Defeat without a war

The deal that the United States and others have entered into with Iran bears comparison with the Munich Agreement. Churchill’s speech condemning the Munich Agreement is useful in understanding the Iran deal. Churchill condemned the Munich Agreement in part as “a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road[.]” I think the Iran deal can usefully be understood as representing a defeat without a war. Indeed, seems to me, the Iran deal represents surrender without a war, a surrender in which we have capitulated to the terms of our enemy.

The Iran deal may well be the worst agreement of all time. Hitler was not given a financial windfall along with the Sudetenland, but Iran will take home at least $100 billion. Bret Stephens writes in today’s Wall Street Journal (accessible here via Google):

Iran gets $150 billion in mostly upfront sanctions relief. Susan Rice insists that “for the most part” the money will be spent on “the Iranian people and their economy,” an insight the national security adviser must have from the same people who briefed her on Benghazi and Bowe Bergdahl. But she also admits that some of the money might be spent on Iran’s “bad behavior in the region”—but that’s OK because the nuclear deal “was not designed to prevent them from engaging in bad behavior.”

Let it be entered into the record that the United States government has agreed to release monies that it believes will be used to fund Iran’s terrorist proxies. It has done so on the intriguing rationale that, in order to prevent the Middle East from becoming a very dangerous place in the future, it is necessary to allow it to become a very dangerous place now. To adapt a phrase, the administration believes that it has to destroy a region in order to save it.

David Frum summarizes key terms of the deal here as follows:

1) It has rescued Iran from the extreme economic crisis into which it was pushed by the sanctions imposed in January 2012-sanctions opposed at the time by the Obama administration, lest anyone has forgotten.

2) It has relaxed the arms embargo on Iran. Iran will be able to buy conventional arms soon, ballistic-missile components later.

3) It has exempted Iranian groups and individuals from terrorist designations, freeing them to travel and do business around the world.

4) It has promised to protect the Iranian nuclear program from sabotage by outside parties—meaning, pretty obviously, Israel.

5) It has ended the regime’s isolation, conceding to the Iranian theocracy the legitimacy that the Iranian revolution has forfeited since 1979 by its consistent and repeated violations of the most elementary international norms—including, by the way, its current detention of four America hostages.

Philip Klein provides another helpful summary here. Lee Smith dwells on the removal of sanction against Qassem Suleimani here. Adam Kredo notes that American inspectors are banned from inspection of Iran’s nuclear sites here. Emily Landau notes the maddening “back to the future” aspect of the deal here in an article by Yaakov Lapin. Throw in the rout of Congress, and you have the complete and utter humiliation of the United States.

As Churchill said, “a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road.”