Iran's increasing belligerence towards the United States in the wake of — or, more accurately, as a result of — the so-called nuclear "deal" between the two countries is unmistakable, as is the Obama's willingness — no, make that eagerness — to kowtow before that rogue regime.
Thus, the facade created at the New York Times by reporters Thomas Erdbrink and Helene Cooper after Iran released ten U.S. sailors who were captured and detained on Tuesday should be cause for embarrassment at the Old Gray Lady, except that it appears to no longer have any sense of shame, or even of reality. The headline: "Iran’s Swift Release of U.S. Sailors Hailed as a Sign of Warmer Relations" (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Iran’s release of 10 United States Navy sailors on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after they were detained on the Persian Gulf, is being hailed in both countries as a sign that their relations have evolved since the signing of the nuclear accord last summer.
Secretary of State John Kerry thanked the Iranians “for their cooperation in swiftly resolving this matter” and suggested in a statement that the quick resolution of the issue was a product of the nearly daily back-and-forth that now takes place between Washington and Tehran, after three decades of hostility and stony silence.
In an appearance later Wednesday at the National Defense University in Washington, Mr. Kerry said that his focus on diplomacy with a country “we hadn’t talked to for 35 years” before the nuclear negotiations had paid off.
“These are always situations that as everybody knows, if not properly handled, can get out of control,” Mr. Kerry said. “We can all imagine how a similar situation might have played out three or four years ago.”
... For now, questions about the incident itself seemed secondary to how it was resolved. While the countries still have a long way to go before normalizing relations, analysts say a less charged atmosphere that allowed the speedy resolution is a reflection of changing priorities in Tehran and Washington.
... The detention and release of the sailors comes at a particularly delicate moment in the American-Iranian relationship, just days before a nuclear deal is to be formally put in place, under which the United States is to unfreeze about $100 billion in Iranian assets.
Kerry's offensive end-zone dance ignores the obvious: Most of us don't have to imagine "how a similar situation might have played out" eight years ago, because we know that the Iranians wouldn't have dared engage in such a move (and, perhaps, also because the U.S. personnel involved would have been in a better position to defend themselves or call for more readily available help). Now, it would appear that the Iranians are so unconcerned about negative consequences that they're not even worried about whether such aggressive actions might jeopardize the unfreezing of $100 billion in assets.
Fully recognizing that the excerpts from the Times writeup are already too much to bear, we have to recognize that Erdbrink and Cooper made it worse. They couldn't resist taking sophomoric shots at those who are sick of watching the U.S. getting humiliated time and again as the world grows ever more dangerous as a result of the Obama administration's feckless foreign policy:
Many Republicans in Congress are as committed as Iran’s hard-liners to short-circuiting the nuclear deal. Mr. Obama issued a veto threat on Monday against a House bill that would delay implementation until the president can certify that Iran has reported all of its past work toward designing a nuclear weapon. International inspectors recently declared that Iran had a program “consistent” with weapons work through 2009, but that it had then ceased. Iran has always denied it ever sought a weapon.
While Mr. Obama and Mr. Rouhani both face opposition from conservatives who want to kill the nuclear deal.
See, we're supposed to believe that those "conservatives" in Congress are just like the "conservatives" in Tehran — except for belief in freedom vs. sharia, democracy vs. Islamic theocracy, etc., etc.
The whole idea that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are relative moderates fighting against some kind of radical "conservative" faction is pure fiction. As I noted in 2009 after a rare establishment press acknowledgment of reality during the Green Revolution President Barack Obama pointedly refused to support:
... as long as a Supreme Leader is in control in the "Islamic Republic," an Iranian "President," whoever he might be, it best seen as the equivalent of a diplomat with no real authority.
That Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has never budged from his love for saying "Death to America." He has recently for Western consumption said that his plain words don't mean what they plainly communicate, but what possible reason is there to believe him?
Let's return to an island of sanity in the midst of the sickening self-congratulating propaganda of the Obama administration and its de facto mouthpieces at the New York Times by going to Sean Davis at The Federalist (links are in original):
Iran’s Humiliation Of Barack Obama Is Now Complete
This was no friendly maritime assist by Iran. It was a coordinated humiliation of Barack Obama by a regime that has embarrassed the president at every turn.
... The Obama administration gave us its word that Iran had no “hostile intent” when it captured ten Americans, forced their surrender at gunpoint, and then demanded an American apology for the whole affair.
This was no friendly maritime assist from an American ally. It was a coordinated public relations coup from a violent regime that wished to humiliate the very president who in just days will bless the transfer of tens of billions of dollars to the terrorists in charge of Iran’s government.
The Obama administration told us it was just two friendly countries helping each other with a broken boat. The Obama administration told us there was no “hostile intent.” The Obama administration told us no apology was demanded.
None of it was true. Our military personnel were captured, forced to surrender on their knees, blindfolded, and photographed. Their images were then broadcast to the world on Wednesday morning by the Iranian regime, a clear violation of the Geneva Conventions. The American woman who was captured was forced to submit to Islamic law and don a hijab. State-run Iranian media announced that the whole affair was meant to be a “lesson” to “troublemakers” in the U.S. Congress.
And the presidential administration of Barack Obama went right along with the whole charade.
The Iranians have this man pegged. They know he’s so desperate for a deal, any deal, to bless Iran’s enrichment of uranium and transfer billions to its terrorist-funding government, that he will say and do anything to make sure it happens. Iran knows how desperately this man craves a deal. He will stop at nothing to make sure it happens.
Iran knows this. So how does Iran respond? By declaring “Death to America.”
How does the New York Times respond? By telling us that we aren't seeing and hearing what our eyes clearly see and our ears clearly hear.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.