It’s no surprise that Mr. Krauthammer sums up the recent agreement with Iran nicely: (emphasis added)
“The only reason Iran has come to the table after a decade of contemptuous stonewalling is that economic sanctions have cut so deeply — its currency has collapsed, inflation is rampant — that the regime fears a threat to its very survival.
Nothing else could move it to negotiate. Regime survival is the only thing the mullahs value above nuclear weapons. And yet precisely at the point of maximum leverage, President Obama is offering relief in a deal that is absurdly asymmetric: The West would weaken sanctions in exchange for cosmetic changes that do absolutely nothing to weaken Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.
Don’t worry, we are assured. This is only an interim six-month agreement to “build confidence” until we reach a final one. But this makes no sense. If at this point of maximum economic pressure we can’t get Iran to accept a final deal that shuts down its nuclear program, how in God’s name do we expect to get such a deal when we have radically reduced that pressure?
A bizarre negotiating tactic. And the content of the deal is even worse. It’s a rescue package for the mullahs.
It widens permissible trade in oil, gold and auto parts. It releases frozen Iranian assets, increasing Iran’s foreign-exchange reserves by 25 percent while doubling its fully accessible foreign-exchange reserves. Such a massive infusion of cash would be a godsend for its staggering economy, lowering inflation, reducing shortages and halting the country’s growing demoralization. The prospective deal is already changing economic expectations. Foreign oil and other interests are reportedly preparing to reopen negotiations for a resumption of trade in anticipation of the full lifting of sanctions.”
Full article here
Below is today’s column by Mr. Krauthammer’s.
Only thing added by me is emphasis. It is worth the 90 seconds it will take you to read.
The search, now 30 years old, for Iranian “moderates” goes on. Amid the enthusiasm of the latest sighting, it’s worth remembering that the highlight of the Iran-contra arms-for-hostages debacle was the secret trip to Tehran taken by Robert McFarlane, President Reagan’s former national security adviser. He brought a key-shaped cake symbolizing the new relations he was opening with the “moderates.”
We know how that ended.
Three decades later, the mirage reappears in the form of Hassan Rouhani. Strange résumé for a moderate: 35 years of unswervingly loyal service to the Islamic Republic as a close aide to Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khamenei. Moreover, Rouhani was one of only six presidential candidates, another 678 having been disqualified by the regime as ideologically unsound. That puts him in the 99th centile for fealty.
Rouhani is Khamenei’s agent but, with a smile and style, he’s now hailed as the face of Iranian moderation. Why? Because Rouhani wants better relations with the West.
Well, what leader would not want relief from Western sanctions that have sunk Iran’s economy, devalued its currency and caused widespread hardship? The test of moderation is not what you want but what you’re willing to give. After all, sanctions were not slapped on Iran for amusement. It was to enforce multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding a halt to uranium enrichment.
Yet in his lovey-dovey Post op-ed, his U.N. speech and various interviews, Rouhani gives not an inch on uranium enrichment. Indeed, he has repeatedly denied that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons at all. Or ever has. Such a transparent falsehood — what country swimming in oil would sacrifice its economy just to produce nuclear electricity that advanced countries such as Germany are already abandoning? — is hardly the basis for a successful negotiation.
But successful negotiation is not what the mullahs are seeking. They want sanctions relief. And more than anything, they want to buy time.
It takes about 250 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in August that Iran already has 186 kilograms. That leaves the Iranians on the threshold of going nuclear. They are adding 3,000 new high-speed centrifuges. They need just a bit more talking, stalling, smiling and stringing along of a gullible West.
Rouhani is the man to do exactly that. As Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator between 2003 and 2005, he boasted in a 2004 speech to the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council, “While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in parts of the [uranium conversion] facility in Isfahan. . . . In fact, by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work in Isfahan.”
Such is their contempt for us that they don’t even hide their strategy: Spin the centrifuges while spinning the West.
And when the president of the world’s sole superpower asks for a photo-op handshake with the president of a regime that, in President Obama’s own words, kills and kidnaps and terrorizes Americans, the killer-kidnapper does not even deign to accept the homage.Rouhani rebuffed him.
Who can blame Rouhani? Offer a few pleasant words in an op-ed hailing a new era of non-zero-sum foreign relations, and watch the media and the administration immediately swoon with visions of detente.
Detente is difficult with a regime whose favorite refrain, fed to frenzied mass rallies, is “Death to America.” Detente is difficult with a regime officially committed, as a matter of both national policy and religious duty, to the eradication of a U.N. member state, namely Israel. It doesn’t get more zero-sum than that.
But at least we have to talk, say the enthusiasts. As if we haven’t been talking. For a decade. Strung along in negotiations of every manner — the EU3, the P5+1, then the final, very final, last-chance 2012 negotiations held in Istanbul, Baghdad and Moscow at which the Iranians refused to even consider the nuclear issue, declaring the dossier closed. Plus two more useless rounds this year.
I’m for negotiations. But only if it’s to do something real, not to run out the clock as Iran goes nuclear. The administration says it wants actions, not words. Fine. Demand one simple proof of good faith: Honor the U.N. resolutions. Suspend uranium enrichment and we will talk.
At least that stops the clock. Anything else amounts to being played.
And about the Khamenei agent who charms but declares enrichment an inalienable right, who smiles but refuses to shake the president’s hand. When asked by NBC News whether the Holocaust was a myth, Rouhani replied: “I’m not a historian. I’m a politician.”
