The Suicide of the West

The Iran negotiator waving goodbye to western civilization.

Obama has gotten his Iran deal. He announced the deal with great fanfare.

In each case, the country’s top official decided to reverse a long-standing policy, taking significant risk to open space for negotiations. In gambling that the time had come to seek a deal, President Obama and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei broke a stalemate that had made the years of on-and-off negotiations an exercise in frustration.

Yes, Iran has agreed to all our concessions.

It begins when Obama came to office in 2009 and signaled his interest in reviving negotiations, sending a letter to Iran’s supreme leader, Khamenei, and Nowruz holiday greetings to the Iranian public. Although Obama insisted that he did not trust Iran’s mullahs, the first principle of his foreign policy was that contact — “engagement,” as he refers to it — was better than past administrations’ efforts to isolate adversary governments.

That might have been because they considered them adversaries. “Death to America” is not exactly the expression of friendship.

Ross has since become a skeptic about the emerging deal with Iran, his proposal [of increased sanctions.] became the framework for the approach Obama followed.

The political left is ecstatic.

Kerry stated that while the deal is historic, the implementation is what matters. “I’m not going to stand here and tell you every is going to work without a bump,” he said. Kerry added that the deal contains ample mechanisms for ensuring the terms are met, however, and that the agreement makes evident the consequences of non-compliance.

Kerry is an expert at negotiating with our enemies. He is actually well known for siding with them.

The rest of us are appalled. Even Dennis Ross is concerned about this deal.

Ross said the deal basically amounted to lifting international sanctions on Iran, which have crippled the country’s economy, in exchange for full transparency, though Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared recently that inspectors would not have access to all of Iran’s military sites, even if the International Atomic Energy Agency had substantiated suspicions.

Roger L Simon is not happy.

Somewhere Frank Marshall Davis must be smiling. Barack Obama toasted what he always wanted, the decline of the West, as our president finally rolled over and made a big nuclear deal with Iran, giving the ayatollah virtually everything he could have dreamed of, let alone needed — including control over nuclear inspections, making them meaningless — and getting nothing in return.

Yes, he and Kerry have surrendered all attempts at restraint. The anti-Semitism of the left is on proud display at HuffPo. They think this is a clever blow at Israel, our only Democratic ally in the Middle East.

Conservatives feel free to catch the vapors right now. Bibi drop dëad.

And many more like that one.

What now ? Iran has been cheating all along so why should they obey the weak rules now ?

Richard Fernandez has a few thoughts on this and on Greece as related.

It shows unequivocally that Obama values a rapprochement with the Iran above most anything else. Why the agreement should be so desirable to him is unclear.

Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, capping more than a decade of on-off negotiations with an agreement that could potentially transform the Middle East, and which Israel called an “historic surrender”.

Under the deal, sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations would be lifted in return for Iran agreeing long-term curbs on a nuclear program that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb.

Iran agrees. That’s a relief. Why ?

There was never any real chance that Obama would stop Iran. He was interested in attaining something which for want of a better term can be called his “legacy”. That to him meant this agreement and all it implies. Like the Germans who wanted an EU above all, it is apparent Obama wanted that legacy so much that he would throw everything aside to get it.

Events force politicians to show their hand, revealing which policies they pay mere lip service to and those they mean in earnest.

Why does Obama want this agreement in spite of all the risk ?

The president is apparently willing to pay a helluva price for something. Never mind for the moment what that is. Rather than cudgel one’s brains to identify where this piece falls in the puzzle, it is far more important to understand that in the president’s world, if you’re not at the table you’re on the menu. Despite the upbeat announcements that the Iran nuclear deal means “war is off the table” it actually means the opposite.

It should broadcast to the Sunni states and Israel in no uncertain terms that they are on the menu. By contrast, Hezbollah and Assad will be buoyed up, as they are soon to have the backing of a regional nuclear power. Russia and China are probably even now recalculating their positions.

