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Thursday, July 16, 2015

True to form, Obama bargains away our National Security in a vain search for a legacy.

Links: A.  CNN: Landmark treaty reached with Iran.
           B.  Fox News: Iran deal worse than expected.
           C.  Basics of 2010 New Start Treaty with Russia.

Earlier today, during a discussion regarding the Nuclear Treaty the Obama Administration and our European allies have crafted, I expressed my opposition.  Almost immediately, I was accused of being so opposed to the current Administration that my opinions had become very "predictable".  My reply to the young lady was to describe myself as "consistent", especially when discussing governments that openly export terrorism and are responsible for the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of U.S. soldiers.  As for my opposition to the Obama Administration, I can only speak from my personal life experience and my conscience.  I voted against Obama on both occasions, along with almost fifty percent of the rest of the country.  I don't feel isolated in my opposition to his policies, nor do I consider myself a radical.  Most importantly, I'm always prepared to back up my perspective with facts.

I have been patiently waiting for the 2016 Presidential Debates so I can hear Hillary Clinton's defense of the 2010 New Start Treaty negotiated and signed with Russia.  This treaty reduces our nuclear arsenal by one-third, while China and Russia are modernizing theirs.  I addition, the Obama Administration has delayed funding for ground-based interceptor (GBI) missile and radar sites that we promised to install in the Czech Republic and Poland.  This delay was the result of loud complaints from Russia regarding this proposed defensive capability.  Unbelievably, the Obama Administration has gone further and hinted at a willingness to unilaterally deactivate one-third of our nuclear arsenal, as behind-the-scenes discussions take place regarding the next round of U.S.-Russian arms talks.  All of this is taking place while Russia slowly swallows up big chunks of Ukraine, and laughs off our repeated attempts to "sanction" them into playing nicely.

The treaty that was hammered out yesterday by John Kerry, his European counterparts, and the Iranian delegation, is even worse than New Start.  A Republican Administration, backed by a Republican Congress, and take effective steps to roll-back the New Start Treaty or rewrite it altogether.  This treaty with Iran establishes so many precedents that will be impossible to reverse.  What are my problems with the treaty?  Lets start with the existing diplomatic environment.  Everyone in the room, including the cleaning man and the lady who refilled everyone's glasses, knew that Kerry was not allowed to leave empty-handed.  He had orders to make every concession necessary in order to secure the Obama Legacy.  Where is the proof to support this allegation?  Just look at the treaty: the Iranians got everything they wanted, and in return we received a few promises that re impossible to verify.  All of DC knew Kerry wasn't allowed to come home without a treaty, and I'm sure Tehran (and Qom) were just as clued-in.  That explains the continued delay after delay.  Sadly, in the end it was only the Iranian complaints that were addressed, as the verification process became so watered down as to make the Saddam Hussein inspection/verification regimen look respectable.

Early on in the negotiations, the Iranians demanded that the conversation be limited to the subject at hand, the nuclear issue.  This removed any chance that suffering families in the United States might get word regarding relatives that have been languishing in Iranian prisons, with no due process.  These are American citizens, and this is how imperative it was for Kerry to get an agreement.  From my optic, their lives don't matter to this Administration.  As an example of just how much carte blanche the Iranians had to rewrite the ground rules, the issue of conventional arms sales were added to the negotiations.  So the U.S. was not allowed to introduce the subject of American citizens in Iranian jails, but the Iranians were able to introduce the subject of sanctions on arms sales to Iran.  Not surprisingly, this issue was included in the final draft.  Sanctions on arms sales to Iran are to be lifted, as they continue to be the world's number one sponsor of international terrorism (Hezbollah, Houthis, etc.).  The Iranians were not required to renounce support for terror, or to join any existing agreement to not engage in weapons proliferation to places like Yemen, Libya, and Syria.

From my perspective, the worst part of the agreement was the controls put on verification.  If our inspectors want to visit an Iranian nuclear research facility, they have to submit the name of the location at least one month in advance.  Even then, there are clauses that allow the Iranians to delay the inspectors.  Even Saddam Hussein had it worse.  Another negative result: you can be sure that both the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia will become players in the nuclear arms race.  The royal families of the Persian Gulf are well-aware that they fall just below Israel on Iran's nuclear hit-list.  What a mess.

What happened to the days when we expected people to join the ranks of civility and common courtesy amongst nations before they are rewarded?  Wouldn't it have made sense to establish diplomatic relations first, before agreeing to this giveaway?  Monday, he government of Iran had as its official policy, the destruction of Iran.  As for the public policy, the streets were full on Monday of Iranians chanting "Death to America!"  I do not have the expertise or the space to provide a full review of the absolute crap that this treaty contains.  I respectfully ask everyone to read both B and C, to get an honest appreciation of how little our national security means to this Administration.  Amateur Hour in DC.   

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