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The Big Deal Gets a Raw Deal


Can we talk about this administration's "Iran deal" for a second? Over the past weeks, others have written more eloquently than I ever could about the downsides of this fabulous deal. (That would be the deal under which the US gets nothing-- and in fact gives up advantages it already has in hand!-- and Iran gets everything. But no worries: we made the Russians and Chinese look good.) And I really love the recently-revealed secret accords with the IAEA; that's what happens when your ideology is firmly supportive of world government. But have you heard anything about the upsides of this deal? Are there any?


Obama has made some lame excuse about how, if we did nothing or failed to "get a deal, any deal" with Iran, then the next war in the Middle East was only months away-- and presumably that would be a war involving Israel. Sadly, Obama is probably right, but that would be the result of almost seven years of his limp-wristed foreign policy. (He must have missed the briefings in early 2009 where I am sure CIA told him that Arabs have a very macho culture.) And of course, when the US President never misses an opportunity to bad-mouth Israel, you can understand why Arabs, and other assorted Muslims like the Turks, might have come to think that the US would not stand behind its much smaller ally in this fast-approaching Middle East war.


Then there is Mr. John "I was born to be Secretary of State" Kerry, who is rapidly gaining ground in his personal race with Hillary Clinton for the title "Worst Secretary of State Ever." Benghazi is beginning to look like decisive leadership compared to what this bad boy has been up to in the past year. I feel kind of sorry for the Islamists. You can hardly blame them for thinking that if they act quickly--say, in the next 12 months--they have a pretty good shot at exterminating the Jews once and for all--like their Nazi antecedents tried so hard to do not so many years ago--and take back their lost territories in the Middle East, Europe and Africa for the greater glory of Mohammad. Hell, let's bring back the Dark Ages while we're at it!


Where Iran specifically is concerned, am I the only one who remembers that Obama could not bring himself to support the democratic upheaval in Iran in 2009? If you want a chuckle, check out Josh Levs's (whoever he is) article on CNN online telling you how Obama was a regular mensch on the Iranian street violence occurring in June 2009. (Interesting to note that CNN updated the article in October 2012, in time for the US presidential election. More of that Mainstream Media stuff?) Of course, no one wanted to criticize the little beggar in the summer of 2009 because he had only been in office for six months and still needed time to "find his footing." Good news! Nothing has changed! As illiterate in foreign policy as this president was in 2009, he is just as illiterate today--so much for people "growing in the job."


Which reminds me: Is Obama actually smart? Oh, I am sorry. I know what you're thinking: Was that racist? No matter, the US voters will never learn the answer to that question anyway, thanks to the Bespoke Media and the Lefty Academic Cabal that runs our major universities. They have assured us repeatedly over the years that American voters have no need to see Obama's academic records because his grades were terrific. BTW, have you ever been to law school? I know a bunch of you have. If you have, I am sure you recall how the administration and faculty at your school went out of their way to create a brand new title at the Law Review, so they could make sure that you were the first Law Review "president", right? (That would be at a law review that has been around for a couple of hundred years.) Or could it be that the Ivy League decided years ago that it wanted to be a part of the Obama Legacy?


The whole thing seems pretty odd to me. If I ran for president, those same schools would be falling all over themselves in their haste to release my academic records-- privacy, be damned! Oh, and I also have a copy of my birth certificate, just in case I decide to run. Think about it: here is a guy who cannot find his grades from high school, college, grad school, or law school, but somehow we think he is organized enough to run the country? Maybe that's why his staff makes him sleep over at the White House every night?


But I digress. I was trying to explain to you that you must be a racist, or you wouldn't even think of asking if Obama is smart. Of course Obama is smart; he must be. His dad was an African bureaucrat, and his mom was an anthropologist. Wait! Let me think about that.


African bureaucrats. Aren't they the people who are doing such a bang-up job governing all those new, emerging market economies in Africa the last few decades? You know, the ones who think corruption is a cool way to make a few bucks while you wait for socialism to come back in vogue in the west. It already has, you say? Oh, you mean because we voted for Obama, right? Not once, but twice? You may have something there.


But no worries; Obama's mom was an anthropologist, so he must be smart, yes? You remember anthropology from college, right? Let me see, anthropology.... Oh, yes. Now I remember. Anthropology was that department with all the cool underwater basket weaving classes, right? Always attracted the best and brightest at my school; what about yours? Well, okay, maybe a few jocks did take those courses looking for an easy "A," but that doesn't prove anything, except that you really are a racist, aren't you? That's because a whole bunch of those college athletes are black, right? You know, the ones who never get their degrees. So I'm pretty sure that clinches it: you are a racist, or why would you be bringing up the fact that black athletes never get their degrees?


But now I really have gotten off on a frolic and detour. Let's come back to the question of whether there are any upsides at all to Obama's Iran deal. Isn't that why you'd make a deal? Because there's an upside, and you expect to get something out of it? Or maybe, as Obama says, by getting this deal, we really are just avoiding a war that his foreign policy has otherwise made inevitable. (Talk about a low standard!) But would even that be enough for you to sign on to something this stupid? And, yes, I use the term "stupid" advisedly. Think about it: we are giving up the sanctions that have crippled the mullahs' regime for 35 years, not to mention the embargo on conventional weapons and ballistic missiles that was already in place-- never mind nukes. I for one am thrilled to know that Iran will be able to have the best possible missiles deployed in the months ahead, so that when they work out the final details of that nuclear warhead, they will have a reliable delivery vehicle to use it on. And what did we get in return? The mullahs' assurances that they will slow down the pace of their (illegal) enrichment program? Although they are already vigorously denying in public that they have agreed to any such thing. And of course the IAEA is who I want to rely on to be running the inspections of Iran's facilities, especially when they are not allowed to have any Americans on their inspection teams. (See, it's that weakness for world government again.) Whatever happened to Reagan's admonition to "trust but verify?" Meanwhile, it is also good to know that Iran will be raking in the dough in coming months and will have even more to spend on global terrorism.


