Roger L. Simon

Obama's Bizarre Iranian Love Affair Continues

It’s a shame the Republican candidates continue to waste time hectoring each other over the most trivial matters when over the last few days it has become increasingly clear how completely the president of the United States sold out the interests of our country and the West to the Islamic Republic of Iran — by far (it isn’t even close) the biggest state sponsor of terrorism. The candidates are missing an extraordinary teaching moment about something of monumental significance, assuming they are paying attention to it themselves.

The media — only a very few of whom (like Bloomberg’s Eli Lake and our own Michael Ledeen) seem even faintly interested in what is going on with Iran — is equally complicit and even more culpable in this fascination with the tangential.

What the supposed journalists are missing is a chance to solve the greatest mystery of our times — why Barack Obama decided to sell out those Western interests to Iran; and why, at least for the moment, he has taken the Shiite side in the thirteen hundred year plus Sunni-Shiite civil war and in so doing placed humanity in jeopardy, making the mullahs stronger and virtually assuring they will eventually have atomic weapons.

Why does this peculiar man who somehow ended up president of the United States make the often inexplicable decisions he does? Does he have real reasons (nefarious or otherwise) or is it, to be blunt, emotional disturbance?

But to those recent events: It now appears clear that Obama, for all his protestations in 2011, was never serious about overthrowing Assad. (We already know he didn’t turn out to be serious about his redline for the despot’s use of chemical weapons on his people.) When presented with a military plan to overthrow Assad in 2012 by supporting more moderate rebels who then still existed, we now learn Obama demurred.

Why? I doubt the mullahs would have approved of the overthrow of their Syrian ally, and Obama, from the outset, was above all things bent on making a deal with Iran. He still is, even though he doesn’t really have one, not one that anyone understands anyway or has seen.  The little bit of a deal he has is a moving target manipulated entirely by Ayatollah Khamenei who, unless Obama is actually an Iranian agent (I doubt that, but anything’s possible), has played our president like the proverbial violin and doesn’t seem as if he’s ready to stop.

In the last week or so Obama has decided to ignore the putatively sanctioned Iranian missile tests — the ones with “charming” admonitions for Israel to be wiped off the surface of the Earth emblazoned on the fuselage in Hebrew and Farsi — and seemingly agreed to the ayatollah’s demand that Iran should be allowed into our dollar system. A hundred and fifty billion evidently wasn’t enough.

Irony of irony, this latest financial sellout to Iran will be administered by Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew — an orthodox Jew. (How does that man sleep?) Lew assured the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last July that “Iranian banks will not be able to clear U.S. dollars through New York or hold correspondent account relationships with U.S. financial institutions, or enter into financing arrangements with U.S. banks.” That was then. This is now.

Even when Obama, seemingly for propriety’s sake, mildly criticizes Iran, it comes off as bizarre: “When they launch ballistic missiles with slogans calling for the destruction of Israel, that makes businesses nervous.” Businesses nervous? How about six million Israeli human beings?

Which leads us back to that puzzling question. Why does this strange man — our president — do what he does?  Some say he is under the Svengali-like influence of Valerie Jarrett with her Iranian roots. Could be. But whatever influence Jarrett has, the results are deeper that we imagine and the work to be done to repair the damage more than we know.

Just this week too former Secretary of Defense Gates accused Obama of “double-crossing” him.

In a Fox News report Friday that explored the president’s approach to the military, Gates said Obama had promised him that there wouldn’t be any “significant changes” in the defense budget for a while.

When asked by Fox whether Obama kept to his word, Gates replied, “Well I think that began to fray. ‘Fray’ may be too gentle a word.”

According to the report, Gates was told to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the defense budget after already having slashed it.

“I guess I’d have to say I felt double-crossed,” Gates said. “After all those years in Washington, I was naïve.”

Republican candidates, wake up!  There’s serious work to be done.