Monday, August 03, 2015

You Expect WHAT?

I'm generally not impressed with Kristof's analysis. His Iran analysis is particularly awful.

Check out this argument against the idea that the nuclear deal's monetary incentives to the mullah regime will strengthen it:

Iran’s people are perhaps the most pro-American and secular of those of any country I’ve been to in the Middle East. (On my last trip to Iran, I took two of my kids along, and Iranians bought them meals and ice cream, and served them illegal mojitos.) The public weariness with the regime’s corruption, oppression and economic failings is manifest. I would guess that after the supreme leader dies, Iran will begin a process of change like that in China after Mao died.

Oh goodie, the best case is that Kristof expects Iran to be more like China? Which means far stronger and aggressive, I should note.

And as I've said before, it will be little comfort to me if Iran's nuclear-armed mullahs destroy Charleston and Iran's generally pro-American people are really, really sad about that slag heap on the coast.

And this is perhaps the most enraging part of the administration's argument in favor of the deal. Kristof argues against the notion that the deal gives Iran lots of money:

True, but that will happen anyway. Remember that this agreement includes Europe, Russia and China as parties. Even if Congress rejects the agreement, sanctions will erode and Iran will get an infusion of cash. ...

If the U.S. rejects this landmark deal, then we get the worst of both worlds: an erosion of sanctions and also an immediate revival of the Iran nuclear program.

You know why the deal gives Iran money even if we reject it? Because that's how the Obama administration wrote the deal.

So essentially, Kerry gave us a deal that allows the administration to say "We might as well pass the deal to get something--however imperfect--because Iran already got the benefits."

And this is called "smart diplomacy."

Perhaps if Kerry had done a better job, we wouldn't be in this position. We could have spent our time keeping our allies on board sanctions. We did get rid of the cowboy Bush just so we could sway the sainted international community, did we not?

But no, the Obama administration considers Congress a greater foe than their partner, Iran, so engineered a deal that smashes the sanctions first and allows them to say that passing the deal is the only way to salvage something good from their abysmal diplomacy.

And there is this farcical refutation of the ability of sanctions to work:

So we apply the same economic pressure that caused the collapse of the Castro regime in Cuba in 1964? The same isolation that overthrew the North Korean regime in 1993? The same sanctions that led Saddam Hussein to give up power peacefully in Iraq in 2000? Oh, wait.…

Who says the purpose of sanctions is regime change?

Cuba has been weakened and sure isn't nuclear. And we made our foes prop up this dictatorship rather than allow our private sector to subsidize a dictatorship.

North Korea is weakened and their army is no longer capable of invading South Korea. And signs of unrest grow in the north.

As for Iraq (and I assume he means from 1990 when Saddam invaded Kuwait). Apparently, sanctions did contribute to Saddam having no WMD when we invaded in 2003. And post-war information made it clear that Saddam would have restarted his WMD programs once sanctions collapsed.

So yeah, "oh wait ..."

Sanctions would limit Iran's already impressive efforts to sow havoc in the region and slow down their nuclear programs. What more can we ask of our diplomacy? There is no silver bullet deal and we sometimes do what we can until better options arise.

Kristof even admits that. But this deal didn't allow us to dodge a bullet. It  just protects Iran's ability to build bullets.

You bet I say "nay" to this deal. Doing nothing was better than inking this deal. Contrary to what the president asserts, it is the defense of the deal that doesn't stand scrutiny.