Everybody knows that we have become unreliable as an ally and weak as an enemy.

Almost no one in the foreign policy establishment can articulate a reason for this deal other than to assert that a “bad agreement is worse than no agreement” without shedding the slightest light on what this doohickey actually does. The president’s ultimate goal, his secret strategic objective remain as obscure and impenetrable as ever. The president’s admirers, balked at an explanation, are likely to seek refuge in political faith, in the belief that Obama is so much smarter than the rest of us and especially them, that we unlike him, cannot see so many moves ahead.

“It’s going to be wonderful!” they assert. Somehow.

China seems to be going to school on this deal, as well. Watch the South China Sea.

35 thoughts on “The Suicide of the West”

  1. I think he is mistaken in one respect.

    In 13 or 14 years, Iran’s breakout time would be “almost down to zero”

    I think it will be year or two at most.

  2. I’m sure this is the wrong sort of reaction, but I find all this utterly hilarious.

    First, for Barry, because the end result might not be nuclear weapons for his precious. It might be a nuclear preemptive strike by Israel and Saudi Arabia, ending the Iranian regime and killing a lot of the Iranians he cares about so much.

    Second, for Barry’s dimbulb supporters, who seem to know nothing about anything, and surely will be very surprised and unhappy when this deal goes south, which it surely will. Of course a lot of them may end up dead too, when and if the Iranians keep their promise to use nukes against us- but they begged for it, so that’s on them.

    Third, for the witless American political establishment, which is either too stupid to understand why this Iran deal is a disastrous mistake, too incompetent to block it, or more likely both.

    I’m sure everyone has heard the old saying about being careful what you wish for because you may get it. Well, the silver lining here is that a lot of deserving folks are going to get what they wished for, good and hard.

    Real men of genius, they are.

  3. Tony Cordesman at CSIS did an estimate a few years ago about a nuclear exchange between Iran and Israel. He estimated 600,000 Israeli deaths but predicted the country would survive. He predicted 23 million Iranian deaths and that it would cease to be a nation state. He also predicted that the Oil Age would end as the Israelis would take out the other Arab nations to prevent an opportunistic attack while they were wounded.

    Be careful what you wish for . The Kardashian crowd is ecstatic at their hero’s triumph.

    And finally, remember this ?

  4. A month ago, I heard Rabbi Daniel Gordis speaking at an AIPAC meeting (I am proud to be a member of the Zionist conspiracy) about the problems with the Iran negotiations.

    After the meeting I wrote a letter to Rabbi Gordis as follows:

    1. “Put not your trust in princes.” Don’t trust Obama on the subject of Iran. [I was right about that.]

    * * *

    2. Civil Defense. A nuclear weapon attack on Israel would be a catastrophe. But, it should not be the end of the Jewish people in their Land. Nothing will save the lives of those at ground zero if a nuclear weapon is detonated, but those who are not vaporized by the fireball, stand a chance if they can be protected from fallout and other indirect effects of the explosion. To that end, Israel must provide protection from fallout and other indirect effects through a system of shelters. I acknowledge that Israel has constructed bomb shelters to protect against conventional missiles and poison gas, but, and this is based entirely on my reading, they are not up to the task of civil defense against nuclear attack.

    I mentioned the book “La Place de la Concorde Suisse” by John McPhee. The book is an exposition of the Swiss Army, which was the model for the Israeli Army. It has an extensive discussion of the Swiss Civil Defense system that was written during the Cold War, and published in 1983. Like all of McPhee’s work, it is extraordinarily well written.

    Israel should immediately act to build a civil defense system like the Swiss did during the Cold War. Israel should ask the US to pick up a large portion of the cost of such a system, because it was American ineptness, that put Israel in harm’s way.

    3. There is such a thing as missile defense against long range missiles. Israel is involved in at least two projects intended to provide that defense: Arrow and David’s Sling. Both projects need major injections of funds from the United States, if Obama fails to get an adequate agreement from Iran.

