Clarice Feldman – If you remember The Wizard of Oz you will recall that Toto, Dorothy’s dog, pulled back the curtain, revealing that the wizard was just a little guy working a panel of sound and light gimmicks to fool people into thinking he was more omnipotent than he really was. In the same way, the President’s killing of Qassem Soleimani and the aftermath reveals the four-decades-long treatment of Iranian terrorism and Israel by the foreign-policy establishment — our presidents from Jimmy Carter up to now and Congress — was based on myths.
For the past 40-odd years, two narratives have guided American Middle East policy. Both were invented by the Carter administration. One relates to Iran. One relates to Israel.
Both narratives reject reality as the basis for foreign policy decision-making in favor of delusion. Over the past two months, President Donald Trump has rejected and disavowed them both. His opponents are apoplectic.
She begins by reviewing the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 when 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days.
If President Jimmy Carter acknowledged that the “students” weren’t students, but soldiers of Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Khomeini, the US would be compelled to fight back. And Carter and his advisers didn’t want to do that.
So rather than admit the truth, Carter accepted the absurd fiction spun by the regime that Khomeini was an innocent bystander who, try as he might, couldn’t get a bunch of “students” in central Tehran to free the hostages.
Hoping that Iran would be satisfied, they left Khomeini alone.
Khomeini and his “Death to America” shouting followers got the message. They understood that Washington had given them a green light to attack Americans in moderate and, as Smith put it, “plausibly deniable” doses. it. For the next 40 years, Iran maintained its aggression against America. And from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, every president since Carter accepted and kept faith with Carter’s decision not to hold the Iranian regime responsible for the acts of aggression and war it carried out against America through proxies.
Trump’s decision to kill Soleimani along with Muhandis destroyed the Carter administration’s Iran narrative.
By killing Soleimani, Trump made clear that the blank check for aggression the previous six presidents gave Tehran is now canceled. From now on, the regime will be held responsible for its actions. From now on US policy towards Iran will be based on reality and not on escapism.
The second false narrative that has formed the basis of US Middle East policy since Carter is that Israel and the so-called “occupation” are responsible for the absence of peace in the Middle East. [snip]
Just as Reagan turned a blind eye to Iran’s responsibility for the terror attacks its proxies carried out against the United States — including the bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut in April 1983, and the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut in November 1983 — so he substantively accepted Carter’s anti-Israel narrative which blamed Israel for the absence of Middle East peace.
The Bush administrations and the Clinton administration followed along with the delusional Carter policies that blamed Israel for the troubles in the region,
Obama, of course, went full circle. [snip]
The fact that the Carter narrative was self-evidently ridiculous and destabilizing made no impression on these successive administrations. PLO aggression and refusal to either disavow terrorism or accept Israel’s right to exist in any borders were brushed aside as irrelevant and unwelcome information.
Israel’s profound concessions for peace were pocketed, poo-pooed and forgotten. [snip]
In Pompeo’s words, “It is important that we speak the truth when the facts lead us to it. And that’s what we’ve done.”
She explains why the Trump refusal to join in the delusions has so upset the foreign policy establishment — “an unforgivable transgression” in her words. He’s rejected their “collective wisdom” with reality-based policies which might, unlike theirs, actually work. Their legacy is in the ash heap. “All their protestations, all their fancy resumes and titles as former officials will lose their allure and market value.”
I urge you to read her entire article. It’s detailed and compelling.
My online friend “The Infamous Ignatz” agrees with me that Glick has nailed it, including her explanation of the venom directed against the president and his followers:
It’s that he doesn’t indulge their idiotic fantasy world of political delusions. He picks up his jacks and walks over to his own yard and plays on HIS playground not theirs. And their choices are either stomp their feet while he sails past them or go play and get beat cuz they’re no longer on their home field. All these hundred years of inevitable progdom are suddenly threatened, just as they were about to succeed, by this funny talking, funny haired creep they only pretended to like cuz he was loaded.
And what they’re really terrified of is what if the right should realize if Trump can do it anyone can? Yes, Trump is brilliant at what he does and yes, he’s a one-off who won’t be replaced. But we’re fundamentally misunderstanding what is happening if we think his success can’t continue after he’s off the stage.
The actual problem that the left sees more clearly than the right is Trump’s complex idiosyncrasies and style conceal a simple truth; declare the left’s shibboleths so much bullshit masquerading as fairy dust and their mystique and, more importantly, their political advantage goes poof! Trump shows that the Republicans have CHOSEN to play on the Dems’ tilted field for 100 years and have always had only to walk off of it to end the prog advantage. Of course it has happened for so long most of the GOPe like spoiled brats refuse to do the right thing and act like grown-ups. But the curtain has been pulled back and might not be put back in place and hence all the screaming.
Trump isn’t Mussolini or Hitler. Neither is he Abe Lincoln or Daniel come to judgment. Donald Trump is Toto.
This week’s actions by the president also put paid to the foreign policy dimwits who falsely claim that the president lacks any strategy for dealing with the Middle East. (What they mean is he isn’t buying into their lunacy.) Conrad Black explained how wrong they are in advancing this claim. He details the moves so far and notes that, among the new pieces on the board is that we have achieved energy independence — indeed, we are now a net energy exporter, an important first step in permitting us to defend our interests in that area without being firemen constantly on call to intervene there. He concludes:
Iran can bluster and threaten all it wishes, but even its deluded theocracy must now realize that the free lunch of appeasement in Washington is over. It should now be clear to everyone that the United States could not interpose itself with 400 of its special forces between the Turkish army and the PKK Kurdish militia.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia can make it clear that the Palestinians can have an autonomous state if they end their violence and accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, along the lines of the 2001 Taba discussions with a narrower West Bank and deeper Gaza Strip for Palestine and a connection between them.
Syria and Iraq should ultimately be regrouped in a loose confederation of largely autonomous zones, including Kurdistan. The inner stability and integrity from outsiders of this arrangement could be sponsored by Turkey, Russia, the United States, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and a respectable regime in Iran when one emerges.
It is generally in this direction that the administration is going, and it is a sensible path. The Democrats are going to lose badly by championing Mr. Obama’s green light for Iran to have nuclear weapons just six years from now, with its $150 billion signing bonus to promote terrorism and kill Americans. It was a terrible agreement and should be unmourned.
As the week ended, the President by Executive Order ordered further economic sanctions on Iran, which is already reeling from the imposition of the original sanctions and dealing with widespread internal unrest with the people beset by the use of their money to advance jihadist actions throughout the area.
By week’s end Iran admitted it had shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane in its airspace. I cannot say with certainty why they shot it down, though incompetence seems a not unlikely possibility. Though it could well have been an effort to keep the mullahs from bowing to U.S. pressure to sue for peace and straighten up. As to why they admitted guilt — well, there was ample intelligence of what they’d done. And as Tom Maguire notes:
I am intrigued by Iran’s admission of responsibility for the airliner shoot-down. Apparently they may have set back Operation National Unity, their attempt to provoke a foreign crisis to distract from domestic woes:
In Iran, a debate over how much blame the government bears threatened to destroy the national solidarity that followed the country’s conflict with the United States. Many Iranians said that their anger over the lack of accountability at the highest levels of government had quickly returned.
However, they were in a bit of a box. Another Iranian goal is to present themselves to the international community as the more credible and responsible negotiating partner vis a vis Trump. Shooting down airliners is not helpful but pretending they weren’t at fault would have been worse.
There’s no shortage of rotten apples at the bottom of the cart that the president just overturned.
SF Source The American Thinker Jan 2020