Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Why Did Obama Want to Elevate Iran?

 

An article by reporter Lee Smith discusses the possibility that the Obama team went after Gen. Flynn because he was the man most able to undermine/expose the Iran deal. Reading the article in The Tablet, I kept scratching my head wondering why Obama worked so hard to elevate Iran at the expense of US interests and those of our ally Israel. Can someone explain to me, from Obama’s perspective, how the Iran deal was in the interest of the US?

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Obama was never interested in helping the United States; his aim was to tear down the country. By assisting and elevating Iran, I think he hoped it would just be one more nail in our coffin. Good question, John.

    • #1
    • May 21, 2020, at 11:42 AM PDT
    • 18 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  2. Arahant Member

    John Berg: Can someone explain to me, from Obama’s perspective, how the Iran deal was in the interest of the US?

    Why would you think Obama did anything in the interest of the U. S.

    • #2
    • May 21, 2020, at 11:47 AM PDT
    • 15 likes
  3. Bishop Wash Member

    I saw some speculation at the time that he might have seen it as a way to stabilize the region. Get two balanced sides to go into a Cold War like stand-off. I don’t know though.

    Oddly, it seemed to strengthen Israel a bit. I thought some countries, like Saudi Arabia and Jordan, were working with Israel to counteract the threat from Iran.

    • #3
    • May 21, 2020, at 11:50 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  4. StChristopher Member
    StChristopher

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    I saw some speculation at the time that he might have seen it as a way to stabilize the region. Get two balanced sides to go into a Cold War like stand-off. I don’t know though.

    Oddly, it seemed to strengthen Israel a bit. I thought some countries, like Saudi Arabia and Jordan, were working with Israel to counteract the threat from Iran.

    I wonder if you could explain how it strengthened Israel? Especially when the Iran deal all but guaranteed Iran the bomb with in 10 years. A bomb which Iran, with its promise of “death to Israel” , is likely to use.

    • #4
    • May 21, 2020, at 12:08 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Barack Hussein Obama is an Islamo-philic. He is not Muslim, but he is very sympathetic to all things and nations Muslim.

    • #5
    • May 21, 2020, at 12:10 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  6. Bishop Wash Member

    John Berg (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    I saw some speculation at the time that he might have seen it as a way to stabilize the region. Get two balanced sides to go into a Cold War like stand-off. I don’t know though.

    Oddly, it seemed to strengthen Israel a bit. I thought some countries, like Saudi Arabia and Jordan, were working with Israel to counteract the threat from Iran.

    I wonder if you could explain how it strengthened Israel? Especially when the Iran deal all but guaranteed Iran the bomb with in 10 years. A bomb which Iran, with its promise of “death to Israel” , is likely to use.

    I was thinking of countries that saw a stronger Iran as a threat to them and began looking to Israel as a potential ally against a common enemy. I remember reading about Saudi Arabia softening rhetoric against Israel and becoming open to them. Yes the threat from Iran became worse but they might be gaining support from other countries.

    • #6
    • May 21, 2020, at 12:14 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  7. DrewInWisconsin, Ham-Fisted Bu… Coolidge

    I just assumed he hated Israel so much he was trying to help Iran get nukes to blow them off the map.

    • #7
    • May 21, 2020, at 12:22 PM PDT
    • 25 likes
  8. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Valerie Jarrett’s ties to Iran may be part of the answer, but the bigger part is that Israel and Great Britain are the only two foreign countries where their political divides are in some way equated to the Republican-Democrat/left-right split in U.S. politics, and while Israel for its first 30 years was seen as reliably electing national governments in tune with Democratic Party domestic goals, since 1977, Israelis have had the temerity to elect Likud leaders into power more often, and leaders like Begin, Sharon and Netanyahu were seen by the left in the U.S. as being more allied with Republicans (this was true even in the Clinton era, when Bill set James Carville over to run the Ehud Barak campaign in 1999 against Natanyahu).

    So it helps to think of Israel as a Red State, which in the mind of Obama and his people was run by a bunch of oppressive white dudes with nuclear weapons. And they were the only nation in the Middle East with nuclear weapons. Obama’s tilt towards Iran was seen in his mind as installing some balance in the equation, by giving the Israels a counter-balancing regional force in the Iranian government.

