Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. on Monday casually mocked White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes’ denials that the Obama administration played a key role in getting a resolution condemning Israel passed in the UN Security Council, dismissing him as an “expert at fiction.”
The Israeli government has been claiming for days that they have “ironclad information” that the Obama administration helped create and push UN Resolution 2334, and now reporters are demanding proof.
Via CNS News:
Ambassador Ron Dermer told MSNBC the Israeli government had proof that it would share that evidence with the incoming Trump administration – which “can decide whether they want to share that with the American people.”
“We’re obviously not going to share it with this [Obama] administration because this administration is behind it,” he charged.
Asked about Rhodes’ denial of an administration role, Dermer replied, “Ben Rhodes is an expert at fiction.”
“Let’s just wait until all the evidence is presented to the new administration and they will decide,” he said.
And then you can invite me back on your show and you can see whether I’m telling you the truth,” he added. “When the prime minister of Israel makes such an allegation, that is backed up by 100 percent evidence. You can take that to the bank.”
This is not the first time an Obama administration detractor has hit Mr. Rhodes along those lines, and it probably won’t be the last. The taunt stems from the extraordinarily frank interview Rhodes gave to veteran reporter David Samuels in the New York Times Magazine back in May (“The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign Policy Guru“).
The expose chronicles how Rhodes went from being a creative writing major to being “the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives,” as Samuels put it. “Obama’s foreign policy fairy tales” is more like it.
Following the explosive NYT article, Rhodes was asked to appear before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing to answer questions about the White House’s misinformation campaign to garner approval for the comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran.
Ahead of the hearing, Senator Tom Cotton, who had been on the receiving end of a ferocious left-wing, “two minutes of hate” campaign for daring to oppose the Iran deal, referred to Rhodes as a “failed novelist.”
“Some of the coverage of Ben Rhodes is what happens when you put van drivers and campaign flaks and failed novelists in charge of foreign policy and national security,” the U.S. Army veteran told radio talk show Hugh Hewitt.
With Rhodes a no-show at the Oversight and Reform “White House Narratives on the Iran Nuclear Deal” hearing, S.C. Congressman Trey Gowdy spent his five minutes of allotted time mocking “creative writing expert” Ben Rhodes.
“When [Cotton] was serving tours of duty in the United States Army in Afghanistan and Iraq, Ben Rhodes was navigating the mean streets of of a creative writing curriculum,” Gowdy snarked. “I mean that literally, not figuratively. He has a Masters in creative writing.”
Gowdy continued, “If you’re interested in writing haikus and novellas and sonnets, he’s probably the right guy. On the other hand, if you’re advising the leader of the free world on foreign policy matters, I don’t know how a haiku helps. But I would have enjoyed the opportunity to ask Mr. Rhodes how his background prepared him to sell the Iranian deal, but yet Tommy Cotton’s background didn’t prepare him to criticize the Iranian deal.”
He began by expressing his disappointment that Rhodes had bailed from appearing before the committee, costing them the opportunity to question not only him, but Senator Cotton, who had been happy to testify.
“The background contrast would have been interesting to me,” Gowdy drawled, noting that the White House has been very critical of Cotton in recent months.
Samuels had described Rhodes as a relatively low-profile aide who tended to turn up in big stories as “an unnamed senior official in paragraph 9. But once you are attuned to the distinctive qualities of Rhodes’s voice — which is often laced with aggressive contempt for anyone or anything that stands in the president’s way — you can hear him everywhere.”
No doubt Rhodes’ voice was everywhere in the attacks on Cotton last spring and summer.
Gowdy concluded by blasting Rhodes with a devastating observation: “If you have time to make these comments to a reporter, you ought to be able to come and explain yourself. And if you have time at the White House to send a bunch of mean tweets about a guy who served two combat tours — and he’s willing to come — but the creative writing expert isn’t willing to come? At some point this body is going to have to be willing to stick up for itself.”
During that same hearing, Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) compared Ben Rhodes to “Obamacare architect” Jonathan Gruber, who had gained “some notoriety in the press” a few years ago when he also admitted to using deceptive tactics to sell ObamaCare.
“He was deceptive,” Jordan noted. “He talked about the stupidity of the American voter” and how a “lack of transparency is a political advantage.”
“That’s a nice way of saying, ‘if you deceive people, you might get your way. It might help your case,'” Jordan explained. “So here is Jonathan Gruber — architect of Obamacare — talking about deception. Things like: if you like your plan you can keep it, if you like your doctor you can keep him, premiums will go down, website’s gonna work, website’s safe….everything turned out to be false.”
He continued, “and now we hear about another person in the Obama administration — Mr. Rhodes — and he is given the title, according to the The New York Times, of the ‘single most influential voice shaping American foreign policy.'”
“Wow, things are starting to sound familiar,” Jordan exclaimed. “He creates a false narrative as well. He talks about this echo chamber and deceiving the press. His derision for the press is kind of like Mr. Gruber’s derision for the American voter.” After all, Rhodes had said, “they literally know nothing.”
The purpose of Jordan’s Gruber/Rhodes comparison was to bring attention to the Obama administration’s history of deceiving the American people on important policy issues. Jordan went on to say that the Iranian nuke deception wasn’t the first time Rhodes had deceived the public on an important foreign policy issue.
“I think he did it on the Benghazi issue as well,” Jordan said. In the famous Benghazi talking points (which he noted were the catalyst for the formation of the Benghazi committee), Rhodes said, “it’s not a failure of policy, it’s rooted in a video.”
The use of deception to sell unpopular policy initiatives appears to be a pattern with the Obama administration and a pattern with Mr. Rhodes himself, Jordan concluded. “And then when he is asked to come testify, he doesn’t even have the courtesy to show up.”
Rhodes may never live down that NYT interview, nor should he. He is Obama’s “foreign policy guru” and Obama’s foreign policy is an utter failure:
…half a million dead in Syria, over a million young Muslim men flooding into Europe, an Iraq in ruins (though Biden once bragged it would be the Obama administration’s “greatest achievement”), the Benghazi catastrophe, North Africa a wasteland and terrorist incubator, Israel and the Gulf states estranged from America, Iran empowered and soon to be nuclear, Russia hell-bent on humiliating the U.S., China quietly forming its own updated Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, an impoverished Cuba and much of Latin America gnawing the limp wrist of U.S. outreach, and the European Union gradually imploding.
Progressive historians are going to have a hard time putting lipstick on that pig.