Belmont Club

There's a Great Future in Plastics

The wheels are turning faster than ever to cement the administration’s foreign policy legacy.  A certain urgency has been inserted into proceedings. President Obama is cutting short his trip to India to rush off to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman.  Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute mordantly Tweets: “Hello #France: POTUS trip to #Saudi suggests WH figured out how to make quick trips to foreign capitals.”

This is in reference to the excuse offered by the White House for the president’s inability to stand in solidarity with France in the matter of terrorist attacks against it.  He couldn’t make Paris.  But he can make both India and Riyadh.

All a question of motivation.

The Huffington Post notes that John Kerry now believes a deal with Iran, which has been delayed all these months, can now be concluded sooner than anyone could have imagined.

The U.S. expects to achieve a deal on reining in Iran’s nuclear program within three or four months, Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday, suggesting an agreement could be possible months sooner than previously anticipated.

Iran and the global powers negotiating with it — the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — had previously failed to reach a deal by their self-imposed deadline of Nov. 24. At that point, they extended the talks for another seven months to June 30, 2015.

“Though it said seven months, we’re not looking at seven months. I think the target is three/four months and hopefully even sooner if that is possible,” Kerry said.

What changed?

Palestinian Journalist Daoud Kuttab suggests Kerry is hurrying to get things done before Netanyahu can arrive before congress to queer the pitch.  You know how it goes at weddings. Before pronouncing the couple man and wife the minister says, “if anyone here has any reason why these two should not be joined together, let him speak now or forever remain silent.”

This is exactly the moment when you don’t want some interloper standing up and saying “wait a minute, why I knew …”  No you don’t want that.

They’re almost there, almost at the point of tying the knot.  All they’ve got to do is say the words before someone comes barging in at the door. Benjamin Netanyahu’s greatest role may be not as himself, but as Benjamin Braddock in the Graduate.  “Elaine!  Elaine!”

Hello darkness, my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.

Nail down that legacy while you’ve got the chance.

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