    Israel should also permanently station missile defense radars on the Golan Heights in that event. This will be easier as there will never again be a Syria to give the Golan back to.

    4. No Israeli Attack on Iran. For the time being, Obama will continue do his best to protect Iran from Israeli attack anyway. I am very skeptical that Israel has the ability to permanently end Iran’s nuclear program. It would assuredly take months worth of bombing by high altitude heavy bombers like the B2 and the B52. Only the US has that capability.

    5. America is in Danger Too. An excellent point that you made at the end of the program. Iran does not need missiles to attack the United States. They could load nuclear weapons onto cargo ships and sail them into the harbors of major American cities such as New York and LA. Israel should remind the US of that.

    6. The Mortgage on the Mosque. The Iranians are prone to rant about the Al-Aqsa Mosque, i.e. the structures on the Temple Mount. Israel should make it clear to the Iranians that any nuclear attack on Israel will cause Israel to remove the buildings from the Temple Mount and ban all Muslim entry into the area.

    7. The Palestinian Surety. The land and property of the Palestinians must also secure the peaceful behavior of the Iranians. If any portion of Israel is made uninhabitable by an Iranian nuclear attack, Israel must seize Palestinian land for its people. Israel should also reserve the right to conscript the Palestinians for decontamination work in that event.

    6 & 7 are not for broadcast, but they should be made known to the Iranians and to Sunni powers who would communicate with the Iranians on behalf of Israel.

    That was a month ago. The negotiations have been completed, and if anything the final product is worse than we feared. The punch line will be the sanctions are over, Iran will pocket $150 billion, and Iran has made promises that they have no intention of honoring. Israel needs to take effective action to counter Iran. If any of you have a ideas to supplement the list above, please speak up.

  5. “That was a month ago. The negotiations have been completed, and if anything the final product is worse than we feared. The punch line will be the sanctions are over, Iran will pocket $150 billion, and Iran has made promises that they have no intention of honoring. Israel needs to take effective action to counter Iran. If any of you have a ideas to supplement the list above, please speak up.”

    Israel has nukes.

    Israel should use them, if it wants to survive. Soon, too.

    And forget about merely destroying the nuclear program. The Iranian regime must be ended, forever and all time, or the threat will return.

    It’s time for Israel to quit playing patty-cake with their enemies, or expecting the US to solve their problem for them.

    We won’t, as they should have long since figured out.

  6. Xennady: As I wrote above, Obama will protect Iran from any Israeli attack, conventional, or nuclear. I have suggested moves that Israel can make. I hope others can suggest some more.

  7. Michael Hiteshew Says:
    July 14th, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    The Republicans in Congress deliberately arranged it so they cannot stop it.

    Normal procedure, to approve it you have to have a 2/3 majority to overcome a filibuster against the agreement, which means the Republican Majority could have stopped it with ease. The Corker bill passed and signed months ago reversed that. It now will take a 2/3 majority to over-ride a presidential veto of a bill stopping it, and that means it goes through.

    They knew this when they passed it.

    All of the protestations of opposition you are now hearing are lies just for show. The Republicans agreed to this months ago, and have to pretend now to avoid angering what remains of their base. They will be just as responsible for the the deaths as the Democrats.

    This was pointed out when the negotiations began, but nobody would listen.


    1) Israel now has weapons free to attack all enemies. They know that they will get no help from the US if attacked, and that the US will be aiding that attack. So there is no reason to moderate their efforts to defend the people of Israel to attempt to avoid angering the US government. From my own research, I believe that Israel has the nuclear arsenal and delivery means to destroy the entire Dar-al-Islam. It is a matter of specific targeting and fusing. It will involve hundreds of millions of deaths, which will be their price for survival.

