WH on Iran supreme leader's "death to America" comments: That's just stuff he says for his domestic audience

No, it isn’t, as any American soldier who’s faced off with a Shiite militia in Iraq could tell you, but that’s where we’re at right now in American diplomacy. Watch to the very end of the clip below for the key bit from Jim Acosta and ask yourself if this is something the White House sincerely believes or if they’re now so invested in a legacy-building detente with Iran that they’re willing to spin “death to America” rhetoric from the mullahs to get it done. David Brooks, pondering the related question of Iranian anti-semitism, thinks it’s more the latter than the former. If Iran means what it says then the White House has no option short of war, and they refuse to go to war. Ergo, Iran can’t possibly mean what it says:

In the Middle East, anti-Semitism has the feel of a deranged theoretical system for making sense of a world gone astray. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, doesn’t just oppose Israel. He has called it the “sinister, unclean rabid dog of the region.” He has said its leaders “look like beasts and cannot be called human.”…

In the Obama administration, there are people who know that the Iranians are anti-Semitic, but they don’t know what to do with that fact and put this mental derangement on a distant shelf. They negotiate with the Iranian leaders, as if anti-Semitism was some odd quirk, instead of what it is, a core element of their mental architecture.

Anti-semitism is a “quirk” and anti-Americanism is just gassy domestic political pandering, not unlike Obama promising the left that electing him would slow the rise of the oceans. Relatedly, Obama and Kerry insist that they take Khamenei’s fatwa against building nuclear weapons seriously … even though there’s no hard evidence that that fatwa was ever issued. (Even if it was issued, why would the U.S. government take it more seriously than, say, Saudi Arabia does?) There’s almost no manner of belligerence that Iran could engage in at this point, rhetorically or otherwise, that the White House won’t rush to portray as inconsequential in the interest of protecting their precious negotiations. In fact, watch Josh Earnest at about 40 seconds below and you’ll find him arguing that even if Khamenei means what he says, that only proves how important a nuclear deal is. If we can reach an understanding to keep a bomb out of the hands of a nut who wishes death to America, then by all means let’s do it. Except, of course, that the coming deal won’t keep a bomb out of Iran’s hands; all it’ll do is buy time for Obama, who’ll be safely out of office by the time Iran announces it’s become a nuclear state and can blame America’s Iran failure on his successor. Here’s a visit from the ghost of nuclear-breakout future:

Once the United States had an indication that Iran was violating an agreement, a bureaucratic process would be necessary to validate the information. It could be months before the director of national intelligence would be confident enough to present a case for action to the president. Several U.S. intelligence agencies, the Energy Department and national nuclear laboratories would need a chance to sniff the data to be convinced that a technical breach had occurred. Only after this methodical review was finished could the director go to the White House with conclusions and recommendations…

IAEA representatives [would] begin talking with their Iranian counterparts about gaining access to disputed sites or activities. History suggests the Iranians would engage in protracted negotiations and much arcane questioning of the evidence. Iran could eventually offer some access while holding back key data and personnel. It would be only after tortured discussions that the IAEA could proclaim itself dissatisfied with Iran’s reaction. This process also could take months…

Once the IAEA arrived at a verdict of noncompliance, it would forward its grievances to the U.N. Security Council for adjudication. The United States would have to convince the other member states invested in the agreement — including veto-wielding Russia and China — that the accord was being violated and that forceful action was needed. Time would be spent quarrelling over divergent views, with several outcomes possible, including a Security Council presidential statement or a resolution whose content would need to be agreed upon. And only then could new economic sanctions be imposed on Iran. So, add at least a few more months.

Obama’s deal is designed to reduce Iran’s enrichment capacity to the point where it would take them a full year to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a bomb. But a year isn’t very long given all the international red tape an Obama White House (or Obama-esque White House) would have to cut through to prove the breakout had begun and to build western support for action. If you’re not prepared to act militarily to stop Iran from actually building a bomb, why does it even matter how much advance notice you receive before they do? The one-year timeline is more useful politically to O, in allowing him to punt this issue to the next president, than it is to the Pentagon in actually stopping Iran.

One other question to bear in mind as you watch, via the Free Beacon: Why is Khamenei’s “death to America” rhetoric worth taking less seriously than Netanyahu saying there’ll be no Palestinian state while he’s prime minister the day before the Israeli elections? The White House has spent the past week insisting that it has no choice but to take Netanyahu at his word even though privately he’s more open to a Palestinian state than he lets on. If anyone was obviously pandering to a domestic audience for political gain, it was Bibi — and yet we’re going to insist on holding him to what he said. Meanwhile, the supreme leader of a gang of Shiite fanatics leads a crowd in chanting “death to America” in the middle of nuke negotiations and the White House shrugs that off as bluster that we needn’t pay much attention to. Anyone care to explain the double standard? Theories welcome.

Trending on HotAir Video