Shimon Apisdorf

Relax, Obama knows best

For those of you who think President Obama is naïve, dumb, an appeaser or worse, well, I have news for you: He’s smart, well-informed, and most importantly, he knows best. So I have a modest proposal, why don’t we just take a deep breath and try to look at things through his eyes.

President Obama is convinced that the best thing for the world, the Middle East, and oh by the way for Israel too, is to conclude a deal with Iran, even if that deal falls far short of the original goals that were stated at the beginning of this process. Here is why—

The goal of the upcoming deal with Iran is to create a framework that will, in both the short and long term, bring stability to the Middle East, benefit the Iranian people, the world economy, and oh by the way, us folks in Israel too. Here is how it all works—

1) Oil and energy.

Iran sits atop the third largest reserves of oil in the world. It also possesses 15% of the world’s gas reserves. In economic terms, Iran is an energy superpower. This means that the energy sector in Iran has the potential to, very shortly, forge lucrative deals with large energy companies around the world. Not to mention renewing and expanding post-sanction trade.

2) The Middle class. 

Iran has a large, well-educated middle class that is yearning for economic liberation. Under the Shah, Iran’s middle class was probably the most successful in the Middle East, and is just waiting for the opportunity to come into it’s own again. President Obama, a huge believer in middle class economics, thinks that the reemergence of the middle class in Iran will be a major stabilizing factor.

3) Economic development.

For an axis-of-evil, pariah state, Iran’s economy isn’t that shabby. It’s light years ahead of the likes of North Korea, and a hundred other economies as well. It has a relatively high GDP, with large service, manufacturing and agriculture sectors. Again, without the shackles of economic sanctions, there is every reason to expect that entrepreneurship and high tech will boom, unemployment will plummet, and Iran will grow into the thriving, economically stable country that it can be.

President Obama believes that an Iran with a stable, expanding economy with multiple layers of business, technology, and trade ties to the United States, Europe and beyond—even if it is a nuclear threshold state—will have no incentive whatsoever to cross that threshold, much less threaten anybody with nuclear weapons. Think about it; is the cheap thrill of pushing a button and immolating millions of people worth the loss of all those new found billions flowing through Iran, especially if a couple of those billions happen to be flowing into the leaders pockets? I mean, since when do world leaders launch unprovoked attacks on other countries? After all, Kuwait did provoke Saddam Hussein, didn’t it? And who can forget what Czechoslovakia and Poland did to offend Hitler? And clearly Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaida were acting in self-defense, right?

Besides, are lots of nuked Jews in Israel really worth losing all that cash?

4) Middle East stability.

Though counterintuitive to some, President Obama believes that winking and nodding at Iran’s expansionist exploits in the Middle East actually stabilizes things. Think about it: Lebanon and Syria have become provinces of Iran, Yemen is following suit, and even Baghdad is falling under Tehran’s sway. Couple that with the power and prestige that comes with being “only” a nuclear threshold state, and if all that doesn’t add up to a new Persian Empire, I don’t know what does.

Would this new world power really want to risk everything just for the adrenalin rush that comes from oohing and awing at a couple mushroom clouds? I mean, at the end of the day, we’re not just talking about any ol’ leaders here, we’re talking about men of God. Ever since going to Cairo for his first major speech after being elected, the President has been educating us about why we have nothing to fear from Islam, and has given us all a new appreciation for the great Islamic tradition that has given so much to mankind. Why in just the last few days the President has been clearer than ever and has assured us that those Islamic State folks who go around raping and beheading their way to a new Caliphate are “not Islamic,” and that “No religion condones the killing of innocents…” So surely our misplaced fears about the leaders of the Islamic Revolution in Iran acquiring nuclear weapons can be put to rest. Right?

So there you have it. Relax.

As for you naysayers who might say, “But isn’t handing a fundamentalist Muslim regime tons and tons of economic support, an empire, and the ability to retain nuclear threshold capability a bit risky?” Well, to that, in case you missed it, the President has two very reasonable responses.

  • Everyone knows that Islam is a religion of peace and is not responsible for any of the terror in the world today: Not responsible for 9/11, not for the beheading of a British police officer in London—or any other beheadings—not for Charlie Hebdo, not for any of it. Therefore, a regime rooted in Islamic religious teachings simply is not a threat. Furthermore …
  • Even if there are some random, law-breaking, sinner-type folks running around over there in the Middle East, at the end of the day, aren’t we are all the same? Don’t we all want the same good life for our families, and all want nothing more than the opportunity to live a decent middle class life? In an economically stable and promising environment, where citizens can be proud of their empire, people will surely choose college, career and Disneyland over martyrdom, won’t they? I mean shucks, nobody really takes stuff like Jihad, renewed Caliphates, the imminent arrival of the Mahdi, and seventy-two virgins seriously, do they?

Whaddya think? Let’s all just chill out and relax. Because clearly, Obama knows best.


About the Author
Shimon Apisdorf is the founder of Operation Home Again, the first organization solely devoted to community-based Aliyah. He has also authored ten books that have sold over a quarter million copies and have won two Benjamin Franklin awards. The Apisdorf's made Aliyah in the summer of 2012.