The Conversation

You're on your own, Bibi

In response to Has Israel Already Committed to Military Action Against Iran?:

I've heard some speculation that Obama's deal with Iran is so terrible that it must be part of some coordinated good-cop, bad-cop strategy with Israel.  Obama and SecState Kerry give away the store to Iran during negotiations; Israel teams up with the Saudis to do what must be done; Obama comes back after the last bomb has dropped, clucks his tongue over the ruins, and reminds the mullahs that the US was really enjoying our new relationship with them.  

If I thought more highly of Obama and his foreign policy team, I might almost find that a defensible strategy, except that granting international prestige to the brutal Iranian theocracy is morally indefensible even if it's done as part of a fake-out strategy to have Israel blow up their nuclear weapons plants.  And I can't get past all the warnings I've heard about how difficult taking out those facilities from the air would be, even if the Saudis provide intel and airspace for the operation.

Maybe the only realistic chance of stopping the Iranian bomb passed long ago - in the Clinton years, or even earlier.  But it did seem as if tough sanctions were having some effect, and contrary to all the Obama bluster about how the sanctions "architecture" will remain in place, it's more likely that the pressure is permanently off Tehran as a result of this deal.  There will be a lot of money and international political capital tied up in restoring the sanctions regime.  And the Iranian bomb will have moved six months closer... well, five, if estimates of the slight delay resulting from this deal are accurate.  

Iran gets money, prestige, and more of the time they're always eager to buy.  They give up virtually nothing, even assuming they honor the terms of the deal, which is a pretty big assumption.  What's not for an ayatollah to love... except the possible Israeli response?

I think Dennis Miller has it about right, telling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu via Twitter: "Bibi, just think of it as one less phone call you gotta make when it's go time."


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