Is Obama Preparing a ‘Peace in Our Time’ with Iran?

I woke up this morning with an uncomfortable feeling. A feeling that we are being led by the nose. More accurately – that President Obama is leading us by the nose. A feeling that the British people may have felt when Neville Chamberlin returned from Munich in 1938 with his ‘Peace in our Time’ agreement.

This is an election year. Barring a dramatic change that will bring the Republicans to appoint again a geriatric pilot with an evangelist deputy as their candidates for the White House, there is a good chance that Obama will be defeated in the coming elections. To survive, he must pull out of the hat one of two potential rabbits – the resounding military victory rabbit, or the peace rabbit, an imaginary and temporary peace that will take him past this coming November. A resounding military victory is an expensive and uncertain business – a ‘high risk investment’ in financial markets’ speak. A piece of paper like Resolution 1701, which preserves regional calm for a time while the aggressor continues to do as they please is a much safer bet in the short run.

Obama may come, under the mediation of some third party, to an agreement with the Iranians by which they will be able to continue enriching Uranium to medium levels uninterrupted under a more or less effective international monitoring, whilst holding back from carrying out a nuclear test. The Americans on their side will not activate sanctions against Iran’s central bank and its oil industry, and will prevent Israel from launching a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. The Iranians will be able to use this time to continue transferring their Uranium enrichment facilities to strike-proof underground facilities and to continue developing long range ballistic missiles and the technology necessary to complete the building of a nuclear warhead. Obama will finally be able to justify the questionable Noble Peace Prize given to him for unclear reasons at the beginning of his term. The peace agreement he will draw with Iran, he will present as a sane alternative to the aggressive and war mongering statements of his Republican opponents.

Despite the flurry of speculation and commentary, nobody knows for sure what was the subject of President Obama’s conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu a few days ago, why was the military exercise between the two armies cancelled, or for what purpose is the American Chief of Joint Staffs General Martin Dempsey coming to Israel. The shying of the Obama administration from a direct confrontation with the Iranians after they ordered American aircraft carriers not to return to the Persian Gulf is an ominous sign. A Republican president like Ronald Reagan of George Bush senior, who understood the importance of maintaining American deterrence in the area, would have ordered the passing through the Hormuz Strait of a large naval force backed by a massive air presence within days of the Iranian warning.

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10 Responses to Is Obama Preparing a ‘Peace in Our Time’ with Iran?

  1. Joe Millis says:

    Hardly, with two, and soon three, battle groups in the Gulf, with Iranian scientists dropping like flies, military and industrial facilities hit by mysterious blasts, even more mysterious viruses, and the Tehran central bank crippled with sanctions. I guess whatever the yanks do, in co-operation with the Brits, the rest of the EU and Israel, is never going to be enough for some of the more gung-ho elements in Israel. Don’t forget, when the Israelis bombed Osirak – a much easier target as it was one reactor in one place – it was a Republican president, Reagan, who withheld arms (F-16s) from the Israelis. And it was George Bush Snr who imposed the loan guarantees sanctions on Israel in order to force Shamir to Madrid. And Bush Junior was the first US President to have the “two-state vision”. None before him had. All in all, and despite the moans of the Israeli far right, Democratic Presidents have been much better for Israel.

  2. Much Courage and Peace says:

    Hello Joe and thanks for your considered comment. The battle groups are not crossing the Strait of Hormuz. They are outside the Persian Gulf. When I referred to Reagan and Bush it was in the context of American interests, not Israeli ones. As to the various recent hits on Iran – in all likelyhood this is an Israeli, not an American activity. They will delay, but never halt, the Iranian nuclear bomb project.

  3. Joe Millis says:

    Much courage, being outside the Gulf or the Straights is mere semantics. They are within striking distance, as is the Fifth Fleet. And the Iranians know it. I think the Americans are very good at looking after their own interests, which sometimes, believe it or not, are not the same as Israel’s. And whatever’s happening in Iran is, I am almost certain, a joint effort. True, they may delay, not halt, the Iranian nuke. But deterrence is a wonderful weapon.

  4. Much Courage and Peace says:

    Hello again Joe.
    In my opinion, the point with the Gulf is not semantic at all. Some Iranian Habibulla or another issued a startk warning to the Americans not to take their aircraft carriers through the Strait of Hormuz and into the Persian Gulf again and the Amricans have not responded within days by doing just that. Every day that passes without this warning being confronted is a day both the US and Israel will live to regret.

  5. Joe Millis says:

    Here, you and I disagree. The point is, the Iranian economy is in turmoil, the ayatollahs can barely leave Tehran for fear of being shortened by a head and all sorts of mysterious and wondrous things are happening at key facillities. The Strait and the Gulf are within striking distance and the Habibulahs, as you describe them, haven’t attempted to close them, despite threats to the contrary. I’ll repeat it, because it bears repeating: US interests and Israeli interests are not always the same, despite the thinking of some of the more gung-ho elements in Israel (and Washington, it has to be said). Also, the US and the EU – despite its many difficulties – have the means to do things that even the “all-powerful” Israelis can’t.

  6. Steven Kalka says:

    I’d be very surpised if the Iranians closed the Straits of Hormuz. They have engaged in so much hyperbole in the past. They’re smart enough to realize they can do more harm operating under the radar by funding Hezbollah than engaging in conventional warfare. They know what happened when Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran in 1967.

  7. Joe Millis says:

    I, too, would be extremely surprised, Steven. And it seems their access to Hizbollah and Hamas for that matter is somewhat curtailed at the moment, what with events in Syria and that.

  8. Dear MCP (Much Courage & Peace),
    There is another rabbit in addition to the Peace Rabbit and the Victory Rabbit. It is the Disguised Rabbit.
    In this scenario, Obama will covertly let Israel start an arial operation against Irans nuclear facilities which will “drag” the US and others to join-in. The result of the Iran Operation will probably not destroy tha Iranian nuclear capabilities totaly, but with a strong effort for regime change in Iran will probably diffuse the need for Iranian nuclear weapon. This will give Obama his best chances for November elections. It will take the wind out of any Republican nominee’s sail by showing that Obama can be strong on security and without the need for congressional war decclaration.
    The imminent visit to Israel by the highest US military rank this week, is not, to my opinion, to dissuade Israel fron starting an operation but, probably, to coordinate it.

  9. Much Courage and Peace says:

    Hello Eitan and thanks for your comment.
    I totally agree that an Israeli attack will drag the US (and probably other countries on both sides) into a regional war. If that attack will take place with American approval or be the uncoordinated result of American inaction – remains to be seen. Somehow I don’t think we have very long to wait.

  10. Joe Millis says:

    Hate to burst your bubbles, guys (Eitan and MCP, that is), but it seems that much haste means less speed, or as St Jerome is wont to have said: Haste is of the devil. It seems that it wasn’t Obama wot wobbled, it woz the Israelis, whose “the hamster ate my homework” excuse is that there were technical and resource problems – that is, their military budget has been curtailed. Personally, I blame the payments to settlements and yeshivot, but that’s just me.

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