I know that Barack Obama fancies himself a grand strategist the likes of which the world has never seen. (Okay, that may be true, but not in the way he thinks.) In an important essay last month at Mosaic, Michael Doran drew a revealing portrait of “Obama’s secret Iran agenda” that cast light on dark corners.
If you want to understand Obama’s strategery, Doran’s essay is the place to go. Today Steve Hayes adds a timely update in his Weekly Standard editorial “Obama’s Iran agenda.”
Whatever the sophisticated thinking behind it, Obama’s strategy looks like appeasement. It certainly has a lot in common with it. Indeed, we seem to have entered the tertiary stage of appeasement, in which wishful thinking and self-deception are the dominant characteristics.
To take one example, I give you President Obama’s annual statement on Nowruz, the Persian new year. The Wall Street Journal has posted the text of Obama’s statement here. The White House has posted the video below of Obama reading the statement. It is addressed to “the people and the leaders of Iran.”
In his statement Obama says: “My message to you—the people of Iran—is that, together, we have to speak up for the future we seek.” Obama addresses the people of Iran as though they are free to speak their minds.
That is immediately followed by this: “As I have said many times before, I believe that our countries should be able to resolve this issue peacefully, with diplomacy. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has said that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon.”
As we have noted several times, the alleged fatwa doesn’t exist. Obama’s citation of it is evidence that we have entered the tertiary stage of his diplomatic vision.
But wait! There is more.
Obama’s citation of President Rouahani’s statement as though it is worthy of belief is laughable. This is the guy who bragged openly on Iranian state television about how he had helped flout a 2003 agreement with the IAEA in which Iran had promised to suspend all uranium enrichment and certain other nuclear activities.
And of course we must have a classic iteration of his political opponents’ position: “[T]here are people, in both our countries and beyond, who oppose a diplomatic resolution.” He didn’t say they favor war, or call out the Jooz, but he didn’t have to. His target audience understands.
There is so much that is wrong with this short statement; it warrants the closest examination. The charitable interpretation is that Our Supreme Leader is a Supreme Fool.
UPDATE: No one better than Michael Doran to note this:
Highlight of Obama's Nowruz message: the way he says "Tehran." Soon he'll be saying "Moskva" & "Meh-hee-Ko" | http://t.co/jhj5bMihyQ
— Mike Doran (@Doranimated) March 20, 2015