS Campaign -Daniel Pipes, PhD

Keep an eye on the ball:
the Iranian nuclear build-up is
1,000 times a greater threat than ISIS.
[National Review Online]

U.S. Considering Meeting Iran "Close to Half Way" in Nuke Talks
- George Jahn

The U.S. is considering softening present demands that Iran gut its uranium enrichment program in favor of a new proposal that would allow Tehran to keep nearly half of the project intact while placing other constraints on its possible use as a path to nuclear weapons, diplomats said.


Tehran Holds Firm While the U.S. Keeps Making Nuclear Concessions
- Editorial
  • Nuclear negotiations with Iran have gone nowhere after nearly a year. The Administration is now seeking ever more creative ways to give the mullahs what they want.
  • The latest Administration brainstorm is to abandon the longstanding demand that Iran dismantle its uranium-enriching centrifuges. Under one Western proposal, Iran would merely be asked to disconnect some of the pipes connecting one centrifuge to the next. Another idea is to allow Iran to keep as many as 4,500 centrifuges, provided Iran agrees to enrich uranium at a lower rate.
  • The larger problem is that these diplomatic gambits rest on the fanciful notion that the same regime that is stonewalling the IAEA can be trusted not to reconnect its centrifuges on short notice or increase their rates of uranium production or develop more powerful rockets. Iran has spent a decade taking advantage of the diplomatic process to buy time and advance its nuclear programs.
  • "The Iranian nuclear game is to compromise on the elements of the program they've already perfected in order to gain time on the elements they haven't," says Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
  • "They've perfected enrichment so they can suspend it for the time being. What they've gained in exchange is time to work on advanced centrifuge R&D. The more efficient the centrifuges, the fewer they need; the fewer they need, the easier they are to hide."
(Wall Street Journal)


LHwrites said...

This is all very sad and very funny---but not ha-ha funny. Conservatives all over America and the American people were demanding Obama deal with ISIS, and as soon as he does we have all the armchair warriors and quarterbacks come out to explain why he should be doing something different. Obama kicking the can down to the next administration??? The last administration caused, allowed or created the circumstances cultivating most of these threats---but even after Bush/Cheney created an empowered Iran I've seen little here criticizing any of that---except of course form my comments. In case no one noticed, it is a Western Alliance, and China, that is negotiating with Iran. Obama hasn't acted alone or unilaterally. And as for our airstrikes now acting as defacto airforce for Iran or Syria---sadly, that was also created by our missteps in years past as well as Congresses cowardly failure to act on Syria. Obama did what he could, to the tune of removing 600 million metric tons of chemical weapons and the start of the dismantling of Syria's chemical weapons infrastructure. I know that is so much less than the vast stores of WMD recovered from Iraq during our war there but---oh wait....

Bruce said...

Perhaps you missed my Kraurhammer post: I support Obama's new war posture with ISIS and other jihadi groups.

On Iran, Obama, all by himself, has handled the negotiations horribly.