Hopefully Obama Didn’t Make The Deal To Justify His Nobel Peace Prize


Iran deal is not worthy of Nobel recognition

By Jeff Jacoby
GLOBE COLUMNIST JULY 19, 2015

MOMENTS AFTER IT was announced that the United States and its allies had reached a nuclear deal with Iran, the drums began beating for a Nobel Peace Prize. Carl Bildt, the former Swedish prime minister, tweeted happily:

I think the work of the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Parliament this year just got much easier.
On Wednesday, a director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, an influential think tank with ties to the Nobel organization, recommended that the 2016 prize be awarded to Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The Vienna deal is a capitulation to one of the worst regimes on earth. Far from requiring the Iranians to dismantle their illicit nuclear program, the accord leaves almost all of it intact. In exchange for little more than a promise to delay its development of nuclear warheads, Tehran is rewarded with $150 billion in sanctions relief and, within a few years, the lifting of the UN embargo on conventional weapons and missile sales. The Islamic Republic is the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, yet nothing in the agreement requires any change in its notorious behavior. And despite the regime’s long record of treaty violations and deceit, the deal enables it to stall for almost a month before complying with a demand for access by inspectors — hardly the “anytime, anywhere, 24/7” inspections that the Obama administration had claimed it would insist on.

The White House wanted to sign a deal; Iran’s rulers wanted to ensure their path to the bomb and nuclear legitimacy. Both got what they wanted. The consequences will be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, more Iranian terrorism and subversion, and a greater likelihood of war.

A Nobel Peace Prize — for that?

It wouldn’t be the first time.

The Obama/Kerry willingness to concede anything for a nuclear deal with Iran has been likened to Neville Chamberlain’s infamous Munich agreement with Adolf Hitler in 1938. Then, too, shameless capitulation was hailed as a triumph of peacemaking and diplomacy. Chamberlain was cheered as a hero in the press and on the street, and he won a resounding vote of confidence in Parliament. He was widely nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, including by a dozen members of the Swedish parliament. Who knows — he might have received it, had Hitler waited just a little longer before invading Czechoslovakia.

All too often the Nobel Committee has seen fit to bestow its prestigious honor on men who negotiated “peace” accords that ended up undermining peace. In 1973, the prize was awarded to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and North Vietnam’s Le Duc Tho, lead negotiators of the Paris Peace Accords that purported to end the Vietnam War. In reality, the accords paved the way for US withdrawal, effectively abandoning South Vietnam to defeat and brutal occupation by the communist North.

The Locarno Treaties of 1925, now largely forgotten, settled Germany’s borders with Western Europe, and were extravagantly portrayed as guaranteeing that Germany would never again violate the peace. “France and Germany Ban War Forever,” cheered The New York Times, and the Nobel Committee, intoxicated with the “spirit of Locarno,” awarded peace prizes to the French, British, and German foreign ministers who negotiated the deal. Yet the treaties deliberately left Germany’s eastern borders open to “revision.” In essence, one Polish leader remarked bitterly, “Germany was officially asked to attack the east, in return for peace in the west.” The promised peace was a mere bubble. The war Locarno facilitated would prove all too bloodily real.

The Nobel Peace Prize for the Oslo Accords — presented in 1994 to Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin, and Shimon Peres — was another blunder that looks even worse in retrospect. A peace prize for Arafat, an arch-terrorist and hatemonger who devoted his life to the destruction of peace? It was as contemptible a choice as the Nobel Committee has ever made. Of course, there’s always next year.
Jeff Jacoby can be reached at jacoby@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeff_jacoby.

A Nobel Price For Peace (2 Chronicles 36)

Obama’s chilling Iran nuke lie

What Nobel Peace Prize?

The Nobel Price For Peace

Reports that President Obama agrees Iran should be free to make a nuclear bomb in about 10 years put the lie to his repeated vow never to allow an Iranian nuke. The broken promise is the international twin to his domestic whopper that you “can keep your doctor.”

