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    Trump reset the Obama Grand Bargain with the Mullahs by taking out Soleimani

    Trump reset the Obama Grand Bargain with the Mullahs by taking out Soleimani

    Obama tried to set the arc of history towards the Mullahs, handing Iran the Middle East in exchange for nuclear compromises. Trump just bent that arc. Whether that bend ends up breaking Iranian regional expansion remains to be seen.

    In the short run, the killing of Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps., is a complete victory for Trump. The killing came after a long series of Iranian provocations over the past several months and years.

    The killing of an American and the attack on the American Embassy in Baghdad, together with planned attacks in the near future, were too much and provoked the drone attack on Soleimani.

    The tepid retaliation of the Iranians, firing a modest number of missiles at bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq with no casualties, seems to have been mostly for show, so the Mullah regime could tell Iranians that retaliation was taken without provoking a strong American rection. That domestic Iranian audience was told that dozens of Americans died, when in fact no one died.

    Of course, the retaliation may not be over, and we are likely to see an attempt to bleed Americans in the region — but that carries a risk of American reaction even if carried out by Iranian proxies. So let’s see how this develops.

    The reaction-retaliation analysis that dominates the media, with a heavy focus on the Iran Nuclear Deal, misses the bigger importance of what Trump has done. By taking out the military architect of Iran’s expansionist plans in the Middle East and beyond, and then forcing the Iranians to back down from meaningful relatiation, Trump has disrupted Obama administration Middle East plans.

    The Iran Nuclear Deal has to be understood as one part of a bigger Grand Bargain promoted on the left. That Grand Bargain normalized the Mullah regime as a regional power in exchange for the Mullahs playing nicer on nuclear and other issues. That was the objective pursued by the Obama administration, to hand the Middle East to the Iranians in exchange for a decade delay in Iran developing nuclear material for a weapon.

    It was what in early June 2009, near the start of the so-called Green Revolution, I called Negotiations Preconditioned On Mullah Rule:

    During the campaign and after assuming the presidency, Barack Obama repeatedly stated his willingness to engage in negotiations with Iran without any preconditions. But that was and is not true.

    The events of the past two weeks, including the revelation that Obama sent a letter in May to “Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reveal that there is one precondition to negotiations which Obama willingly embraces: United States acceptance of Mullah rule in Iran in perpetuity.

    Acceptance of Mullah rule, notwithstanding what the people of Iran may want or basic human rights, is the key to the Grand Bargain the Obama administration seeks to strike with Iran. In fact, U.S. help to perpetuate the Mullahtocracy appears to be the ONLY precondition.

    That Grand Bargain was still at issue when nuclear negotiations entered a critical phase in 2012, as I wrote in Obama on verge of his grand Iranian bargain:

    It looks like Obama is going to get the “grand bargain” which has been the point of U.S. policy towards Iran since the Obama administration stood silently as Iranians took to the streets in June 2009.

    The grand bargain theory assures the Iranian theocracy’s continued control over not just Iran but an extended terrorist web extending from Syria and Lebanon to South America in exchange for supposed beefed-up monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program.  It is the culmination of Obama’s “negotiation without precondition” campaign promise, which presupposes the false choice between war and peace, when non-military confrontation of the mullahs and support of the Iranian people is a third way which is off the table….

    The mullahs keep their nuclear program, put some window dressing on inspections, and get economic and political lifelines as well as international assurances.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. becomes complicit in the continued existence of the mullah regime, protecting it from its own people and assuring another generation of terror throughout the Middle East and beyond.

    The Iran Nuclear Deal was the consummation of this Grand Bargain, as I wrote in 2015, Obama sweeps history toward the Mullahs:

    I can’t recall an event since I started this website in 2008 that has been as historically consequential as the nuclear deal the United States and five other countries just struck with Iran.

    It is the sweep of history.

    The deal is Obama’s deal. He drove it, he crafted it with John Kerry as the scrivener, and he pulled the other powers along with it.

    The defects in the Iran nuclear deal are being exposed in great detail. Those problems are serious and real.

    But what has troubled me the most as I read through the varied technical analyses is the same thing that has bothered me since June 2009, when the Iranian people rose up against the Mullah regime after fraudulent elections….

    Barack Obama cast his lot with the Mullahs in 2009, and has again in 2015.

    The economic and military sanctions on Iran will be lifted, the nuclear program continued, and above all, the Mullahs strengthened throughout the region, and beyond.

    In every way, Iran is the new hegemon.

    That will be the sweep of history, and it didn’t need to be that way.

    But it’s what Obama always has wanted, and his greatest achievement.

