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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Obama's election ploy

As I am sure many of you have heard already, Iran has expressed a willingness to resume 'negotiations' over its nuclear weapons program. Barry Rubin argues that this is nothing but an election ploy for President Obama, and another stalling tactic for Iran.
Here’s the scenario we are supposed to believe: Obama’s sanctions (the tough Obama) have severely damaged Iran and so Tehran is looking for a way out. At the same time, though, Obama’s flexibility in dealing with possible enemies wins them over (the empathetic Obama). Thus, Obama’s greatness as a statesman might solve this problem of Iran’s nuclear drive short of war.
Let’s note some of the evidence that this ploy meets the needs of both sides in the conflict. For Obama, it is a potential electoral gain at the last minute in a hard fought election in which his foreign policy has come under severe questioning. For the Iranian regime the development buys even more time as it continues to go full-steam ahead with its nuclear drive.
If the Iranians are really sophisticated about American politics they understand the advantages for themselves:
–There will be pressure against new sanctions for the next six months or more since it could be said in the United States that these would damage a promising initiative.
–It might help reelect Obama who is significantly softer on Iran. If the Iranians believe that a President Mitt Romney might launch a U.S. attack or support an Israel one—I don’t believe this but probably they do—that makes helping Obama win a top priority.
–Since the talks wouldn’t be until next year, Iran has to give up nothing to make the initiative.
Note, too, that during the last five years Iran has repeatedly proposed different diplomatic formulae both in terms of meetings and potential compromises only to retract them or make clear that Tehran’s terms are going to be unacceptable.
According to the Times the agreement is “a result of intense, secret exchanges between American and Iranian officials that date almost to the beginning of President Obama’s term.” In other words, nothing has happened for four years and suddenly we have a deal. Sound suspicious?
All this involves then is an Iranian offer to start talks, talks which could break down in a few hours or go on for years without result. Of course, the first Iranian demand will be for easing the sanctions.
Note, too, that the Obama Administration officially denied the report—hey, we’re not playing politics with foreign policy!—and then leaked that it was true to its friends in the media.
The new situation can also be used to paint Republican candidate Mitt Romney as a potential war-monger.
Obama will stop at NOTHING to be reelected.  He is a desperate man. Desperate men take desperate measures.

What could go wrong?

Note - By the time you see this, God willing I should finally be airborne again.

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At 12:24 AM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

No. The sanctions, which are as thin and porous as silk now, THOSE are the election ploy. If Obama wins he'll roll those back, declare he's ready to 'talk' to Iran. Iran has been quietly told that they needn't worry about it, they can safely ignore these entreaties and move full speed ahead to nuclear armaments. Anyone can see that Obama wants to see Iran get the bomb while preserving his own plausible deniability through November 6.


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