June 13, 2018

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Bad Iranian Deal Was Always Going to Get Worse.

The deal, after all, was a monstrosity born out of desperation for an Obama signature legacy. Or was it a product of an ahistorical, naïve, and therapeutic view of human nature — assuming that even theocrats and thugs view generosity as outreach to be reciprocated in kind rather than as abject proof of weakness to be exploited to the fullest? Or worse still, the deal was the manifestation of an unhinged view of the Middle East. For Obama, a revolutionary Shiite and Persian Iran was justified in seeking parity in the Middle East and attempting to carve out a legitimate sphere of influence. The ascendance of such an Iranian crescent, at least in the view of the Obama administration, would “check” the influence of both democratic Israel and the so-called more moderate authoritarian Sunni regimes in the Gulf and Egypt and Jordan. To believe in such a yarn, Obama would have to have believed either in some sort of dramatic and looming Iranian revolution to overthrow the mullahs, or an absurd theocratic enlightenment, or that whatever Iran did would not be as pernicious as what its enemies in the Middle East were doing. No matter: For all practical purposes, the U.S. after 2015 was a de facto partner of the Iranian regime and quite astonishingly assumed that the American-hating, anti-Semitic regime “could be a very successful regional power.”

Just think of them as Iranian intelligence agents with American security credentials, and you won’t go far wrong.