Susan Rice, the brilliant geo-political strategist who, as part of Team Obama, gave the world the infection of ISIS and botching of Benghazi says in the New York Times that abandoning the Iran Deal is “Trump’s most foolish decision yet.” That alone is almost enough to convince most conservatives it was the right move.
Any remaining doubts disappeared when she added: “The Iran deal has worked as intended.”
And that, of course, was the problem.
Iranian soldiers on the ground in Syria. Iranian weapons used against Israel. Iranian technicians testing ballistic missiles. And Iranian mullahs and their jackboots in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, all flush with American cash. President Obama did all that on purpose.
“But it was worth all that to stop the Iranian nuclear program,” Obama defenders argue. Or rather they did, until Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that Iran could restart enriching uranium “without any limitations” in just a few weeks.
Because under the deal, Iran still has some uranium, they still have the equipment and—as the Israelis proved with the paperwork stash they (ahem) “liberated” from inside Tehran—they still have the technical know-how.
As Ray Takeyh of the Council of Foreign Relations put it in Politico, this deal “essentially put Iran on a legal glide path to the bomb.” It “allows Iran to design and construct advanced centrifuges” and “effectively modernize its nuclear infrastructure while adhering to the agreement.”
With the deal, Iran got cash and investments while it worked slowly toward the bomb. Without the deal, Iran goes broke and risks economic unrest at home as works more quickly toward the bomb. That is, if they choose to.
Interestingly, so far they haven’t. Why are they hesitating?
They could hold a public centrifuge spin with “Death to America” banners this weekend. But instead, they’re being cautious.
The same with North Korea. Remember when the missiles were flying over Japan and the nuke tests were rumbling through the Korean mountains?
Today we’re getting solicitous talk, and American hostages, from the Kim regime. The #NuclearNoKo problem, which we were told repeatedly during the Obama years was intractable, seems to be, er, “tracting.”
Is this what happens when a U.S. president remembers he’s the leader of the most powerful country in the world? When he stops apologising and starts acting like most of these threats come from nations who need us - our economy, our power, our friendship - far more than we need them?
Nobody is arguing that President Trump has solved the problems of North Korea and Iran. All he’s done is end Obama-era policies promoted by Susan Rice and John Kerry that was making them worse.
The power was always there—even when Susan Rice was in the White House. All that was needed was a president willing to use it.
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