In all fairness, even politicians sometimes deserve a break. To whit it behooves us to admit that:
1. Barack Obama didn’t always lie about his Iranian fixation.
2. Benjamin Netanyahu couldn’t have ever stopped Obama.
3. Hillary Clinton is the only one who can stop Obama (despite her knee-jerk endorsement for his grand betrayal).
Let’s start at the top. Obama may have willfully led all and sundry astray as he pursued his courtship of the Iranian ayatollahs. He did fib prodigiously while allowing himself to be outmaneuvered by them at every turn.
He couldn’t have been more disingenuous than when he denied his capitulation on every point and when extolled a deal that is far more laughable than the travesty which Bill Clinton concluded in 1994.
Like a dilettante neophyte at a Tehran bazaar, Obama haggled with the Iranians without ever threatening them, while openly evincing a rush to meet artificial deadlines of his own making and oozing eagerness to strike the bargain at any price. He blundered spectacularly.
The outcome was a foregone conclusion, although Obama did definitely pledge guarantees that he never insisted on and which dissipated into thin air. He promised a nuke-free Iran and ended up giving his seal of approval to a nuclear Iran. He promised heaps that he didn’t even make a semi-credible effort to attain.
But that was all on the tactical plane. His tactical lies were essential to facilitate the big strategic plan about which he never lied.
Anyone not mesmerized by his initial star-status couldn’t avoid noting Obama’s continual flirtation with Iran. It was evident to those who paid heed to what Obama said from the time he launched his first race for the presidency. In his favor, it must be acknowledged that Obama never concealed his major agenda.
However, he was popular and those who carped on the sidelines of his triumphant march to the White House were decidedly unpopular, if not altogether despised.
America was seduced by Obama’s undertaking to cure all that ails humanity by making nice. Hence the Mideast’s most inhumane despots were tolerated and coddled. The lessons of history (even one as recent as Bill Clinton’s North Korean folly) don’t much inconvenience the cheery kitsch-addicts who prefer syrupy illusion to bitter reality. Anyone who attempted to detract from the Obamaesque bliss was plainly beyond the pale of decency and way worse than just an ordinary spoilsport.
But as early as in 2007, sensitive ears could pick up the leitmotif of Obama’s serenade to Tehran. It became unmissable in 2009 when, following Iran’s rigged election, thousands took to the streets in defiance of the ruling theocracy.
As pro-democracy demonstrators were killed in Tehran, and as its ayatollahs furthered their designs to arm themselves with nukes, the supercilious leader of the free world spared no effort to stress the need to downplay the fuss. That was in stark contrast to his enthusiasm for the misnamed Arab Spring, especially the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
The pseudo-neutral observer installed as America’s commander-in-chief then gave his own people a lesson in moral relativism: “It’s important to understand that, although there is amazing ferment taking place in Iran, the difference… in terms of their actual policies may not be as great advertised.” Not unpredictably, Obama informed the unenlightened masses that he won’t take sides: “I take a wait-and-see approach.... It’s not productive, given the history of US-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling in Iranian elections.”
Obama’s stand-alone tolerance for ayatollah-brand repression was simultaneously accompanied by a scandalous squandering of invaluable time. He thereby enabled Tehran to appreciably advance its nuclear aspirations.
It doesn’t take a paranoid conspiracy-theory promoter to speculate that Obama never really intended to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. He certainly didn’t want Israel to preempt that probability either.
Throughout he preferred a feeble, threatened and frightened Israel. In his perception, this was sure to earn him the undying gratitude of the Arab/Muslim world.
It went hand in glove with the pressure Obama harshly exerted on Israel on any and all issues – great and small. It’s no conjecture to argue that Obama’s animosity had nothing to do with underpinning the cause of peace. If anything, it blatantly contradicted that very cause. Indeed, it had everything to do with attempting to diminish Israel, shoving it into a corner, intensifying the ostracism to which it was subjected and turning it into more of an international pariah than it already was.
Rather than engage in dialogue, Obama spoiled for a fight from the outset of his first presidential term – all the while professing to be our unswerving ally. And some among us – with political axes to grind – expediently hype his pose and use it as cogent rationalization for why no Israeli higher-up must ever dare to displease Obama. Who can afford to upset a devoted bosom bud (especially when allies are so scarce)? And this takes us to Netanyahu. His life could have been outstandingly easier had he only subscribed to the relentlessly resonated dogmas hammered into us by his embittered rivals and homegrown ideological critics on the Left. Curiously, while pro-forma rejecting the Iran deal, they rigorously hone the notion that Netanyahu should never have said ‘no’ to Obama. Their version of Jewish self-determination is that Jerusalem must unquestioningly do Washington’s bidding.
