By Hugh Ash
AT around 5 am this time last week, when the various parties yawned their way through the obligatory photo-shoot after the night-long charade that passed as ‘nuclear peace talks’ in Geneva, who had the most to smile about?
It was a no-contest, because the jubilant grins, lit up like a torchlight procession of skiers descending a Swiss Alp, all belonged to the Iranians.
And the biggest winner wasn’t even there. The crafty, turbaned 74-year-old, Ali Khamenei, a religious fanatic who styles himself Supreme Leader, was sitting several thousand miles away in Tehran, no doubt stroking his beard, eyes agleam at how the UN-anointed delegation of pliant diplomats, the P5+1, could be so easily conned.
After a decade of deceit, deception and time-wasting, the world’s premier purveyor of terror had won the most decisive war of words with the West since Hitler convinced Neville Chamberlain back in 1938 his intentions towards Czechoslovakia were entirely honourable and pigs could fly.
So, following the shameful Munich Pact, say hello to the great Geneva ‘giveaway’. And, replacing the plucky Czechs, insert Israel, Saudi Arabia and most Sunni Muslim states, including Jordan and Egypt – in fact, all the West’s Middle East allies, who’ll be the first fall-guys in Obama’s gamble on appeasing a rogue state that doesn’t even bother to hide an ambition to extend its headbanging hegemony across the world’s powder keg.
No surprise, then, that the bunting also went up throughout the Islamic Republic’s vassal states: Iraq, where Shiite lackeys suppress Sunnis, Christians and Kurds; Syria, where Iranian arms and manpower underwrite the repellent Assad mafia; and Lebanon, indirectly ruled by Iran via its cutthroat proxies, Hezbollah.
Oh, and let’s not forget how it was hailed as a triumph by those woolly-minded bien pensants, the trusting Left-leaners, who’d give Beelzebub a free pass for inventing the Seven Deadly Sins. If they’re clapping, you know something’s gone badly pear-shaped. So what precisely is the much-trumpeted deal that’ll prelude ‘peace in our time’ and had the Iranians believing they were floating on a Persian carpet to nuclear paradise, after a decade of biting sanctions?
From its narrow perspective, they insist it entitles them to continue developing dubious nuclear hardware it denied for years it ever had in defiance of six UN resolutions; au contraire, says the P5+1 – purblind America, a supine UK, the occasionally feisty French, scheming Russia and China, plus Germany – who claim they’ve rolled Iran back in exchange for easing financial manacles.
But, without digging deep into the nitty-gritty, here’s how one, independent US foreign policy analyst explained it, ‘Iran will get to pocket billions in [sanction] relief, use the funds to stabilize its economy, bolster its nuclear program and fund its global terror network.’
Indeed, that sentiment was echoed by Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, who said the deal – ‘cave-in’ is more apt – represented ‘a big success for Iran.’
Underlining victory, he told Iran’s parliament last week that work would even continue on the Arak heavy water, plutonium plant in direct contravention of the P5+1 agreement.
But was it ever going to be anything than thus? Short answer: No.
Because President Obama’s skewered vision of Western foreign policy has tilted 180 degrees on its axis in favour of opponents, not proponents.
Admittedly, especially in the Cold War era, some ‘friends’ – Chinese nationalist warlord, Chiang Kai-shek, the Shah of Iran and, briefly, Saddam Hussein spring to mind – were not exactly paragons of democratic virtue.
However, this most naïve of US leaders’ belief that he can placate lunatic, Islamic extremists is the most deranged, fanciful gambit of modern times, because they represent a bloc that not only vilifies the West, but has the avowed intention of destroying it.
Simply put, there cannot be a happy accommodation with radical, repressive, expansionist theocrats, who want a new world order based on a 7th Century credo, which defines Western liberalism as decadent, inferior and unholy.
So an interim deal that’s just a dab on the footbrake of Iran’s headlong rush to tool itself up with nuclear goodies is about as useful as putting a nappy on an elephant.
And the question that shrieks to be answered is: if tough sanctions were working, why shelve them just on the dodgy premise the maverick Iranians – who freely admit they’ve brazenly lied in the past – will keep to a deal they’re already unpicking at the seams?
Meanwhile, in leading the world down Appeasement Avenue, another facet of Obama’s flawed psyche has surfaced: he’s shown he’s not averse to a tad of skulduggery either.
It’s now emerged that his sidekicks held back-channel talks with the Iranians – and, apparently, Hezbollah – for 12 months to slick up the detail, while the perfidious president lied through his pearly teeth to erstwhile allies that all’s well and will end well. Only he neglected to say for whom.
Students of diplomatic cock-ups will remember how President Bill Clinton once tried to stymie North Korea’s nuclear ambitions in 2001, only to end up being suckered.
Kim Jong Il, the Beloved Leader of the pariah state and, unsurprisingly, a playmate of Iran’s Supreme Leader – don’t these loony despots adore grandiose titles – promised not to produce, test or deploy missiles and halt the export of nuclear technology.
Clinton’s chief coordinator, Wendy Sherman, noted then that Kim ‘appears ready to make landmark commitments’.
Alas, appearances can be deceptive and, predictably, the North Koreans reneged on every promise they made.
Ironically, witless Wendy was tasked by the visionary Obama to reprise her stunning debacle, this time with the Iranians. So, small wonder they’re cock-a-hoop.
Meanwhile, the US President looks still more a busted flush, his credibility holed below the waterline over the humbling, bumbling Middle East shambles created under his watch, while his ratings at home plummet to near-record lows.
At a seminal moment in world history, clearly Obama and his appointees – especially Sherman – are ignorant of the wisdom of Spanish philosopher-poet, George Santayana.
Just for the record, a century ago he wrote, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’
To read more of Hugh Ash’s comments, follow his award-winning online blog – Views From The Mallorca Pier – at hughash.wordpress.com