Seeking to create an analogy with the deal the United States negotiated with Iran to supposedly limit further production of its centrifuges, Secretary of State John Kerry chose to recall disarmament agreements between the United States and the Soviet Union.
A better analogy would be the 1938 Munich Pact, which gave Hitler part of Czechoslovakia in the vain hope that war could be avoided. It is worth noting that several of the nations that were signatories in Munich, namely Germany, France and Britain, are also part of the current deal with Iran.
There is another flaw in Kerry's analysis. Deal or no deal, Iran says it will never stop enriching uranium. According to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, it is Iran's “inalienable right” to develop nuclear technology. This does not bode well for Israel, Iran's sworn enemy.
Just days before this deeply flawed agreement was announced, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described Israel as “the rabid dog of the region.” Did Kerry and his U.S. negotiators confront this recalcitrance before signing off? I doubt it.
The New York Times reported that Hilik Bar, a member of the Knesset for the Israel Labor Party, secretary general of the Labor Party and deputy speaker of the Knesset, wrote a letter to Secretary Kerry and Catherine Ashton, the European Union's top foreign policy official, urging them to “stand up against the dark, racist statements and incitement.” Of course they did nothing of the kind, because reaching an agreement was apparently more important than confronting the reality of Iran's hatred toward Israel, especially in light of President Obama's falling approval numbers.
In exchange for Iran's promise to halt progress in its nuclear program, the U.S. agreed to unfreeze some of Iran's foreign assets and lift a few trade sanctions. The Washington Post quotes “officials” as saying Iran's “concessions” will “make it virtually impossible for Tehran to build a nuclear weapon without being detected.” Anyone familiar with the history of the Middle East knows that subterfuge is a skill learned early.
Did the negotiators ask the Iranians if they've consulted Allah about this deal? If Iranian leaders claim to be doing the will of God, why would they tell infidel Western diplomats Iran intends to disobey Allah and not build nuclear weapons to be used against a nation — Israel — that Allah seemingly wants obliterated?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rightly labeled the deal “a historic mistake.” It isn't enough to halt progress on Iran's nuclear program. It must be dismantled. Israeli officials say they will spend the next six months — the duration of the interim agreement — trying to persuade the Obama administration and Israel's friends (the two are not always synonymous) to negotiate a deal that will roll back Iran's progress toward building a nuclear weapon.
History can be a great teacher if the “students” pay attention. Many things in the world have changed since the disastrous Munich Pact, but human nature never does. Tyrants respect agreements only so long as they allow them to further their objectives. Munich only delayed the onset of World War II; it did not prevent it.
This latest agreement will similarly delay the inevitable need to confront Iran with force and will likely be seen by history as the Obama administration's Munich.
Cal Thomas is a columnist for USA Today.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers trim roster to 75
- Steelers trade 6th-round pick for Jaguars kicker Scobee
- Steelers WR Bryant’s suspension upheld
- Aliquippa RB Bronaugh to miss season after cancer diagnosis
- Pittsburgh Symphony names trustee McGranahan to chair its board
- Steelworkers: ATI talks to resume Sept. 11
- Union looks to keep working at U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal through contract expiration
- Injured DT Render missing from Pitt depth chart
- Green Tree Farmers Market hosts culinary competition
- Pastor who advocated against removal of Ten Commandments monument dies at Connellsville hospital
- No certainty for Pirates’ call-up veterans