I’ll be the first person to admit how little I know about foreign affairs. I often think we have entirely too much involvement in the affairs of other countries and want America to be left alone. We need to tend to our own rat killing and for the most part, allow other countries to do the same. That doesn’t mean we can not collaborate on certain issues, but I lean more than a little libertarian in my view of foreign affairs. Having said that, there are times when we have to stand by our allies, and we have a strong history of doing just that.
Let me state here, unequivocally, that I consider Israel to be one of our most important allies. The reasons I believe so strongly about Israel would be the subject of a different post, but suffice it to say, I am on their side in most of the actions they undertake to protect their homeland and the people who live there. I might also point out, that protection extends to Jews and Arabs alike.
Israel has not had an easy time of making their little country work. Their enemies abound on every side, with more than a few of them openly stating their goal is the destruction of Israel. The most notable of these enemies is Iran. The Iranian constitution calls for the destruction of the Zionist regime, meaning Israel. Keep that in mind as we move forward with this post.
From the beginning of Barack Obama’s first term in the White House, there have been many questions about his feelings towards Israel. His relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu has been strained, to say the least. Obama wants Netanyahu to toe the line he has drawn, but the Israeli Prime Minister is stubborn on that account. As with most Israeli leaders, his primary concern is the security of Israel. If that happens to not fall into line with the interests of whomever happens to be President of America, then so be it. Israel is like that, you see. They want nothing more than to be left alone and to be allowed to protect themselves from their enemies. That’s probably a result of suffering the deaths of six million plus Jews in World War II. But, I digress.
President Obama has played nicety nice with Iran since the election of Hassan Rouhani in June of this year. In spite of Benjamin Netanyahu’s warning about the man, this nicety nice has continued. In spite of Iran’s open declaration that Israel should be destroyed, Obama seems to be on best terms with Hassan Rouhani. In spite of an accelerated Iranian nuclear program, as well as the history of Hassan Rouhani as principle negotiator who has admitted lying about his country’s nuclear ambitions, Obama continues his efforts to befriend the man.
This is what the rest of us see in the public view. What you may not know is what has gone on behind the scenes. While browsing through some of my morning reading, I discovered this on Poor Richard’s News. The Obama administration has been quietly lifting the sanctions that were put in place to limit Iran’s ability to obtain the nuclear capability it so much desires. In spite of his rhetoric that the sanctions would not be lifted without a deal with Iran to limit or stop its nuclear program, that is exactly what President Obama has been doing since June.
The Daily Beast - The Obama administration began softening sanctions on Iran after the election of Iran’s new president in June, months before the current round of nuclear talks in Geneva or the historic phone call between the two leaders in September.
While those negotiations now appear on the verge of a breakthrough the key condition for Iran—relief from crippling sanctions—began quietly and modestly five months ago.
A review of Treasury Department notices reveals that the U.S. government has all but stopped the financial blacklisting of entities and people that help Iran evade international sanctions since the election of its president, Hassan Rouhani, in June.
You should read the rest of the article to learn how this blacklisting works. President Obama and his administration is denying the sanctions have been lifted, but the proof is hard to ignore.
Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, an organization that has worked closely with Congress and the administration on devising the current Iranian sanctions, said the slow pace of designations was only one kind of sanctions relief Obama has been offering Iran.
“For five months, since Rouhani’s election, the United States has offered Iran two major forms of sanctions relief,” Dubowitz said. “First there’s been a significant slowdown in the pace of designations while the Iranians are proliferating the number of front companies and cutouts to bust sanctions.”
The second kind of relief Dubowitz said the White House had offered Iran was through its opposition to new Iran sanctions legislation supported by both parties in Congress.
By Dubowitz’s estimates, Iran is now selling between 150,000 and 200,000 barrels of oil per day on the black market, meaning that Iran has profited from the illicit sale of over 35 million barrels of oil since Rouhani took office, with little additional measures taken by the United States to counter it.
Sounds like Obama decided to enter the Persian nuclear bazaar to haggle with the masters of negotiation and has had his head handed to him,” Dubowitz said.
There are a couple of viewpoints I could take on this. I know a lot of people believe President Obama is naive and very much in over his head with the Presidency. I have held that view before and I’m not sure I have completely abandoned it. Some of the actions he has taken since moving into the White House makes me wonder just how smart he really is.
On the other hand, I often wonder if Obama isn’t one of the most calculating presidents we have ever elected. He has a certain agenda and he seldom deviates from it. We have witnessed this, firsthand, with the advent of Obamacare. It seemed to be the number one priority of his first term. His second term is being devoted to its implementation, among other things. He has already shown he has no qualms about lying to the American people, if doing so furthers his agenda.
Remember the message Obama gave to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to deliver to Vladimir Putin? He specifically told him he would have more flexibility after the 2012 election was over and he had his second term. At the time, we all thought he was talking about the missile defense program. I am beginning to believe there was much more flexibility implied than we first believed.
The country who is arguably our most important ally in the world, especially in the Middle East, is facing the threat of being annihilated by Iran. Over and over, our government has declared Iran should not be allowed to gain the capability of nuclear weapons. The sanctions were put into place, not only to prevent that from happening, but to also put Iran in a place to be willing to make real concessions in their nuclear program. And now, because President Obama is feeling good about Iran and its new President, he is undoing the sanctions that have done the job they were designed to do.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest President Obama believes he is the smartest man in any room. He is has a reputation for not listening to his briefings or his advisers. (Unless it happens to be Valarie Jarrett.) There is one of two scenarios playing out between the Obama administration and Iran. Either President Obama really believes he has the upper hand with Hassan Rouhani and Iran, or he is willingly enabling their nuclear program.
If it is the latter, then the man is even more dangerous than I thought. If it is the first, then Obama needs to listen to people like Benjamin Netanyahu. He has had experience with Iran and its leaders. He knows they can not be trusted to tell the truth. Either way, the Middle East is about to get a lot more complicated. By design or by accident, it doesn’t really matter. I would suggest Israel start looking over their shoulder when an official from the Obama administration tells them to trust what we are doing. They may find they already have tire tracks on their back from the bush Obama is driving.