What do the Greek crisis and the arms negotiations in Iran have in common? We keep extending the deadline and talking further in deference to the crazy people causing the problem. Only in the case of Greece, the EU has finally reached a point of “No” and meaning it, stopping the socialist centrifuge reducing the Greek economy to its constitutent parts.
But the Obama foreign policy titans continue to extend the deadline for a deal with Iran, while its nuclear centrifuges keep spinning furiously. Obama needs to learn to say “No” to the Iranians and walk away. The Iranians correctly sense that Obama can’t or won’t do this, and as such enjoy maximum negotiating leverage. I’m sure by now they’re offering to throw in a nice rug for John Kerry’s yacht.
It’s an amazing day when the European Union shows more resolve and spine than the U.S. government, but by now we should expect it from Obama. Of course, the EU is dealing with someone who appears to be certifiably crazy (or angling for a cabinet appointment in a Bernie Sanders Administration), as this Reuters report makes clear:
A defiant Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged Greeks on Wednesday to reject an international bailout deal, wrecking any prospect of repairing broken relations with EU partners before a referendum on Sunday that may decide Greece’s future in Europe.
Less than 24 hours after he wrote a conciliatory letter to creditors asking for a new bailout that would accept many of their terms, Tsipras abruptly switched back into combative mode in a television address.
Greece was being “blackmailed”, he said, quashing talk that he might delay the vote, call it off or urge Greeks to vote yes.
The remarks added to the frantic and at times surreal atmosphere of recent days in which acrimonious messages from the leftist government have alternated with late-night offers of concessions to restart negotiations.
“Surreal atmosphere”? That would go double for the U.S.—Iran talks, too.