Sunday, November 24, 2013

Matt 24 watch, 229f: Israel -- from PM Netanyahu on down -- responds to the just signed interim "deal" with Iran; historian Victor Davis Hanson sums up

Israel's leadership -- for cause -- have not minced words in response to the just signed deal with Iran.

Netanyahu (HT: PL):
Benjamin Netanyahu did not mince words about the deal President Obama has negotiated with Iran. The Israeli Prime Minister declared it “a historic mistake”. He added: “Today the world has become much more dangerous because the most dangerous regime in the world took a significant step to getting the most dangerous weapon in the world”.

Netanyahu explained that for the first time, the leading powers of the world have agreed to uranium enrichment in Iran. In addition, they have removed sanctions it took years to build up. All they received in exchange are “cosmetic Iranian concessions that are possible to do away with in a matter of weeks.”

Netanyahu emphasized that Israel is not bound by the deal. “I want to make it clear [that] Israel will not allow Iran to develop a military nuclear capability,” he stated.
Various Ministers (HT: TOI):
Top Israeli ministers harshly criticized the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers early Sunday, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman saying the agreement had shifted the status quo in the Middle East.

“This brings us to a new reality in the whole Middle East, including the Saudis. This isn’t just our worry,” he told Israel Radio. “We’ve found ourselves in a completely new situation.” 

When asked if this would lead to an Israeli military strike on Iran, Liberman said Israel “would need to make different decisions.”

Home Front Command Minister Gilad Erdan told Army Radio that it would now be more difficult for Israel to act for the duration of the six-month agreement.

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is responsible for monitoring Iran’s nuclear program, said there was no reason for the world to be celebrating. He said the deal, reached in Geneva early Sunday, is based on “Iranian deception and [Western] self-delusion.”

“Just like the failed deal with North Korea, the current deal can actually bring Iran closer to the bomb,” Steinitz said. “Israel cannot take part in the international celebrations based on Iranian deception and self-delusion.”
Historian and author, Victor Davis Hanson, sums up on the long view, in a NRO column, "Peace for our Time":
The Iranian agreement comes not in isolation, unfortunately. The Syrian debacle instructed the Iranians that the Obama administration was more interested in announcing a peaceful breakthrough than actually achieving it. The timing is convenient for both sides: The Obama administration needed an offset abroad to the Obamacare disaster, and the Iranians want a breathing space to rebuild their finances and ensure that Assad can salvage the Iranian-Hezbollah-Assad axis. The agreement is a de facto acknowledgement that containing, not ending, Iran’s nuclear program is now U.S. policy.

After all, to what degree would an Iranian freeze really retard development of a bomb, or simply put it on hold? . . .
He concludes:
 There is not a good record, from Philip of Macedon [--> the father of Alexander, who conquered the main Greek city states . . . ] to Hitler to Stalin in the 1940s to Carter and the Soviets in the 1970s to radical Islamists in the 1990s, of expecting authoritarians and thugs to listen to reason, cool their aggression, and appreciate democracies’ sober and judicious appeal to logic — once they sense in the West greater eagerness to announce new, rather than to enforce old, agreements.
James Jay Carafano is withering in his own NRO column, tellingly titled "Munich II":
The idealists’ assessment is delusional. They see a “freeze” as a confidence-building measure, the first step in disassembling Iran’s weapons program. But where there is freeze, there can also be a thaw. Nothing in this agreement prevents Iran from just picking up where it left off. Nothing in this agreement affects Iran’s effort to improve its long-range ballistic missiles. Nothing can stop Iran from continuing to work on how to weaponize (build a bomb suitable to be put on a missile) a nuclear device in secret. [--> They probably have Khan's designs in hand, which were on sale to all comers]

In return for getting precious little, the negotiators oppose Iran at the table gave up the one thing the mullahs really feared – a continuing squeeze on Tehran’s dwindling bank account.

The only “fact” offered so far to prove that the pact will lead to something other than a good deal for Iran is the blithe assurance that the deal was negotiated by really smart people who know what they are doing. 

After all . . .

The British think the deal with Iran makes sense. Then, again, it was a British government that believed Munich meant we could all get a good night’s sleep now.

The Russians laud the deal. But it was a government in Moscow that believed the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact solved all its problems.

Our White House likes this deal. But, our White House also thinks its policies in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and Syria have been just super.

The cold fact about the Iranian nuclear freeze is this: Any diplomatic deal that is not grounded in shared interests or a common sense of justice will surely fail. There is no evidence Iran shares either with the West. The negotiations with Iran bear too many similarities with the most spectacular failures in diplomatic history to leave any hope for optimism.

 In short, we have come to a grim time, one that -- absent a miracle -- is liable to end in blood and ashes. Where, one of the grimmer lessons of history is that we ever so often refuse to learn from its hard-bought lessons. (An even worse species of folly than the one skewered in the old saying that experience is a good teacher, but his fees are very dear; alas for fools, they will learn from none other. For, there are those who will not even learn from carefully preserved and passed on experience, which is what sound history is about.)  END