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November 23rd, 2013 - 8:48 pm

Tonight President Obama announced a deal with Iran to halt its progress towards nuclear weapons. Whether the deal accomplishes that is still unknown.

There is plenty of detail about the interim promises. Iran has promised to freeze its nuclear enrichment, and President Obama has decided to trust it by scaling back existing sanctions and undertaking not to reimpose them until Tehran has a chance to prove itself. But none of the detail is relevant to the underlying issue: whether the talks will curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions or merely serve as cover to advance them. Media coverage has been uncharacteristically cautious, oscillating between optimism and dire warnings that the agreement is but temporary and may in fact increase risks.  As MSNBC put it: Obama has a deal with with an untrusted party.

Those kinds of deals can be good news. They can also be bad news.

Obama himself characterized it as a first step. He was at pains to point out that the real deal that is supposed to inhibit Iran from nuclearizing is still in the future; that tonight’s agreement was but the first step on a ladder of uncertain height. In the metaphor of theater, Obama has raised the curtain, but is unable to say what the ending of the play will be.

There will of course be guesses. Some will argue that Obama made a pre-arranged deal with Iran that sells Israel out. Others will argue that Obama has seized an “historic opportunity” that will help Israel in spite of itself. What no one, either for or against, can dispute is that the package which Obama dramatically laid on the table is still unopened.

It’s still a box of mysteries, a delivery receipt on a future event. What does it contain?  A recipe for regional peace? Or does it conceal a ticking timebomb?

The dice are still in midair.

The regional powers will react based on the belief of its probable outcome even before the dice land. Tehran’s past behavior and the singular ineptitude of Obama in Middle Eastern politics make peace less than a sure thing.   Given what is at stake, nations of the region can hardly trust to Obama’s luck. Everyone — and that includes Iran — will hedge their bets.

What is interesting about Obama’s mystery box deal is it has the potential to both stabilize and destabilize the current situation.  Israel and Saudi Arabia are under particular pressure to make up their minds about whether to sign on. For the deal has set in train both a set of opportunities and dangers and the regional powers must be ready for either.

This deal is unlikely to convince the skeptics to get on board. If Obama wanted to encourage them to sign on, he might have provided more detail, more surety of its destination. But he himself cannot say. President Obama’s description of his “historic” deal was so bereft of detail it almost amounted to a full-page ad announcing that he had kicked the can down the road yet again.

For in truth Obama had to make two sales tonight: the obvious one to Iran and the less obvious one to the Gulf states and Israel.  He sold Iran nothing. Rather, he bought a promise from them and a process to revisit the whole issue in six months. He traded in Hope, which is always what he sells anyway. But in the past he mostly sold hope to dopes, and in this case his market is a regionful of cynics. They will be more discriminating. The actual product is little to be seen. The very vagueness of  his deal may actually militate against closing any deal with Israel and the Saudis.

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Top Rated Comments   
With everything he does, domestic or international, Obama brings to mind an old joke.

Late one afternoon two men board a Boeing 707 at LAX, bound for JFK airport in NY. The flight is supposed to take 3 hours.

An hour after takeoff the pilot announces they have shut one engine down as a precaution, but there is no danger, and they still have 3 good engines, and are continuing the flight to their original destination, but it will delay them an additional hour.

Two hours after takeoff the pilot makes a nearly identical announcement, another engine has been shut down as a precaution, and they are over the Midwest, where a massive snowstorm has shut down all airports, but not to worry, they still have 2 good engines and will continue on to JFK, but will be delayed an additional hour.

An hour later the pilot announces that they have had to shut down a third engine, and they have plenty of altitude and have a good tailwind as well as still one good engine, but they will be delayed in getting to JFK by an additional hour.

One of the men then turns to the other one and says, “Christ! If we lose that last engine, we’ll be up here all night!”

The Obama Admin thinks that losing engines just means that things will be delayed somewhat but they still will get to their desired destination.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
"But in those shabby years His Majesty's Governments believed that there were some things the country ought not to know, and that their policy of duplicity--which at times amounted to conspiracy--would be vindicated in the end. Chamberlain would be the scapegoat of appeasement, and before the year was out sackcloth would be his shroud, but he was only one of many. Baldwin, for example, bore a greater responsibility for weakening Britain's defenses while Hitler built his military juggernaut. The appeasers had been powerful; they had controlled The Times and the BBC; they had been largely drawn from the upper classes, and their betrayal of England's greatness would be neither forgotten nor forgiven by those who, gulled by the mystique of England's class system, had believed as Englishmen had believed for generations that public school boys governed best. The appeasers destroyed oligarchic rule which, though levelers may protest, had long governed well. If ever men betrayed their class, these were they.

