Obama's Iran Monkey Trap

monkey trap

The idea of a monkey trap is spectacularly elegant. A bit of food or a shiny object is placed inside a sturdy object (often a coconut is mentioned but the image comes from a termite hill being used for the purpose). There is a hole that is just big enough for the monkey’s hand to pass through. However, once the monkey grasps the object its fist is too large to pass through the hole. All the monkey has to do to free itself is to let go of the object inside, but, being the avaricious little f*** that it is, it won’t. And it soon joins the supply of “bush meat.”

This has become a fitting metaphor for Obama’s negotiating position with Iran on how soon he wants them to have nuclear weapons.

Iran is driven by two objectives. First, it wants to have a nuclear weapon. Second, it wants UN sanctions removed. Make no mistake about it, Iran intends to have both; Obama intends to give it both; and that is the reason the White House had an aneurysm over the letter by Senator Cotton and signed by 46 other GOP senators. Let’s review the bidding. In just the last week:

Wednesday — WSJ scoop on PMDs concession — the WSJ revealed that the administration was willing to let Iran put off fully disclosing its nuclear program until after sanctions relief had been granted, a concession that would gut any verification regime (http://www.wsj.com/articles/iran-stalls-u-n-probe-into-its-1427327943)

Thursday — AP scoop on Fordow concession — the AP revealed that the administration was willing to let Iran continue spinning centrifuges in its underground military enrichment bunker at Fordow, ensuring that Iran would be allowed to maintain nuclear infrastructure completely impervious to Western intervention if they decided to break out (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/ap-exclusive-iran-run-centrifuges-fortified-site-29925489)

Monday — NYT scoop on Iran stockpile bait-and-switch — the NYT revealed that the Iranians had backed away from suggestions they would ship their enriched uranium to Russia, a scenario they had used for months to secure concessions on the number of centrifuges they’d be allowed to run (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/30/world/middleeast/iran-backs-away-from-key-detail-in-nuclear-deal.html?_r=0)

 A treaty with Iran has become an all-consuming goal of the Obama administration. They have indicated there is nothing they will not do to arrive at a deal:

Efforts by the Obama administration to stem criticism of its diplomacy with Iran have included threats to nations involved in the talks, including U.S. allies, according to Western sources familiar with White House efforts to quell fears it will permit Iran to retain aspects of its nuclear weapons program.

A series of conversations between top American and French officials, includingbetween President Obama and French President Francois Hollande, have seen Americans engage in behavior described as bullying by sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

A defector from the Iranian negotiating delegation, the media aide to Iranian “President” Hassan Rouhani had this to say:

In his television interview, Mr Mottaghi also gave succour to western critics of the proposed nuclear deal, which has seen the White House pursue a more conciliatory line with Tehran than some of America’s European allies in the negotiating team, comprising the five permanent members of the UN security council and Germany.

“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal,” he said.

The reason for Obama’s monomania seems to be an effort to create a legacy in foreign policy that is more positive that “a f***ing shambles,” and “the world in ruin.” Via Politico as quoted in my weekend epic Obama’s foreign policy: Cluster f*** or g-d freefall?

“There’s a sense that the only view worth having on the Middle East is the long view,” said the State Department official. “We’ve painfully seen that good can turn to bad and bad can turn to good in an instant, which might be a sobriety worth holding on to at moments like this.”

The official offered a hopeful note, adding that a nuclear deal with Iran — which some reports say could come as soon as Sunday — could be a turning point for the region.

“The truth is, you can dwell on Yemen, or you can recognize that we’re one agreement away from a game-changing, legacy-setting nuclear accord on Iran that tackles what every one agrees is the biggest threat to the region,” the official said.

If Obama is truly interested in a legacy-worthy treaty that will remake the region he needs to walk away from these non-negotiations, ramp up sanctions, and acknowledge that Iran is not our friend. But he can’t for the exact same reason the monkey can’t let go the shiny object.

Editor’s note. I am sure this analogy is going to cause a round of panty-wetting and self-befouling at a variety of left wing sites, but, you know what, I just don’t care. If you want to enjoy the pleasures of monkey trapping for yourself, check out the video below.