    The Law of Unexpected Consequences here was the Obama people didn’t grasp that the Saudis, the Jordanians and the Egyptians were as opposed to the Israelis to a nuclear Iran, but saw that with the Obama people running things, they could no longer count on the United States to keep the Mullahs from gaining nuclear capabilities and potentailly threatening the other Middle Eastern Muslim states and not just be some sort of counterbalance against the Jews. That in turn led to the closer ties between the Sunni Muslim states and Israel, which ended up starving Hamas of money and, after Trump was elected, made it easier to do things like move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Not what Obama’s foreign policy people planned, and you can be sure they’ll try to revive the Iran deal if Biden wins in November.

    • #8
    • May 21, 2020, at 12:22 PM PDT
    • 21 likes
  9. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Valerie Jarrett’s ties to Iran may be part of the answer, but the bigger part is that Israel and Great Britain are the only two foreign countries where their political divides are in some way equated to the Republican-Democrat/left-right split in U.S. politics, and while Israel for its first 30 years was seen as reliably electing national governments in tune with Democratic Party domestic goals, since 1977, Israelis have had the temerity to elect Likud leaders into power more often, and leaders like Begin, Sharon and Netanyahu were seen by the left in the U.S. as being more allied with Republicans (this was true even in the Clinton era, when Bill set James Carville over to run the Ehud Barak campaign in 1999 against Natanyahu).

    So it helps to think of Israel as a Red State, which in the mind of Obama and his people was run by a bunch of oppressive white dudes with nuclear weapons. And they were the only nation in the Middle East with nuclear weapons. Obama’s tilt towards Iran was seen in his mind as installing some balance in the equation, by giving the Israels a counter-balancing regional force in the Iranian government.

    The Law of Unexpected Consequences here was the Obama people didn’t grasp that the Saudis, the Jordanians and the Egyptians were as opposed to the Israelis to a nuclear Iran, but saw that with the Obama people running things, they could no longer count on the United States to keep the Mullahs from gaining nuclear capabilities and potentailly threatening the other Middle Eastern Muslim states and not just be some sort of counterbalance against the Jews. That in turn led to the closer ties between the Sunni Muslim states and Israel, which ended up starving Hamas of money and, after Trump was elected, made it easier to do things like move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Not what Obama’s foreign policy people planned, and you can be sure they’ll try to revive the Iran deal if Biden wins in November.

    I always thought that V Jarrett’s dearest wish was to have President Obama go to Iran a la some Nixon in China moment but she couldn’t quite swing it. Another interesting tidbit is that Peter Strozek also lived in Iran while Dad was there. Another reason why Stozk hated Flynn and wanted to get him?

    • #9
    • May 21, 2020, at 12:27 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  10. Ray Gunner Coolidge

    John Berg: Can someone explain to me, from Obama’s perspective, how the Iran deal was in the interest of the US?

    “Interest of the US?” You are thinking too provincially, JB. What is “the interest of the US” to a man dedicated to bending the “Arc of the Universe Towards Justice.”

    Remember, Obama thinks like a 60’s era leftist, which means he has a binary view of geopolitics (and everything else). There are two categories of humans, societies, nations: the Oppressors and the Oppressed. And most laudatory thing anyone can do is equalize the status between them, which means afflicting the Oppressor and comforting the Oppressed where ever possible.

    And like all 60’s era leftists Obama views the United States as the Great Oppressor which means U.S. sanctions on Iran were an act of oppression. What to do?

    Equalize, of course! Bend That Arc!! And how to do that? Iran Deal, baby! A path to nukes plus palettes of untraceable American cash, easily duffel-baggable for black market arms purchases by excitable young men eager to continue the fight against the US and Israel Oppression. 

    “Interest of the US?” Feh!

    • #10
    • May 21, 2020, at 12:38 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  11. Columbo Member

    Because his key adviser wanted to elevate Iran.

    And shared a hatred of Israel with him.

    • #11
    • May 21, 2020, at 12:42 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  12. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Barack Hussein Obama is an Islamo-philic. He is not Muslim, but he is very sympathetic to all things and nations Muslim.

    There was always a discussion about Obama’s religiosity. He obviously is not a Christian (remember him saying in an interview: “My definition of sin is something that is out of alignment with my values“). Some have said he is more of an atheist. Still others said he was really a Muslim. I think he is more an atheist, but he has a great fondness for Shia Islam.

