The headline reads: “Obama Secures Enough Support For Iran Deal In Congress“. This is an interesting way of putting it, because the text below the headline identifies Barbara Mikulski as the 34th vote in support of the deal. Thirty-four votes out of one hundred senators (on a subject of global significance) is what passes for support in an era of obscene executive swagger. The Congress (The People) do not need to be persuaded, they simply must be overcome by procedure.
Now the focus must shift from efforts to defeat the deal, to holding the brazen and emboldened Iranians to its terms. Our national posture must transition from one of leadership to one of futile appeasement and pleading. We no longer have the leverage to control the situation and force compliance. Now we must simply ask “Please comply?”.
It is common in today’s political environment to hope for the failure of an initiative we oppose, as some form of confirmation that our ideas were superior. We take every minor negative indicator as an opportunity to say “See! I told you! Thanks a lot [Obama][Bush]!” Now the stakes are too high. We can’t simply wish for this deal to fail so we can prove how naive this administration is. There are too many lives at stake. No political point should be proven by a massacre. In actuality, we should all be hoping that WE were wrong, and that the Iran deal WILL prevent a murderous regime from obtaining the means to destroy its publicly declared enemies.
But this brings us to the point. Is it really nuclear war that we are afraid of? Maybe, but it seems a bit far-fetched to think that Iran would destroy what it deems to be its own holy land with a nuclear attack. And although the regime holds no such fealty to the North American continent, they are well aware that any nuclear attack on the US would result in an immediate nuclear winter and “Goodbye Iran!” The reality is, nuclear war is not the most likely method Iran will choose to terrorize the world.
The issue in the coming years as it relates to the Iran deal will be defining failure or success. Proponents of engagement and appeasement willl argue that as long as nuclear missiles do not rain down on Israel and America, the deal worked. This emphasis on nuclear weapons is important, but too narrow. The existence or non existence of nuclear weapons capability in Iran was simply a point at which powerful nations could reach consensus. It is easy for all of us to say “Iran is dangerous and should not have nukes”. This issue does not encapsulate the myriad objections to Iran’s role in the middle east, and the world.
Iran’s victory did not involve their enrichment capability. The truly significant achievements of the regime were Legitimacy, and Economic Stimulus. It has been a successful strategy for world superpowers to keep their club an exclusive one. When nations are led by violently oppressive figures or troublemakers with ancient grudges it is a perfectly appropriate use of one’s own “superpowers” to condemn such nations, preventing them from gaining economic and ideological legitimacy. We are justified in refusing to share our wealth and prosperity with an entity who promises to use it for evil purposes.
Possibly the greatest world crisis at this point is occurring in Syria. While Iran, even in its currently diminished capacity, is the primary sponsor behind Hezbollah and the Assad regime, The United States is the largest (by a shocking margin) contributor to the World Food Programme which struggles to feed millions of Syrian refugees, contributing 1.5B per year. Meanwhile, Iran does not conceal their desire to dominate the middle east, and ultimately the world, and in the midst of negotiating with us over nuclear proliferation (which remains the key basis for bargaining) Iran is steadily increasing its military capability, including long range non-nuclear missiles. The Iran Deal does nothing to curb non-nuclear military expansion.
The success or failure of the Iran deal, a deal which we strongly suspected was a foregone conclusion, does not hinge on whether or not Iran develops weapons now, or in 15 years. The measure instead should be the amount of damage a newly bolstered and legitimized regime can inflict upon the middle east, and the rippling effect on the world, still led, though reluctantly as of late, by the United States. Watch Hamas in the Gaza strip, where rockets are launched toward Ashkelon, and tunnels are dug into Israel to deliver committed terrorists so often that it rarely make the news anymore. Watch Hezbollah in Syria, Lebanon and Northern Israel. Watch the Houthi in Yemen. Anywhere there is an anti-democratic, islamic revolutionary movement in the middle east, you can be sure that Iran is providing weapons, training, and logistical support.
All attacks carried out or funded by this regime may be traced back to the legitimacy and prosperity we granted this regime, and our desire to sit at arms length with them. Our unwillingness to see the starkly obvious, that they do not want to be our friends, and they have no respect for our way of life or our position of leadership in the world, is proof of how far we have fallen, and how foolish we look by claiming to have slowed their progress while unleashing billions of dollars into their bloody coffers.
It’s a typical political hornswaggle. When constructing a legacy, it is not necessary to actually achieve a true strategic objective, as long as you define success narrowly. We must remember the lesson of 9/11/01, that it does not take a nuke to bring a superpower to its knees. And how quickly we forget Iran’s role in providing funding for that particular iconic attack. Considering Iran’s complicity with Al Qaeda and the last successful attack on American soil, and giving appropriate weight to the factor of legitimacy, has the “Iran Nuclear Deal” already failed?