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

Thursday, August 06, 2015


Sometimes, Barack Obama and members of his Team of 2s say things that are so dishonest and so outrageous that one isn't sure how to react. As support for his Iran "deal" has begin to erode, even among his staunchest Democratic Senators, Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, have doubled down on dishonesty and outrageousness.

In earlier posts, I've covered the many reasons why this Iran deal is bad for everyone except Barack Obama and the Islamist leaders of Iran, so I won't belabor the issue yet again. Suffice it to say that negotiations are supposed to be win-win, if they are effectively conducted. The Obama Team of 2s has created a win-lose scenario in which Iran wins big by getting nuclear weapons (in 10 years if they're honest, and long before if they're not), huge sums of money to sponsor weapons acquisitions and terror groups, and virtually no concern about oversight or verification. We lose, our allies in the region lose, and the West loses.

Yesterday, Jeffrey Goldberg (one of Obama's many supporters in the media) quotes John Kerry in The Atlantic:
Kerry warned that if Congress rejects the Iran deal, it will confirm the anti-U.S. suspicions harbored by the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and eliminate any chance of a peaceful solution to the nuclear conundrum:

“The ayatollah constantly believed that we are untrustworthy, that you can’t negotiate with us, that we will screw them,” Kerry said. “This”—a congressional rejection—“will be the ultimate screwing.” He went on to argue that “the United States Congress will prove the ayatollah’s suspicion, and there’s no way he’s ever coming back.
James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal responds to Kerry's outrageous statement:
To put this as politely as possible—and believe us, we’re straining to do so—Kerry’s tender concern for the ayatollah’s “dignity” is perverse. It’s true that a degree of mutual trust is necessary for a negotiation to succeed, but Kerry ignores the “mutual” part. His analysis is one-sided, and on the wrong side. The main question for Congress—as it should have been for the administration—is whether America can trust Iran.

This is, after all, a regime that traduced all diplomatic norms by seizing the U.S. Embassy and holding dozens of Americans hostage for over a year. OK, that was a long time ago. But it’s the same regime, one whose slogan is “Death to America.”
Kerry trumps his outrageous statements with dishonest ones. Here's an exchange Taranto quotes between Kerry and Republican Congressman Ted Poe during congressional hearings last week:
“Is it the policy of the Ayatollah, if you can answer for him, that Iran wants to destroy the United States?” the Texas Republican Ted Poe, of the House Foreign Relations Committee, asked Secretary of State John Kerry, on Tuesday.

“I don’t believe they’ve said that,” Kerry replied. “I think they’ve said ‘Death to America!’ in their chants.”

“Well, I kind of take that to mean that they want us dead,” Poe countered.

“I think they have a policy of opposition to us and a great enmity, but I have no specific knowledge of a plan by Iran to actually destroy us,” Kerry said. “I do know that the rhetoric is—is beyond objectionable.”
Meanwhile, Kerry's boss, Barack Obama, insists that the only choice we have is this "deal" or war. This false choice is meant to mislead the public and pressure the many Dems who oppose the "deal" are are leaning toward rejecting it. In addition, Obama has come very close to implying an anti-Semitic canard that Jewish money is driving opposition to his "deal" which would otherwise be supported by broad swaths of the American electorate. It is currently opposed by a growing majority of Americans with or without opposition by Jewish groups. Opposition that is both justified and appropriate.

In a speech at American University yesterday, Obama tried to be statesmanlike, telling his listeners that the Iran deal is “the most comprehensive inspection and verification regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program.”

Seriously? This "most comprehensive inspection and verification regime" bans the inspectors from visiting many Iranian sites; demands that they delay 24 days minimum before an approved (by Iran) visit; allows Iran to hand-deliver evidence, rather than have it collected by inspectors, and uses secret agreements between the IAEA and Iran (whose content is unknown to our elected congressional representatives).

But this president's teleprompter tells us it's the "most comprehensive inspection and verification regime" every negotiated. If that's is the case, it's a broad indictment of the competence of past negotiators, not praise of this current episode in appeasement.

Outrageous and dishonest statements, driven purely by partisan politics, are S.O.P. for the Obama administration.  But it's still shocking to hear national leadership utter them with such arrogance.


The Editors of Bloomberg comment:
President Barack Obama took to the airwaves today, aiming to sell Congress and the American people on the wisdom of his nuclear deal with Iran. He had a case to make but chose not to make it. He decided instead to cast legitimate criticism of his pact as ignorant warmongering ...

Well, perhaps one thing: Obama may hope that denigrating those who disagree with him will rally Democrats in Congress to support a veto of any measure of disapproval. Tactics aside, it would be far better to win this fight fairly. The pact is not a treaty: A future president and Congress might overturn it, arguing that it was sealed without proper consideration. And history often looks with disgust at causes built on fear, especially if they go awry. Obama wouldn't want to face the kind of scorn he heaped on George W. Bush today.


And this from USA Today:
President Obama visited American University today to deliver what was billed as one of the most important speeches of his presidency. The topic was the proposed nuclear deal with Iran that is currently under consideration by the Congress. The venue was significant; Obama invoked history, namely President John F. Kennedy’s June 10, 1963 commencement speech in which he announced that the United States, Soviet Union and United Kingdom would begin formal negotiations seeking a limited nuclear test ban. But Kennedy’s diplomatic success 52 years ago only underscores Obama’s poor showing in selling his nuclear deal with Iran.

Kennedy sought a ban on atmospheric nuclear testing, which both sides had undertaken extensively and which created nuclear fallout problems. He negotiated the test ban as a formal treaty, and presented it to the Senate for ratification as the Constitution dictates. It sailed through in September 1963 by a vote of 80 to 19 with strong bipartisan support. By contrast, the Obama administration never sought to do the hard work of negotiating and ratifying a formal treaty with Iran, and the proposed pact faces strong bipartisan opposition on Capitol Hill. President Obama invoked the later SALT agreements with the Soviet Union, but his proposed Iran deal has lower public approval than the SALT II treaty did before Jimmy Carter withdrew it from the Senate in 1980.