One of President Obama’s selling points for cutting the nuclear deal with Iran was that it would cause the hardline leadership in Tehran to soften, to play nice within the international community. Sort of a kinder, gentler, state sponsor of terror.
How’s that working out?
Since the Oct. 18, 2015, “adoption day," when Iran told everyone they had complied with the terms of the agreement and we opted to trust but not verify, those mischievous mullahs have been busy winning friends and influencing people. Or something.
They’ve been conducting frequent ballistic missile tests, sagely ignoring those feckless United Nations sanctions prohibiting them.
The missiles they launched earlier this week were carefully timed to coincide with Vice President Biden’s official visit to Israel. And just in case there was any confusion about what these salvos are all about, they cheerfully emblazoned the missiles with the words: “Israel must be wiped off of the Earth.”
Accompanying that neighborly message of intent was a demonstration of capability. The missiles, capable of carrying nuclear payloads by the way, traveled some 900 miles, easily within range of Israeli borders, some 660 miles away. Cheeky guys.
When asked to respond to the unsanctioned missile launches, the Obama administration, not wanting to ruffle any Persian feathers, opined that at some point there might just come “appropriate responses.” Gosh. Sounds like another hashtag campaign is in the works at Foggy Bottom.
Iran has also stepped up their “interaction” with American naval vessels, piloting drones and firing rockets danger close to our ships in the Persian Gulf. And then there was the January abduction welcoming of those two U.S. riverine boats and their crews.
Iran filmed the entire abduction episode, including how they forced American sailors to their knees, blindfolded and bound them, later forcing them to partially disrobe. Isn’t that exactly the sort of hospitality we’d expect from our new friends eager to show their softer side?
By the way, the video of this humiliation ran nonstop for week on television sets around the world, much to the glee of our adversaries in Iran, Russia, China and elsewhere, not to mention a sizeable chunk of the Democratic Party.
For rolling up the sailors serving the Great Satan, those kindly mullahs held parades for their troops, and awarded them with victory medals. For our part, Secretary of State John Kerry publicly thanked Iran for their behavior. No, really.
Elsewhere, the multi-terror-tasking proceeds apace, including Iranian-sponsored proxy wars throughout the Middle East, which is helpfully facilitating a nuclear arms race with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and other regional neighbors.
They also continue to arm and supply Hezbollah and Hamas, their front-line, bloodthirsty shock troops eager to be unleashed against Israel. Boy those Iranians really know how to stretch $150 billion their windfall.
Then this past Tuesday, Barack’s new buddies in Tehran politely informed us that they are seriously considering pulling out of the nuclear deal if, in Iran’s words, their “interests are not met.” Seriously? Sweet Jesus we’ve already caved on virtually every red line in sight; dare we contemplate what more legacy chasing goodies the Obama administration is prepared to hand over?
So, have the terrorists in Tehran softened in the wake of the nuke deal? Quite the contrary. Those hardliners are not now, nor will they ever be, our friends. Obama’s hypothesis that they would moderate if we gave them the goods in the nuclear deal is as naïve as it is dangerous.
Iran remains the biggest state sponsor of terrorism on the planet. Its what they do. They are a threat to U.S. national security and to global stability. They are also an existential threat to Israel, a fact that that Iran now actually flaunts with their repugnant missile messaging. President Obama’s appeasement has emboldened Iran, and the financial windfall we handed them has energized their deadly terrorist objectives.
Under this commander-in-chief America has gone AWOL, and the world is a much more dangerous place because of it. At the same time, U.S. troop, equipment and readiness levels are at their lowest points in decades; worrisome facts that are reflected in the low levels of morale throughout our armed forces. But apparently that’s what the doctrine of “leading from behind” is all about.
With friends like Obama …
Patrick Murray (colonel, U.S. Army, retired) was part of a military-diplomatic exchange program between the Pentagon and Department of State, where he served in the Bureau of Political Military Affairs in Washington, D.C. In 2005, Murray became the U.S. representative to the Military Staff Committee at the United Nations in New York under Ambassador John Bolton. After retiring from the Army in 2009, Patrick became the Republican nominee for U.S. Congress in Northern Virginia. He is the author of "Government is the Problem." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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