Wednesday, July 15, 2015

When Is A Deal Not A Deal?

President Obama and Secretary Kerry have their deal. They have their legacy. Their virtues will be extolled in the liberal press. Their names will feature prominently in many history books.

Congress will be rankled and try to toss the agreement. Bibi Netanyahu has already called it a "terrible deal". I doubt that there is much cheer among the Saudis, Egyptians, and Jordanians, also. But, I suspect, in spite of a spring tide of ill feeling, Obama will, somehow, cram it through.

Normally, the Senate has to ratify treaties. But, it seems in this case, things have been turned around. They call it an agreement instead of a treaty. Once again circumventing the Constitution. Bingo, ratified treaty that is not really a treaty, like it or not.

The agreement does nothing more than kick the can down the road, at best. It has a term of ten years. In the Persian mind, time is irrelevant. They play for the win regardless of how long it takes. 

A lot can be accomplished in ten years. With the sanctions lifted, wealth will flood back into Iran. They can buy or develop ICBM technology. North Korea and Pakistan always have technology for sale and Iran has many well educated engineers and scientists. They can run tests, miniaturize nuclear warheads, and in that amount of time, they can do, oh so many things that are not to our benefit.

But, back to the treaty. IAEA inspectors are allowed to go in and inspect. They have to ask for permission and specify the sites, fourteen day before they go in. Iran can refuse. Then it goes to negotiation. In pro football, this is called "eating up the clock". Time marches on and the centrifuges spin.

And we don't even know where all of their labs are or how much nuclear material they really have. For years now, they have been building labs deep under mountains and under military installations where they will never be inspected. Hidden and unfound. Even if we knew, we couldn't admit we knew. That would be key to destroying hard won intelligence.

There is one other stumbling block. The biggest stumbling block of all. That is the the Ayatollah Khamenei. It matters not who negotiates. It matters not who agrees to what terms or locations. At the last second the Grand Ayotollah can raise his hand and say "no". The sanctions will have been lifted by then. There will be no useful inspections. The deal will be over and we will have been played.  

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