Obama and the Common Cause of a Nuclear Iran, Part I

Thinking he hasn’t gotten enough press on his nuclear treaty remarks about Republicans, according to Bretibart.com,  President Barack Obama again defended his speech at American University on Aug. 5, defending the Iran deal by accusing Republicans in Congress of “making common cause” with the hard-liners of the Iranian regime by opposing it.

Obama made the accusation towards the end of his address, despite complaining, in his introduction, that critics of the Iraq War had once been treated badly.

The partisan message was less an appeal to the nation and more an appeal to wavering, undecided Democrats.

Drawing parallels to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, Obama noted that both had negotiated arms reduction treaties with the Soviet Union. After that perfunctory appeal to history and statesmanship, Obama launched into a characteristic partisan attack.

The Iran deal was opposed by “the same mindset, in many cases offered by the same people, who seem to have no compunction with being repeatedly wrong,” Obama said.

He criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying he was simply “wrong” about the deal.

Obama asserted that the deal enjoyed the support of “the vast majority of the world”–omitting that most Americans oppose it. He mocked those who called for a better deal “that relies on vague promises of ‘toughness’–though Obama campaigned on “tough diplomacy” in 2008.

The president made several dubious claims about the deal, such as that “after 15 years, Iran will never have the right as cover to pursue a nuclear weapon.” That promise rests on trusting Iran’s parliament to ratify the Additional Protocol, which it is under no pressure to do.

Obama made no mention of the “side deals” between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran, which have not been shown to Congress and which reportedly allow Iran to take its own samples from military sites suspected of being used for nuclear purposes.

Journalists watching the speech seemed most skeptical about Obama’s assurances that U.S. intelligence would be able to detect cheating by the Iranian regime. In a speech that criticized the Iraq War, that claim seemed “misplaced,” said Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic.

“Fifty-two years ago, President Kenney, at the height of the Cold War,” Obama said, “addressed this same university on the subject of peace. The Berlin Wall had just been built. The Soviet Union had tested the most powerful bombs ever developed. China was on the verge of acquiring the nuclear bomb. Less than 20 years after the end of World War II, the prospect of nuclear war was all too real.

“With all the threats that we face today, it is hard to appreciate how much more dangers the world was at that time. In light of these mounting threats, a number of strategists here in the United States argued we had to take military action against the Soviets, to hasten what they saw as an inevitable confrontation. But the young president offered a different vision.”

“Strength, in his view, included powerful armed forces and a willingness to stand up for our values around the world. But he rejected the prevailing attitude among some foreign policy circles that equated security with a perpetual war footing.

“Instead, he promised strong, principled American leadership on behalf of what he called a practical and attainable peace, a peace based not on a sudden revolution in human nature, but on a gradual evolution in human institutions, on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements.

“Such wisdom would help our ship of state through some of the most perilous moments in human history. With Kennedy at the helm, the Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved peacefully.”

What? Excuse me? I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis distinctly. In response to the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961, and the presence of American Jupiter ballistic missiles in Italy and Turkey with Moscow within range, Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev decided to agree to Cuba’s request to place nuclear missiles in Cuba to deter future “harassment” of Cuba. An agreement was reached during a secret meeting between Khrushchev and Fidel Castro in July and construction on a number of missile launch facilities started later that summer.

An election was underway in the U.S. and the White House had denied Republican charges that it was ignoring dangerous Soviet missiles 90 miles from Florida. These missile preparations were confirmed when an Air Force U-2 produced clear photographic evidence of medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic missile facilities. The United States established a military blockade to prevent further missiles from entering Cuba. It announced that they would not permit offensive weapons to be delivered to Cuba and demanded that the weapons already in Cuba be dismantled and returned to the USSR.

After a period of tense negotiations an agreement was reached between Kennedy and Khrushchev. Publicly, the Soviets would dismantle their offensive weapons in Cuba and return them to the Soviet Union, subject to United Nations verification, in exchange for a U.S. public declaration and agreement never to invade Cuba without direct provocation. Secretly, the US also agreed that it would dismantle all U.S.-built Jupiter MRBMs, which were deployed in Turkey and Italy to protect Europe from invasion by the Soviet Union but were not known to the public.

The United States was concerned about an expansion of Communism, and a Latin American country openly allying with the USSR was regarded as unacceptable, given the U.S.-Soviet enmity since the end of World War II. Such an involvement would also directly defy the Monroe Doctrine, a U.S. policy which, while limiting the United States’ involvement with European colonies and affairs, held that European powers ought not to have involvement with states in the Western Hemisphere.

