Two rotten deals going down....
As Israeli voters go to the polls, US warplanes aid Iran. . . .
But what Assad mainly knows is that he is one of the prime beneficiaries of the administration’s outreach to Iran. Among the less-remarked effects of our nuclear diplomacy with Iran is that it has proceeded in concert with Iran’s recent power plays in Yemen and Iraq. That’s not an accident: An administration terrified that a letter from a freshman U.S. senator will blow up its frangible nuclear negotiations is not about to oppose Tehran’s efforts to be a “very successful regional player,” as Mr. Obama recently put it.
That’s especially so when the argument can be spun that Iran and its proxies are doing our Mideast dirty work. Why put boots on the ground in Yemen to fight al Qaeda when the Iranian-backed Houthis are doing it for us? Why stop Qasem Soleimani—Iran’s very own Erwin Rommel, minus the decency—from directing ground operations against Islamic State in Tikrit while American airstrikes hit ISIS’s supply lines?
And why get in the way of Assad as he mops up what’s left of a decent opposition to his tyranny? When staying out of it is the main objective of U.S. foreign policy, it’s easy to find the silver lining in the cloud of a blasted barrel bomb.
Assad knows this too. The strategy of America’s enemies in the Middle East has always been to give us painful reasons to stay out, while America’s friends try to figure out how to keep us in. . . .
In truth, the save-Assad outcome has been baked in the geostrategic cake since at the end of August 2013 the U.S. invited the Russians into Syria to help destroy Assad's chemical weapons arsenal. The price for even partial help--which is at most what we got, as stocks persist--was that Russia's top Mideast lackey, Assad, be kept in power in Damascus.
In a recent WaPo editorial Joshua Muravchik offers a sharper Iran option: war against Iran. He argues, as to objections to our mounting an air campaign against Iran's nuclear facilities:
Wouldn’t an attack cause ordinary Iranians to rally behind the regime? Perhaps, but military losses have also served to undermine regimes, including the Greek and Argentine juntas, the Russian czar and the Russian communists.
Wouldn’t destroying much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure merely delay its progress? Perhaps, but we can strike as often as necessary. Of course, Iran would try to conceal and defend the elements of its nuclear program, so we might have to find new ways to discover and attack them. Surely the United States could best Iran in such a technological race.
Much the same may be said in reply to objections that airstrikes might not reach all the important facilities and that Iran would then proceed unconstrained by inspections and agreements. The United States would have to make clear that it will hit wherever and whenever necessary to stop Iran’s program. Objections that Iran might conceal its program so brilliantly that it could progress undetected all the way to a bomb apply equally to any negotiated deal with Iran.
Yes, JM notes, Iran would retaliate. But we could retaliate against them in such event.
Bottom Line. President Obama continues his utterly perverse strategy of courting mortal enemies whilst alienating real friends. The butcher's bill will eventually be paid by America and its disillusioned allies.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, National Security, Foreign Policy, WMD, Nuclear Proliferation, Homeland Security, Conservative Politics