Posted on August 16, 2015
Hardline To Swallow
Obama’s causes are not common to us
While pitching his Iranian nuclear deal to an audience at American University, President Obama said, “It’s those hardliners chanting ‘death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican Caucus.” The controversy that’s arisen over that remark is curious, considering that the president has all along condemned “hardliners” in both countries for criticizing the agreement. In fact, after Arkansas senator Tom Cotton voiced his objections in an open letter back in early March, Obama said, “I think it’s somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran.”
Mind you, there’s no more rigid an Iranian hardliner than Ayatollah Khamenei, who actually did participate in a “death to America” chant even as negotiations continued. It’s a tautological fact that Obama and Khamenei, being the main parties to the don’t-call-it-a-treaty agreement, have made common cause with each other. Moreover, both the Iranian and U.S. governments have acknowledged that the lifting of sanctions from Iran will result in an increase in that nation’s funding of terrorism. Do you suppose Iranian-funded terror groups like Hezbollah and Hamas have been rooting for Republican “hardliners” to prevail? No, they’re making common cause with the ayatollah and the president.
Just because two parties desire the same outcome from a particular situation does not mean that they share a “common cause.” Yasir Arafat rejected what seemed like a total diplomatic victory at the 2000 Camp David Summit, because he didn’t want to give up his alleged grievances as a pretext for waging his campaign of terror. Many conservatives expressed relief at his obstinacy, not because they agreed with him, but because they feared for Israel’s survival should the terms have been accepted. Likewise, if there are any Iranian hardliners who oppose the nuke deal, their aims are in diametric opposition to those of the Republicans, who believe the agreement enables Iran to develop nuclear weapons, while at the same time throwing it an economic life preserver.
Any similar divergence between Obama’s goals and those of America’s enemies remains elusive. In exchange for merely slowing down Iran’s nuclear program, the president gave them hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief; yet he did not make this lopsided agreement contingent on the release of the four Americans who are being held as political prisoners. Those people’s freedom should have been required before any other agreement could take place. That wouldn’t have been too much to ask, considering how little else we get from the deal.
This provides an obvious contrast with the case of deserter Bowe Bergdahl, for whom Obama gave back five high-ranking Taliban officials. At first glance, the reason for the disparity seems obvious, in that Bergdahl and his encrusted hippie parents are just the kind of people that the president and his countercultural administration would value. In truth, he simply wanted to release the terrorists because the Taliban had made it a precondition for future negotiations. If he could have traded them for a can of Spam, he would have done it all the same.
Obama has loosened trade and travel restrictions toward Cuba, and normalized diplomatic relations with that country, without requiring any change of behavior from the Castro government. Any arguable benefit to America from that policy change is negligible, but it obviously benefits Cuba’s decaying Communist regime. Oh, and it provides opportunities for future negotiations with another of our enemies. Fidel Castro now says America owes him “many millions of dollars.” How confident are we that Obama disagrees?
In 2009, Communist president Manuel Zelaya of Honduras decided he wanted to remain in power beyond the end of his term, so he tried to amend his nation’s constitution through an illegal referendum, which was materially supported by Venezuelan goon Hugo Chavez. The Honduran supreme court unanimously disagreed, and Zelaya was deposed. Guess whose side Obama was on. While announcing his decision to withhold aid from that country, and deny visas to its citizens, our president demanded that the aspiring totalitarian Zelaya be reinstated in the interest of “restoring democratic rule.”
America has nothing to gain by negotiating with enemies whose aim is nothing short of our total destruction, or by propping up and defending Communist brutes. There’s no question that Obama has consistently and zealously made common cause with our enemies, and the enemies of freedom in general. As long as he’s the one bringing up the subject, he ought to be held to account for it.
The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press