Obama's four point, blundering plan on Iran
1. Sideline Israel; 2. Advance US/Muslim relations; 3. Establish formal US/Iran relations as part of his legacy; 4. Divert attention from the meltdown that is Obamacare
My take on the prospect of Obama leading an agreement with Iran on nuclear materials production is largely self inflicted. I am not au fait with what the "experts" think.
First of all, I believe that O desperately wants some sort of conclusive entente with Iran, at least over the atomic energy/weaponry issue. I am not sure why he feels so compulsive on this issue, but some speculations are:
1. Sideline Israel from their hitherto "domination" over US Middle East policy
This would give Obama and the US considerably more credibility and support among non-Sunni Muslims on the one hand, but would seriously undermine Israel's bargaining position with the Palestinians on the other. It would, and indeed already has, seriously pissed off those Israelis of the right wing Netanyahu persuasion.
2. Advance US/Muslim relations in general. O has long demonstrated a soft spot for Muslims
He had earlier hopes of establishing a meaningful dialogue with anti-American countries in that area including Iran. This desire put O square in the middle of religious/political rivalries often manifest in civil war, proxy wars and near open warfare between ME countries.
By focusing on Iran and presumably making concessions with respect to how far it can go in upgrading uranium, he has alienated those countries and terror groups aligned against Iran on largely religious but also political grounds. Saudi Arabia and al Qaida are obvious examples as both are stalwart proponents of Sunni Islam.
O and his close advisors have always demonstrated a pathetic lack of knowledge and understanding of the rift between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. While this rift is not easily mastered by anyone, an even basic understanding of it contributes greatly to the predictive capacities of Middle East experts vis-a-vis the behavior of Arab and non-Arab Muslim leaders.
3. Establish formal relations between the USA and Iran as part of O's legacy
To date, O has been a do-nothing president with very little to point to by way of a presidential legacy. The jewel in his crown was meant to be Obamacare, but that has largely tanked and is so riddled with problems it is likely never to work properly without major, bipartisan, surgery. Hence, O is looking elsewhere to amplify his chapter in American history.
4. Take some pressure off Obama generated by critics of his failing Affordable Health Care plan
This is an old trick and of only temporary value, but it has proven useful as a means of diverting and diluting negative opinion against a leader. It would appear as if O is doing everything in his power to resuscitate his dwindling reputation. Just now, he needs some breathing room.
So far, this effort has lead to ham fisted, bull in a China shop diplomacy on the part of John Kerry who must be jumping through hoops of fire to toe the Obama line. One wonders how O can muster and maintain so much influence over Kerry. He certainly did not do so with Hillary Clinton.
Robin Mitchinson is a regular contributor to The Commentator
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