So you have to ask yourself: Why would an American president agree to something like this? We all know that even the most obscure presidents worry about their legacy. Maybe. But I suspect there is more going on with Obama than that. For years, I have scoffed at those conspiracy types who in 2008 believed that not only was Obama not too bright, but on top of that he was not even an American. Oh, and of course he was a Muslim and a socialist to boot. But now I wonder.


Of course, calling someone a Muslim and a socialist in the same sentence is bit redundant, at least if you will let me have the argument that at some point the right and the left meet on the dark side and, coming full circle, are pretty much all about the same thing-- collectivism and coercion. (Didn't Paul Johnson try make that case in Modern Times?) I doubt the Nazis called themselves national socialists just to make propaganda points with the Left. And if you have spent much time with the Chinese Communist liturgy, you know that they have successfully collapsed the entire spectrum of political ideology into a single uniform catechism, with only "rightist" and "leftist" deviations.


So while it may be fruitful to examine whether Obama in his heart of hearts is in fact a Muslim, or merely an extreme ideologue, in the end it doesn't matter all that much. It will be sufficient if we can conclude that Obama is an ideological animal, not given to practical considerations or the needs and concerns of the governed in developing his views about policy. In other words, Obama--this man who does not know a sweeter song in the world than the Muslim call to prayer-- may well have been influenced in important ways as a child by adults who were true Muslims believers, but this may only mean that the energy generated by these influences reinforced the predilection in Obama's mind to see the world through ideological lenses. Muslim, commie, "socialist." It's all the same thing in the end.


A common thread runs through every policy issue that Obama has touched during his presidency: Obamacare, gun control, race relations, gay marriage, immigration, abortion, global warming, the environment, light bulbs, energy production, lawnmowers, coal, even public parklands, to say nothing of the Patriot Act. On the foreign policy front, the list continues: Arab Spring, Russian reset, Ukraine independence (or should I say conquest), the Castro brothers, China, and Israel, not to mention world government. I'm sure I've missed a few. The common denominator in each of these issues is that Obama has deliberately-- and in many cases provocatively-- flaunted long-standing public opinion. It is almost as if he defines the position he will take on a policy matter by determining what the majority of Americans think on the issue. Then he sets out to create a policy or law-- or in his case, a rule of tyranny-- that will poke its finger in the eye of the largest possible number of Americans. In each of these policy matters, he has looked the American people square in the eye, considered what a majority of them believes, and then said, "Naaah! Let's not do that." One might say that Obama, in defining himself this way, has made himself the single most important member of the lunatic fringe.


You might be tempted to ascribe this mindset to simple Ivy League arrogance--"I'm smarter than everyone else, so if the public thinks 'A,' then I have to believe 'B.'" I suspect, however, that the problem goes deeper with Obama.


Now I have no interest in conducting a psych study of this president-- and God help the poor soul who does one day. But I am still struggling to understand why any American, let alone an American president, would decide with such consistency to do the things Obama has done-- including the decision to enter into this fabulous Iran deal. One easy way of dispensing with the question is to say that Obama just plain hates America. Inasmuch as self-loathing is today an integral part of the Left's psychological makeup, this is not so far-fetched a conclusion. But I think it is useful to understand Obama as being driven by something deeper than anti-Americanism. His worldview encompasses disdain for America, no doubt. But this is a symptom of the way Obama's mind works, not the driving force itself, which is why he can get up in front of the camera and at least sound like he is being reasonable. In his world, he is. It's like the mom who during the July Fourth parade sees her son marching by in the band and says to her neighbor, "Oh look. Everyone's out of step but Johnny!" Of course, the same thing can be said of every good sociopath.


Plato and Aristotle have sometimes been seen as representing two completely opposed paradigms of how a political system should properly operate. Plato is typically perceived as the precursor of all tyrannical systems, who believed that the best government for humanity could be achieved only under a system of philosopher kings. Aristotle by contrast thought democracy would work because a citizenry made its best decisions when it acted in the aggregate through the process of voting--the result of this process would not always be right, but it would be right most of the time. In this way, we would have the best decisions made for society as a whole. Common sense would prevail, and we all act in the common good. It was this view of political society that the Founding Fathers sought to embed in the American democratic system. You could say this is just a poor form of averaging, but it seems to have worked here for at least a couple of hundred years. But for the ideologue, driven by Platonic extremes, there is no place for this democratic process because this type of system changes too slowly over time, and only in accordance with the expressed wisdom of the people. Why wait for that? Instead, the ideologue has the perfect vision of how society must look right now, and because his vision is perfect, it must be realized without delay. Nothing else matters. Not ethics, not tradition, not the people, not sacrifice-- and certainly not the law. How can the ideologue have anything but contempt for everything America stands for? Sound familiar?


In the end, there is only one thing I can tell you for sure about Obama: the emperor really has no clothes!


Just another year or so now, folks. Be patient-- and be skeptical. Don't let your amazement at what Obama is doing make you so angry that you forget to look hard at the nonsense our Republican brethren are dishing out in large portions right now. But that is for another day.


For now, stay safe until next time. Til then, may God bless us all. We still need it!

A diplomat during the Reagan years, Lloyd Richardson brings three decades of experience in international matters to his work.

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