    • #12
    • May 21, 2020, at 12:53 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  13. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Valerie Jarrett’s ties to Iran may be part of the answer, but the bigger part is that Israel and Great Britain are the only two foreign countries where their political divides are in some way equated to the Republican-Democrat/left-right split in U.S. politics, and while Israel for its first 30 years was seen as reliably electing national governments in tune with Democratic Party domestic goals, since 1977, Israelis have had the temerity to elect Likud leaders into power more often, and leaders like Begin, Sharon and Netanyahu were seen by the left in the U.S. as being more allied with Republicans (this was true even in the Clinton era, when Bill set James Carville over to run the Ehud Barak campaign in 1999 against Natanyahu).

    So it helps to think of Israel as a Red State, which in the mind of Obama and his people was run by a bunch of oppressive white dudes with nuclear weapons. And they were the only nation in the Middle East with nuclear weapons. Obama’s tilt towards Iran was seen in his mind as installing some balance in the equation, by giving the Israels a counter-balancing regional force in the Iranian government.

    The Law of Unexpected Consequences here was the Obama people didn’t grasp that the Saudis, the Jordanians and the Egyptians were as opposed to the Israelis to a nuclear Iran, but saw that with the Obama people running things, they could no longer count on the United States to keep the Mullahs from gaining nuclear capabilities and potentailly threatening the other Middle Eastern Muslim states and not just be some sort of counterbalance against the Jews. That in turn led to the closer ties between the Sunni Muslim states and Israel, which ended up starving Hamas of money and, after Trump was elected, made it easier to do things like move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Not what Obama’s foreign policy people planned, and you can be sure they’ll try to revive the Iran deal if Biden wins in November.

    A very good analysis, and accurate, I believe.

    • #13
    • May 21, 2020, at 12:53 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  14. StChristopher Member
    StChristopher

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Barack Hussein Obama is an Islamo-philic. He is not Muslim, but he is very sympathetic to all things and nations Muslim.

    I agree. I wonder what motivates that Islamo-philic? His personal history or because it poses a critique of the US.

    • #14
    • May 21, 2020, at 1:25 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Flicker Coolidge

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Because his key adviser wanted to elevate Iran.

    And shared a hatred of Israel with him.

    Yes, because he hates Israel so much, and wants it destroyed.

    • #15
    • May 21, 2020, at 1:53 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. Bishop Wash Member

    John Berg (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Barack Hussein Obama is an Islamo-philic. He is not Muslim, but he is very sympathetic to all things and nations Muslim.

    I agree. I wonder what motivates that Islamo-philic? His personal history or because it poses a critique of the US.

    Yes. I think it was spending his formative years at a madrassa in Indonesia. He’s called the Islamic call to prayer the most beautiful sound in the world. He didn’t have any American history at that stage. Education wasn’t all horrible in the 1960s so he could have learned something about America instead of being in a foreign country. He wasn’t surrounded by lovers of America at home, so what knowledge of America he was receiving wasn’t positive.

    • #16
    • May 21, 2020, at 2:27 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  17. Bishop Wash Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Valerie Jarrett’s ties to Iran may be part of the answer, but the bigger part is that Israel and Great Britain are the only two foreign countries where their political divides are in some way equated to the Republican-Democrat/left-right split in U.S. politics, and while Israel for its first 30 years was seen as reliably electing national governments in tune with Democratic Party domestic goals, since 1977, Israelis have had the temerity to elect Likud leaders into power more often, and leaders like Begin, Sharon and Netanyahu were seen by the left in the U.S. as being more allied with Republicans (this was true even in the Clinton era, when Bill set James Carville over to run the Ehud Barak campaign in 1999 against Natanyahu).

    So it helps to think of Israel as a Red State, which in the mind of Obama and his people was run by a bunch of oppressive white dudes with nuclear weapons. And they were the only nation in the Middle East with nuclear weapons. Obama’s tilt towards Iran was seen in his mind as installing some balance in the equation, by giving the Israels a counter-balancing regional force in the Iranian government.

