Maybe the Christian thing to do is to cut John Kerry a little slack. He hit his head harder than the doctor thought when he fell off his bicycle in Switzerland.
The secretary of State and President Obama are not having an easy time trying to sell the sellout to Iran, and Mr. Kerry says he’s worried that if the deal goes down “the international community” will blame Israel.
The Israelis are so far not very impressed with either Mr. Kerry’s assessment of “the international community,” or his outbreak of phony solicitude for Israel. “Attempts to prevent Israel from expressing its position,” says an Israeli spokesman who can be described only as a senior official, “will not stop us from saying what we think about this bad deal with Iran, which threatens Israel’s security.”
Mr. Kerry told the Council on Foreign Relations last week in New York that if Congress overturns the deal the sky will fall on both Israel and America. Crops will fail in the West, milk will sour, cream will curdle, warts will break out on everybody’s bottom, and the world will blame the Jews. “Our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated,” he said.
This sounds exactly like a man who has taken a sharp crack on his head. His prophecy is safe enough. “The world community” will find a way to blame Israel even if Congress gives the deal a standing ovation and unanimous vote of approval, and Mr. Kerry knows it. He says the international coalition formed around “the deal” could fall apart, sanctions would be lifted, anyway, and Iran would be free to do as it pleases and claim that the United States would be blamed, though the secretary did not make clear whether the United States and Israel would share the blame, or be blamed separately. Either way, the bicyclist-in-chief might be deprived of his Nobel Peace Prize.
The prospects for congressional confirmation of “the deal” are dimming across Capitol Hill because “the deal” is so cheesy that even a cave man could see what a disaster it is. If a cave man can see it, growing numbers of Congress probably can, too.
The Obama administration is pulling out all the stops, using intimidation, fear, loathing and what, if anybody but a president used them, would be called “lies.” It’s not polite to accuse a president of spreading lies. Mr. Obama and his men now insist that nobody ever said the United States would demand snap inspections “any time, anywhere.”
Mr. Kerry and Ernest Moniz, the secretary of Energy, who were dispatched last week to peddle “the deal,” now insist that what the administration meant when it said it would insist on inspections “any time, anywhere,” was that it would ask for “managed access.”
“We never, ever had a discussion about ‘anywhere, any time,” Mr. Kerry told interviewers on Fox News. “It’s called ‘managed access.’” (He did not smile when he said it and his nose grew quickly by a full two inches.)
Mr. Moniz, his sidekick from the Energy department, said “managed access” was never meant to be what everyone once said it was, but what sounded like a reference to a 24-day “process” in which inspections could be arranged by the Iranians if they felt like being nice that day. He then lapsed into the bureaucratic argle-bargle by which government officials try to communicate.
“In the world [of the International Atomic Energy Agency],” he explained, “it is very important to distinguish between declared and undeclared sites,” he told a television interviewer. “‘Declared,’ we have 24-hour access. ‘Undeclared,’ we have this process — anywhere, I might add.” (Who wants access when he can have process?)
Mr. Kerry continues to try to wrap himself in the reputation of betters before him, comparing the deal he made with Iran to breakthroughs in U.S. talks with other hostile nations. The clear implication is that he is talking about Ronald Reagan and his successful negotiations with the Soviet Union, which led to victory by the West in the Cold War. But a lot of people in Washington knew the Gipper, and Mr. Kerry is no Ronald Reagan, who insisted that he would “trust, but verify.”
But insisting on verification might hurt the feelings of the Iranians, and they might take it out on President Obama and not give him the nice legacy he dreams of. What he doesn’t understand is that “the deal” he made with Iran that guarantees an Islamic bomb will for sure be his legacy, but it won’t be the legacy that any red-blooded American president could live with.
• Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.