    2) As noted on INSTAPUNDIT, those in American politics who most openly express hatred for everything Israeli and all Jews are now praising this treaty as “protecting Israel” on cue from their masters in the White House. I believe that is what is technically referred to as a “tell”.

    3) American security guarantees now cannot even pretend to have any worth, which the world has already noted. That notice includes both friends and foes of the United States. Those states which were previously friendly to the United States and accepted its primacy in defense, and which have the technical expertise and/or the financial capability now have an absolute incentive to develop a strategic deterrent to protect themselves from attack by those who threatened then previously. That strategic deterrent does not have to be nuclear. And against the United States which may betray them at any moment. The world is going to get . . . complicated.

    4) France and Britain have their own independent nuclear deterrents already. If attacked by conventional or nuclear means, they will not use them. YMMV In passing, if I was running Poland or the Baltic countries, I would be trying to acquire nukes by any means.

    5) We can bet that with the previous cheating on agreements and sanctions against Iranian nuclear development, and the ongoing cheating by Iran, and the future cheating which the United States and the world will studiously ignore no matter how obvious; that Iran is no more than 1 year away from having a crudely [it may be by ship or large cargo aircraft] deliverable nuclear weapon. I note that there are a number of large cargo airliners in Jihadi hands.

    6) Iranian jargon in their native language of Farsi refers to the United States as “The Great Satan” [Shaytân-e Bozorg]. It refers to Israel as “The Lesser Satan” . In fact as they are celebrating the surrender treaty Obama just signed, they are chanting “Death to the Great Satan”. We ARE going to be struck, soon.

    7) Worst case scenario for us with an Iranian nuclear attack involves an EMP strike that cripples a significant portion of our infra-structure. The death toll will be over 100 million. The best case for the United States would be a counter-value strike on a Blue city in a Blue state.

    8) The Government of the United States will attempt to avoid any blame going to Iran, because it reflects on their own responsibility. There will be no retaliation by the United States, until at least after the second or third strike on the US, or until a change of regime.

    9) While not as directly responsible as the Obama regime and their followers are; the deliberate and calculated efforts of the Republican Party to make sure that the Republican majority in Congress cannot hinder this treaty is yet another reason to consider them as much enemies of the country and Constitution as the current regime.

    I am glad that I live in a small town in the mountains, and have made some preparation for it getting hungry outside. I would recommend arranging affairs so as not to be in large urban areas.

    Subotai Bahadur

  8. Michael: I read the Cordesman article at the time. I believe that Israel needs a maximum strengt Civil Defense program to ensure its accuracy.

    I doubt that Israel would attack its Sunni neighbors in that scenario as they are now its allies, de facto, and they need Israel’s capabilities if they are to survive.

  9. “Second, the agreement grants Iran international legitimacy. Since the revolution of 1979 and the seizure of America’s embassy in Tehran, Iran has been treated as a rogue state. Under the agreement, that status comes to an end. Investment in Iran will be permitted and likely will flourish. Sanctions will be removed and Iran’s nuclear program will not only be tolerated, it will be explicitly recognized and to some degree supported by the international community. ”

    TYhis is another consideration, as if we need another reason why this is a bad deal.

    Subotai, I disagree about the Corker bill. It was never going to be submitted as treaty and Obama will never submit one for any reason. The bill introduced to disapprove the executive order will be the crucial indicator if we are betrayed by the GOP. It needs to be structured to DISAPPROVE and then let the Democrats vote. The GOP might get 2/3 in the Senate which would override a veto. It needs to be structured that way and we will see what McConnell does.

    Robert, I tend to agree about the other Arabs but can they be trusted ? If Israel was retaliating for a first strike, I would not trust them. If it was making a first strike (less likely, I think) then OK.

  10. Michael: The Arabs are vile bunch. Treachery is second nature to them. They cannot be trusted farther than they can be thrown. What Israel can rely on is that Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia need them in order to survive. It is Israel that is protecting Jordan from ISIS. And Israel that is protecting Egypt from the Brotherhood. And Saudi Arabia needs protection against both.

