Obama’s Gift to Iran? Stupid or Deliberate?

by Gramfan on October 26, 2011

in Barack Hussein Obama, Gramfan (team member), Iran, Iraq, Kurdistan, military, nuclear weapons

I say deliberate.

With thanks to AIM:

Obama’s Gift to Iran

At the strategic level, naivety can do more damage than outright malevolence. And President Obama came to the Oval Office with no knowledge of, and little interest in, foreign affairs and security. His core agenda was domestic, and, gushing self-confidence, he assumed that he could solve international problems in his spare time–challenges that had frustrated the best efforts of far-more-experienced men and women. A babe in a poisoned woodland thick with wolves and witches, he assumed that he could smile and persuade the wolves not to eat him and the witches to cast their spells in his support.

One grim result is his abandonment of Iraq to Iranian influence. The strategic consequences are potentially catastrophic. At best, he has made a mockery of 5,000 dead American troops and our tens of thousands of wounded. And the worst of it is that he didn’t even try to play this to our nation’s advantage.

He didn’t even show up on the field. He simply threw the game to Iran by his absence: Our troops did their duty—and won. And their commander-in-chief went Absent Without Leave.

Before detailing the current administration’s myopia and ineptitude regarding Iraq—and Iran’s skillfulness—it’s essential to be fair: Obama has grown in the job, learning, painfully, that foreign leaders are not all susceptible to his ward-politician charm and self-congratulatory rhetoric.

He still has a great deal to learn (including humility), but this borderline pacifist evolved to become the president who dramatically increased the use of drones to target terrorists; who green-lighted killing bin Laden and Awlaki; who didn’t close Gitmo—despite his campaign promise to do so; and who, after his customary dithering, ultimately backed the French and British in their determination to remove Qaddafi from power in Libya (despite diplomatic lies, the goal was always to get Qaddafi out).

He even has shown signs of realizing that the Pakistanis are not our friends, that the Palestinians are not all oppressed innocents, and that China does not have our best interests at heart.

But he’s always had a blind spot regarding Iraq. And Iraq’s the big one. Everything that he’s gotten right over the past year is small change compared to our looming confrontation with Iran. And Obama just handed Iran an enormous strategic advantage by fleeing from Baghdad.

Why does Iraq matter? Location, location, location, for a start. It’s the geographical keystone at the head of the Persian Gulf, still the most-crucial oil-producing region in the world. And it borders Iran: Consider how useful even small US bases in Iraq would be, were we forced to take military action to derail Iran’s nuclear ambitions—action that would amount to serious warfare, not just surgical strikes. And Baghdad has enormous emotional resonance in the Arab world. Iraq’s also the fault-line state where Shia and Sunni Muslims collide on one of the most-volatile frontiers of religious culture.

And there’s more: A pro-Iranian regime in Baghdad outflanks our key regional partners (not allies, but partners with shared interests). Instead of providing a buffer for Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, a Shia-dominated, pro-Iranian government in Iraq becomes a threat to them. An Iraq subject to Iranian influence also facilitates Tehran’s support of the Assad regime in Syria and, by extension, Hezbollah and Hamas—it’s a lot easier to drive arms and assassins across Iraq than to ship them all the way through the Suez Canal.

Even a small remaining US presence in Iraq (about 20,000 troops would have been right) also would have continued to provide the much-needed fig leaf for Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Shia Arabs not to go at each other again. With our troops leaving, there’s at least an outside chance that Iraq will tumble back into civil war—and this time it would draw in other regional powers. At the very least, terrorists of various stripes will be empowered.

Obama sees none of it. He remains a prisoner of his own anti-Bush rhetoric. Iraq was Bush’s war and, therefore, bad. But the left needed to “prove” it was strong on security, too, so Afghanistan, a worthless land of pederasts and dung heaps, became our strategic priority that Bush “neglected.”

The problem is that Iraq truly matters on multiple strategic counts, while investing in Afghanistan is about as smart as investing in cathode-ray-tube technology (or solar-panel manufacturers) in Silicon Valley. The sole reason to keep even a small US contingent in Afghanistan is to continue to kill terrorists across the border in Pakistan. Beyond that, everything we do there is wasted. But, thanks to Obama, we’re mired in Afghanistan and abandoning the strategic prize of Iraq to Iran.

And the mullahs and political leaders in Tehran have taken advantage of Obama’s blindness with breathtaking effectiveness. While pursuing nuclear weapons, backing Syria’s Assad with weapons, money and secret-police assassins, egging on Hezbollah and Hamas—and killing US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq–Iran has not had to pay a single meaningful price.

Our government huffs and puffs, then does nothing at all. The Obama administration (and, to be fair, the Bush administration before it) has allowed the Iranians to run wild.

Naturally, Tehran concludes that we’re weak-willed, exhausted and scared. Hence the recent plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US right in Washington (not that I would have wept for His Excellency myself…).

The Iranians in 2011 have come to the same conclusion that al Qaeda did in 2001, in the wake of the cowardice of the Clinton administration: They’re convinced that, no matter what they do, we’ll simply cower and take it.

And they might be right.

I’ve long been fond of pointing out that, while we play diplomatic checkers, the Iranians play chess (the game was a Persian invention, after all). I have to admire the skill with which Tehran has manipulated both the Iraqi political scene and the Obama administration: The Iranians recognized that the issue of legal immunity from Iraqi law for US troops was the perfect lever to hoist us out of the country.

First, we could never agree to allow our Soldiers and Marines to be hauled up on bogus charges and tried in kangaroo courts in the immature (to put it kindly) Iraqi judicial system.

