Hamilton: Iran: Let’s make a deal?
Every U.S. president from Truman to Obama has tried, and failed, to bring peace to the Middle East. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin risked their lives for Middle East peace. Both were assassinated.
But what if you were the first U.S. president who is “perceived” to bring peace to the Middle East? Or, even the U.S. president “perceived” to end Iran’s 35-year war against the U.S. What if you ended Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons?
And who better to help you cut a deal with Iran’s Mullahs than your most-trusted aide, the Iranian-born, Farsi-speaking, Valerie Jarrett? For over a week, Ms. Jarrett was reportedly in Chicago for back surgery. It would not be the first time a White House aide engaged in secret foreign travel. In July 1971, Dr. Henry Kissinger met secretly with Red Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai during which Kissinger disavowed Taiwanese independence and promised to withdraw two-thirds of U.S. forces from Taiwan.
Was Ms. Jarrett, once again, in the Middle East trying to make a deal that would only “appear” to stop Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons and, at the same time, boost Democrat chances in the mid-term elections? Could be. Maybe, not.
In politics, “perception is reality.” Given a world-weary American public, given the almost countless scandals, to include the gross incompetence of some federal health officials, the too-long-delayed West African travel ban, the almost-certain collapse of Obamacare, and the general failure of our current economic and foreign policies, the temptation to strike a deal with Iran — even a bad deal — may be irresistible.
Back in 2003, when the U.N. Security Council and Germany imposed economic sanctions on Iran, the Mullahs were running a mere 130 centrifuges. Today, after a long series of economic concessions by the Security Council and Germany, the Mullahs have over 19,000 centrifuges on hand. Iranian enrichment of weapons-grade uranium could be only six months to a year away.
Even The New York Times voiced its concern: “No one knows if the Obama Administration will manage over the next five weeks to strike what many in the White House consider the most important foreign policy deal of his presidency … But the White House has made one significant decision: If agreement is reached, President Obama will do everything in his power to avoid letting Congress vote on it …”
Why exclude Congress? Because it is highly unlikely that even the currently Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate would ratify a treaty allowing President Obama to throw Israel under the nuclear bus. Moreover, as Dr. Kissinger points out in his latest book, World Order, the closer Iran comes to possession of nuclear weapons, the more likely that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) — rather than risk Israel’s extinction — will launch preemptive strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Last week, Ali Younesi, the Iranian president’s top advisor, in an interview with Iran’s news agency, called President Obama, “… the weakest of U.S. presidents.” Younesi said, “We have to use this opportunity because, in the future, we may not have this opportunity again.” Insulting President Obama while suggesting Republicans would be tougher to deal with not does bode well for negotiations. But, when you know the other side is going to cave in, what’s to negotiate?
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
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