Ludwig von Gress
The calamitous Khamenei-Kerry contract was touched upon in Fog of Chaos of 29th November - Deal or No Deal. Surprisingly many commentators, and not only the rusted-on Obama’s claque, see that diplomatic disaster as something positive, which reminds the people with memory of the experts lauding Chamberlain with his umbrella and “peace in our time”.
History does not repeat itself in exactly same way. Mention the Munich surrender in 1938, and one wonders how people could be so stupid not to see the obvious. The Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain perhaps had the excuse of the un-preparedness of Great Britain for the war and the Munich Treaty did buy some time. There was no excuse for the un-preparedness.
Hitler made his intentions very clear in his speeches and his book Mein Kampf and demonstrated that these are not idle talk on 7th March 1936 when on his orders the Wehrmacht entered Rhineland. Under Articles 42, 43 and 44 of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles Germany was “forbidden to maintain or construct any fortification either on the Left bank of the Rhine or on the Right bank to the west of a line drawn fifty kilometres to the East of the Rhine”. If a violation “in any manner whatsoever” of this Article took place, this “shall be regarded as committing a hostile act…and as calculated to disturb the peace of the world”. According to the Locarno Treaties, signed in 1925 by Germany, France, Italy and Britain, the Rhineland should continue its demilitarised status permanently. Locarno was a voluntary German acceptance of the Rhineland’s demilitarised status.
In his “peace speech” of May 21, 1935, Adolf Hitler stated “In particular, they [the Germans] will uphold and fulfil all obligations arising out of the Locarno Treaty, so long as the other parties are on their side ready to stand by that pact”. Ten months later the Wehrmacht marched. While the historians disagree on the military strength of France and Great Britain, as opposed to that of Germany at that time, most agree that the lack of reaction was caused by psychological, rather than military factors. In other words, cowardice.
Perhaps, rather than at the “Munich” time, we are only at the “Locarno” time. There are differences, of course, some obvious, other less so. Hitler came to power in January 1933, so it took him only about three years to show his teeth.
Ayatollahs are at it much longer and so far just talk and concentrate uranium.
They are facing oil depletion and declining population – “Dying civilizations are the most dangerous, and Iran is dying. Its total fertility rate probably stands at just 1.6 children per female, the same level as Western Europe, a catastrophic decline from 7 children per female in the early 1980s. Iran’s present youth bulge will turn into an elderly dependent problem worse than Europe’s in the next generation and the country will collapse. That is why war is likely, if not entirely inevitable.”
“Iran’s theocracy displays the same apocalyptic panic about its demographic future that Hitler expressed about the supposed decline of the so-called Aryan race. Unlike Hitler, whose racial paranoia ran wild, Iran’s presentiment of national death is well founded on the facts. That is not to understate Iran’s paranoia.” /Spengler/
Repeating the obvious I will leave to the experts, but it would seem that Iran got what it wanted and, secure under the umbrella of United States dis-diplomacy, will be able to stretch its own nuclear umbrella over the preferred terrorists.
Not everybody is taken by a piece of paper: Diplomacy: Cutting Iran some slack
by Herb Keinon
… Some 10 days ago, in front of about 50,000 Basij militiamen, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei referred to Israel as the “unclean rabid dog” of the region and predicted its demise. His words were greeted with chants of “Death to America,” and “Death to Israel.” That was a pretty routine development, actually – just another day in the neighborhood.
But Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in Moscow at the time, took angry note of the words. “The Iranians deny our past and repeat their commitment to wipe the State of Israel off the map,” he told a gathering of local Jewish leaders in his Moscow hotel, located in the shadow of Red Square. “This reminds us of the dark regimes of the past that plotted against us first and then against all of humanity.” …
US Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the remarks the next day in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, calling them “inflammatory” and “unnecessary,” and adding that “at this moment when we are trying to negotiate what can and can’t be achieved, the last thing we need is names back and forth.”
US Secretary of State Kerry is clearly out of his depth – even the Mekong river was too much for him, if the veterans of those “swift “ boats are to be believed, and the more deadly Oriental bottomless pits are far, far over his head.
… Israel knows full well what Khamenei thinks about it – it also knows what Washington thinks about these types of statements. What miffed Jerusalem was the sense that with the peace train roaring into the Geneva station (this all took place just as the Geneva talks that led to the interim agreement with Iran were set to begin), none of the members of the P5+1 driving that train – the US, China, Russia, France, Britain or Germany – were going to let anything happen to upset the journey.
Khamenei could make abominable statements, but the muted response from the world indicated to Jerusalem that everyone’s mind was already made up: This train was bound for “success.”
Echoes of this were also evident on Tuesday, when Iran publicly disputed the details of the agreement – formally known as the Joint Plan of Action – that the White House made public on Sunday.