    The Law of Unexpected Consequences here was the Obama people didn’t grasp that the Saudis, the Jordanians and the Egyptians were as opposed to the Israelis to a nuclear Iran, but saw that with the Obama people running things, they could no longer count on the United States to keep the Mullahs from gaining nuclear capabilities and potentailly threatening the other Middle Eastern Muslim states and not just be some sort of counterbalance against the Jews. That in turn led to the closer ties between the Sunni Muslim states and Israel, which ended up starving Hamas of money and, after Trump was elected, made it easier to do things like move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Not what Obama’s foreign policy people planned, and you can be sure they’ll try to revive the Iran deal if Biden wins in November.

    Wonderfully said. This is some of the speculation that I remember but didn’t have the specifics.

    • #17
    • May 21, 2020, at 2:29 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Hang On Member
    Hang On Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Because his key adviser wanted to elevate Iran.

    And shared a hatred of Israel with him.

    Yes, because he hates Israel so much, and wants it destroyed.

    It isn’t only Israel. Why was she born in Iran? Her father was a doctor. Couldn’t he get a job in the US? He was a communist. 

    • #18
    • May 21, 2020, at 3:26 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  19. Old Bathos Moderator

    A Potemkin presidency can not afford any critics. Obama got pure adulation from the entire media except for Fox and that sole source of dissent distressed him. Petreus had to be prosecuted for 1% of the crimes committed by Hillary because he was not a worshipper. Rosen, Atkinson had to be surveilled. Every scandal required a brazen lie.
    Flynn was a threat to the entire rat’s nest.

    • #19
    • May 21, 2020, at 4:35 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  20. Bob Thompson Member

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Valerie Jarrett’s ties to Iran may be part of the answer, but the bigger part is that Israel and Great Britain are the only two foreign countries where their political divides are in some way equated to the Republican-Democrat/left-right split in U.S. politics, and while Israel for its first 30 years was seen as reliably electing national governments in tune with Democratic Party domestic goals, since 1977, Israelis have had the temerity to elect Likud leaders into power more often, and leaders like Begin, Sharon and Netanyahu were seen by the left in the U.S. as being more allied with Republicans (this was true even in the Clinton era, when Bill set James Carville over to run the Ehud Barak campaign in 1999 against Natanyahu).

    So it helps to think of Israel as a Red State, which in the mind of Obama and his people was run by a bunch of oppressive white dudes with nuclear weapons. And they were the only nation in the Middle East with nuclear weapons. Obama’s tilt towards Iran was seen in his mind as installing some balance in the equation, by giving the Israels a counter-balancing regional force in the Iranian government.

    The Law of Unexpected Consequences here was the Obama people didn’t grasp that the Saudis, the Jordanians and the Egyptians were as opposed to the Israelis to a nuclear Iran, but saw that with the Obama people running things, they could no longer count on the United States to keep the Mullahs from gaining nuclear capabilities and potentailly threatening the other Middle Eastern Muslim states and not just be some sort of counterbalance against the Jews. That in turn led to the closer ties between the Sunni Muslim states and Israel, which ended up starving Hamas of money and, after Trump was elected, made it easier to do things like move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Not what Obama’s foreign policy people planned, and you can be sure they’ll try to revive the Iran deal if Biden wins in November.

    I always thought that V Jarrett’s dearest wish was to have President Obama go to Iran a la some Nixon in China moment but she couldn’t quite swing it. Another interesting tidbit is that Peter Strozek also lived in Iran while Dad was there. Another reason why Stozk hated Flynn and wanted to get him?

    And Lisa Page’s mother is Iranian.

    • #20
    • May 21, 2020, at 4:53 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    I think Obama wanted a foreign policy win and the Iran deal was easy. Create the narrative of moderation and the media will sell that to the American people, while paying Iran a lot of cash and sanction’s relief to keep up appearances. It was a pure ego move from the man that claimed to “heal the oceans”.

    • #21
    • May 21, 2020, at 7:16 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Old Bathos Moderator

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    I think Obama wanted a foreign policy win and the Iran deal was easy. Create the narrative of moderation and the media will sell that to the American people, while paying Iran a lot of cash and sanction’s relief to keep up appearances. It was a pure ego move from the man that claimed to “heal the oceans”.

    More than just a win, I think Obama wanted to vindicate a foreign policy based on reverence for his own personality and sophistication combined with a demonstrable indifference to American interests supposedly leading to good behavior from bad actors.

