Thursday, August 13

Obama's Iran deal

This is the first time I've discussed President Barack Obama's negotiations with Iran's government, which resulted in an agreement that he and his administration insist is wholly directed at slowing Iran's development of a nuclear weapon. Yet the agreement is so flawed and weighted toward the Iranian regime that even some of his supporters in the Democratic Party have been mystified about his eagerness to give away the store, which includes releasing more than $100bn to the regime.    

I see no mystery. Obama is applying the same strategy to dealing with the security situation in Iraq he tried out in Afghanistan:  find the biggest fiends you can to police a tough neighborhood.  

In the case of policing Afghanistan, it's been Pakistan's military. In Iraq, it's Iran's military.

Readers who closely follow both security situations might observe that the strategy hasn't been working out very well.  It works fine on a chessboard. That humans don't act like chess pieces I don't think is something Barack Obama is psychologically capable of fully grasping.  

But to blame him for a system of thinking that has dominated the U.S. defense establishment since the Cold War would be wrong. If one insists on fixing blame, it would be that democracy within a country is no guarantee the democratically elected government won't act in very authoritarian fashion when dealing with external situations. Obama's approach to peacekeeping in Afghanistan and Iraq is only the most naked illustration of the principle. He's deploying a brutal policing strategy with foreigners that he doesn't tolerate being used on Americans.

So in the final wash the Obama presidency is a profound morality tale. He promised Americans he would extricate them from military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's keeping his promise although at a price so horrific for peoples in the countries that 
only those with the strongest stomach can bear to look at it squarely.

But that, and not an American peace with Iran, is Obama's legacy. He's giving Americans what they wished for, and history will record that he did.

The other history, myth and parable, will record that people should be careful about what they wish for.


1 comment:

Madhu said...

So what's your solution? I don't think it's the same at all as the Pakistan situation.