Sunday, January 17, 2016

VA Day

I'm not sure what to say about the latest news about the Iran deal. The deal is horrible and will lead to a wealthier nuclear-armed Iran and make our allies unsure of our resolve who may go nuclear to protect themselves from Iran.

What we can say is that Iran has officially won:

Iran emerged from years of economic isolation on Saturday when world powers began to lift crippling sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for Tehran complying with a deal to curb its nuclear ambitions.

Iran gets money. Lots of it.

Presenting the draft budget for the next Iranian fiscal year, which begins in March, Rouhani told parliament the deal was a "turning point" for the economy of Iran, a major oil producer which has been virtually shut out of international markets for the past five years.

"The nuclear negotiations which succeeded by the guidance of the Supreme Leader and support of our nation, were truly a golden page in Iran's history," he said.

A golden page, indeed. Iran's foreign policy of stoking violence across the Middle East will not fail for lack of money now.

Iran not only got prisoners we lawfully convicted released to them, but managed to arrange the release in a way that makes our imprisonment of those convicts equivalent to Iran's holding our people hostage:

Iran freed five Americans including a Washington Post reporter on Saturday as the two countries staged a series of goodwill gestures ahead of the expected announcement of the lifting of international sanctions against Tehran under a nuclear deal.

U.S. President Barack Obama pardoned three Iranian-Americans charged for sanctions violations, and U.S. officials said four others would be released, in a thaw in relations between the two nations that has shaped the Middle East since Iran's Islamic Revolution of 1979.

See? We just exchanged prisoners. Not that Iran released all Americans they hold. Oh, no. Iran might need something else, eh?

And have no doubt, by briefly capturing 10 American sailors and two patrol boats, Iran rubbed our nose in the fact that if Iran needs more hostages, they'll have no problem getting them.

Plus Iran managed to hold off new sanction on Iran's nuclear-capable missiles:

The day before the Obama administration was due to slap new sanctions on Iran late last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry the move could derail a prisoner deal the two sides had been negotiating in secret for months.

The Saudis are merely the most vocal about the what we have done:

Asked whether he was worried the windfall that Iran is about to enjoy as trade sanctions are lifted, [Saudi foreign minister] Jubeir told Sky News: "Every country in the world is worried about this."

"Iran's record has been one of war and destruction, terrorism, destabilization, interference in the affairs of other countries," he insisted, speaking after talking with Kerry.

Israel, of course, has much to worry about as a frequent target of Iran's hatred, when Iran gets nuclear weapons:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran on Sunday that Israel would not allow it to obtain nuclear weapons, after sanctions were lifted under Tehran's historic nuclear deal with global powers.

So rejoice in Implementation Day! Iran sure is celebrating. You'd think it was Victory over America Day.

And that is what it is--VA Day. This is seriously quite possibly the largest foreign policy blunder we have ever committed--and our so-called leaders believe they achieved a brilliant success:

Kerry reiterated at the end of his remarks that "the fact is that today marks the first day of a safer world, one where we believe it is possible to remain safer for years to come, and particularly with the compliance of this agreement."

Iran will go nuclear. Iran will not be reformed. Other countries will go nuclear in response, and then we will have the joy of seeing Mutual Assured Destruction policies play out in a region of madness and short flight times of ballistic missiles. And I have no idea what allies will stand with us when the facade of success comes crashing down.

Have a super sparkly implementation day.

UPDATE: We clawed back a bit of respectability:

The United States imposed sanctions on 11 companies and individuals for supplying Iran's ballistic missile program in a move delayed by over two weeks so as not to endanger this weekend's release of U.S. prisoners, sources familiar with the matter said.

Which is something.

But I guess we gave up on those hostages not released in this deal.