Because their possessions were great, the appeasers had much to lose should the Red flag fly over Westminster. That was why they had felt threatened by the hunger riots of 1932. It was also the driving force behind their exorbitant fear and distrust of the new Russia. They had seen a strong Germany as a buffer against bolshevism, had thought their security would be strengthened if they sidled up to the fierce, virile Third Reich. Nazi coarseness, anti-Semitism, the Reich's darker underside, were rationalized; time, they assured one another, would blur the jagged edges of Nazi Germany. So, with their eyes open, they sought accommodation with a criminal regime, turned a blind eye to its iniquities, ignored its frequent resort to murder and torture, submitted to extortion, humiliation, and abuse until, having sold out all who had sought to stand shoulder to shoulder with Britain and keep the bridge against the new barbarism, they led England herself into the cold damp shadow of the gallows, friendless save for the demoralized republic across the Channel. Their end came when the House of Commons, in a revolt of conscience, wrenched power from them and summoned to the colors the one man who had foretold all that had passed, who had tried, year after year, alone and mocked, to prevent the war by urging the only policy which would have done the job. And now, in the desperate spring of 1940, with the reins of power at last firm in his grasp, he resolved to lead Britain and her fading empire in one last great struggle worthy of all they had been and meant, to arm the nation, not only with weapons but also with the mace of honor, creating in every English breast a soul beneath the ribs of death. "

The Last Lion
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Peccavimus

We have sinned.

There will be war. May the G-d of Israel shelter them. May the soldiers, sailors, and airmen of Israel strike true. And may our posterity forgive us what the regime has done in our name.

And in the previous threat discussing the Chinese declaration of an ADIZ over Japanese territory, I said:

>>>I think it is understood that Buraq Hussein will do nothing if Japanese forces or territory are attacked by China. What is not understood is what Japan will do. And that can range from going nuclear, to conventional and economic warfare, to surrender.

This is not an isolated matter however. You can be sure that just as Japan is watching the US for a response, they are also watching the Middle East for clues to US responses. If they decide that the US has abandoned Israel, they can reasonably conclude that they have already been abandoned by the US.

And similarly, Israel is surely watching what happens in the overlapping ADIZ's. For when Japan is abandoned, Israel can expect the same. Both crisis areas are now interconnected, and whichever happens first, will determine what happens in the other.

This is a level of complexity that is beyond the coping ability of the current regime. And it is comparable to say the "two body problem" in orbital mechanics; simple and solvable. We have more than one crisis coming to a head, both foreign and domestic. And just as the "three body problem" and the "n-body problem" are horrendously more complex, the interactions of these crises are functionally insoluble by the ideologically blindered true believers who have seized control of our country.<<<

Both Japan and Israel know as of tonight that the United States is not their ally, and is functionally their enemy.

Subotai Bahadur
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
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20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
As far as the "restraints" on Iranian nuclear enrichment; the President of Iran answered that in a nationwide broadcast:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/tehran-satisfied-with-nuclear-deal/2013/11/24/2836224e-5506-11e3-bdbf-097ab2a3dc2b_story.html

Money quote:

>>>"Iran’s new president, the moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani, said in a statement broadcast live on television Sunday morning....

Addressing concerns over the language in the agreement between the six world powers and Iran regarding Tehran’s ability to continue work on its nuclear program, Rouhani said, ***“Let anyone make his own reading, but this right is clearly stated in the text of the agreement that Iran can continue its enrichment, and I announce to our people that our enrichment activities will continue as before.”*** <<<

In addition to the assumptions that cfbleachers listed as conditions of belief in this treaty, we have to add

5) that when the President of Iran specifically and publicly repudiates the terms of the treaty within 24 hours of signing, that Americans are supposed to believe the regime's agit-prop as to what the Iranians really mean instead of their plain statements.

>>>CapnRusty
I would suggest that Netanyahu announce that Israel has re-targeted some of its nuclear missiles to Washington DC, Paris, London, Bejing, Moscow and Berlin, and that the missiles will launch if Israel is the target of any nuclear attack. If the world powers are willing to sacrifice Israel in order to enhance Mr Obama's poll numbers and ego, they need to be told that there are consequences.

