- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 23, 2015


The Iranians, having hornswoggled Barack Obama and John Kerry, are giddy with euphoria. Ordinarily the parties to an agreement would help each other sell it to the skeptical and the suspicious in their ranks, not least by keeping their traps shut. But not these guys.

Like many Muslims, the Iranians know very little of the world beyond the mosque and figure that if an agreement satisfies the mullahs, it should satisfy everyone (praise be to Allah), even the president of the nation they call “the great Satan.” Why should the president need help selling an agreement that guarantees an Islamic bomb. Rub the noses of the infidels in the grime of Islamic celebration.

Abbas Araghchi, the deputy Iranian foreign minister who led the negotiations for Mr. Obama’s deal, says Iran will continue to buy all the arms it wants, from whomever it wants, and if the rest of the world doesn’t like it the rest of the world knows what it can do about it. Which is nothing, under the prevailing leadership of the West.

The deputy minister vowed that Iran would “buy weapons from wherever possible, and that [Iran] will provide weapons to whomever and wherever it considers appropriate.” This should humiliate Mr. Obama and his men in the way it humiliates the rest of us, but Barack Obama, listening to the evening call to prayer — “the sweetest sound on earth,” he calls it — feels neither shame nor contrition. He hears music the rest of us don’t.

The kindest thing anyone can say about the performance of the administration is that it was “fleeced,” and that’s precisely what Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told Mr. Kerry to his face in a contentious and angry open hearing Thursday.

The secretary of State, following the lead of his boss, continued to rewrite the clear and unambiguous record, insisting that no one had promised the “any time, anywhere” inspections that the president made the key to the selling of the very idea of negotiating with criminals.

The idea of getting a “better deal” than a fleecing is a fantasy, Mr. Kerry told the senators, “like some sort of unicorn arrangement involving Iran’s complete capitulation.” It’s America that has to capitulate.

Not only that, he said, but “nobody has ever talked about dismantling their whole program.” Dismantling “their whole program,” which is exactly what Mr. Obama’s negotiators were commissioned to do, would only encourage the Iranians to proceed with the pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Kerry, who perhaps suffered greater injuries than first thought when he fell off his bicycle in Switzerland and landed on his head, was full of impassioned huffing and puffing in his session with the senators, but all the talk and swagger did not appear to persuade anyone that he was being straight with Congress. No Republican has broken the solid ranks of skeptics, and Democrats are growing restive, as if they’re trying to calculate how far loyalty to the leader of their party can go before it hits the wall of loyalty to country.

An organization called Stop Iran Rally Coalition turned out thousands of angry demonstrators in Times Square Thursday in New York City, aiming specifically at Sen. Chuck Schumer as key to pushing Democrats to abandon Obama loyalty and follow their heads and hearts to damn the deal. “Reject this deal,” cried George Pataki, a former governor of New York and one of the Republican contenders for president. “Protect America. Protect Israel and protect the world.”

The coalition targets Mr. Schumer because they say, with a certain logic, that he is the key to arousing latent Democratic opposition to the deal. “If this deal is not stopped,” coalition organizers say, “New York voters will know whom to blame.” Politicians listen to warnings like that.

He’s already blowing no trumpets for the president, uncertain or otherwise. “I’ve read the agreement and I’m seeking answers to the many questions I have,” he said earlier in the week. “Before I make a decision, I’m going to speak at length with experts on both sides.”

Under law enacted by Congress, both the senators and members of the House will be entitled to a chime in on the deal, but since President Obama insists the deal is not a treaty, Congress has no authority to reject it. If enough members of Congress vote to adopt a resolution of thanks but no thanks, and it survives a presidential veto, Mr. Obama might pay attention.

Or he might not. He’s obviously trying to transform as much of America as he can before the clock runs out. The people must tell Congress to blow the whistle, loud and clear.

Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.

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