Time Magazine’s Joe Klein seems like a nice enough fellow. He’s the political columnist for that magazine that you read when your dentist is running really, really late. Earlier this week, my kids were getting their teeth cleaned and I was in the waiting room. Having forgotten my book in the car, I looked around to see what the office had to offer, and it was either a Sports Illustrated from May of 2012 or the latest from a rag that at one time I used to subscribe to. Or was that Newsweek? Life? Better Homes and Gardens? I can’t remember. One of those.
I quickly turned to Klein’s latest offering on the current goings-on in Iran, and honestly, it made me smile. The headline read, “Bye-Bye, Great Satan”—a reference to how Iranians refer to the United States of America. (You’ll notice I didn’t use the past tense, referred, but the present tense, refer, because, well, they still think of us as the“Great Satan.”) That’s why a little more than two weeks ago, when a crowd of Iranians chanted “Death to America, ”the so-called Supreme Leader of Iran responded by saying, “Of course, yes, death to America.”
Of course, yes, death to America. Let’s just let that sink in for a minute. Ayatollah Khamenei could have used this time to say, “Hold on just a sec. We’re in negotiations with America right now, so why don’t we give the‘Death to America’chant a rest for a bit?”
That’s what Mr. Klein would have you believe—that the Iranians don’t really mean “Death to America,” per se. In his article, he talks about two Iranian friends of his who now live in the U.S. (having fled their homeland when it became a tyrannical theocracy) who are just over the moon about the agreement to agree on a possible future agreement of a deal that might lead to a nuclear agreement between Iran and the rest of the world. They say that the hardliners are the ones who describe the United States as the Great Satan, but that the people don’t believe it. The first question I have for Mr. Klein is: How do you know what they believe? And the second is, how do you make a deal with a country whose leader thinks you’re the devil?
Well, you don’t, that’s how. My kids finished up their appointment, and we headed home, and by the time I pulled the car into the driveway, Diana Ross and the Supreme Leader had called off the deal. Set me free, why don’t you, baby? Get out of my life, why don’t you, baby? ‘Cause you don’t really need me, you just keep me hangin’ on.
Joe Klein, naïve to the core, refers to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Prime Minister Javad Zarif as the “elected Iranian government.”Please. Can one really be that stupid? The puppet President and Prime Minister are trumped every time by the “Supreme Leader”/Dictator. Making a deal with those two would be like making a deal with Joe Biden, minus the feeling up.
John Kerry and President Obama might be the worst negotiators in the history of negotiating (see Bowe Bergdahl). They basically went into the talks in Switzerland with the mindset of “We have to get a deal done, and we’ll let that be known to all involved. We will not leave without a deal.” That’s not how you get something productive done, especially with a lunatic who regularly says, “Death to America”and wants Israel “wiped off the map.”
Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s General Manager made famous by the movie Moneyball, doesn’t call up another team and say,“We want Ricardo Rincon. You can have anything you want from us in return.”Instead, he nonchalantly inquires about the availability of Rincon, and asks if they might be interested in parting with him, that he might be inclined to make a deal for him. That’s how you deal. From a position of strength.
The Supreme Leader recently said that if there is to be a deal, then all military sites have to be declared off-limits to foreign inspectors, and that the sanctions need to be lifted as soon as the deal is signed. Easy does it, Ayatollah. How about a little chill in Tehran? I mean, it’s been 36 years of “Death to America.” We can’t just end that overnight. Anything else we can do for you? A massage, a foot rub? Just let our President know. I’m sure he’ll acquiesce, but this stuff takes some time.
Speaking of time, let’s get back to that magazine Mr. Klein writes for. He ended his column this week by saying, “The hard-liners were split, awaiting definitive word from the Supreme Leader. ‘The people dancing in the streets believe their lives will immediately improve. But the sanctions won’t go away overnight—and even then, it will take time for the economy to recover,’ Klein’s friend concluded. ‘Nothing crushes a dictator more effectively than rising expectations.’ “
Just minutes after reading that article, the “crushed” dictator did the world a favor when he crushed the expectations of Kerry and Obama and said “No deal.” Howie Mandel was thrilled. John Kerry not so much.
For another week, the world breathed a sigh of relief. But for how long? One thing is for sure: don’t go looking to Joe Klein for answers.
Scott Johnston – NEWSslinger Contributor A longtime television Sports Producer/Writer, Scott Johnston is turning his attention away from baseball, football, and tennis and towards his favorite other sport: politics. A husband and father of two, Scott lives just north of Boston in the very blue state of Massachusetts. He writes about things other than politics in his blog . Originally from Southern California, Scott and his family moved to the Northeast almost 10 years ago and enjoy it very much, other than the winters and the politicians, both of which he finds cold, long (-winded), and hard to take.