“Let’s not mince words: The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy and some sort of war — maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon,” President Barack Obama told roughly 200 people in his speech at American University.
The president used the speech
to scorn most of the critics of his pending deal with Iran.
In fact, the hour-long speech was less of a defense of the Iran nuclear deal
and more of an attack on his political opponents.
The speech included his usual exercise in treachery and demagoguery, but this time he essentially accused opponents of the deal – a majority of Americans – of treason.
After reminiscing on the Cold War and an attempt to align himself with President John F. Kennedy,
Obama immediately alluded to the portion of the Jewish community that opposes his deal.
“Between now and the congressional vote in September, you’re going to hear a lot of arguments against this deal, backed by tens of millions of dollars in advertising.” Obama clearly resents the opposition from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC
) and the resources it has dedicated to opposing the deal.
Next, Obama played on the public’s fear of war by relating this issue to the climate that led to the war in Iraq
over a decade ago. The president said opponents of his deal are the same people who created that “drumbeat of war
“Many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal,” Obama said in his speech.
He conveniently failed to acknowledge certain people who argued for the war in Iraq who are now making the case in favor of the Iran deal.
For example, John Kerry
and Hillary Clinton
have reaffirmed their support for the Iran nuclear deal. If Obama is not ignorant of the relevant history himself, he prefers to exploit the ignorance of his audience.
Throughout the speech, the president took his usual "blame America" approach.
“I recognize that resorting to force may be tempting in the face of rhetoric and behavior that emanates from some parts of Iran,” the president said of the anti-American sentiments in that region. “It is offensive. It is incendiary. We do take it seriously. But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts. Or even provocations that can be addressed short of war.”
Perhaps the worst part of Obama’s speech is getting the most feedback. Obama said, “Just because Iranian hardliners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe.” This is true, but let’s not forget that this is exactly what Iran’s rulers, revolutionary guard, the army and the parliamentary leaders believe.
In fact, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,
frequently leads people in such chants.
Obama continued, “In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo.
It’s those hardliners chanting ‘Death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal. They are making a common cause with the Republican caucus.”
Demonizing his opponents by pointing out the similarities between the position taken by Congressional Republicans and Iranian radicals who oppose any concessions with regard to their country’s nuclear program could hit an all-time low for the president.
Obama’s attacks were not only insulting to Israel and many Republicans, but also to the majority of people and nations who believe Obama’s agreement won’t do anything to slow the progress of Iran’s nuclear weapons development and production.
It’s time for Obama to drop the passive-aggressive line that the deal is “not perfect” and start explaining what the United States can do about it.
No amount of nationalistic rhetoric, demagoguery or smug behavior will change the perception of Obama’s deal.
Chris Markowski has carried the titles of author, investment banker, equity analyst, and consumer advocate. He is the personality behind Watchdog on Wall Street and founder of Markowski Investments.
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