“What has been released by the website of the White House as a fact sheet is a one-sided interpretation of the agreed text in Geneva,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham was quoted as telling the Farsi press. “Some of the explanations and words in the sheet contradict the text of the Joint Plan of Action, and this fact sheet has unfortunately been translated and released in the name of the Geneva agreement by certain media, which is not true.”
But even these disputes, these discrepancies, were summarily papered over by parties involved in the negotiations. These differences were dismissed as each side just trying to spin the agreement to their advantage for their domestic audiences.
In Jerusalem, this all brought back bad memories of Yasser Arafat’s memorable May 1994 speech at a mosque in Johannesburg, just after the signing of the Oslo Accords and just before Israel handed Gaza over to Palestinian administrative control.
During that speech, Arafat called for a jihad over Jerusalem (though he said later he meant a “jihad for peace”) and indicated the Oslo Accords were only a tactical move that could later be done away with.
The backers of Oslo explained away his words by saying that he did not really mean them and that they were only intended for domestic Islamic consumption.
The problem was, as events such as the second intifada later proved, those words did seem to reflect his mindset ….
What was agreed upon in Geneva is an interim deal that restrains Iran’s nuclear progress in certain areas, in exchange for sanctions relief, and gives the P5+1 and Iran time to negotiate a comprehensive deal without worry that while the talks are continuing, Iranian centrifuges are spinning the country to a nuclear bomb.
And it is that comprehensive agreement that Israel will now try to impact. Which raises the question of what this Israeli engagement will look like, or deal with. Obviously, officials say, it will be an Israeli attempt to ensure that the comprehensive agreement includes elements that Israel believes are essential to halting – not just restraining or freezing – Iran’s nuclear weapons program. It will also, however, include Israel nudging the P5+1 not to surrender to the temptation to turn a blind eye to Iranian infractions or a less than full implementation of what was agreed.
During this engagement, Israel is also expected to raise another issue that it feels has been lost in the conversation over Iran’s nuclear program – and that is Iran itself: Iran the exporter of terrorism, Iran the enabler of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iran the serial trampler of human rights.
Much was written in the West this week about how the Geneva agreement, and the US-Iranian secret talks that gave birth to it, heralded perhaps an end to the US-Iranian Cold War that lasted since the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979 and the takeover of the US embassy there.
Any analogy with the US-Soviet Cold War, however, is faulty. The US-Soviet Cold War ceased to exist when the Iron Wall came tumbling down and the Soviet regime became a historical footnote. The Cold War did not end while the Soviet Union was subjugating its people.
But those now advocating an end to the US-Iran Cold War are doing so without any fundamental change in the Islamic Republic’s regime: it continues to repress its own people and export its violent brand of Islamic revolution around the world. Iran, in short, has not changed, it is the same Iran. What is changing dramatically is the West’s perception of it. …
Israel’s concern over the years about a nuclear Iran has not only been that if it gets a nuclear weapon it may actually use it, but rather about how much more mischief a nuclear Iran could cause; how much more damage its proxies – Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas – could unleash knowing that they had an Iranian nuclear umbrella above them.
Israel has also warned that this becomes a problem not only when Iran assembles a bomb, but even as early as when it becomes a nuclear threshold state, meaning a state with the capacity to build a bomb when it makes the decision to do so – a position that Iran, according to Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, is already in.
Yet in the recent talks, Iran’s role in Syria, and with Hezbollah, has been left entirely out of the discussion.
Kerry, in a BBC interview three weeks ago, when asked how Iran’s role with Syria and Hezbollah were factoring into the discussions, said forthrightly, “Well, we’re not there. We’re not in a larger discussion. We’re not having a geopolitical conversation right now.”
Kerry was asked in the interview, which followed an inconclusive round of talks in Geneva, whether Hezbollah or the conflict in Syria came up in his talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
“I think we spent 30 seconds on Syria,” he said.
Which, from Israel’s perspective, is problematic. Granted, the main concern is Iran’s nuclear program, but all the talk with Iran, the new atmosphere, is creating a sense in Jerusalem that Iran’s other activities are being overlooked, if not legitimized.
While in the past the US administration, at least during the first year of Obama’s presidency, drew linkage between Iran and solving the Palestinian issue, today it is carefully delinking the nuclear issue from Iran’s behavior in the region; partly – sources in Jerusalem suspect – so as not to endanger some diplomatic agreement on the nuclear issue. All of this, of course, will impact on another key issue, and that is the negotiations with the Palestinians.
Asked if Netanyahu should not be reticent about publicly fighting with the US and Obama over any of this, one senior diplomatic official replied that if Netanyahu does not speak up now – even against American policy – on an issue as cardinal to Israel’s security as a nuclear Iran, then when exactly should he speak out?
Read the whole article – Diplomacy: Cutting Iran some slack by herb keinon
I do not know when Netanyahu should speak out, but I guess the world will speak too late.