Heaven forefend that we vassals displease our masters. The reverberating left-of-center refrain was that Netanyahu’s duty was to obsequiously own up that Israel is helpless, that Obama unerringly knew best and Israel had to submit to his decrees.
In a remarkable pre-election interview to William Booth of The Washington Post
, Labor’s Isaac Herzog said: “I trust Obama to get a good deal.”
In short, our in-house Left echoed what the Shirelles sang back in 1962:
You say hop and I'll hop.
You say stop and I'll stop.
You say come and I come.
Oh, anything you say I'm like a hunk of clay…
With one wave of your hand
I'm your slave to command…
You can stretch me until I'm ten feet tall Or cut me down to the size of a rubber ball.
You can use me, abuse me but never remove me.
Without your love I ain't nothing at all, oh, well ah They say I'm a fool 'Cause you treat me so cruel.
But I'll go on this way Oh, anything you say I'm like a hunk of clay.
Nonetheless, instead of singing the recommended lyrics, Netanyahu had the colossal gall to decry the deal Obama had been concocting. Netanyahu even brazenly took Israel’s existential case to the US Congress.
Thereupon, say his castigators, he irresponsibly soured our otherwise sweet relations with the Obama Administration.
Ergo, by this line of thinking, the deal with Iran is Bibi’s fault and his personal failure. That’s why Ya’ir Lapid clamors for Bibi’s instant resignation. The opposition relishes Netanyahu’s downfall more than it desires the defeat of Obama’s nightmare transaction.
It’s not Obama’s ill-will that’s attacked but Netanyahu’s protests against it. Of course, if any Israeli government had kept deferentially mum, it wouldn’t have deflected Obama’s antagonism either. Only the American Senate can and this is where we get to Hillary Clinton, much of a stretch as that seems to be.
For Obama’s ill-will to be stymied, a two-thirds Senate majority is needed to override the inevitable presidential veto. That means getting some 13 Democratic Senators to vote against their party’s headliner.
Considering that he is essentially a lame duck and that there is a single Democratic presidential frontrunner right now, that shouldn’t be mission impossible (even though the Democratic Party has lurched into unprecedented leftwing radicalism). That frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, is strong enough to call her own tune – assuming she is forthright and willing.
So far she seems to be neither. However, nothing is irrevocable and it’s not too late for a change of heart.
For better or worse, the ball is in Hillary’s court.
Terror-sponsoring Iran is the single greatest threat to global peace and the western way of life – not just to Israel’s survival. Hillary can make an indelible mark on the world by signaling to fellow Democrats that they don’t have to follow the Shirelles’ dictum and be a slave to whatever their man (in the White House) commands.
True, during Obama’s first term, when she was his secretary of state, Clinton was his avid accomplice in more than one shady episode. She was in charge of and remains liable for the first phase of the illusory nuclear negotiations with the ayatollahs. That makes her likely too tendentious to count on.
But this may also be her single greatest chance to redeem herself. She can show backbone and independence.
She can distance herself from Obama and this can only help her win more support in Middle America.
She should also distance herself from her husband and indicate that she wouldn’t fall for meaningless verbiage as he had when he did his disastrous deal with Pyongyang.
If she doesn’t soon rise above her primary partisan response, she will have exposed all her high-minded declarations as nothing but cheap political soft soap.
It’s in Hillary’s power to show that she is better than all the men around her. Despite her auto-pilot inclinations, she has to summon the fortitude to tell Obama that she won’t hop or stop or come if he says so – that she won’t be his hunk of clay. Otherwise, as Obama’s ever-obedient lackey, she is even inferior to him.
She has to inspire Democratic senators to do the moral thing and not allow the president to stretch them, cut them down to size or abuse them at his whim.
Hillary and hypothetically independent-minded Democrats in the Senate are hardly our ideal allies, certainly not the sort we can comfortably rely upon.
Still, we can challenge Hillary. We can challenge the Senate’s Democrats. We can call them out. We can rattle their smugness.
The fight is by no means over. We can warn that if push comes to shove we can help ourselves because the danger we face is as real and as awful as it gets. What we cannot countenance is the advice (to paraphrase the Shirelles) that we Keep on playing the fool
Even though Obama treats us so cruel.
www.sarahhonig.com Debunking the Bull, Sarah Honig’s book, was recently published by Gefen.