Barack Obama has a history of humiliating photo-ops associated with his full-blown Radical Islam Denial Syndrome: the burning consulate in Benghazi juxtaposed with Obama partying it up in Vegas with Beyonce; the dead bodies of ISIS-slain Parisians juxtaposed with Obama telling the world that ISIS could be fought with a climate change summit; corpses in San Bernardino juxtaposed with Obama simultaneously telling a national audience that ISIS was contained.
Perhaps the worst one yet happened on Tuesday.
As Obama prepared for his last State of the Union address – an event he pitched with hijinks and mugging for the cameras – the Iranian Revolutionary Guard arrested 10 American sailors and seized two Navy boats. Obama never mentioned it in his State of the Union address; the day after the address, Iran returned the sailors, unharmed.
But the message was clear to those who were watching: Obama had been castrated on the world stage by Iran, a country he once termed “tiny compared to the Soviet Union.”
That message became clearer on Wednesday morning, when Iran also released photos of American sailors on their knees, hands behind their heads, at the beck and call of a Shiite terrorist army; a female sailor forced to wear a hijab; a male sailor forced to apologize on camera for supposedly encroaching into Iranian waters. The IRG accused the Americans of “snooping” and Iranian army chief Major General Hassan Firouzabadi said, “This incident in the Persian Gulf, which probably will not be the American forces’ last mistake in the region, should be a lesson to troublemakers in the U.S. Congress.”
Meanwhile, Obama bragged to Americans about his “smarter approach” to world affairs, including an Iranian deal that will grant the mullahs the bomb in ten years, and hundreds of billions of dollars now.
This juxtaposition could not be maintained publicly. It was too pernicious, too humiliating. So, as with Benghazi, and Paris, and San Bernardino, Obama had to come up with a cover story.
And he did, with the tacit approval of the Iranians. According to Jay Solomon of the Wall Street Journal:
— Jay Solomon (@WSJSolomon) January 13, 2016
And John Kerry spent hours on the phone with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif coordinating that “positive” story.
All it took was a few lies.
Here are five lies spewed by the Obama administration so far in their defense of the indefensible:
“This Was Just Standard Nautical Practice.” Those were the words of Vice President Joe Biden on CBS This Morning, explaining why the whole incident was no big deal. He added that Iran “rescued” the sailors and acted as any of the “ordinary nations would do.” Except, of course, that it is not standard nautical practice to forcibly garb stranded sailors in Islamic dress or release photos of them disarmed, nor is it standard nautical practice to hold them overnight. As National Review points out, the images themselves violated Article 13 of the Geneva Convention. But no big deal. This was just like Triple A towing you to the mechanic when your car breaks down. Just with some forced Islamic headgear and some surrender photos. You know, the usual.
Also, according to Iran’s naval chief, Gen. Ali Fadavi, “We were highly prepared with our coast-to-sea missiles, missile-launching speedboats and our numerous capabilities. The US and France’s aircraft carriers were within our range and if they had continued their unprofessional moves, they would have been afflicted with such a catastrophe that they had never experienced all throughout the history. They could have been shot, and if they were, they would have been destroyed.”
Sounds like things were perfectly peaceful. Standard nautical practice.
“They Are Being Sort of Afforded The Proper Courtesy That You Would Expect.” No, they weren’t. Unless forcing a woman into a hijab is a form of respect, or distributing pictures of surrendering members of the American military. But that’s exactly what White House press secretary Josh Earnest told CNN yesterday.
“There Was No Looking For Any Apology.” Again, Joe Biden off the rails. He insisted that the United States had not in any way apologized to the Iranians for the incident. Then video broke of an American sailor apologizing directly to the Iranians, at their behest. Iranian General Ali Fadavi said that Zarif had demanded an apology: “Mr. Zarif had a firm stance, saying that they were in our territorial waters and should not have been, and saying that they [the US] should apologize.”
“I Also Want to Thank The Iranian Authorities For Their Cooperation and Quick Response.” Secretary of State John Kerry went so far as to thank the Iranians for all their help in supposedly rescuing our sailors. He then compared Iran’s behavior to the United States’ under similar circumstances:
As a former Sailor myself, I know the importance of naval presence around the world and the critical work being done by our Navy in the Gulf region. I’m proud of our young men and women in uniform and know how seriously they take their responsibilities to one another and to other mariners in distress.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter read from the same hymnal, explaining, “I want to personally thank Secretary of State John Kerry for his diplomatic engagement with Iran to secure our sailors’ swift return.”
The response was not necessary, nor was it quick. It took overnight to release American sailors, and not before the interviews and the pictures and the humiliation and the demands for apology from the Iranians. But we’re thanking them to make this whole sham look good.
“This Is A Testament To The Critical Role That Diplomacy Plays.” These words came courtesy of Kerry as well, and have become the Obama administration’s go-to defense of the Iran deal, which hands these radical Islamic nutjobs a nuclear weapon. Josh Earnest stated on CNN yesterday that the whole purpose of pursuing the nuclear deal was situations like these hostilities – as though only giving away the store to Iran pre-emptively could have prevented catastrophic war. What nonsense. The Iranians held 15 British sailors captive for almost two weeks in 2007. The British didn’t then sign off on a nuclear weapons deal.
The Iranian government made Barack Obama and the United States look ridiculous before their own population and the world. And Barack Obama, so as to hoodwink his own population, greenlit a public relations scheme that would make PT Barnum blush: he played the entire situation as a glowing success. Since there are no bodies this time, he might get away with it. If not, he can always dig up a YouTube filmmaker.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News, Editor-in-Chief of DailyWire.com, and The New York Times bestselling author, most recently, of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.