Tags: Iran | Khamenei | Middle East | Obama

Obama Oblivious to Iran's True Position

By Monday, 20 April 2015 02:26 PM Current | Bio | Archive

For the cognoscenti, seeing is believing; what eyes see must be true. But recent events suggest vision is often flawed. In many cases believing is seeing; the mind casts a vision of what it wants to see. Reality becomes what one’s ideology shapes.

Clearly events in Ferguson and the University of Virginia reinforce this assessment.

Yet nowhere is it more in evidence than the Obama White House. The president insists his deal with Iran over nuclear weapons restrains that nation from the pursuit of the nuclear goal. He insists negotiation is working, even though details still have to be ironed out. Moreover, he insists on this position despite evidence to the contrary.

Speaking in the Farsi equivalent of the subjunctive the supreme leader of Iran, Khamenei uses the word “might,” while President Obama employs the verb “will.” Khamenei notes as well in his assessment of the preliminary accord or framework, “what has been done so far does not guarantee an agreement, not its contents, not even that the negotiations will continue to the end.”

What is there about this declarative sentence that President Obama does not understand?

It is obvious Obama will persuade himself of any illusion in order to get a deal, any deal. That, in itself, explains Khamenei’s objections. From his perspective, the more he objects, the more concessions he may secure. For example, the framework suggests that sanctions removal will be calibrated to meeting certain milestones.

However, Khamenei said recently, “The day a final agreement is reached, all sanctions should be lifted.” In this case the subjunctive case was not used.

To defy reality by contending conditions will conform to your beliefs some time in the future is to assume Panglossian scenarios for the arrival of entropy. Obama asserts that at some point Iran will be a member of the community of nations, a responsible member at that.

Yet there isn’t a shred of evidence to support this assertion. In fact, Iran has been the leading sponsor of global terrorism for more than three decades. It is a host to al-Qaida, an imperialist in the Middle East, an organizer of assassinations and an underwriter of both Hezbollah and Hamas. To which community does Iran belong?

In 1976 professor Robert Jarvis, at Columbia University, wrote: “It is striking that people often preserve their images in the face of what seems in retrospect to have been clear evidence to the contrary. We ignore information that does not fit, twist it so that it confirms, or at least does not contradict, our beliefs, and deny its validity.”

Of course Jarvis was not alone in making this observation, nor is President Obama the only person guilty of delusional thinking. The problem in the present case are the stakes.

A belief that you are preventing a pathway for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, is dangerously different from setting the stage for an Iran in possession of these weapons. When the president says, “not on my watch,” does he really mean on someone else’s watch?

It would appear that the belief system in the Obama administration trumps present reality. Yes, if the evidence doesn’t square with what you want, twist it, shape it, deny it, but never recognize it.

Miysmoto Musashi, a 17th century Japanese swordsman, said, “Perception is strong and sight is weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.”

In my judgment these are astute observations, but I doubt Secretary of State John Kerry or President Obama refer to 17th century Japanese literature for guidance. Perhaps they should.

Herbert London is president emeritus of Hudson Institute and author of the books "The Transformational Decade" (University Press of America) and "Decline and Revival in Higher Education" (Transaction Books). Read more reports from Herbert London — Click Here Now.



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Obama asserts that at some point Iran will be a member of the community of nations, a responsible member at that. Yet there isn’t a shred of evidence to support this assertion.
Iran, Khamenei, Middle East, Obama
Monday, 20 April 2015 02:26 PM
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