Israel alone

The agreement reached between Iran and six world powers (the United States, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Germany) led by US President Barack Obama has mind-numbingly weak enforcements provisions.  We are now left to wonder how this could possibly have happened.

While the deal is not likely to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, it will lead to the lifting of the crippling sanctions against Iran, strengthening the Islamist regime and improving its ability to export terror. The deal is so obviously flawed that it is hard to believe that Obama approved it and is now its prime defender, with the full support of Hillary Clinton, his likely successor. The usual anti-Obama theories are of course all over the Internet: he is really a Muslim, he is anti-American, he is an idiot, and so on. None of this is true.

The most rational explanation I have heard about the reason why the six world powers agreed to this deal is one that Obama will not admit publicly, but it makes perfect sense: The sanctions against Iran were going to unravel anyway. Russia and China were anxious to lift the sanctions and would likely have done so if no deal was reached. The deal was the only way to avoid leaving Iran completely free to pursue its nuclear ambitions.  At least the deal allows for some restrictions and some enforcement, even if woefully inadequate.

If this is true, it means that a US Republican administration would have reached the same deal with Iran. It means that the US Congress will kick and scream but will not reverse the deal. It also means that in the fight of the civilized world against Islamic extremism, Israel is now alone. And it explains why Israel is now the only country openly and loudly denouncing the deal.

In his 2006 book “America Alone”, Mark Steyn argues that America is left alone fighting an Islamic extremism that is threatening to destroy civilization as we know it. It turns out that Steyn got the country wrong. The only country still left to fight Islamic extremism is Israel. In a rare show of unity, the government and the opposition in Israel are both solidly against the deal. Unlike Western nations, Israelis know that the threat of Islamic extremism is real. They know it because they are surrounded by it, and they are fighting it every day.

Americans, Europeans, and Canadians are aware of the threat, but they are still under the illusion that the threat can be contained using minimal effort while their consumer-oriented economies continue on their merry way. What’s more, with the emergence of non-Western economic powers, such as China, who do not feel threatened by Islamic terrorism, the West is capitulating.

After Iraq, the US lost the willingness to fight wars, and frankly I cannot blame them, but what’s even more worrying is that with the US’s waning relative economic power, it has also lost its ability to apply economic sanctions. The Western effort in the war against Daesh is only symbolic.  Once Daesh is more established, we can expect that appeasement will be attempted with them as well.

Israel was alone in fighting Arab coalitions, and she is now alone against the terrorist regime of Iran. One day she will also be alone against Daesh. The world will eventually wake up to the realization that Israel was the canary in the mine and that Islamic extremism has become an unstoppable force. By then it will likely be too late.