You can’t, but Iran can keep its enriched uranium, making this lie an even bigger bombshell. As in, bombs away.
The deal also would launch a new round of nuclear proliferation among Arab states, with Saudi Arabia long promising to get a bomb if Iran does. Others fearful of Iran’s dominance are sure to follow, escalating the tit-for-tat patterns in the region into a nuclear nightmare.
In short, the unfolding nuclear landscape presents the whole of mankind with unprecedented peril.
The terms of the developing agreement, as explained to reporters by negotiators, vindicates concerns that Obama would surrender to Iranian demands while claiming otherwise. He caved in with a deal that envisions a decade-long phase-out of restrictions, allowing Obama to say that there will be no bomb on his watch.
Israel faces a new era of extreme risk, simultaneously in the cross hairs of a genocidal enemy and betrayed by its longest and closest ally. The betrayal continued even yesterday, with Secretary of State John Kerry blasting critics, presumably including Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Anyone running around right now, jumping to say we don’t like the deal, or this or that, doesn’t know what the deal is,” Kerry said in Senate testimony. “There is no deal yet.”
That’s only technically accurate because Obama and Kerry are keeping the details secret. The scam recalls how the White House hid the details of ObamaCare until the bill was passed; it’s what the FCC is doing with Internet regulations.
The timing is especially suspect, with the nuclear deal moving toward finality on the eve of Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress next week. Iran recently said the US was “desperate” for an agreement, and the reasons are obvious. Getting Iran’s signature on a document, any document, before the visit would allow Obama to take the steam out of Netanyahu’s warning by spinning the settlement as the best possible and making it seem unstoppable.
That shouldn’t fly, given the stakes to us, Israel and our Arab allies. But that all depends on whether Democrats continue to put loyalty to Obama ahead of their duty to America’s national security.
Even a handful of Dems joining with majority Republicans would be enough to reject any terms that allow Iran to get a nuke. In doing so, those senators would be enforcing the refrain that no deal is better than a bad deal.
And make no mistake — Obama has produced a very bad deal. Bad for America, and bad for the world. 

Obama Desperate For A Nuclear Deal

Top Iranian Official: Obama Begs to Meet Rouhani

What Nobel Peace Prize?

What Nobel Peace Prize?
 
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 12/8/2014, 2:30 PM
The head of the office of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei insists that US President Barack Obama is chasing after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, according to footage provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“When you see the American president knocking on every door just to meet our president for a few minutes, this is no trivial matter,” Mohammad Golpayegani stated in an IRINN (Iranian news channel) broadcast. “Some people lurk in the UN corridor just to get the chance to shake (Obama’s) hand, and he does not deign to even do that.”

“Yet he sends mediators and goes to such efforts (in order to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani),” he continued. “This demonstrates our strength.”

The statement follows news that Obama had sent a secret letter to Khamenei in October without informing its regional partners (Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) in which he called for cooperation against Islamic State (ISIS) and a nuclear agreement.

Earlier that month, American and Arab officials revealed to the Wall Street Journal that Obama has moved closer to Iran and its terror proxies Hamas and Hezbollah, citing “secret channels of communications” to Iran via senior Shi’ite sources in Iraq.

So Much For the Nobel Peace Prize

NATO nuclear drawdown now seems unlikely

What Nobel Peace Prize?

What Nobel Peace Prize?

Last summer in Berlin, President Obama called for “bold reductions” in U.S. and Russian tactical nuclear weapons to ease the risk of annihilation in Europe.

Obama was referring to the roughly 200 B61 nuclear bombs that the U.S. has deployed in five NATO nations stretching from the Netherlands to Turkey — as well as an even larger Russian arsenal estimated at 2,000 tactical weapons.

But since last summer, that hopeful outlook has evaporated. Russia’s incursions into Ukraine and nuclear threats made by Russian President Vladimir Putin have killed any chance that the U.S. would withdraw its tactical nuclear weapons any time soon.

“Withdrawing our relatively few weapons would be the absolute wrong signal at this moment,” said James Stavridis, the retired U.S. admiral who served as NATO chief until 2013 and is now dean of the Fletcher School of international affairs at Tufts University.

NATO weapons

“Throughout my period of command as the NATO supreme allied commander, my personal view was that it was time to consider withdrawing the weapons from Europe,” he said. “However, given Russian activities of the past months and the potential for a return to a period of significant friction between Russia and the alliance, I now believe we should keep the weapons in Europe, despite the costs and risks associated with doing so.”

Support for nuclear deterrence has been echoing across Europe. Newer members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, including Poland and the Czech Republic, have openly advocated for continued deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe.

The maintenance of the B61 nuclear force on European soil involves trade-offs of cost, risk and deterrence.

The weapons spread over the continent are exposed to potential theft or accidents. But their presence is reassuring to some NATO allies, who believe the weapons show a strong U.S. commitment to their security. And proposed modifications to the B61 under an $8.1-billion Energy Department program should make them more accurate, enhancing their deterrence against Russia.

“As long as Russia is invading its neighbors, they are going to stay there at a minimum,” said Stephen Rademaker, the assistant secretary of State for international security and nonproliferation during the George H.W. Bush administration.