Iranian moderation in action.
And, by the way, do you know who was one of the three Iranian “moderates” the cake-bearing McFarlane dealt with at that fateful arms-for-hostage meeting in Tehran 27 years ago? Hassan Rouhani.
We never learn.
That’s the image I get. The kid who thinks they have disappeared.
That and clicking the heels and foolishly expecting something to happen.
Newest column by Mr. Krauthammer on the arrogance and ignorance of the chief empty suit.
Mr. Krauthammer writes a fact filled, honest article this week about the mess in the WH.
This presidential election makes me nervous. We need so desperately for the incumbent to lose this election. The “we” is our nation’s present and future. This isn’t about mere partisan politics this is about ending a totally destructive direction and approach that the incumbent has forced our nation into.
Mr. Krauthammer’s newest column which is titled “The Choice” in it he shares with the reader the historical perspective of this election.
While Noonan’s recent article is good and in most ways accurate she missed another part of the story which is in the debate America and the world saw the chief empty suit without the huge mechanism of liberal spin – the MSM – being the mechanism that delivers, buffers and spins the arrogant and belligerent novice’s rhetoric and philosophy. Please note how the facilitator of the last two debates was a topic/subject matter churned and swirled by the MSM leading up to each debate as well as following the event. A planned disruption and scapegoat needed to be readied in the event that the president once again showed up as himself. The MSM was the overwhelming catalyst that swept this novice into the chief office of the US government – people need to not forget that as well as understand that.
Noonan’s article “When Americans Saw the Real Obama” is well worth reading.
Link to Krauthammer’s most recent article “Obama stoops, doesn’t conqueror” is a good commentary on the third debate.
At this moment I am not certain who is going to win the election. My gut wants to say Romney but the unethical immoral shenanigans that Obama/Democrats will deploy so as to not lose, alarm me. The threats of violence and rioting if he loses also makes me sick because that is NOT THE WAY civilized responsible people should behave. Remember how things played out when Gore lost to Bush? I think we will experience a collective/mass episode of deja vu in a couple weeks.
Mr. Krauthammer’s article this week.
By Charles Krauthammer, Published: October 11
No mystery about the trajectory of this race. It was static for months as President Obama held a marginal lead. Then came the conventions. The Republicans squandered Tampa; the Democrats got a 3- to 4-point bounce out of Charlotte.
Democrats are shellshocked and left searching for excuses. Start with scapegoats: the hapless John Kerry, Obama’s sparring partner in the practice debates, for going too soft on the boss; then the debate moderator for not exerting enough control.
The Obama campaign’s plea that the commander in chief could find no shelter under Jim Lehrer’s desk did not exactly bolster Obama’s standing. Moreover, the moderator’s job is not to control the flow of argument, but to simply enforce an even time split.
Lehrer did. In fact, Obama took more time than Romney — 41 / 2 minutes more — while actually speaking 500 fewer words. Romney knew what he thought and said it. Obama kept looking around hoping for the words to come to him. They didn’t.
After the scapegoats came the excuses.
●Obama had a bad night. He was off his game.
Nonsense. This is Obama’s game. Great at delivering telepromptered addresses to adoring Germans and swooning students. But he’s not very good on his feet.
His problem is that he doesn’t think so. He not only believes his own press, he believes his own mythology. He actually said (in 2007): “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And . . . I’m a better political director than my political director.”
Obama is a man of considerable intelligence. But he’s not half as transcendently smart as he thinks he is.
He needs a servant in his chariot reminding him that he’s not an immortal. Of course, after the debate the entire Democratic Party told him he’s a dud. Wrong again. He’s neither lord nor commoner. He’s just an above-average politician who needs a very good night in one of the next two debates.
●He was weighed down by the burdens of office.
Ah yes, the burdens of office. Like going on “The View” while meeting with not a single foreign leader at the United Nations. Like flying to a Vegas campaign rally the day after a U.S. consulate is sacked and the ambassador murdered. Like rushing off to New York for a night with Jay-Z and Beyonce.
Rocky Mountain altitude is a better excuse than that. (Thank you, Al Gore.)
Stephanie Cutter and David Axelrod both said (amazing coincidence) that Romney won on “style points.”
So, the most charismatic politician since Pierre Elliot Trudeau was beaten by an android — on style? I concede that Obama’s reaction shots were awful. But he lost on radio too. And in print. Read the transcript. This wasn’t about appearances. Romney didn’t win on style. He won on an avalanche of substance, on a complete takedown of six months of Obama portraying Romney as enemy of the middle class, friend and footman of the rich.
That was the heart of the Obama campaign. After all, with crushing debt, chronically high unemployment and the worst economic recovery since World War II, Obama can’t run on stewardship. Nor on the future. He has no serious agenda. Nothing on entitlements, nothing on tax reform, nothing on debt, nothing on the fiscal cliff.
So when Romney completely deflated that six-month “kill Romney” strategy — by looking reasonable, responsible, authoritative in demonstrating how his policies would help the middle class by stimulating economic growth — what did Obama have left?
Big Bird. The stupidest ad in memory. Has any president ever run an ad so small and trivial? After an unprecedented shellacking in a debate about very large issues, this is his response?
An inspiring second-term agenda: subsidies for Big Bird and free contraceptives for Sandra Fluke.
Obama has two debates to come up with something better. If he can’t, he will double down on his “Romney the menace” line. It might still work. But a word of advice: Your administration having prevaricated unceasingly.