The following opinion piece was written by Noah Beck, author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.
According to a recent news report, US President Barack Obama, for over a year, has secretly conducted negotiations with Iran (through his adviser Valerie Jarrett), and the Geneva talks on Iranian nukes now appear to be just a facade providing international legitimacy to Obama’s secret deal with Iran.
Secretary of State John Kerry‘s criticism of Israeli objections to that deal only suggests more bad faith by the Obama administration. Kerry claims that Israel has been kept fully apprised of the negotiations with Iran but then argues that Israel had never seen the terms of the proposed deal with Iran and therefore should not question it. The Obama administration apparently wants to present the nuclear deal as a fait accompli that Israel must simply accept as is.
In what is becoming a familiar pattern, Russia is readily moving into the Mideast areas where US influence has waned because of Obama’s many fumbles in the region. Last August, Saudi Arabia made it clear that it would happily replace US aid to Egypt (highlighting one of many issues straining US relations with yet another Mideast ally).
Yaakov Amidror, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former national security adviser, recently indicated that the Israeli Air Force has been preparing for a potential strike on Iran. According to Amidror, such a strike could set back Iran’s nuclear program “for a very long time.” So Israel can go it alone, if it must, although the results would be far messier than those produced by a stronger US approach.
While the Obama administration has suggested that critics of the current Geneva deal are “on a march to war,” it is that very deal, which gives Iran a nuclear-breakout capacity, that would force the states most threatened by Iran to take preemptive military action.
Even if one accepts Obama’s apparent view that decades-long alliances matter no more than do US assurances, there are other compelling reasons for Obama to reverse his disastrous Iran policy before it is too late. Granting an Iranian nuclear-weapons breakout capability would produce catastrophic consequences (many of which Obama himself acknowledged in his March 2012 speech):
1) The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will effectively be finished. The world’s most volatile region will become even more explosive as other regional players scramble to establish their own nuclear arsenals to counter Iran’s. Rogue nations will realize that by following Iran’s deceptive playbook, they too can develop a nuclear capability.
2) The force of UN Security Council Resolutions will be further diluted, as Iran will continue flouting six of them with impunity.
3) Iran-backed terrorist organizations will grow emboldened by the nuclear umbrella of their patron.
4) Terrorism could go nuclear.
5) US influence in the Middle East will erode even more, as Obama further damages US relationships and influence in the region.
6) If the US cannot be trusted to provide strong leadership on the national security issue of greatest concern to the free world, where US interests are directly at stake, what does that mean for US credibility in general?
7) Global instability and oil prices will skyrocket. If Israel, with Saudi assistance, strikes Iran’s nuclear program, the Iranian retaliation that follows could spark World War III.
8) US interests will be attacked. Obama may think that his policy of appeasement will shield the US from Iranian reprisals, but the opposite is true.
Will attacking US interests be yet another Obama “red line” that gets crossed with impunity? If so, then whatever is left of US deterrence and credibility will have been destroyed. If not, then the US will get sucked into another Mideast war, but on terms dictated by the adversary and without any first-strike advantage.
The catastrophic consequences outlined above would all directly result from Obama’s disastrously weak – but still reversible – policies on the Iranian nuclear threat.
The Jewish people have a long memory, and it pervades the thinking of Israeli civilians and top brass alike. Thus, Israel’s brief history is replete with daring military operations to protect its security. In Netanyahu’s speech at the last UN General Assembly, in what may have been Israel’s final warning to the world to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat before Israel must, the Israeli leader summed up the collective experience that guides Israel on fateful decisions.
Obama should know by now that if he forces Israel’s hand, then Israel alone will neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat, regardless of how messy the aftermath may be. Netanyahu, like any responsible Israeli leader, would rather bring about World War III than The Last Israelis.
Author: Noah Beck
Date: Nov. 21, 2013