Special to WorldTribune.com
U.S. President Barack Obamaâ€™s capitulation to Iran in recent nuclear negotiations will likely result in the first use of a nuclear weapon since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz Cheney wrote in an op-ed.
Among the many dangerous deficiencies in his nuclear deal with Iran is the irreversible damage it will do to the international nonproliferation regime contained in the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), the Cheneys wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed entitled â€œRestoring American Exceptionalismâ€�.
Allowing the Iranians to continue to enrich uranium and agreeing to the removal of all restraints on their nuclear program in a few short years virtually guarantees that they will become a nuclear-weapons state, thus undermining the fundamental agreement at the heart of the NPT. President Obama is unraveling this international structure as part of an agreement that provides a pathway for the world’s worst state-sponsor of terror to acquire nuclear weapons.
The Obama agreement will lead to a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East and, more than likely, the first use of a nuclear weapon since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The op-ed charges Obama with weakening an America that has â€œguaranteed freedom, security and peace for a larger share of humanity than any other nation in all of history.â€� Obamaâ€™s weakness is particularly disturbing, the Cheneys say, because American leadership will be essential for the defeat of militant Islam.
“Yet despite the explosive spread of terrorist ideology and organizations, the establishment of an Islamic State caliphate in the heart of the Middle East, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and increasing threats from Iran, China, North Korea and Russia, President Obama has departed from this 75-year, largely bipartisan tradition of ensuring America’s pre-eminence and strength.
“He has abandoned Iraq, leaving a vacuum that is being tragically and ominously filled by our enemies. He is on course to forsake Afghanistan as well.
With a nod to British historian Andrew Roberts, the Cheneys observed that in the debate over whether America was born great, achieved greatness or had greatness thrust upon her, the only possible conclusion must be: all three.
“For the better part of a century, security and freedom for millions of people around the globe have depended on America’s military, economic, political and diplomatic might. For the most part, until the administration of Barack Obama, we delivered.
Among Obamaâ€™s many missteps, the Cheneys highlighted the sequestration mandated in the Budget Control Act of 2011, these cuts have, according to former Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno, left the Army as unready as it has been at any other time in its history. Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert has testified that “naval readiness is at its lowest point in many years.” According to Air Force Chief of Staff Mark Welsh, the current aircraft fleet is “now the smallest and oldest in the history of our service.”
The Cheneys say Obama, in the wake of the nuclear agreement, stands ready to gut the NPT, which was signed by 190 countries, including Iran.
“The president has tried to sell this bad deal by claiming that there is no alternative, save war. In fact, this agreement makes war more, not less, likely. In addition to accelerating the spread of nuclear weapons across the Middle East, it will provide the Iranians with hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief, which even the Obama administration admits likely will be used to fund terror.
“The deal also removes restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program; lifts the ban on conventional weapons sales; and lifts sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, on the Quds Force, and on Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani. Under Mr. Soleimani’s leadership, the Quds Force sows violence and supports terror across the Middle East and has been responsible for the deaths of American service members in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We are living in what columnist Charles Krauthammer has called “a hinge point of history.” It will take a president equal to this moment to lead us through. America needs a president who recognizes that everything the nation must do requires having a U.S. military with capabilities that are second to none on land, in the air, at sea, in space and in cyberspace. The peace and security of the world and the survival of our freedom depend on it. We must choose wisely.
“As citizens, we have another obligation. We have a duty to protect our ideals and our freedoms by safeguarding our history. We must ensure that our children know the truth about who we are, what we’ve done, and why it is uniquely America’s duty to be freedom’s defender.