‘One’s evaluation of the nuclear deal depends on how one understands the broader context of US-Iranian relations. There are potential pathways ahead that might not be all that bad. But I am pessimistic. I see the deal as a deceptively pleasant way station on the long and bloody road that is the American retreat from the Middle East.’
And he finishes with:
That, in sum, is the true price that we just paid for six months of seeming quiet on the nuclear front. It is price in prestige, which most Americans will not notice. It is also a price in blood. But it is not our blood, so Americans will also fail to make the connection between the violence and the nuclear deal. It is important to note, however, that this is just the initial price. Six months from now, when the interim agreement expires, another payment to Ayatollah Khamenei will come due. If Obama doesn’t pony up, he will have to admit then that he cut a bad deal now. So he we will indeed pay — through the nose.’
What are some consequences to our general retreat and diminished presence in the Middle-East?
This blog wants to get opposing views out there:
Charlie Hill, before the last election, suggested that if America doesn’t lead onto a new set of challenges that now face the West, then Europe surely isn’t capable of leading either. If we don’t strike out on our own as Truman did with bold leadership after World War II, we will end a generations long experiment in American exceptionalism. If we don’t lead, someone who doesn’t share our values, probably will.
Addition: How is this current deal like/unlike the Kissinger/Nixon back-channeled detente that broke new ground with the Chinese? How is it like/unlike the kind of commitments that Carter showed at Camp David with Sadat/Begin?
It’d be nice if this all worked out, and this blog would welcome this avenue towards a pursuit of our interests, but naturally, there’s a lot of warranted skepticism here.
Another Addition: A former CIA director calls it ‘the worst of all possible outcomes.‘ The Iranians have bought time, and maybe just a means to legitimize their nuclear ambitions even more.
From the Jerusalem Post, it’s looking like the right to enrich uranium in the first place is a sticking point. The clock is ticking, and many costs have already built up. Some Saturday Links On Iran-Peace At What Price?
So what are our interests and how do we secure them as the fires in the Middle-East rage? Michael Totten makes a case here in Why We Can’t Leave The Middle-East.’ He gets push-back in the comments