- - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This is serious business. What no one seems to want to talk about in public is the fact that the negotiations between Iran, the United States and its allies have the potential to lead to a world war.

If Iran is seen by Israel to be close to developing a nuclear warhead to go with its ready missiles, the odds are that Israel will launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear sites. However, Iran has managed to diversify its nuclear laboratories all over the country, thus vastly complicating the targeting for such a strike and also making its capabilities much more likely to survive such attacks and then to retaliate. If that happens, the United States will have to support Israel, and there is a good chance that Russia will side with Iran. Like the Sarajevo assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand in an obscure country which led to World War I, this confrontation could lead to another world war. The stakes thus are very high.

What should we do?

The Obama administration has decided to try to negotiate away this threat. The carrot the West holds is the sanctions which were in place before this negotiation began, and a significant portion of which were cancelled as a condition for the talks to begin. These and more stringent sanctions are also the stick held by the West. The goal of the West is to eliminate or at least delay Iran’s progress toward possession of a nuclear capability.

At issue is the likelihood for enforcement of whatever commitments Iran might make regarding its nuclear program. The West is insisting on “intrusive inspections” by Western authorities to certify Iran’s compliance with the terms of the proposed agreement. Many doubt such inspections will be effective given Iran’s long history of successfully concealing its nuclear programs and facilities.

In fact, as of today, Iran has still barred inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IEAE), which is trying to enforce a previous commitment by Iran. Observers are also aware that North Korea was able to cancel its 2007 disarmament agreement with the United States in 2009 and restart its nuclear program in 2010. That reactor stayed open until 2013, when North Korea suspended operations. So much for negotiated agreements.

Thus the credibility of Iran to fulfill any commitments made to escape Western sanctions is under deep and well-founded suspicion. The added fact that Iran’s leadership has been promoting “Death to America” for two generations – including the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s public repetition of that slogan as recently as last week — makes any such promises to the U.S. extremely doubtful.

President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry ardently believe that Iran can be sufficiently incentivized to implement the safeguards of the proposed agreement faithfully and openly. Mr. Obama’s plea to the “Iranian people” last Saturday implicitly asked the Iranian dissidents to join in the “enforcement” of the agreement by emphasizing all the benefits of an Iran without sanctions, which he enumerated at length. Never mind that he was silent during the failed “Green Revolution” of 2009, when such support might have meant something. Never mind that the “people” have no power to influence the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In view of all these factors, one wonders if the administration is living in an alternative universe.

That perception, however, is not the most important factor in this evolving drama, although it has led us to this point. The most important issue is Mr. Obama’s refusal to consult with Congress on the substance of the negotiations. In spite of widening concern about what he is willing to give up to get a piece of paper from a regime which is avowedly anti-American and even more virulent in its mission to erase Israel from the face of the Earth, Mr. Obama stubbornly refuses to let the second branch of our government anywhere near his negotiations.

He has said repeatedly that he will not submit even the final agreement for  congressional approval. His secretary of state has called any agreement with the Iranians “not a legal document.” He did not elaborate on what it is if not legal.

Worst of all, Mr. Obama has floated the idea that, if Congress is able to thwart his will by scuttling his agreement, he will go to the United Nations for approval and management! This proposition is completely beyond the pale of his authority as president. Barack Hussein Obama is president of the United States of America, not the United Nations. One hopes he does not try such an illegal gambit. To do so would be, by anyone’s measure, an impeachable offense – of treason, high crimes and misdemeanors. In our system of government, no one person can determine the fate of the entire country – even if he is the president.

In this same vein, he has allowed his personal pique with the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, to cause the worst relations with Israel in memory. He is now threatening to withdraw American support for Israel in that same United Nations by vetoing recognition of a Palestinian state, regardless of the fact that Palestine has no recognizable government, that it is dominated by Hamas, which has been trying literally to destroy Israel with rockets, bombs, terrorism and every other means available ever since they were founded in 1987. Hamas is, of course, sponsored, equipped and financed by Mr. Obama’s friends, the Iranian government.

This cannot stand. If America forsakes Israel because a president gets angry with an Israeli prime minister, Israel will sooner or later be doomed. In the meantime no ally of America will feel safe, will trust the U.S. to keep its commitments to them. Already, Egypt is flirting with Russia, Saudi Arabia with North Korea, and Poland is arming itself, not trusting NATO after America’s non-response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and invasion of the Ukraine.

In the 1960s, a popular chant was “Give peace a chance!” With some notable stumbling along the way, it is now clear that it has been America’s leadership which has averted a world war and confined such wars as there have been to limited and regional conflicts. Whatever chance peace has had in the post World War II world has been the result of the economic and military leadership of the United States of America. This is a hard truth, but we are seeing the impact of America’s withdrawal from the world stage in the current administration.

Mr. Obama is destroying 70 years of the Pax Americana, the only practical kind of world peace available to the past three generations. The Pax Americana can and should be amended and brought up to date especially by greater sharing of its expenses with other wealthy nations. But Mr. Obama’s current strategy is condeming the world to descend into a chaos which can only lead to another world war.

He has to be stopped.


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