Ethics & Public Policy Center

Obama’s Worst Mistake

Published in Commentary Magazine on July 15, 2015



I wanted to add my voice to those who have already written about the deal between Iran and Western powers, led by the United States. It is an agreement that is likely to set in motion a terrible chain of events — reviving the Iranian economy while simultaneously putting Iran well on the road to gaining nuclear weapons and triggering a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Iran’s behavior is likely to be more, not less, aggressive, from threatening other nations to supporting terrorist organizations. Our allies can only conclude that the United States is unsteady and unreliable, having cast its lot with the most destabilizing regime in the world today — one that is an existential threat to Israel, and where chants of “Death to America!” can still be heard at prayer services every week. Historians may well consider this date to be a time when, as Max Boot put it, “American dominance in the Middle East was supplanted by the Iranian Imperium.”

President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry are betting that this agreement will tame the Iranian regime and turn it into a positive force in the Middle East and the world. This will turn out to be an incredibly ill-advised judgment — and as the details of the agreement spill out over the coming days, the magnitude of the capitulation by the president will be more and more evident. He was taken to the cleaners. I imagine even the Iranians were surprised by how much Mr. Obama buckled.

Of all the missteps and unwise decisions and harmful acts by the Obama administration — the Affordable Care Act and the lies used to sell it, economic policies that have failed to create growth and led to dramatic increases in poverty and dramatic reductions in the labor force participation rate, the repeated acts of lawlessness, the use of the IRS to harass conservative groups, increasing polarization and divisions within America, the withdrawal from Iraq, the debacles in Syria, Libya and Yemen, the feebleness toward Russia, the failure to confront the rise of ISIS, the betrayal of our allies — the Iranian nuclear deal may well turn out to be worst of all.

It is a strategic disaster, a failure of leadership, of monumental significance.

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