Rhodes is just the messenger

Rhodes is just the messenger, Israel Hayom, Boaz Bismuth, May 8, 2016

This is the story of one young man — Ben Rhodes is his name — who aspired to become a novelist. He realized that dream, in a manner of sorts, by becoming a storyteller, and he would tell those stories at the White House, as the president’s deputy national security advisor for strategic communications.

Storyteller is too elegant a title, perhaps, for the person who sold us the tale known as the Iran nuclear deal. A profile piece on Rhodes, one of President Barack Obama’s closest advisers, by the New York Times Magazine reveals facts that we already knew, facts that led to the outrageous nuclear deal between Iran and world powers on July 14, last year:

1. The story of the elections in Iran and the victory of the “moderate” camp was a well-planned spin — an invention — to sell the nuclear deal to the American public (which opposed it) and to the world.

2. Obama desired a nuclear deal with Iran as early as 2009. He wanted it even more than the Iranians did, and was even prepared to sign such a deal with extremist President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

3. Obama upgraded Iran’s international and regional standing in order to shirk his commitments toward U.S. allies in the region, among them Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey.

4. The Obama administration exploited journalists who are “27 years old … and know literally know nothing” (in the words of Rhodes himself), having them sing the administration’s tune to the world.

Even more experienced reporters like Jeffrey Goldberg (The Atlantic) and Laura Rozen (Al-Monitor) were relegated, at least on the Iranian issue, to “mouthpieces” for the administration.

5. Even had Iran failed to fulfill its obligations or concealed figures pertaining to its nuclear project, Obama would not have followed through on his threat to order a pre-emptive strike against it. This is according to former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, whose job, according to the New York Times article, was to make sure that Israel wouldn’t attack Iran.

The giant scam, revealed by the person tasked with executing these deceitful manipulations (the same Rhodes), is nothing short of scandalous. It is testimony to how in July 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s close aide Jake Sullivan was dispatched to Muscat in Oman to coordinate the details of the interim and permanent nuclear deal with the Iranians.

The New York Times story also reveals that three months before “moderate” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was elected to office in the summer of 2013, Sullivan and then-Deputy Secretary of State William Burns had already met at the White House to approve the interim deal, which served as the basis for the permanent deal.

The Rhodes profile piece sheds light on things we already knew, or at the very least suspected, to have transpired during these manipulative negotiations. We witnessed the charade at Laussane from up close, in November 2013. Looking back, those talks were supposedly on the verge of collapsing, but in actuality the sides had already planned out the signing ceremony.

Rhodes is not waiting for Obama’s term in office to end to explain the roots of his boss’ worldview: the boy who grew up in Southeast Asia, in Indonesia, whose revulsion against a certain kind of global power politics was influenced by the interactions with power he had there.

As a young man, Obama, according to Rhodes, was revolted by the notion of a superpower. Thus, Rhodes explains, if someone tries tracing the origins of the idea of “leading from behind,” which Obama implemented in Libya, the answers can be found in the president’s childhood.

While the New York Times article focuses on Rhodes, he is only the executioner of policy. The person responsible for the scam is Obama. He is not the first to manipulate the media; many have done so before him. In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson “sold” Congress on the idea that the U.S. had met the challenges it faced in Vietnam, which was not the case. Other presidents, as well, such as Nixon and even George W. Bush in regard to Iraq, cynically used the media. But here we are talking about Obama — “Mr. Clean” — the man who is allegedly without flaw.

A storyteller’s festival

The New York Times piece illustrates yet again the extent to which the president is living in a virtual reality. Remember how just two weeks ago he called this the most peaceful era of human history? Now we understand that his comments have no place in the real world. Perhaps they are more befitting a storyteller’s festival.

Throughout the nuclear talks with Iran, Rhodes also gave interviews to Israeli news outlets. The New York Times article about him went online Thursday; did anyone over the weekend hear those Israeli news outlets mention even one word of what Rhodes himself has just revealed?

Of course not. After all, it’s one thing to hurt Israel — but to hurt Obama’s narrative? Heaven forbid.

Explore posts in the same categories: Iran scam, Obama and Iran, Obama and the media, Obama and The World

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