  11. “As I wrote above, Obama will protect Iran from any Israeli attack, conventional, or nuclear. I have suggested moves that Israel can make. I hope others can suggest some more.”

    It doesn’t matter. Israel is dead if they allow the Iranian regime to get nukes. It’s only a matter of time. If Obama wants to protect Iran, presumably by using US military assets to destroy an Israel attack force, then Israel has to deal with that too, alas, or be destroyed.

    In any case, Obama will only be around a little while longer, and I doubt he’ll be able to protect Iran once he’s left office. I suspect he thinks his deal will tie the hands of the next president to the extent nothing can be done about Iran, but I also think it will not. I expect a president Hillary wouldn’t do anything about Iran- but I doubt she’s as committed to protecting the mullahs as Barry, so I wouldn’t expect her to command the US military to attack Israel to save Iran. So I think Israel should have opportunity to solve their problem- and ours- before it’s too late. We’ll find out one way or another, though.

    I’d also think that a de facto alliance with a brutal, murderous regime that has been seeking to harm the United States in any way it could, beginning as soon as it came into existence, should generate some complaint from the supposed opposition party. Instead, we have the Corker bill, which as Subotai has noted made the deal almost impossible to stop.

    Treason? Or incompetence?

    As someone famous once said in a different context, “What difference does it make?”

  12. Once Obama is gone. We can only hope that the next president is devoted to protecting the United States rather than to destroying it.

  13. “Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia need them in order to survive.”

    But, if Israel were crippled with 600,000 dead, could they be ?

    Dearieme, I hope she is not. If she is, we are doomed. She is at least as far left as Obama (Her thesis was on Alinsky) and no more competent.

    I have some hopes that the Dims will lose the election.

    I still have a fantasy, weak, that the candidates will cancel each other out and Romney will be drafted.

  14. “I have some hopes that the Dims will lose the election.”

    Let me attempt to inspire you to optimism.

    Hillary is a terrible no-good politician- much worse than Romney on his worst day- and only has any chance because of the democrat operatives with bylines that comprise the media, the fact that she has the same last name as the last democrat president who popular, and the omnipresent Republican ineptitude.

    But the media weakens every day, Bill Clinton is a fading memory, and the GOP actually has a good set of potential candidates this time- despite the fevered establishment desire for another Bush disaster. Plus, we’ve got the Donald to kick the political process in the pants, thus inspiring those candidates to pay attention to the concerns of actual Americans for a change.

    Isn’t it at least awesome that Trump has made the establishment notice that some illegal immigrants commit crimes, and that this is a problem that requires action?

  15. >>Isn’t it at least awesome that Trump has made the establishment notice that some illegal immigrants commit crimes, and that this is a problem that requires action?

    I’ve been reading for a few years that southern Arizona and New Mexico are very, very dangerous at night these days, and getting more dangerous during the day. A little more of that civilizational breakdown VDH writes about.

  16. One would think that Senator Dianne Feinstein would oppose the Iran deal.

    After all, she so serious about gun control!

  17. “I’ve been reading for a few years that southern Arizona and New Mexico are very, very dangerous at night these days, and getting more dangerous during the day. A little more of that civilizational breakdown VDH writes about.”

    I’ve read about it too, and I recall listening to Glen Beck discuss it at length circa 2006.

    Obviously, nothing was done by the people who had the power to do something about it- and now Trump has made it an issue again. Hallelujah.

    I’ve long had a tinfoil suspicion that the tippy-top of the American political class is made up of nothing more than a collection of globalists who want to smear the United States out of existence. So we get NAFTA, the surprising sudden omnipresence of Spanish everywhere in the US, the endless unpopular attempts to get a multi-thousand page immigration bill passed into law- and the total neglect and abandonment of the US border, leaving people near it to mercy of drug gangs and any other criminal who happens to wander by.

