TOC Ready Room 10 March 2022: NFZs, convoys, and Iran follies, oh my

What’s wrong and right with the world; Russia-, Ukraine-, and Iran-wise.

Keeping it short and sweet for now, as things keep updating on the long-running Phase II of the “IT in Russiagate” topic.  The first subject in today’s Ready Room grab-bag is the no-fly zone proposal for Ukraine.

It’s a bad idea.  All I will do here is copy in an email sent earlier with my reflections on the matter.  They were forwarded in response to a piece by former Senator Joe Lieberman in the Wall Street Journal (apologies for the paywall).

The email text: Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 10 March 2022: NFZs, convoys, and Iran follies, oh my”

Verify-ish: What if Obama’s standard for Iran were applied to other policy issues?

Peace in our time.

In homies we trust. (Image: IRNA via Gatestone Institute)
In homies we trust. (Image: IRNA via Gatestone Institute)

Sometimes a comparison is the best way to illustrate a point.

Suppose, after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri a year ago, the Obama administration had decided – as it in fact did – that the Ferguson police and courts needed to be investigated for their history of law enforcement practices.

But instead of the Obama Justice Department conducting an investigation itself, the federal government called in a third party to negotiate an agreement with the city of Ferguson as to how it would be investigated.

Applying the “Iran verification” standard to the issues of policing in American cities, the U.S. Justice Department would have relied on an “independent” third party – one without any legal authority, and only there at the sufferance of Ferguson – to come up with a plan of its own to investigate the city’s police department. Continue reading “Verify-ish: What if Obama’s standard for Iran were applied to other policy issues?”

Iranian officials: Obama offered big concessions in secret talks with Iran in 2011-12

Peace in our time.

Obama MunichThere has been a persistent thread of reporting in Western media about secret contacts between the Obama administration and the Iranian regime, going back for years before the formal P5+1 negotiations that opened in 2013.

But there hasn’t been much explicit information on the content discussed in the secret meetings.  If the statements made in passages translated by MEMRI are valid – excerpts from speeches and Iranian media interviews with top officials – the reason for that is obvious.  According to the Iranians quoted, the Obama administration planned from the outset to give away the major bargaining points.

MEMRI says a full translation has yet to be completed, so we must wait on that for a more extended discussion.  But here are some highlights Continue reading “Iranian officials: Obama offered big concessions in secret talks with Iran in 2011-12”

Complete unraveling: Top 5 reasons why the non-deal agreement with Iran is bad

Such a time as this.

Obama MunichThese are the top five other than the fact that it’s not a deal; it’s a surrender.  The West has agreed to lift the sanctions on Iran.  Iran has not agreed to give up anything she needs to acquire a bomb, or cease any of her aggressive behavior (e.g., arming and training Hezbollah and Hamas, fighting wars in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen).  Not one of these things – not one – is a measure of performance Iran will actually have to demonstrate to get the sanctions lifted.

1. The agreement paves Iran’s path to the bomb. The only question about Iran and the bomb now is when Iran will get it. If Iran adheres to the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement (link to full text here), she will retain the means, and improve the expertise, to build nuclear weapons throughout the next 10 years.  She would wait for that 10 years to pass, however, before enriching enough uranium to test a warhead and stockpile weapons. Continue reading “Complete unraveling: Top 5 reasons why the non-deal agreement with Iran is bad”

Nuke talks: Why Iran doesn’t need or want an actual deal

Peace in our time.

Obama MunichThere have been some excellent editorial pieces written in the past week on the nuclear negotiations in Vienna.  As is to be expected, given that the “deal” gets worse by the day, they are uniformly pessimistic; see Melanie Phillips, for example (apologies for the paywall), along with Charles Krauthammer and Joseph Klein.

Informative articles raise troubling questions about any potential “deal,” like “The Secret Side of the Iran Nuclear Deal” (Eli Lake and Josh Rogin).  Clauses in the “deal” that will never be made public are not a reassuring feature.

That’s especially the case when Obama and Kerry are claiming that they are ready to walk away from a bad deal, while at the same time the Obama administration is preparing to put intense political pressure on Democrats – calling up a Soros-funded dark money group, in fact, as an arm-twister – to back Obama’s play.  Administrations don’t usually anticipate having to put political guns to people’s heads for good deals. Continue reading “Nuke talks: Why Iran doesn’t need or want an actual deal”