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

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Binary View

Barack Obama and his foreign policy Team of 2s seem to be the only people (other than the radical Islamic regimes who are celebrating a 'great victory') who seem to be defending his Iran "deal." Hillary Clinton, in typical Hillary fashion, was equivocal, expressing support to keep the left-wing base of the Democratic party happy, but leaving plenty of wiggle room if things about the deal go south. Many other Democrats expressed tepid support (with a few true believers in the Democratic party ecstatic about peace in our time--1938, anyone?).

At his press conference yesterday, Obama suggested that “99% of the world community” support his deal with Iran. Hmmmm. I guess that means that the Senate will approve the deal 99 to 1 or that polling within the United States will yield 99 percent in favor. Then again, it's entirely possible that Barack Obama doesn't consider the United States to be a legitimate member of the "world community," so opinion here doesn't count.

It better not, because opinion here is scathing.

As I've mentioned in earlier posts (see Update#2 here), Barack Obama creates a false choice. He suggests that its either capitulation (in terms of a "deal") or war. It's either pseudo-control of Iran's road to a nuclear weapon, or Iran with a nuclear weapon. It's either Iran as a member of the "world community," or Iran as a renegade. It's either sanctions that "don't work," (a flat out lie) or the release of sanctions that will moderate Iran's behavior. This simplistic, binary view of international relations is dangerous and irresponsible, not to mention wrongheaded, but the Team of 2s finds it comforting to believe that their ill-conceived 'negotiation' was the only righteous path. This level of confirmation bias is astounding.

Even Obama's media hamsters are asking harder questions than normal, but I suspect that their skepticism will be short-lived.

Here's a prediction. Much is being made of the fact that the release of four American hostages that Iran has imprisoned was not part of this "deal." I suspect that the Team of 2s and the Iranians have established an under-the-table agreement to release the hostages. As the congressional debate intensifies, and if the agreement looks like it's in trouble, the hostages will be released at just the right moment. In the typical "oh look, a squirrel" move, the media will look away from legitimate questions about this "deal" and will revel in the release of the hostages, with personal interest stories, heart-rending accounts, and the like. Democrats, who might have properly voted 'no' will be given cover to vote 'yes' after this moving humanitarian gesture. Call me cynical, but watch for this. Given the Obama's penchant for political calculation, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it happens.

Richard Fernandez summarizes reaction of a few important players:
“We are confident that the world today breathed a sigh of relief.” — PRESIDENT VLADIMIR V. PUTIN, who emphasized Russia’s plans to be a major partner with Iran in the development of its “exclusively peaceful” nuclear program.

“We have no doubt that the coming days will see momentum for the constructive role of the Iranian Islamic republic to support the rights of the people and strengthen the bases of peace.” — PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD, according to the Syrian state news service, SANA.

The deal is “a historic mistake for the world” and will allow Iran ‘‘to continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region.’’ — PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, who has said that a deal will eventually pave the way for Iran to quickly produce multiple bombs and ultimately become a “terrorist nuclear superpower.”
At the risk of being snarky, I sometimes think Barack Obama looks at Putin and Assad as people who he can deal with and Bibi Netanyahu as a bad actor. That would dovetail directly with the feelings of more than a few Left-wingers, but nonetheless, you have to worry when the only world leaders celebrating the "historic deal" are international thugs.

Fernandez continues with a wonderfully apt metaphor:
... Obama, in purchasing the promise of an alliance with Iran for money, is like a man who engages a lady in a clip joint to sit at a table and pretend to be interested in him, even though they have nothing in common. The lady, in this case a bearded Ayatollah, consumes overpriced, watered-down beverages for which he presented an astonishing bill and when opportunity presents may slip him a mickey. Then she escorts her wobbly customer out followed closely by Vladimir.

It is not unheard of for patrons of such establishments to wake up in a ditch without their wallets, glad they still have their underwear. But if shared values are not the coin in the administration’s realm, then it must be purely down to who has the last laugh. Off go Iran and Obama into the mist. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, but don’t count the ditch out.
Given Obama's history of foreign policy disasters, the ditch is getting wider and deeper by the day.