    The establishment can’t notice the issues at the border, because to do so would put their whole program in doubt. Either they’d have to actually provide security at the border, making the border they want to go away real again, or they’d have to openly explain that they want it to disappear forever.

    Can’t do that, because the flyoverland proles would get angry. So we get a steely pretense that nothing is wrong, nothing at all, because shut up.

    Everyone should thank Trump for puncturing that bubble, whatever else happens.

  18. /reposted from PJMedia because I’m lazy and I said it already

    I neither live nor work anywhere near a large city.

    When and if these foreign religious fascists flip out and do to us what they have been doing to each other for centuries, I know their depredations will be used as a casus belli to attack my ancestral right to bear arms, the notion of religiosity as one of the pillars of a well-ordered civil society, and tighten the noose on what remains of my civil liberties.

    I also know that most of their victims — innocent men and women, my fellow Americans — would be perfectly fine with all of this, provided they survived. Because they increasingly do not consider me innocent, and they do not consider me a ‘real’ American. They are swept up in the fascistic joy of wrecking everything Old and Evil around them so their Inevitable Triumph can usher in a Glorious New Future.

    I find it increasingly impossible to care. And then I recoil from myself in horror. And then the grim, faintly nauseous sense of lassitude sets in again. Let it burn, I think. And then I jerk to again.

    I feel like a sentry left with no coffee and no relief on the edge of a moral, cultural, and civic No Man’s Land trying to keep himself awake. I am not certain how much longer I can keep this up.

  19. >>I feel like a sentry left with no coffee and no relief on the edge of a moral, cultural, and civic No Man’s Land trying to keep himself awake. I am not certain how much longer I can keep this up.

    Buck up Phil, I think we all feel that way sometimes. I have three children, all grown, all with careers and families of their own now. Two are solidly libertarian, the third, the youngest girl, is a squishy sort-of centrist. She’s watching and learning though. And she’s smart, so she she’ll catch on. We’re all naive when we’re young and distracted.

    Don’t know if you have contact with any younger people where you work. I do, and I usually engage them in conversations when these subjects come up. Not vitriolic, more thought provoking discussion type things. And most of them get almost no exposure to these ideas or to the history of these leftist utopias. Every little bit helps. It’s the giving up that leads to defeat.

  20. I continue to believe that Iran has a handful of nuclear warheads now and used this exercise to regain funds etc. At an appropriate time (soon) they will announce their capability and press for control of the straits of hormuz or some other strategic goal. I base this on my knowledge of the South African nuclear program. They produced around 6-10 warheads/bombs using a less efficient enrichment process (jet nozzle) that was hiding as part of their commercial enrichment plant. The South Africans had a real 2 unit French built nuclear reactor at Koeberg and used the Pelindaba enrichment plant to provide fuel when sanctions were tightened. The black side of the enrichment plant produced higher levels of enrichment for the weapons. I met several senior technical guys years later who worked on the project. The Iranians have been steadily running their more efficient centrifuge plants for years now and I find it hard to believe they are slower than the NORKs in getting to their goal.

    So Obama in his ultimate narcissism thinks he controls the show, the Russians are playing their great game and the Euros are worrying about how to fund welfare states. Only the Iranians have a clear goal.

  21. DirtyJobsGuy hits the nail on the head with this:

    “when sanctions were tightened”

    Iran has been a year away from a bomb for ten years now. What has been holding them back?
    In the case of North Korea, lifting sanctions facilitated their nuclear development. In the case of Libya and South Africa, they accelerated nuclear development under sanctions. Sanctions work sometimes and they don’t work other times. Peace treaties work sometimes and they don’t work other times.

    Let’s just take a step back from the ledge and try to figure out what we have on our hands here. Everyone here is probably right that Obama’s intentions are and have always been to weaken the United States and Israel by making peace with Iran, but I’m not sure this deal is exactly what he thinks it is or is as bad as the worst case scenarios.