The U.S. had been publicly embarrassed by the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion in April 1961, which had been launched under Kenned and led by CIA-trained forces of Cuban exiles. Afterward, former Pres. Eisenhower told Kennedy that “the failure of the Bay of Pigs will embolden the Soviets to do something they otherwise would not do.”

The half-hearted invasion left Soviet Premier Krushchev with the impression that Kennedy was indecisive, and as one Soviet adviser wrote, “to young, intellectual, not prepared well for decision-making in crisis situations…too intelligent and too weak.”

U.S. covert operations continued in 1961 with the unsuccessful Operation Mongoose.

In addition, Krushchev’s impression of Kennedy’s weakness was confirmed by his soft response during the Berlin Crisis of 1961, particularly during the building of the Berlin Wall. Speaking to Soviet officials in the aftermath of the crisis, Krushchev asserted, “I know for certain that Kennedy doesn’t have a strong background, nor, generally speaking, does he have the courage to stand up to a serious challenge.” – Jane Franklin, Cuba and the United States: A Chronological History, Ocean Press, Melbourne, 1997.

He also told his son, Sergei, that on Cuba, Kennedy “would make a fuss, make more of a fuss, and then agree [to withdraw the missiles from Turkey].” – Frederick Kempe, Berlin 1961, Penguin Group USA, 2011.

Krushchev also deployed the Soviet missiles to Cuba because he wanted to use them as leverage to bring West Berlin back under Soviet control. The East Germans and Soviets considered western control over a portion of Berlin a threat to East Germany. Krushchev decided to make Wester Berlin the central battlefield of the Cold War. If the U.S. did nothing over the Cuban missile deployments, he could muscle the West out of Berlin using the Cuban missiles as a deterrent to Western countermeasures in Berlin.

By May 1962, Krushchev and Castro agreed to secretly place nuclear missiles in Cuba. Like Castro, Krushchev felt that a U.S. invasion of Cuba was imminent, and that to lose Cuba would do great harm to the Communist cause, especially in Latin America. He said he wanted to confront the Americans “with more than words…the logical answer was missiles.” – Jutta Weldes, Constructing National Interests: The United States and the Cuban Missile Crisis, Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1999.

On Oct. 22, 1962, Kennedy delivered a nationwide televised address announcing the discovery of Soviet missiles aboard cargo ships bound for Cuba, and ordered a naval blockade.

“It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.”

He further stated, “To halt this offensive build-up, a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba, from whatever nation or port, will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, will be turned back. This quarantine will be extended, if needed, to other types of cargo and carriers. We not at this time, however, denying the necessities of life as the Soviets attempted to do in their Berlin blockade of 1948.”

During the speech, a directive went out to all U.S. forces worldwide placing them on DEFCON 3. The heavy cruiser USS Newport News was designated flagship for the blockade, with the USS Leary as Newport News’s destroyer escort.

Meanwhile, the president’s brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy was sent to negotiate with Krushchev and his advisers and withdraw what were called “obsolete” missiles from Turkey.

Kennedy’s show of strength with the naval blockade hid a weak hand in negotiating with the Soviet Union. Today, Vladimir Putin is busy building up his military to eventually conquer Europe (if the Muslims don’t beat him to it). China is building sea bases and has acquired a 172-mile strip of Nicaragua to build a second canal through Central America.

This is Obama’s model for dealing with a nuclear Iran. Yet he has the nerve to compare our opposition to his proposed deal as making “common cause” with Iranian hard-liners who shout “Death to America!”

In any case, as National Review points out in its Aug. 10, 2015 issue, p. 16 (“The Abysmal Iran Deal”), “President Obama has compared the deal to past agreements with another adversary, the Soviet Union. But the agreements bear almost no resemblance to one another. First, the Soviet treaties were, well, treaties – approved by two-thirds of the Senate. Second, Reagan entered into them when he judged, correctly, that the U.S. campaign of military, economic, and moral pressure had brought about a fundamental change of attitude in the regime. Finally, the treaties involved reductions in and limits on arms from both sides. If the Soviets stopped complying, we could, too.”

“Under this deal, we give money to an unreconstructed Iranian regime in return for its promise to limit its nuclear program. But if it doesn’t limit its nuclear work, we can’t take the money back. The U.S. and other countries will be handing Iran more than $100 billion in freed-up assets and eliminating all sanctions before we have much evidence of compliance.”

“This is folly. The president clearly considers [the treaty] a capstone of his foreign policy.”

His “anti-colonialist”, “anti-imperialist” foreign policy.

Published in: on August 13, 2015 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

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