Second, the Iranians understood that this was an issue that would resonate with the Iraqi population, given our mindless employment of mercenary thugs from the former Blackwater and other “security” companies—some of whose employees appear to have used Iraqi civilians for target practice…then walked free. Iran’s agents made hay out of the bad behavior of the psychopaths who had been on the US payroll.

Working through their proxies in Baghdad—primarily, but not only, Moqtada al Sadr’s radical Shia block—the Iranians made it impossible for either side to back down. And “Poof!” The Americans, having deposed Saddam, paid in blood, and spent almost a trillion dollars on Iraqi freedom and reconstruction, are headed home, while Iran moves in. Tehran won without losing a single Iranian life. At most, the mullahs doled out a few minor bribes.

Obama simply quit—and was relieved to do so. He did it because he was blind to the looming consequences. He did it to please his restive base. And he did it because he had been too nearsighted, lazy and politically bigoted to develop personal relationships with Iraqi leaders who could have helped us through this “made in Iran” crisis.

But it isn’t Obama who will pay the price. It’s our troops, if the region blows up. It’s Iraqis. It’s our regional partners. It’s consumers, if the deteriorating situation in the Persian-Gulf region leads to catastrophically higher oil prices. Ultimately, it’s you.

Obama’s real political ancestor is, ironically, the diehard segregationist Woodrow Wilson. Both men have pacifist roots, and both put us on the path to a major war (stay tuned for our coming confrontation with Iran). Both fit the mold of the idealist ungrounded in reality. Both were consumed by ambitions that far outstripped their abilities.

The only faint good news in Obama’s early holiday gift to Iran of Iraq’s integrity and freedom is that any Iran-Iraq strategic collusion will only last from the short-term through the mid-term. In the long-term, conflicting interests and, above all, Persian condescension toward Arabs will alienate most Iraqis. But the danger zone is that short-to-mid-term stretch, with Tehran rushing to develop a nuclear-weapons capability and Iraq’s internal rivalries and grudges unresolved. The best we can expect is continued low-level violence in Iraq.

The worst ranges from a civil war that tears Iraq apart, to a violent, extended military confrontation with Iran that closes down Gulf oil production amid a widespread regional conflict.

Obama’s pigheaded determination to get our last troops out of Iraq and praise himself for doing so could be the worst American diplomatic blunder since Yalta. At the very least, it’s a wanton gift to our determined enemies.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Zenster October 27, 2011 at 12:08 am

At the strategic level, naivety can do more damage than outright malevolence.

As the old bumper sticker says:


Obama has grown in the job, learning, painfully, that foreign leaders are not all susceptible to his ward-politician charm and self-congratulatory rhetoric.

I will quote Rocky Rococo: “Maybe yes, maybe no.” As Einstein was wont to observe:

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. “

Obama, like Islam, is unbounded by any reasonable sense of restraint or actual intelligence.

One grim result is his abandonment of Iraq to Iranian influence. The strategic consequences are potentially catastrophic.

Not just “potentially”. Any acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran will prove to be the most catastrophic strategic error of Western military powers in this new century. Period. Full Stop.

I have maintained this for many years now and there is no indication of any error on my part.

Have anyone ever heard of the Samson Option?

Israel has very quietly but firmly informed all of its hostile Muslim neighbors that, should it take even a single NBC (Nuclear, Biological or Chemical) strike, it will unleash its entire nuclear arsenal upon the MME (Muslim Middle East).

Why do you think that Saudi Arabia begged America to bomb Iran? This isn’t just the usual Sunni on Shi’ia friction. At a recent pan-Arab meeting, King Abdullah essentially told Ahmadinejad to “sit down and shut up!”

For this to make any sense, you must first realize that Mad Jad is a disciple of Ayatollah Khomeini. Now, pause to consider these words from Khomeini’s 1980 address at Qom:

We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.

In other words, Khomeini, and by extension, Ahmadinejad, have no problem turning their entire country into one giant suicide bomber, just so long as Israel is destroyed. Ergo, the odd Muslim support for America’s bombing of Iran.

The problematic aspect of this situation is that Israel knows it damn well and has very wisely taken measures to deter even something so monstrous as suicide on a national scale.

Implicit in this equation is the fact that there are increased chances of Iran directing a stray warhead towards America’s shores. An innocuous container launch system could send in a cruise missile on a flat low-altitude trajectory, be almost impossible to stop and land a fearsome blow upon The Great Satan™.

Remember; beyond a certain number of Islamic nuclear warheads there emerges a non-zero probability that one of them with be diverted into terrorist hands.

It is only stupidity on a gigantic scale that permits Obama and other Western politicians to ignore this stark nuclear math. America continues to remain a top candidate for nuclear terrorism and in no way have we established any sort of deterrent matching that of Israel.

2 Gramfan October 27, 2011 at 1:29 am

I have heard of the Samson Option.

Good post, Zenster,

However I still believe Obama is following a playbook/plan.

I have no idea if he is really as educated as he claims, but I don’t think he is stupid or incompetent.

He knows exactly what he is doing. He had a chance in Iran after the last elections and did nothing.

This says a lot. Iran already has MB members.

Look at the #OWS – how many presidents would tolerate such a thing, even side with it? What about the safety of the rest of the community?

He is at war with the West and the US in particular.

His goal is to make the ME Muslim Brotherhood-controlled.

He really is a most dangerous man, and even Muslim leaders know this.

(BTW that piece was written by former Lt. Col – Ralph Peters who is usually pretty good. He may be wrong in this article).

3 1389 October 27, 2011 at 1:29 am

The only conclusion I can reach is that Obama WANTS this to happen to the US.

4 Gramfan October 27, 2011 at 1:32 am

“The only conclusion I can reach is that Obama WANTS this to happen to the US.”

I agree. He is trying to create total chaos!

5 Gramfan October 27, 2011 at 1:41 am

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