“There is much talk of deadlines looming ominously, but Iran knows perfectly well that the deadline is its friend—and the West’s enemy,” Breitbart News wrote last week. It seems this credulous, juvenile administration finally figured that out, as the Wall Street Journal reports the U.S. is floating the idea of an “open-ended diplomatic process,” waving aside deadlines altogether.
In other words, the Obama brain trust finally realized Iran is going to keep demanding one last-minute concession after another, having already beaten Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry so far back from their original goals, that it would read like satire if the stakes were not so high. The only thing missing from this “supercut” video of Obama’s endless concessions to Iran is the “Benny Hill” music.
There is no way for Team Obama to spin the simple truth that the side blinking on a deadline that has already been rescheduled twice is the losing side. Their desperation for a deal, and their fear of suffering political damage at home for failing, puts Obama and Kerry on their knees, hands outstretched to Iran in supplication. On the bright side, since it is painfully obvious which side the deadlines were pressuring, the free world might be marginally better off with them gone.
“With negotiations making little headway, the White House on Tuesday laid the groundwork for a third outcome: continuing talks while keeping in place a November 2013 interim agreement that provided Iran with limited sanctions relief in exchange for rolling back parts of its nuclear program,” writes the Wall Street Journal. “Such an outcome would allow Mr. Obama to avoid alternatives to diplomacy to confront Iran’s nuclear program, such as military force. It gives the president political cover because the idea has support from some influential Republicans – including Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – and Israel.”
At least one Democrat, Sen. Robert Menendez, is keeping track of Obama’s concessions to Iran, noting that “our red lines to Iran seem to be green lights.” Menendez noted the Iranians have given up virtually nothing in these farcical “negotiations” so far, keeping nearly all of their nuclear infrastructure in place. Despite his skepticism, he’s being too generous in assuming Iran will be ten to fifteen years away from a bomb with the arrangement worked out so far.
Iran would love to have those sanctions wiped out fully and immediately, but a fallback position in which they get partial sanctions relief while they finish working on their nuclear bombs is not bad. Once the Iranian bomb is a done deal, those sanctions are going away. Iran is so emboldened that they have lately been demanding an end to the embargo on their ballistic missile program—something they cannot even pretend is peaceful technology intended for civilian use, the way they cover their nuclear ambitions.
Obama might have dropped the pretense of a deadline even sooner, except for the timing mentioned by the Wall Street Journal: “Recently passed U.S. legislation requires the Obama administration to submit any agreement reached with Iran to Congress by July 9, at which time lawmakers would be given 30 days to vet its terms. But if that deadline is missed, U.S. lawmakers would be given an additional month to scrutinize the agreement.”
On the other hand, with Corker dealing Republicans completely out of the process, what difference does it make if Obama’s lockstep caucus—Menendez and a few other skeptics aside—gets 30 or 60 days to vet the deal?
The Iranian nuclear showdown has become such a farce that the Boston Globe has taken to writing about how many snacks the U.S. capitulation team is eating. I wish I could say this was satire, but it’s not:
The US negotiating team here over the past five weeks has gone through 10 pounds of Twizzlers (strawberry flavored), 20 pounds of string cheese, 30 pounds of mixed nuts and dried fruit, and more than 200 Rice Krispies Treats.
“The number of espresso pods we’ve gone through,” said one top US official, “is in the hundreds.”
They have yet to put a dent in Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, but Secretary of State John Kerry and his team of experts have racked up impressive numbers for junk food consumed and international miles logged.
One team member calculated they have traveled 400,000 miles — enough to circumnavigate the earth 16 times — during the past 18 months of intense negotiations with Iran.
Behind all those photo-ops with Kerry and other diplomats in crisp suits and ornate conference rooms is an off-stage operation with the feel of a college dorm room during exam week, complete with all-nighters and off-color jokes.
Later, we hear about 3 liters of Zanoni & Zanoni gelato consumed at a birthday party, one staffer documenting how often other members of the delegation fall asleep on the job, and spare time frittered away by debating “who among them would be played by what stars, if any producer for some reason decided to make a movie about how the United States and Iran tried to overcome decades of distrust to craft an agreement limiting Iran’s ability to build a nuclear bomb.”
This is somewhat reminiscent of the way Hillary Clinton brags about her frequent flyer miles as the sole “achievement” of her tenure as Secretary of State. Sure, she left the entire world in chaos, but she flew a lot and attended plenty of meetings! Likewise, we are supposed to be impressed by the epic sweep of the “historic negotiations” that have not accomplished a thing—at least, not for anyone who doesn’t report to Tehran.