For Trump, the End of the Beginning, by Michael Walsh.
The president and his new secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, were undoubtedly emboldened to flout the conventional wisdom of Foggy Bottom and its amen chorus in the press corps by their success (caveat: so far) in handling North Korea. Just a few months ago, the usual worrywarts and chin-pullers were fretting that the madman in Washington was about to provoke the only slightly less mad Kim Jong-un into a nuclear exchange in the international equivalent of a dick-measuring contest. Meanwhile, the same Wise Men were thrilled with the “success” of their beloved Obama’s giveaways to the mullahs in Tehran.
And then, suddenly, there was Li’l Kim in South Korea; after nearly 70 years of a state of war between the two Koreas, talk of peace — if not actual reunification — is in the air. …
For decades — since the Iranian revolution, in fact — it has paid for lesser nations to ruffle the eagle’s feathers. Rather than bite back, American presidents from George H. W. Bush to Obama have turned the other cheek to near-continuous provocation; indeed, it took the enormity of 9/11 for George W. Bush to rouse the nation to action, and even then it was largely wasted on “nation-building” projects in places like Afghanistan and Iraq that were never really nations in the first place.
What should have been a punitive expedition against recrudescent Islam, several orders of magnitude greater than that of Kitchener at Omdurman, has since morphed into the Endless War — one that gives military procurers, Army lawyers, and the striped-pants set permanent employment, even as our capabilities have been degraded, our capital squandered, our young people killed and maimed, and “diplomats” like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry have racked up air mileage at public expense and accomplishing exactly nothing. …
So the end of the Iran deal will have ramifications and repercussions far beyond this nation’s dealings with Iran itself. Certainly, the excitable Iranians must now understand their bluff has been called, there will be no further rollovers from Uncle Sam, and that their long-accruing butcher’s bill, outstanding since 1979, is now due and payable. The Iranian regime is on shaky ground, its youthful population restive, and it might well have fallen during the Obama Administration had we supported the Green Revolution with just the slightest gesture. The abrogation of the “deal” will now doom them, irrevocably.
Read it all.
Glenn Reynolds chips in:
The past two weeks might eventually go down as the most consequential in American diplomacy since Ronald Reagan’s “failed” 1986 Reykjavik summit with Mikhail Gorbachev, which more than any other single event set the stage for peaceful victory in the Cold War.