September 3, 2015
By THE WASHINGTON TIMES
In politics, everything is like living on the other side of the looking glass. Up is down and forward is backward. This is true of President Obama’s Iran deal. It is likely to win congressional approval, but it may well be a gift to the Republican Party that keeps on giving.
First, consider the alternative. If the deal were struck down, Republicans would be blamed for every future setback in the Middle East. If Israel used military strikes to take out Iran’s nuclear industry, it would be the Republicans’ fault. If we had to deploy more troops, it would be because of the failure of the deal to be approved. If sanctions could be only partially reimposed, it, too, would be the Republicans’ fault.
With the deal approved over the objections of the GOP, the future of the Middle East rests on President Obama’s and the Democrats’ shoulders. Iranian advances in Syria and Iraq will point to the failure of the negotiations and the deal. Major terrorist attacks will be due to the financial benefits the deal provided Iran. Funds and weapons to Hamas will be the result of the administration’s failed negotiation. Russian and China becoming the dominant players in the Middle East will be blamed on the White House. Every attempt by the Iranians to skirt portions of the agreement will reflect badly on those who supported the deal.
The failure to win the release of American hostages is a huge liability, although the Iranians may decide to give President Obama some political cover by releasing them out of the “kindness” of their hearts. If the hostages remain captive by Election Day, the Democrats will feel the voter’s wrath.
In the short run, Mr. Obama has again done a great disservice to those members of his party who have to face the voters. With more than two-thirds of Americans opposing the deal, those Democrats voting with the president will be on the defensive from Republican candidates. With every setback in the Middle East, the favorable votes for the deal will look like a bigger mistake.
Mr. Obama may want to spend the last year of his presidency focused on global warming, but he will own the future events in the Middle East like never before – and they are not likely to be pretty.
Boca Raton, Fla.