With its interim Iranian nuclear deal, the Obama Administration has finally shown a measure of Chutzpah. But can they stand the heat? Those who’ve read my previous posts and comments may have noticed that I am no fan of Obama or his two Secretaries of State. Nevertheless, I must admit that the decision to join China, Russia, and other signatories to an interim nuclear accord with Iran is the first major domestic or foreign policy decision that this administration has taken in five years in spite of predictable and vocal resistance from Republicans and “friends” of Israel.
Usually Obama and Company cave at the slightest sign of opposition, especially when the hardline American-Israeli lobby of AIPAC* is involved. This time around, they had to be dragged with a little kicking and screaming to the table but kudos to them!
Of course, the usual gunslingers will be circling the White House, hooting and hollering and shooting bullets in the air. They’ll be led by Bibi Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister, who’s already likened this interim deal with Iran to Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement pact with Adolf Hitler in 1938 that led to World War II. Hooting along with Bibi, of course, will be AIPAC (the American-Israel public affairs committee), joined by their sycophantic legislators, both Republicans and Democrats, bloviating about a “sellout” of Israel. (Ah! there goes the Jewish vote.)
Riding alongside this cowboy crew – and proving that politics does indeed make for strange bedfellows – will be the medieval Sunni rulers of Saudi Arabia who fear the growing power of the more modern Shia state of Iran. The Saudi royal family is even ready to do business with China to punish us for this “betrayal” of their archaic form of oppressing their citizens.
Eating dust instead of riding shotgun as they’d prefer will be a few of our own self-styled cowboys, neo-con and some military types who have long nurtured the vision of “bomb, bomb, bombing” Iran, as Senator John McCain once laughingly sang.
Switching metaphorical gears: In tacking against the bombast of McCain et al., this is the first time the Obama Administration has shown any backbone (or, as some might say, cojones) in dealing with potentially radioactive political fallout. I say, good for them. Keep it up. Let’s see if they can stay the course on this diplomatic tack and not succumb to Israeli and AIPAC pressure when the six month interim deal with Iran is renegotiated.
*PS. There is a more progressive Jewish lobby, jstreet.org, which supports a two-state solution and is not hawkish on Iran.