by John Bolton
July 26, 2015
President Obama has made an art form of attacking his opponents rather than substantively defending his own policies, most recently regarding the Vienna agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. Essentially, Obama argues that we must either accept his wretched deal or go to war to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
As is typical, Obama posits the wrong choice, apparently to distract from the unpleasant reality that the agreement won’t work. It will not prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. So the real choice we are faced with is dealing with the consequences of military action or the consequences of a nuclear Iran. Neither is palatable, but the latter is far worse. If the real objective is stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons, preemptive military action is now inescapable.
This rock-and-hard-place outcome has long been foreseeable. Iran’s dogged determination to become a nuclear-weapons state was fiercer and stronger than the West’s frail response. Assuming Iran scrupulously complies with every provision agreed to in Vienna — an absurdly unlikely scenario given the ayatollahs’ objectives and history — its ambitions for nuclear weapons will simply have been delayed eight to 10 years.
In all likelihood, the ayatollahs are already at work violating the accords. After all, Iran has systematically breached its voluntarily-assumed obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty for more than 30 years. Now the president’s deal will allow Iran to keep the fruits of its violations. Yes, the deal includes restrictions on uranium enrichment, but Tehran can retain its enrichment program, with guaranteed international assistance in improving it. These concessions are fatal mistakes.
Moreover, Iran’s ballistic missile efforts — its development of the means to deliver nuclear weapons all over the world — will barely be touched. Nor does the deal in any way address Iran’s clandestine weaponization efforts, which it has denied and hidden from the International Atomic Energy Agency with great skill.
Last week, the news that the administration has not even seen the texts of two agreements between the energy agency and Iran, both crucial to implementation of the Vienna accords, only raises further doubts. President Obama must provide the texts of these “side deals” to Congress before any serious consideration of the overall agreement is possible.
Some critics of Obama’s plan advocate scuttling the deal and increasing economic sanctions against Iran instead. They are dreaming. Iran and the United States’ negotiating partners have already signed the accords and are straining at their leashes to implement them. There will be no other “better deal.” Arguments about what Obama squandered or surrendered along the way are therefore fruitless. As for sanctions, they were already too weak to prevent Iran’s progress toward the bomb, and they will not be reset now. To paraphrase Bruce Springsteen, “These sanctions are going boys, and they ain’t coming back.”
Patrick Clawson, the director for research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, provided the most recent thumbs-down assessment of sanctions: “Iran has muddled through the shock of the sanctions imposed in 2012, and its structural [economic] problems are not particularly severe compared to those of other countries.” He estimates Iran’s nuclear and terrorism-support programs to cost only about $10 billion annually. No wonder administration officials have testified that sanctions (including those imposed piecemeal before 2012) did not slow Iran’s nuclear efforts.
Nor will the deal’s “snapback” mechanism (intended to coerce Iran back into compliance if it breaches its obligations) change that reality. Tehran’s belligerent response is expressly stated in the agreement’s text: “If sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments … in whole or in part.” Tehran does risk losing some future economic benefits should sanctions snap back, but by then it will have already cashed in the assets the deal unfreezes and signed new lucrative trade and investment contracts.
Once those benefits begin flowing all around, the pressure on world governments will only increase to ignore Iranian violations, or to treat them as minor or inadvertent, certainly not warranting the reimposition of major sanctions. The ayatollahs have dusted off Lenin’s barb that “the capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them,” and applied it to the age of nuclear proliferation.
If diplomacy and sanctions have failed to stop Iran, diplomacy alone will fail worse. Like it or not, we now face this unpleasant reality: Iran probably will violate the deal; it may not be detected doing so and if detected, it will not be deterred by “snapback” sanctions. So we return to the hard question: Are we prepared to do what will be necessary to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons?
Obama most certainly is not, which means the spotlight today is on Israel.
If Israel strikes, there will be no general Middle East war, despite fears to the contrary. We know this because no general war broke out when Israel attacked Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in 1981, or when it attacked the North Korean-built Syrian reactor in 2007. Neither Saudi Arabia nor other oil-producing monarchies wanted those regimes to have nuclear weapons, and they certainly do not want Iran to have them today.
However, Iran may well retaliate. At that point, Washington must be ready to immediately resupply Israel for losses incurred by its armed forces in the initial attack, so that Israel will still be able to effectively counter Tehran’s proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, which will be its vehicles for retaliation. The United States must also provide muscular political support, explaining that Israel legitimately exercised its inherent right of self-defense. Whatever Obama’s view, public and congressional support for Israel will be overwhelming.
American weakness has brought us to this difficult moment. While we obsessed about its economic discomfort, Iran wore its duress with pride. It was never an even match. We now have to rely on a tiny ally to do the job for us. But unless we are ready to accept a nuclear Iran (and, in relatively short order, several other nuclear Middle Eastern states), get ready. The easy ways out disappeared long ago.
John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
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Obama Administration tells recruiters to leave their uniforms at home.
In response to the Chattanooga terrorist attack, President Obama’s Defense Secretary Ash Carter approved new guidelines, telling military recruiters NOT to wear their military uniforms, in an effort to increase security. Their suggested response when our troops have been targeted is to have them hide…it’s a disgrace! Our troops are proud to wear their uniforms!
|The military services have taken swift action to increase security after Thursday’s shootings in Tennessee, even closing some facilities and telling Marine recruiters not to wear uniforms in public.