Maybe not Paris; the French seem to be Israel's only ally.<<<

Israel's difficulty with that is the bulk of their missile force is IRBM's and simply do not have the range for such a targeting profile. Further, by so limiting the target list, it simplifies the SDI problem, which is pertinent in reference to the US and Russia.

The target for deterrent effect *does* have to be counter-value, but a cursory examination of the problem yields an efficient solution. The key point is how many Shavit space launchers are available. The Shavit is a Jericho II with an additional stage, and is powerful, reliable, and accurate enough [as shown by satellite launches] to be a countervalue ICBM. Three is the minimum number they need to deter the "great powers", but there are substitutes that could reduce that number.

>>>ErisGuy ...

How many minutes will pass after a nuclear bomb annihilates Tel Aviv before Tehran, Mecca, Medina, Riyadh, Cairo, Amman, Bagdad, Damascus, Istanbul, Algiers, Sana’a, (I’m tired of typing) are puddles of melted glass?<<<

If Israel strikes after being struck themselves, they are dead, AND if there are any survivors the "great powers" will finish them off. ALL the "great powers" governments are anti-semitic and anti-Israel and would not hesitate. That has to be factored into Israeli calculations. If Israel strikes FIRST and is not hit, there will possibly be more Israeli survivors, the "great powers" will still want to finish them off, and will attempt to do so unless deterred. Deterence *may* be possible. If it fails to deter strikes from the US, Russia, the EU states, and China plus Islamic remnants; Israel is no worse off than it was if it waited to be struck first. If it does successfully deter the "great powers", it is immeasurably better off and has a small chance to survive. So what sense does it make for Israel to wait?

The regime has created a world where if you are a minor power, or merely an independent state that wants to remain so; you now have tremendous incentives to develop a deliverable nuclear or other WMD deterrent against both any hostile neighbors AND against the "great powers". There is absolutely ZERO incentive to depend for survival on any framework of international agreements with larger states or supranational organizations that routinely betray their clients.

The Three Conjectures is now a subset of a larger problem. And the sands are running out of the hourglass for the Golden Hour.

Subotai Bahadur
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
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20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Agree wholeheartedly. But what about a flat trajectory launch from a medium range nuclear tipped missile from a submarine close off the coast of an adversary. There is, to my knowledge, no SDI capability that could deter it.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
As far as I know, the Israeli seaborne part of their triad is exclusively mounted on 5 relatively small German built "Dolphin" class conventional submarines. Nowhere near big enough to carry a ballistic missile. Each carries 4 POPEYE TURBO SLCM's with a reported range of 1500 km [1000 miles] with a 200kt warhead. Noting that the PT requires a 650mm diameter launch tube [4 of these on each sub, in addition to the 6-533mm tubes for conventional torpedoes] the capacity is strongly limited.

I wrote further, elsewhere, on this particular subject:

>>>As a student of such matters; I am pretty sure the 5 subs can carry 20 POPEYE TURBO SLCMs total. This presupposes a surge. If all 5 deploy simultaneously, that is a strategic indicator akin to a war warning. Thus, at least one will be at home on normal rotation, reducing their availability for the first wave of any Israeli SIOP. By the way, the 6th sub will not get there before things get kinetic, and thus probably will not be delivered by the Germans. And that is discounting the working up period post delivery and pre-operational capability.

While this would be more than sufficient to deal with Iran, it is naive to assume that if there is an attack [nuclear or conventional] that they will remain the sole combatants.

The 5 subs will surely have other strategic roles to fill with their SLCMs in such a case, in concert with the rest of the Israeli nuclear deterrent. Absent some barely conceivable work-arounds, after each fires its 4 PTs, it will have to be resupplied; either at base or from some at sea logistics source. And that pre-supposes taking the risk of having part of their nuclear stockpile deployed at sea, covertly. If that is discovered, it is also a war-warning for any adversary [not all of which are in the Middle East].

They have 20 rounds of SLCM, max, available in a first strike. And the Dar al-Islam is a target rich environment.<<<

There is the additional problem of a seaborne deterrent against the great powers after such a conflict. The US has the world's best ASW capacity. With only 5 targets, non-nuclear powered, that would have to be scattered around the world to reach their targets; they would be sunk by the US almost immediately.

Israel does have some missile early warning satellite capability. It would have to cover the entire world to avoid a great powers nuclear strike against Israel. There is a certain morbid logic involved when considering nuclear deterrence and warfighting.

