Right from wrong: Eyes wide shut

Kerry insists he was not 'bamboozled' by his Iranian counterparts during negotiations.

US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with US delegation to Iran talks on the terrace of a hotel where the negotiations are being held in Vienna, Austria July 2, 2015. (photo credit: REUTERS)
US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with US delegation to Iran talks on the terrace of a hotel where the negotiations are being held in Vienna, Austria July 2, 2015.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
On Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry spent over four hours trying to defend the nuclear deal before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Grilled by Republicans furious at the Obama administration’s total surrender to Iran, Kerry remained true to character: He doubled down on meaningless platitudes and self-righteous indignation.
In fairness to America’s top diplomat, how else could he respond to rational concerns but to get on his high horse? Indeed, all he had at his disposal in the face of the emerging details of the agreement, each more shocking than the next, was a feeble attempt to invert reality and ridicule his critics in the process.
Referring to a “Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran” commercial aimed at persuading Congress to vote against the agreement and currently airing across the US, Kerry argued, “The alternative to the deal we’ve reached isn’t what we’re seeing ads for on TV. It isn’t a better deal, some sort of unicorn arrangement involving Iran’s complete capitulation. That’s a fantasy, plain and simple.”
This was Kerry’s way of insisting that he had not been “bamboozled” by his Iranian counterparts, as Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) asserted, nor “fleeced,” as committee chairman Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) accused.
In other words, no wool was pulled over his eyes. Not by the Iranians, at any rate. They were clear all along.
And loud, as Kerry can attest, since he was the target of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s repeated abusive outbursts during the negotiations.
No, if Kerry was “bamboozled” or “fleeced” by anyone it was Obama, who told him to secure a deal at any and all costs, because doing so would be better in the short run. As for the long-term repercussions, well, that would be a future administration’s headache.
The way Obama and Kerry both justify the travesty is even less comforting. They claim that since Iran was going to pursue nuclear weapons anyway – and support terrorism anyway, and violate terms anyway, and threaten to wipe Israel off the map anyway, and burn American flags anyway – it would be wiser to join them than beat them.
The logic is mind-boggling. But it does shed light on the administration’s attitude toward Israel.
Obama has been bent on earning the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded – simply for entering the Oval Office – by completing a contract with Iran. Kerry has been obsessed with procuring a document declaring “peace” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in order to become a Nobel laureate himself.
His dreams were dashed, however, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was unwilling to cross certain red lines. Though Netanyahu did agree to negotiations, the release of well over 1,000 Palestinian terrorists, a halt in settlement construction, groveling before Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a slew of slights from the White House, he refused to commit Israel to suicide.
It is thus that PA President Mahmoud Abbas would not come to the negotiating table. Had the P5+1 countries not given Iran reason to believe that their red lines were merely rhetorical, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – Iran’s “supreme leader” in every respect – would not have allowed his puppets to parley with American and European representatives in the first place.
No wonder Obama and Kerry can’t stand Netanyahu.
If the president of the United States can roll over and abdicate to a sworn enemy, who does the prime minister of Israel think he is to remain steadfast? Understanding this is crucial. What it means is that Obama’s camp is right – and Netanyahu’s is wrong – about not having been able to hold out for a “better deal.” Iran, like the Palestinians it supports, has one goal in mind: demolishing the enemy.
It remains to be seen whether Obama will garner enough support in Congress to enable him to veto opposition to the agreement, which gives Iran a carte blanche for its genocidal-weapons development and billions of dollars to bolster global terrorism.
At the moment, it’s not looking good. What’s worse is an annex in the agreement that provides for cooperation between the P5+1 and Iran “to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems.”
This clause is causing a stir in Israel. It was also the focus of a question raised by presidential hopeful Marco Rubio (R-Florida) during the Senate hearing. He wanted to know if it means the US would be required to protect Iran’s nuclear facilities from a potential Israeli military strike.
“No,” retorted Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, on hand with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to help Kerry through the ordeal. Rubio was not convinced.
He did issue a warning, however: “The Iranian regime and the world should know that this deal is your deal with Iran... and the next president is under no legal or moral obligation to live up to it.”
What the rest of us need to know is: Which will come first, an Israeli attack or a Republican in the White House? The writer is the web editor of Voice of Israel talk radio (voiceofisrael.com) and a columnist at Israel Hayom.