The idiom “selling one a bill of goods” conveys the message a buyer is being deceived—i.e., he is not getting that for which he thought he had bargained. Over the past several weeks, we have witnessed the occurrence of three events where this idiom appropriately can be applied.
The first event followed President Obama’s failure to reach a nuclear agreement outline with Iran by March 31 as optimistically represented. With the final deadline to conclude a deal set for June 30, the White House was quick to release a fact sheet announcing the terms to which Tehran had tentatively agreed.
No sooner had that fact sheet been released than Tehran contradicted what the White House claimed.
Not mentioned in Obama’s fact sheet, but raised by Tehran, was its claim that sanctions had to be lifted simultaneously with the signing of an agreement and under no circumstances were Iranian military nuclear sites to be inspected.
It is difficult to believe both Iran and the U.S. did not know where each stood on these two critical issues at the time Obama’s fact sheet was released.
Accordingly, one of two possibilities exists—neither of which is particularly encouraging:
- Tehran had sold U.S. negotiators a bill of goods on the issues during negotiations, suckering them into believing they were resolvable when they were not; or
- Obama was selling the American public a bill of goods, fully aware of Tehran’s position on these issues but failed to disclose what he wished to hide.
Tehran’s position that the inspection issue is non-negotiable could not have been made any clearer than was done in a May 30 statement by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander for Fars Province, Gholamhossein Qeybparavar, who warned would-be inspectors: “You would be wrong to dare to want to inspect our military centers and whoever does look at IRGC centers we will fill his throat with molten lead.“
Thus, there should be no doubt Iran’s negotiators had made clear to U.S. negotiators their stand on this issue—i.e., no verification of military nuclear sites—prior to Obama issuing his fact sheet.
It borders on treason then for Obama not to level with the American public on an issue such as verification which is so critical to our safety.
The second event involving the sale of a bill of goods occurred during Obama’s May 13-14 Camp David summit for leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. It was lightly attended, as most Sunni Arab leaders were livid over Obama’s Iranian policy and doubted he could offer any thing to offset their concerns.
In that summit, Obama sought to make a bargain: if those present agreed not to object to Obama’s deal with Iran, he promised them U.S. security guarantees against Iranian aggression.
This led summit attendees to sign off on a joint statement, acknowledging as to a nuclear agreement with Iran, it was in GCC member states’ best interests to see “a comprehensive, verifiable deal that fully addresses the regional and international concerns.”
On May 15, GCC Assistant Secretary-General Abdel Aziz Abu Hamad Aluwaisheg said the summit “exceeded the expectations of most of us” by giving the GCC assurances of an “unequivocal” security commitment.
While summit attendees heard Obama promise them an “ironclad” commitment, what they got was limited to “an external threat to any GCC state’s territorial integrity that is consistent with the U.N. Charter.” This means U.S. involvement is limited to an actual invasion of a GCC member state by Iran—a form of Iranian aggression about which GCC states are least worried!
This commitment actually represents a “retreat from the more inclusive commitment Mr. Obama made two years earlier in his 2013 address to the U.N. General Assembly, in which he pledged to ‘confront external aggression against our allies and partners.’”
Yet, two weeks after GCC leaders were led to believe they and Obama would “work together to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region,” the White House defends Iran’s violation of an earlier agreement to freeze its nuclear activity.
The third bill of goods sale involved the Obama Administration’s reaction to a New York Times article revealing—despite Obama’s claims Iran had supposedly frozen efforts to move its nuclear program forward during negotiations— a report by the IAEA, the agency tasked by the United Nations to inspect Iran’s nuclear sites. The IAEA reported an increase in Tehran’s nuclear fuel stockpile by 20% during the past 18 months as negotiations were ongoing.
Again, two possibilities exist:
- A naïve Obama has once more been duped by Iranians selling him a bill of goods; or
- Obama was fully aware of this activity but chose to sell the American people a bill of goods it was not occurring.
If the latter, Obama’s actions are treasonous.
Obama is driven by a desire to sign a nuclear deal with Iran at any cost. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the White House was “quite frankly perplexed” by the IAEA report and then actually went on to defend Tehran.
Incredibly, one explanation for the stockpile increase was some sort of technical failure. The White House seems open to raising every excuse except the real reason—Iran’s unadulterated intent and total disregard for abiding by any agreement.
President Obama is selling a bill of goods to everyone whose national security interests are better served by a non-nuclear armed Iran. Come June 30th, it remains to be seen if Congress and the American public will continue to fall for it hook, line and sinker.