Subotai Bahadur
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am an ASW guy (P-3 Orions) and while not current (by 20 years) with our ASW capability against submarines on battery, when I was flying, you had to wait until a diesel boat snorkeled to get a hyperbolic "fix" on the target.

Once the target sub detected you inbound, they pulled the plug, went silent, and gave you another "dynamic event" to track them. But back on battery, they became effectively "invisible." Some of us knew ways to transcend their "invisibility," but those tactics were never submitted to Advanced Tactical Discussions and remain, at least to my understanding, esoteric.

Yet, the best way to catch a submarine is with another submarine and even back then, I had no "need to know" how our nuclear sub strengths transcended to success against diesel adversaries. My only assumption is that our nukes "know" how to effectively deal with diesel boats and because I love my country, I cannot hope otherwise. Although, I must admit, that there are conditions where a "haymaker" delivered to the United States just might snap us out of the "dream quest" many of us are on. With some addicts, cold turkey is the only way.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry it took so long to get back to you, thought the thread was dead. Yes, the best way to kill a sub is another sub, and as quiet as the Dolphins are, our nukes would wipe them out fairly quickly, especially if they could be picked up at choke points.

>>> My only assumption is that our nukes "know" how to effectively deal with diesel boats<<<

and nukes. Soviet boomers mostly operated in very defended bastion areas near Soviet ports. On the rare occasion that they tried an at-sea patrol, they had one of our attack boats in their baffles right smartly. Just as a note in passing, you can hear when missile or torpedo tubes are flooded for launch.

Subotai Bahadur
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
TRUST BUT VERIFY – Ronald Reagan

Some say that in Barack we trust
While others say confirm we must
Yet others scoff it’s all a pack of lies
Iran has got just what it wants
They fooled again Barack the dunce
They’ve just advanced the time Israel dies
Well not so fast supporters say
The president has saved the day
The peace that we all seek will be the prize
And all the while Obama preens
He’s master of the ends and means
Believe him and don’t trust your lyin’ eyes

21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
'.. bereft of detail..' - Mr. Fernandez those 3 words sum up our Nowhere Man President.

The MSM, 'progressives' TRIED selling this ideologically-functioning moron as an 'intellect', 'Christian', 'bipartisan', 'positive reformer' etc etc

Yet the more we peeled the onion of this unimpressive grifter, racialist the more disgusted Ive become with fellow Americans not seeing through this AA/EEO conman's B S.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama sold Iran nothing? Now wait. The economic benefit to Iran is about 9 billion; that will enable them to enrich not only their economy but also their network of control in the ME - and - won't stop, hinder, lessen, inhibit, any ability to develop their own nuclear power and weapons. In fact, the economic input will strengthen that agenda.

What did Obama get in return? Heh - a diversion from the fury over Obamacare, from the relentless GOP attacks about his Benghazi fiasco, from the image of him scuttling away with a Russian tail between his legs in Syria...to an image of The Great One. Oh, and a further kick in the pants to Israel, a nation whom Obama has over and over and over, insulted, derided and actually harmed, since he took office.

And, a sidekick to the Clintons, who dared to insult The One, by dissing his health care rhetoric (hey, Obama, keep your promises!), and showing the finger to Hillary, the Benghazi wreck Secretary of State.

A win-win situation? Well, yes for those two used-car dealers, except for the world, except for the MENA, except for Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, and all others who are concerned about the Iranian off-stated agenda of imperial control of the MENA.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would suggest that Netanyahu announce that Israel has re-targeted some of its nuclear missiles to Washington DC, Paris, London, Bejing, Moscow and Berlin, and that the missiles will launch if Israel is the target of any nuclear attack. If the world powers are willing to sacrifice Israel in order to enhance Mr Obama's poll numbers and ego, they need to be told that there are consequences.

Maybe not Paris; the French seem to be Israel's only ally.

21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
TV Tropes refers to this as the Samson Option.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/TheSamsonOption

If you're familiar with the Old Testament story it certainly "rhymes", as Mark Twain would say.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
The oddly apt name of the movie star who played Samson in the H'wood flic: Victor Mature
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Richard, we had to sign the deal to find out what was in it.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obozo is far more wicked, duplicitous, devious, and back-stabbing than a Neville Chamberlain. Obozo fills me with disgust -- and to think this thing is president. All decent Americans should be utterly ashamed.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
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