Jonathan Ruhe, associate director of the Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, is not surprised that the mainstream media do not want to talk about President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran on its one-year anniversary.
“There’s been crickets, by and large, because the administration’s record in the past year with implementing the deal, and dealing with the Middle East, and all the repercussions of Iranian behavior since the deal was agreed. I wouldn’t exactly be broadcasting about that either,” he told SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon on Thursday’s edition of Breitbart News Daily.
However, Ruhe did credit the media with “doing a pretty good job of basically pulling back a lot of the Administration’s logic they used in selling this deal, and also how they envisioned it as being part of a larger transformation of the Middle East.”
“We’ve heard Obama talk about how he envisions the nuclear deal creating a new equilibrium in the Middle East, where Iran is essentially replacing the United States as the main arbiter in the region,” he said. “I think a lot of the media has been quiet on this, on the one-year anniversary, because there isn’t a lot of positive to show for it.”
Ruhe said critics of the Iran deal have “a lot of legitimate grievances, not only about how the deal has been implemented, but about how little has been done by the United States in the past year, to prepare ourselves for the negative fallout of this agreement, as Iran steps up its aggression across the Middle East – and increasingly blatantly so.”
One of the examples of good reporting on the Iran deal cited by Ruhe was The New York Times article that exposed how Obama national security adviser Ben Rhodes pushed false narratives about Iran to the press, confident that lazy reporters who worshiped Barack Obama would handle public relations work for this White House. Bannon found it “amazing” that the media expressed so little outrage over Rhodes’ judging even national security reporters to be “so young, so ill-informed, and had spent so little time overseas” that they would be easily manipulated.
To have an article like that come out – especially in The New York Times, which has been predictably supportive of the deal since Day One – to basically peel back the layers of the onion and show what the administration has had to do, to sell this deal, including with Ben Rhodes admitting, and proudly so, that they created a so-called “echo chamber,” especially here in D.C., to basically convince the media to trumpet this deal … unfortunately, they’ve done a very good job in their messaging.
“They’ve basically created an echo chamber here in D.C. that says, well, how can you possibly be against the deal that’s an arms-control agreement, that prevents a nuclear Iran?” he said. “While there certainly are some people who oppose the deal, who inevitably sound like sore losers, I think there’s a series of legitimate grievances.”
He said the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs was “looking at the different narratives the Obama administration has used to sell this deal, and laid out the flaws in them, how you can begin addressing them,” including “how Iran is implementing the deal, to things like Iran’s ballistic missile program.”
Ruhe also criticized the administration’s claim that overall relations with Iran were improved by the deal, while Iranian moderates “have become empowered by the deal,” when “really, it’s the opposite.”
Should Donald Trump win the presidency in 2016, Ruhe advised him to “do anything and everything he can to begin restoring U.S. credibility.”
“U.S. credibility in the eyes of Iran, and in the eyes of our allies in the region, has absolutely been cratered by the deal, starting with how it was negotiated, and how it’s been implemented, and how we haven’t stood up to Iran’s aggression since the deal was agreed,” he said. “The Iranians have taken a clear read of us, at least this administration. They know there’s nothing the current administration is going to do, to push back against Iran, to risk the deal falling apart.”
“I would say to whoever is the next president, anything you can do to begin restoring U.S. credibility – reversing any unnecessary concessions this administration has made, strengthening our declaratory policy, and rebuilding our ties with our allies in the region,” Ruhe urged. “Because they’ve made it very clear they’re willing to move on, unless they see a change from Washington.”
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