Jeffrey Goldberg writes for the The Atlantic and is one of the premier journalists in the United States today.
A big part of the reason for his success, aside from the fact that he is a terrific writer, is that he has accrued access to the Obama White House much more so than most of his colleagues.
When the Obama administration wants to loft an idea concerning Israel into the public domain they often rely on Goldberg to knock it out there. He has been a reliable friend of the Obama administration and, along with people such as Thomas Friedman, has provided an invaluable service by generally covering Obama's flank with the President's Jewish constituency.
Nonetheless, tomorrow morning Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is going to speak to the world from Washington, D.C. concerning the Iranian Bad Deal and Goldberg has a few questions.
The deal that seems to be taking shape right now does not fill me—or many others who support a diplomatic solution to this crisis—with confidence. Reports suggest that the prospective agreement will legitimate Iran’s right to enrich uranium (a “right” that doesn’t actually exist in international law); it will allow Iran to maintain many thousands of operating centrifuges; and it will lapse after 10 or 15 years, at which point Iran would theoretically be free to go nuclear. (The matter of the sunset clause worries me, but I’m more worried that the Iranians will find a way to cheat their way out of the agreement even before the sun is scheduled to set.) - Editor's emphasis.I am not exactly filled with confidence, either. Leaving Iran as a nuclear-weaponized threshold state is not what Obama promised the American people. What he said, quite specifically, was that it was US policy to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
Goldberg, himself, wrote about this in an October 2, 2012, column entitled, Obama's Crystal-Clear Promise to Stop Iran From Getting a Nuclear Weapon.
Reuters is reporting that President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu are both satisfied with their non-encounter at the United Nations last week. Both men "left the U.N. meeting with more than they arrived with: Obama with an assurance that Israel would not attack Iran's nuclear sites before the November 6 U.S. presidential election, and Netanyahu with a commitment from Obama to do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from producing an atomic bomb."Obama has changed the policy without alerting the American public. Apparently now the policy is to try to manage and finesse Iran's nuclear weaponry development and to merely hold it off for a few years. From now until then Obama will be able to say that he has lived up to his word.
This, needless to say, puts the United States, Israel, and the rest of the world in a position of weakness in which all we can really do is hope for the best. It certainly puts Iran in a position wherein if it wanted to step up its rise as a Middle Eastern hegemon, it could demonstrate nuclear weapons capabilities in short order.
The fact of the matter is that Iran does not need nuclear enrichment facilities - particularly given its resources in oil - if its nuclear program is entirely for peaceful purposes. If that were the case it could purchase enriched uranium elsewhere, as do most other countries.
This is a very dangerous moment for Obama and for the world. He has made many promises, and if he fails to keep them—if he inadvertently (or, God forbid, advertently) sets Iran on the path to the nuclear threshold, he will be forever remembered as the president who sparked a nuclear-arms race in the world’s most volatile region, and for breaking a decades-old promise to Israel that the United States would defend its existence and viability as the nation-state of the Jewish people.From what I read in the newspapers, Obama is advertantly setting Iran onto a path to the nuclear bomb threshold. What they tell us is that it is supposed to be a 1-year threshold. That is, Iran agrees to remain one year away from break-out capacity and we are, thus, supposed to trust the ayatollahs.
That is putting an awful lot of faith into an Islamist government that has been an enemy of the United States since 1979. This is particularly true given Iran's emergence as a contemporary imperial power in the Middle East during the Obama presidency.
In fact, from a strictly logical point of view, it is completely... nuts.
I do not want to see the United States or Israel go to war and I do not know that a ground campaign is our only option beyond near capitulation, which is what Obama's Bad Deal is.
One of Netanyahu’s most strident critics, Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad intelligence agency, said recently, “A nuclear Iran is a reality that Israel won't be able to come to terms with.”This, my friends, is a very big moment and we are going to have to wait until we see final terms in order to make final judgments.
He went on to say, “Two issues in particular concern me with respect to the talks between the world powers and Iran: What happens if and when the Iranians violate the agreement, and what happens when the period of the agreement comes to an end and they decide to pursue nuclear weapons?”
In the coming weeks, President Obama must provide compelling answers to these questions.
But, if the deal contains a one year break-out, and if there are secret facilities in Iran, that means Iran can go nuclear at practically a moment's notice.
Ultimately, you can only have faith in the Bad Deal, as we understand it today, if you do not honestly care if Iran gets a Jihad Bomb.