Sleek and streamlined, packing an explosive force of up to 700 million pounds of TNT, the B61 thermonuclear weapon is the last of its kind, the only tactical nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal.

Unlike strategic weapons, designed to destroy cities and hardened military targets, the tactical weapons are intended for use on a battlefield, delivered by aircraft at treetop level or from high altitudes.

The bomb was designed in the 1960s during the Johnson administration, paralleling the technical breakthroughs of the space program. It was among the first compact nuclear weapons, measuring just 13 inches in diameter. The B61 comes in five models, one able to dial down its explosive power to just 2% of the bomb used in World War II on Hiroshima, according to outside estimates.

The U.S. began sending battlefield nuclear weapons to Europe in the 1950s, when it was feared the Soviet Union’s conventional military superiority would allow it to overrun Western Europe.

All of those weapons, except the versatile B61, were long ago withdrawn.

Over the last 15 years, this U.S. nuclear umbrella has extended over an additional dozen Eastern European nations that gained entry into NATO.

As the Ukrainian crisis has unfolded, Obama has asserted that the alliance needs to “make concrete commitments to help Ukraine modernize and strengthen its security forces.”

Pressure has built in Washington for the Obama administration to do more than increase the economic sanctions on Russia that seem to have had little effect.

Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, NATO’s current supreme allied commander, told National Public Radio this month that Russia’s actions were contrary to a future that allows European nations to choose their own destiny. “What’s happened recently in Ukraine is what we thought would never happen again,” he said.

The situation is unfolding at a critical juncture for the U.S. nuclear weapons complex.

Philip Coyle, who recently served as a security advisor in the Obama administration, said he believed the B61s should be withdrawn from Europe under a program that would allow for rapid deployment in the case of a military emergency.

“The more places you have them, the more opportunity there is for things to go wrong,” said Coyle, formerly the deputy director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the nuclear weapons design center in the Bay Area.

Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of American Scientists, has argued in recent days that the Ukraine crisis should not be a rationale for continued B61 deployments in Europe.

Their presence has not deterred Putin so far, and their future presence is merely an “echo from the past,” he said.

But others say the B61’s deployment in Europe is still a potent deterrent to the Cold War strategy that Putin has resurrected in the standoff with Ukraine.

Norton A. Schwartz, a retired four-star general and former Air Force chief of staff, said the aggressive Russian moves should reduce the uncertainty some NATO members have about the B61’s relevance. “Does the NATO nuclear mission still provide some measure of deterrence, and with it, a degree of alliance cohesion?” he asked. “Experienced hands I know still think it does.”

Linton Brooks, who negotiated the first strategic arms reduction treaty and later was the nuclear weapons chief in the Energy Department, said there would be wide support for a new treaty to eliminate the tactical weapons, but getting rid of them unilaterally would be a mistake.

“The danger is that it will be a signal to our Eastern European allies that we are lessening our support of them,” he said. “Now is not the time.”

But keeping the B61 in Europe will be part of an expensive nuclear modernization program. The bomb is the next major U.S. nuclear weapon to undergo a life extension program at an official cost of $8.1 billion, though the Pentagon estimates it would cost about $10 billion and outside groups say associated hardware would boost the total to $12 billion. The program would include upgrades to higher-yield B61s based in the U.S. as part of the strategic stockpile.

That cost increase is a reflection of the Energy Department’s high-cost approach to its nuclear weapons mission, said Peter Stockton, a former Energy Department advisor and now senior investigator for the Project on Government Oversight.

Don Cook, chief of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, said in a recent interview that the B61 is the oldest weapon in the U.S. inventory and that without a modernization program there would be some concerns about its future reliability.

Aging components, such as the conventional explosives that trigger the nuclear reactions and electronic arming systems, would be replaced. The bombs would get more formidable electronic and physical locks to thwart unauthorized use of a stolen weapon.

The modernization also would include a new tail fin assembly for greater accuracy and would allow a lower nuclear yield in attacking targets. “There would be less unintended collateral damage and less loss of life,” Cook said.

Experts say those improvements would increase the weapon’s deterrence value if the Russians believe the U.S. would be more likely to use the weapons because of their increased accuracy.

But such new capabilities are troubling to some experts who say the U.S. should not be thinking about how to make the weapons more useful.

“When the yield is lower and the system is more accurate, it makes them easier to use,” Coyle said. “You don’t want it to be tempting.”

ralph.vartabedian@latimes.com
william.hennigan@latimes.com