  22. I guess I can partly take solace in the fact that Israel actually exists. Not by accident or luck, but by sheer determination, wisdom, cunning and will. While many of us really have no idea who or what occupies the Presidency this time, I am hard pressed to believe that Israel is as in the dark as we may be. When the rumors began to circulate that this individual would be President, I would venture to guess that Israel knew EXACTLY what was coming, and began to plan accordingly.

    I do worry though. I’m a long way away from my children and grand-children. Israeli’s have been conditioning themselves for nearly seven decades to face annihilation. Here, not so much. I well remember and am reminded daily of the indifference and detachment that many have and had on 9/11. I personally know people who deny it occurred, “it was a trick, like that moon landing thing”. Others become silent, and change the subject or “have to use the bathroom”. Will “the news” refuse to report if a huge chunk of the U.S. suffers devastation? I’m thinking so more and more.

  23. Really just what one would expect. Iran, what was Persia, was the cradle of civilization. They are smart and good at politics. They most certainly have little reason to trust the US after the entire Sha episode. They certainly don’t trust Israel at all.

    “Tony Cordesman at CSIS did an estimate a few years ago about a nuclear exchange between Iran and Israel. He estimated 600,000 Israeli deaths but predicted the country would survive. He predicted 23 million Iranian deaths and that it would cease to be a nation state. He also predicted that the Oil Age would end as the Israelis would take out the other Arab nations to prevent an opportunistic attack while they were wounded.”

    Tony Cordsman is a fool, has been for as long time. Anyone can make up imaginary numbers.

    One SS18 Satan will remove Israel from the face of the earth. A fact.

  24. What deal? All I see is a green light Obama is flashing Iran — a freebie or present, telling them it’s OK to go ahead and deal with those pesky Jews in Israel.

    (I thought Xennady’s comment summed it all up quite aptly.)

  25. “They are smart and good at politics.”

    Let’s discuss the smartitude of the Iranian regime, and its political acumen.

    It immediately made an enemy of the most powerful nation state on the globe, occupying its embassy and doing lasting damage to relations with every other country on the face of the Earth. Weakened, it was attacked by Iraq, which cost Iran enormous amounts of wealth and hundreds of thousands of lives. It followed up this success by wrecking its entire society, such that Iran has one of lowest birth rates in history and a mosque attendance of about two percent per week, from what I recall of David Goldman’s writings on the subject. The regime was so unpopular that it weeks to bloodily suppress protests against the rigged 2009 elections. Now, it regarded as a great triumph that it has been able to engineer the lifting of sanctions that prevented it from selling oil, a sought-after commodity in great demand, everywhere, and which will finally allow it to buy the products of other nations, which universally have great desire to sell them to Iran.

    But it gets worse. The regime has embarked upon a plan to get nuclear weapons, and has already expended great efforts to acquire them. It openly tells everyone who bothers to read Farsi that it intends to use them, which has inspired the most threatened nations, Israel and Saudi Arabia, to find common cause, with consequences for everyone yet unknown. However the regime is unconcerned, because it also says in Farsi that it would be happy to have Iran utterly destroyed, as long as it could destroy Israel and the United States.

    This is not a picture of success, political or otherwise.

  26. “The punch line will be the sanctions are over, Iran will pocket $150 billion”

    Not even close. Once Iranian oil hits the open market, the price of crude will plummet. Take that to the bank. The effects of this will hit Iran where they never even thought of looking.

  27. The $150 million is not oil profit, it is the amount frozen in the US since 1979. And Iran will get it soon and without any fuss from our wonderful g.overnment. Oil profits are just icing on the cake.

  28. It’s $150 Billion, with a B, Fiona.

    “They most certainly have little reason to trust the US after the entire Sha episode. They certainly don’t trust Israel at all.”

