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.
3 thoughts on “Obama’s Iranian Initiative: Finally, Chutzpah”
Yes, this new “peace scare” in the “Middle East” (there must be a better term for this region!) has Mr. Netanyahu quite beside himself; apoplectic may even apply here. Voices are now being raised to scream: “Iran must NEVER be allowed to see through a uranium enrichment program!” This is a violation of the principle that a sovereign state has the right to choose its course without outside interference. There will be more trouble down the road stemming from this situation. There are two headlines on NY Times website today which make for an interesting contrast: A smallish headline declaring that Obama is shifting U.S. policy from military “solutions” to diplomacy; a larger headline, posted subsequent to first, indicates U.S. Air Force is flying B-52s in airspace that China claims to “control.” (I imagine this is related to Japanese-Chinese dispute about potential undersea oil deposits in the region.) Why fly those ancient B-52s for a deliberate provocation? Well, those were the aircraft that were kept constantly aloft, carrying nuclear weapons, during the Cold War, now weren’t they? There was also a recent article in NY Times about some new technology to be employed to further extend the usable lifespan of those particular planes. The military chafes at the idea of having toys they don’t get to use. Time will tell if Obama is at all sincere about leaving a legacy of being a peacemaker. He’s got a lot of work to do if he’s to earn that Nobel “retroactively”!!
Peace scare! We can’t have that. Oil prices are already dropping. And how can you sell billions in weaponry if peace comes? Unleash the B-52s. Drop some bunker-busting bombs. Give us something to cheer for. We may be sinking fast, but at least B-52s aren’t splattering our brains. See? It’s all OK.
This reply is from Harvey: “I have taken the same viewpoint and have made some people mad as hell.The US and the President have to take the stand that he has and take the heat for this breakthrough. I can understand the viewpoint of many Jews but they are in no position to negotiate a problem this big and the US is the only country that led the march toward a sensible solution. I believe Obama’s low ratings will improve once things settle down a bit. He still has two years to act as President!”