History’s historic blunders: Add one more

The annals of history are filled with countless ill-advised decisions that changed the course of human affairs, monumental mistakes that defied logic and reason.

July 19, 2015 22:12
4 minute read.
Muhammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif gestures as he talks with journalist from a balcony of the Palais Coburg hotel where the Iran nuclear talks meetings are being held in Vienna, Austria. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The annals of history are filled with countless ill-advised decisions that changed the course of human affairs, monumental mistakes that defied logic and reason and left havoc in their wake.

We might start at the very beginning of time, when Adam and Eve chose to violate God’s one command, to refrain from eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. That small act of rebellion resulted in their being evicted from the Garden of Eden, the loss of immortality and a host of other consequences that still afflict humanity.

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Later, it was Pharaoh’s egotistic order to pursue the Children of Israel at the Reed Sea which led to the drowning of his army and the end of Egypt as a world power. Pharaoh’s miscue was echoed centuries later by King Phillip II of Spain, who launched his much-vaunted naval armada against England in 1588, only to suffer a devastating defeat at the hands of Sir Francis Drake and the English navy, a blow from which once-mighty Spain never recovered.

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And then there was the normally savvy Napoleon, who sold the Louisiana territory to America in 1803 for the bargain-basement price of $15 million, which worked out to 3 cents per acre. It was the largest land deal in history – doubling the size of the United States overnight – and allowed America to surpass France, and every other country in Europe, in both size and strength. Among other fateful – and foolish – decisions which backfired on their masters and had dire consequences for them, and the world, were Germany’s sinking of the Lusitania in 1915; Hitler’s invasion of Russia in 1941; Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, also in 1941; and Saddam Hussein’s takeover of Kuwait in 1990.

To these blunders we can now add the Iranian nuclear pact of 2015.

Not only does this capitulation to bellicose Iranian demands grant immediate respectability and legitimacy to the Islamic Republic – which had been on the ropes after years of massive sanctions – it boosts the Iranians’ military, economic and diplomatic standing, while leaving intact their global terrorist network and malevolent plans for regional dominance. With the brush-stroke of a pen, President Obama and his fellow heads of state have ushered Iran willy- nilly into the community of nations, ending its well-deserved marginalization and snuffing out any prospect for moderating its particularly extreme brand of Islamic fanaticism.

In the end, Iran will have its cake and eat it, too. The sanctions will be lifted, never to return, and Iran will produce a nuclear weapon, most probably within the 10-year “grace period” that the agreement calls for. Just as fellow Democrat Bill Clinton’s ill-fated deal with North Korea in 1994 – which he, too, naively touted as “good for the United States, our allies, and the safety of the entire world” – was a sham that resulted in North Korea exploding an atomic bomb 12 years later, Iran will also join the nuclear club and threaten world peace.

This duplicitous deal is a betrayal of Israel. I fear it has dealt a massive, perhaps irreparable blow to the once stellar relationship between the US and Israel. Even as the deal was being signed, the Iranian ayatollahs were railing against the “Zionist criminals,” with thousands screaming “Death to Israel” – and to America – in the streets of Tehran, their eyes dancing with visions of the hundreds of billions of dollars that will soon flow into their coffers, much of which will be passed on to their murderous proxies. Not a word was uttered by Obama and company about the virulent anti-Semitism that fuels Iran, or about the open pledges to wipe Israel off the map.

This is how a friend treats a friend? Moreover, the pact is a complete betrayal of American values and moral principles. The United States should be using all of the powerful tools at its disposal to stymie and suppress Iran’s evil designs, for this is a regime whose relentless campaign of hate, terrorism and violence is the worst the world has seen since the Nazis.

Iran denies all of the most basic freedoms to its own citizens – who have now lost all hope for any semblance of democratic privileges – while exporting insurrection and instability to every corner of the planet. Rather than offering concessions to Iran on a silver platter of wishful thinking, America should have held firm and pressured the world powers to cease all contact with Iran until and unless it changes its character.

Erasing one redline after another at dizzying speed, the Obama-Kerry tag team has once again proven the wisdom of the adage: Either you stand for something, or you fall for everything.

The writer is director of the Jewish Outreach Center of Ra’anana.

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