The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Walk Away

As deadline after deadline passes and Barack Obama's Team of 2s continues in its effort to find a level of capitulation that is acceptable to Iran, I'm reminded of simple words of wisdom imparted when I went to purchase my first used car (a beat up Chevy). My father said this: "You have to be willing to walk away. If the deal isn't right, thank the seller for his time and walk away. You'd be amazed how often the terms of the deal can change as you're walking out the door."

Now, I'm the first to admit that buying a cheap used car isn't quite the same as negotiating a nuclear arms deal, but the basic principle imparted by my father remains the same. It appears that the golden boys on Obama's Team of 2s never learned that simple wisdom (with silver spoon in hand, they probably had their staff do all the automotive negotiations at the Jaguar/Bentley dealership), and now, they refuse to walk—even though the Iranian demands are unacceptable.

I suspect that John Kerry, under Obama's direction, would happily agree to the removal of all sanctions right now, so this president could achieve his "landmark diplomatic achievement." Luckily, even Obama couldn't get away with that. A bipartisan majority of Congress would justifiably scream bloody murder.

John Podhoretz uses an amusing metaphor to describe the current situation:
[Secretary of State John] Kerry is the party guest who wouldn’t leave. Kerry is the customer in the restaurant after closing time who remains sitting at his table while the staff puts the chairs up, turns the lights off in the front and then goes downstairs to change so they can go home — and when they come upstairs he’s still there, John Kerry is, sipping on his flat Pellegrino.

Kerry has morphed into the absurdist movie director Luis Bunuel, whose famous 1962 film “The Exterminating Angel” is about a group of people at a dinner party in Mexico City who find it impossible to leave the dining room in which they have gathered, for weeks and weeks.

In Bunuel’s case, he only wrote and directed “The Exterminating Angel.” Kerry is both writer, director and star of this remake, and his fellow cast members are [Iran's negotiator] Zarif and the other diplomats in the so-called P5+1 process whom he has trapped in Lausanne.

Every director needs a studio executive to greenlight his would-be masterpiece, and in this case, the executive in charge of production is President Obama.

Obama is like the executives back in 1980 at United Artists who agreed to make “Heaven’s Gate” and then continued pouring money into it even as it became a bottomless well of expense.

To acknowledge the mistake and cancel the production in the middle would have been to admit a mistake so profound it would have humiliated them beyond measure.

Of course, once the picture was done, they weren’t just humiliated — they were fired, en masse, and United Artists literally went out of business.

Obama won’t be fired, and the United States won’t go out of business. But whatever happens at the end of this negotiation, he and Kerry and the nation they represent will have been humiliated, United-Artists style.
Humiliation is one thing, but the potential for a mushroom cloud over the Middle East is quite another. Returning to my used car metaphor, it's better that we don't pay far too much for a car that will breakdown within a quarter mile of the showroom. It's far better to walk away.