It’s not as if it’s something new, after all. Obama’s been cuddling up to Khamenei for more than six years, as I have revealed in some detail. And I’m not the only one: Tony Badran, Michael Doran, Lee Smith, Sarah Carter, Michael Weiss, and, just now, Jackson Diehl–to take six of the best–have been all over the Obama-Khamenei deal for quite a while. So why all of a sudden are pundits and pols getting excited, and thinking deeply about the inner meaning of the latest letter?
Part of the explanation is corporate: it’s the Wall Street Journal, after all, not a blog. That gives the story higher standing. So even pundits like Suzanne Maloney–a Rouhani fan who advocated American concessions after the last Iranian elections–felt obliged to deal with the deal, although she and many others acted as if it were a new development.
I think most of these people knew what was going on–they read plenty of blogs–but chose not to acknowledge it. Why? Because they were rooting for Obama to succeed, and they were afraid that if they wrote about the Obama-Khamenei deal, it might snafu the public (nuke) negotiations. They don’t want to be blamed for that outcome. (Yes, they think their columns have a decisive effect on policy.)
Then there’s the desire to avoid being associated with losers. There is growing conviction that there won’t be a nuclear deal, and the pols and pundits want to show how smart and foresighted they are. The letter, so far as we know, reinforces that conviction, since it allegedly says that we’ll go easy on the Iranians in the negotiations if they’ll join with us on the Iraq battlefield. It doesn’t take a Kissinger to see this as begging, nor to conclude that Khamenei would see the letter as further evidence that Obama will do whatever Iran wants. So why make a deal that Khamenei detests? Obama has long wanted an alliance with Tehran, but Khamenei has never wanted an agreement with Washington.
Instead of focusing their considerable energies on the letter, the pols and pundits should try to solve the mystery: why has Obama always wanted an alliance with Iran? Moreover, whatever the explanation, the president’s Iranian mission gravely distorts American policy and puts American lives on the line in favor of the objectives of a mortal enemy. That’s infuriatingly more important than yet another letter to Khamenei, even more important than whatever agreement may or may not emerge from the negotiationathon in Vienna.
There should have been Congressional hearings on this very important subject long since, and the so-called investigative journalists have had years to unscrew the administration’s appalling behavior. Valerie Jarrett is deeply involved, along with now-retired Bill Burns and Jake Sullivan. Are they unreachable? Are their colleagues’ lips sealed, even now? Or will our deep thinkers and elected representatives just focus like a laser on the letter, and studiously ignore one of the central compulsions of our commander-in-chief?