Defense Secretary Ash Cater approved immediate steps taken by the military branches to increase security…
One of the steps Carter approved was Marine Corps Recruiting Command’s decision to have recruiters not wear their military uniforms for now, a defense official said. The recruiting command also closed down all offices within 40 miles of the facilities in Chattanooga and increased the force protection condition level from “Bravo” to “Charlie.”
On social media, this news immediately struck a chord with veterans and patriots alike. Former Navy SEAL and author of Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell posted this response on his Facebook page.
|Just heard something about Telling Marines not to wear their uniforms at the recruiting centers for their own safety…?! I have to tell y’all I laughed out loud, if anyone thinks for one second a Marine is gonna take his uniform off because he cares about his safety or is scared of some [colorful expletive] walking in off the street and trying this again (WRONG) that’s not gonna happen, that’s not how we respond in the military when we get hit, we don’t take off our uniforms, drop our weps and run…
…RIP brothers, your families will miss you, the country will mourn you, and those still wearing the uniform will never forget you.Txfrog
Many others have joined him in attacking the Obama Admin for this weak hearted half-measure. Our troops shouldn’t be made to feel afraid or ashamed of their uniform! Like Luttrell said in his facebook response, our troops don’t throw their weapons on the ground and run the other way when they see the enemy, they confront the evil and triumph over it. But our political leaders have LITERALLY taken away the weapons they need to fight back!
To show our support for our military who want to WEAR THEIR UNIFORMS we are encouraging our twitter followers to tweet a photo of themselves wearing some type of camo and use the hashtag #thesecamosdontrun.
Show Obama that we believe asking recruiters to leave their uniforms at home is an insult! Our troops need guns to defend themselves!
Obama orders flags lowered…5 days later
President Obama has FINALLY ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of the 5 troops killed in the Chattanooga terrorist attack.
Americans have been asking for days why Obama has not ordered flags to be lowered in remembrance of the 4 Marines and 1 Navy petty officer who were killed.
At a White House Press Briefing today, reporters asked WH Press Secretary Josh Earnest why it took them so long to order the flags lowered but he had no response.
It’s just another addition to the long list of ways that Obama has insulted the military community during his presidency.
Regardless of whether our military men and women are on a military base in Iraq or Afghanistan, Waco, Texas, or a strip mall anywhere in America, we have a duty to protect the safety of the troops. Let’s start by letting our military keep their arms so they have the ability to protect themselves.
Most Americans have the right to have a firearm to protect themselves if they are in danger. Why would we not give that same right to uniformed military personnel who clearly are in danger of attack by Islamic radicals?
This tragedy in Chattanooga should have been prevented. Our policy of disarming troops should have come to an abrupt end after the Fort Hood Massacre in 2009, where we lost 13 troops. We must stop this practice of ‘GUN-FREE ZONES’ that make our troops vulnerable.
Please consider making a donation to help Move America Forward publicly fight to win the right for our troops to carry on bases and recruiting centers so that they aren’t caught in another gun-free zone! Click here to donate now!
TARGETS OF ISLAMIC EXTREMISM SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE ARMED
LIKE EVERY OTHER AMERICAN
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Move America Forward, the nation’s largest grassroots pro-troop organization says it is time to end the ridiculous policy of denying military men and women the opportunity to defend themselves in the United States against Islamic extremists.
“In the wake of another shooting at a military facility, today at the Navy Reserve Center, we should end the foolish policy of keeping American men and women in uniform from being armed so they can protect themselves,” said Danny Gonzalez, Director of Communications for the group.
“Islamic extremist have promised to attack American military men and women, and they have done it repeatedly. It is disgraceful that the policy of disarming our troops has allowed this type of carnage to continue, today taking the precious lives of four Marines and severely injuring a law enforcement officer attempting to protect them.
“In 2008 we noticed this trend of violence against military recruiting centers and published ‘The Sedition Report,’ a collection of more than 50 incidents of violence or vandalism against military recruiters around the country. Since then, the trend against our military has continued and even become more acute, like the tragedy that happened in Chattanooga today. We have to ask why the Administration and the Pentagon aren’t doing more to protect our troops stateside, whether they are on restricted-access military bases or in recruiting centers open to the public?
“Regardless of whether our military men and women are on a military base in Iraq or Afghanistan, Waco, Texas, or a strip mall anywhere in America, we have a duty to protect the safety of the troops. Let’s start by letting our military keep their arms so they have the ability to protect themselves.”
“Most Americans have the right to have a firearm to protect themselves if they are in danger. Why would we not give that same right to uniformed military personnel who clearly are in danger of attack by Islamic radicals?
“This tragedy in Chattanooga should have been prevented. Our policy of disarming troops should have come to an abrupt end after the Fort Hood Massacre in 2009, where we lost 13 troops. We must stop this practice of ‘GUN-FREE ZONES’ that make our troops vulnerable.”
“Our hearts go out to the families of the Marines killed in Chattanooga today. We must change the policy now so this tragedy will not be repeated,” concluded Gonzalez.
To arrange an interview with any MAF spokesperson please contact MAF Communications Director, Danny Gonzalez at (714) 926 – 6189 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Move America Forward, a registered 501(c)(3) charity, based in Sacramento, supports our troops and their missions in the war on terror. Move America Forward is supported by hundreds of thousands of pro-troop activists, veterans and military families across the nation. To date, they have shipped over 325 tons of care packages to our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.