    Trust ? We were allies. They were on the “right side of history” and were even allies of Israel. The Muslims have failed to engage the best minds in the Middle East. Can anyone, other than Tom Clancy in his novels, imagine what the Arabs could accomplish if they had Israel as a think tank ? Imagine the oil linked to agriculture like that created in the desert by Israel. Egypt would be able to feed itself. North Africa would be a huge vacation spot for Europe and the Europeans might even get interested in having babies again.

    I don;t believe that Islam makes people stupid but it does seem to have a correlation. As far as “the entire Sha episode,” why don’t you read about how Shia Islam took over Iran ?

    A little-known fact to most laypeople is that, for much of its Islamic history, between the Arab conquest in the seventh century and the establishment of the Safavids as rulers of the country in the sixteenth, Iran was a stronghold and intellectual center of Sunni Islam. Most of the significant thinkers and figures of Sunnism, including theologians (Sharif al-Jurjani, Fakhr al-Din Razi, Umar al-Nasafi), mystics (Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani), founders of schools of law (Abu Hanifa, Dawud al-Zahiri), historians (Tabari, Bayhaqi, Baladhuri), political theorists (Nizam al-Mulk, Jalal al-Din Davvani), poets (Abd al-Rahman Jami, Farid ud-Din Attar), and hadith collectors (all the Sunni authors of the Sihah al-Sitta) were Iranian.

    Read the rest if you want to know the bloody story. Iran was a great empire but it was beaten by a small Greek army and has been a mess ever since, That was 2,000 years ago. Even the Greeks are nothing like they were then. Times change, PenGun.

  29. Someone has to provide an itemized list with hard numbers because I don’t find any evidence of any windfall for Iran.

    Here is what the Congressional Research Service says on page 7:

    Including Iranian assets blocked under Executive Order 13599 of February 2010,
    discussed below, about $1.95 billion in Iranian assets is blocked, according to the 2013 “Terrorist
    Assets Report.”

    But there’s also $8.8 billion in legal judgements against Iran by families of victims of terrorism such as the bombing of the’83 Marine barracks.

    Here is the text of the agreement. It mentions “asset freeze” by the EU on page 10 but not the US. It does say on page 13 that the federal government will try to block any states from continuing sanctions but still no mention of freeze.

    I would think that the status of recent Iranian assets in the US should follow past protocol and go to the “U.S.-Iran Claims Tribunal” where it will add to the backlog of the other disputes. Or maybe Obama will just open the vault. I wouldn’t put it past him, but it looks like there’s going to push back.

    I’m not sure what this means for the status of the lawsuits. It seems that Iranian state enterprises would be even more open to legal action after sanctions are lifted, but we’ll have to keep an eye on that. There should be dire political consequences if these claims are dismissed by the agreement.

  30. Clearly the mullahs will benefit from the agreement whatever the exact sums involved. The benefits will include plenty of new revenue from foreign businesses that may now do business freely with Iran.

    It’s not obvious that the price of oil will change much. Iran has probably been selling a lot of its oil despite sanctions, which is to say despite Obama’s weakened sanctions.

  31. I agree the mullahs will immediately benefit. At the very least, whatever bank accounts they might have had in Europe that may have been frozen will open up to them.

    And yes sanctions were skirted such as with gasoline imports, which are only likely to increase. Their gasoline situation, by the way, casts into doubt the idea of the “smart Persian” with all that oil and limited ability refine it.

    There’s no doubt that the Iranian leadership are full of opportunistic and murderous scumbags. They will cheat on this deal just like they cheated under the sanctions, and they’ve been playing Obama for the amateur that he is.

    However, the center of gravity in the Middle East is being sucked into the vortex of the Sunni-Shia civil war. It’s time to reevaluate alignments and priorities, and, as Will said up there, I’m sure Israel has been preparing contingencies ever since Obama was elected. Remember 50 years ago peace with Egypt and Jordan seemed impossible up to and until it became a reality.

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