    That Grand Bargain is the context in which Iran used the tens of billiions of dollars it obtained from the Iran Nuclear Deal to ramp up it’s meddling throughout the region. Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal was an important step in dismantling this Grand Bargain, but the Iranians were under the illusion that they could continue their expansion throughout the region anyway.

    Trump taking out Soleimani has the potential to the end that Grand Bargain, and what little is left of its main component, the Iran Nuclear Deal.

    The Obama administration tried to set the arc of history towards the medieval Mullah dealth cult, handing Iran the Middle East in exchange for nuclear compromises. Trump taking out Soleimani and staring down threats of retaliation, just bent that arc. Whether that bend ends up breaking Iranian regional expansion remains to be seen.


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    The killing of Soleimani suggests that just as thousands have shown themselves willing to demonstrate openly against Iran, many others are choosing to be informers at a time when the Iranian rial is worth two-thirds of its value less than two years ago.

    Most Iraqis love neither Iran nor the US and are sitting on the sidelines waiting to see which state’s influence prevails over their country. The killing of Soleimani was a massive show of American force because he was touted by Iran as invincible.

    Terrorists, foreign and domestic.

    Arminius | January 9, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Actually, 4fun, Krugman’s excuse sounds more like that used recently by a Louisiana woman as she was inprocessed at a parish jail on unrelated felony charges. The cops strip searched her and found baggies of meth in her vagina. She claimed the meth wasn’t hers and she had no idea how it got into her vagina.

    Arminius | January 9, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    NK, sure it’s very remotely possible. The “real smuggler” may just have found the perfect drug mule. A female druggie who never has to pee.

    It’s also equally likely the “real smuggler” is also the “real killer” OJ vowed to hunt down.

    Hey! That could happen too.

    Back to the topic at hand. BeagleEar’s instincts are correct. Obama had only two reasons for wanting to become President over his despised enemies, the American people. To punish them for their sins and to help his real friends. Regimes and other entities abroad that hated America as much as he does.

    And who through that analytical who deserves help more than the regime that calls us the Great Satan, wishes death upon us at least every Friday, and actually declared war on us in 1979.

    Hence the JCPOA; one giant tongue bath for the Mullahs. Essentially it lifted all sanctions and gave Tehran billions of what was NOT their money in exchange for absolutely nothing. Obama always wanted Iranian signatures on something that resembled an a nuclear arms control agreement. Obama needed the cover of this “deal” even more desperately after he mouthed off about red lines in Syria. Then Assad gleefully stomped all over his red lines and exposed Obama for the empty suit that he is (for all issues unrelated to his passionate anti-Americanism).

    So he had his minions carefully craft an arrangement that appeared to have an inspections regime lame though it was. And appeared to have some sort of process, long and drawn out with numerous exit ramps, for dealing with Iranian cheating in the highly unlikely event the inspectors detected it. At the end of this farce he, Obama, and the other heads of state that agreed to this charade might have to do something.

    But this was a complete fraud. A complete betrayal of every American silly and gullible enough to believe that in Obama they had a President who was on their side.

    The JCPOA was carefully crafted so it could never detect cheating in the first place.

    Having ensured the nuclear-armed Mullahs would have the financial wherewithal to impose their rule and will upon the oppressed Iranian people until the end of time Obama had only one remaining concern. What if infighting among the Mullahs threatened the stability of the regime? And consequently the stability and security of Iran’s nuclear program/inevitable arsenal.

    Fortunately for Obama there was one stabilizing force that could guarantee the security of the program and resultant weapons. The IRGC’s Quds Force. Even better it was headed by a man whose character and work Obama greatly admired; Qasem Suleimani.

    Since Obama frequently told official of Arab countries (I am getting this from multiple Arab sources) that they should be more like Iran, with their own Quds forces, and when he gushed his admiration for Suleimani it was without qualification.

    So apparently killing and maiming American troops was part of Suleimani’s body of work that Obama admired.

    Obama made it clear that Sulaimani and his Quds Force were central to the agreement he had with Iran. This is why US intel had such an easy time tracking the guy as he traveled. Suleimani figured he was too important to this country that he didn’t need to take security precautions. He thought no administration would touch him, not even DJT’s.


    And when obama gave the Iranians billions including pallets of cash Obama admin officials were forced to acknowledge that some of that would go to terrorism. But, like John Kerry in his January 2016 CNBC interview, they made noises as if that was an “unfortunate but unintended side effect.” No. Obama intended that as much if not all of that money go to Suleimani and the Quds Force.

    I recommend everyone go to the Hudson Institute website and read “Obama Strikes A Deal – With Qasem Suleimani.” It’s by Lee Smith dated 14 July 2015.

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