The other day I heard someone say that a story that years ago would have earned a Pulitzer now came along about four times a week. I’m not saying that I’m of Pulitzer quality or that there should even be one for op-ed blogging, but like every week of late a lot happened last week. This is the story that I feel has the potential to have the biggest long-term impact and it’s not a good one. Let’s explore.
Tuesday, in his most foolish move to date, President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. There is no other way to put it than to say there is no upside for America or the world in this move. It was simply something Trump did to placate the most ignorant part of his base and to undo another thing Obama touched.
The Iran Nuclear Deal was less than perfect as all deals are. It was also not and was never intended to be comprehensive, hence the term “Nuclear Deal”. All it dealt with was nuclear weapons and that is all it was even intended to deal with. It did not deal with a plethora of other issues that countries like American take exception with that Iran is involved in. Throwing the deal out over other issues is much like claiming your car is a lemon because the toilet in your upstairs bathroom isn’t flushing properly.
Trump talked of immediately reinstituting strong sanctions against Iran. That is the ranting of a lunatic or at least of someone appallingly ignorant of the subject matter. Unilateral sanctions are not only ineffective; they put American businesses at a disadvantage.
The Iran Nuclear Deal was not a two party agreement between American and Iran. China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom were also parties to the pact. Those countries remain in the deal. In order to have effective sanctions they would have to violate the deal and refuse commerce with Iran which is not about to happen. The only enforcement alternative the United States would have is to impose so-called secondary sanctions on them in retaliation for their abiding by the term of the deal. Can you imagine American sailors trying to seize and board a Russian ship? How about freezing the bank assets of a Chinese firm? Maybe Trump plans to hijack a German truck bound for Iran. I think you get the picture.
Iran was in compliance with the deal; America reneged. This has done lasting damage to our international reputation which will take decades to repair. It is not like Trump can say he was duped. His buddy, (also under criminal investigation), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently presented evidence of past Iranian nuclear adventures. The problems are that the presentation was misleading because it entirely consisted of past endeavors and is therefore irrelevant. In the run-up to Trump’s announcement a steady parade of European leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited Washington in an effort to dissuade Trump from exiting the deal.
Trump and his minions are clamoring for him to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for a yet to commence meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jung-un at which Trump hopes to strike a denuclearization deal. With good cause Americans distrust the word of North Korean leaders. In the wake of Tuesday’s announcement a strong case can be made that North Korea has reason to doubt the word of a Trump-led America.
Trump did further his main cause by pulling out of the deal. He opened the door for an army of lobbyists to besiege Washington in pursuit of exemption from the secondary sanctions for their clients. In the process they can sleep and dine at Trump facilities after they pay “tribute” to “meeting facilitators”. Never forget that at its core this administration is little more than an organized criminal enterprise.
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