Democrats are praising Obama’s “diplomatic relations” with Iran, hailing the release of four prisoners who were held for years as proof of improved relations. Obama’s dealings with Iran seem to be solidifying his legacy but what, exactly, will that legacy be?
Obama essentially traded 21 for 4 by offering clemency to seven Iranians pending trial in the US and dismissing charges and extradition requests against fourteen others not in the US. This follows his swap of five terrorists from Gitmo for Sgt. Bergdahl who now faces a court-marshal for desertion. With lopsided numbers such as those, Obama’s prisoner exchange negotiations have come under harsh criticism.
His “nuclear deal” with Iran, which he desperately pursued, came after allowing Iran time to hide its nuclear weapons program and, thereby, receive $100 billion in assets frozen by sanctions. These assets were released just hours after the latest prisoners swap, suspiciously looking like a ransom for the prisoners. It certainly suggests that kidnapping US citizens can be lucrative so it should not come as a surprise if more US citizens are taken. Perhaps the three kidnapped in Baghdad are a direct result. You can bet North Korea took notice.
It is always a good thing to get prisoners back but our policy of not negotiating with terrorists seems to have been thrown by the wayside to do so. If (many think it’s just a mater of when) Iran obtains a nuclear weapon, Obama’s legacy will become a nightmare and his lopsided prisoner swaps will no longer seem positive even by those now drinking the Obama Kool-Aid.
There has been an embarrassing desperation to Obama’s dealings (appeasement?) with Iran and he has treated Israel, a staunch ally, like a terrorist nation while courting Iran as a desirable and legitimate nation beneficial to US interests. That is only beneficial to Obama’s interests and it is his legacy that interests him the most. However, the legacy he is building is a house of cards on the verge of tumbling down – and we may all be forced to pay the price.
David J. Hentosh