    • #22
    • May 21, 2020, at 7:21 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  23. Bob Thompson Member

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    I think Obama wanted a foreign policy win and the Iran deal was easy. Create the narrative of moderation and the media will sell that to the American people, while paying Iran a lot of cash and sanction’s relief to keep up appearances. It was a pure ego move from the man that claimed to “heal the oceans”.

    General Flynn was the only perceived threat to this legacy. Obama thought he had gotten rid of Flynn and then he showed up in the Trump campaign. This still only caused them to put Flynn in the insurance policy arrangements. But then Trump won the election and Flynn emerged as a big threat to the legacy. The Obama team had to do a lot in a short time to neutralize the Flynn threat to the intelligence setup.

    • #23
    • May 21, 2020, at 7:21 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  24. Barfly Member

    Several good answers here. I’ll add that all people of the left are driven to betray. They distinguish themselves by taking positions and actions against the interest of their host society.

    • #24
    • May 21, 2020, at 8:51 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  25. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Valerie Jarrett’s ties to Iran may be part of the answer, but the bigger part is that Israel and Great Britain are the only two foreign countries where their political divides are in some way equated to the Republican-Democrat/left-right split in U.S. politics, and while Israel for its first 30 years was seen as reliably electing national governments in tune with Democratic Party domestic goals, since 1977, Israelis have had the temerity to elect Likud leaders into power more often, and leaders like Begin, Sharon and Netanyahu were seen by the left in the U.S. as being more allied with Republicans (this was true even in the Clinton era, when Bill set James Carville over to run the Ehud Barak campaign in 1999 against Natanyahu).

    So it helps to think of Israel as a Red State, which in the mind of Obama and his people was run by a bunch of oppressive white dudes with nuclear weapons. And they were the only nation in the Middle East with nuclear weapons. Obama’s tilt towards Iran was seen in his mind as installing some balance in the equation, by giving the Israels a counter-balancing regional force in the Iranian government.

    The Law of Unexpected Consequences here was the Obama people didn’t grasp that the Saudis, the Jordanians and the Egyptians were as opposed to the Israelis to a nuclear Iran, but saw that with the Obama people running things, they could no longer count on the United States to keep the Mullahs from gaining nuclear capabilities and potentailly threatening the other Middle Eastern Muslim states and not just be some sort of counterbalance against the Jews. That in turn led to the closer ties between the Sunni Muslim states and Israel, which ended up starving Hamas of money and, after Trump was elected, made it easier to do things like move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Not what Obama’s foreign policy people planned, and you can be sure they’ll try to revive the Iran deal if Biden wins in November.

    I always thought that V Jarrett’s dearest wish was to have President Obama go to Iran a la some Nixon in China moment but she couldn’t quite swing it. Another interesting tidbit is that Peter Strozek also lived in Iran while Dad was there. Another reason why Stozk hated Flynn and wanted to get him?

    And Lisa Page’s mother is Iranian.

    I had forgotten that little tidbit. If I was into conspiracy theories …..

    • #25
    • May 22, 2020, at 5:01 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Zafar Member

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Why was she born in Iran? Her father was a doctor. Couldn’t he get a job in the US? He was a communist. 

    According to her:

    “He could not find a job at a major teaching hospital in a position that would be comparable to his white counterparts,” Jarrett explained. “And so, after much due diligence and searching, he landed a job offer chairing the department of pathology, and helping to start a brand new hospital in Shiraz, Iran.” After they moved to England, research Bowman presented caught the attention of the dean of the University of Chicago Medical Center. A tenure-track position there brought Jarrett and her parents home to Chicago.

     

    • #26
    • May 22, 2020, at 5:06 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  27. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    I think Obama wanted a foreign policy win and the Iran deal was easy. Create the narrative of moderation and the media will sell that to the American people, while paying Iran a lot of cash and sanction’s relief to keep up appearances. It was a pure ego move from the man that claimed to “heal the oceans”.

    I would disagree on the easy part. He and his team moved heaven and earth to get the deal. As opposed to Obamacare which I always felt he sort of fell into, he and VJ really, really wanted this. The Israel hatred was deep.

    • #27
    • May 22, 2020, at 5:07 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  28. DrewInWisconsin, Ham-Fisted Bu… Coolidge

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):

    John Berg: Can someone explain to me, from Obama’s perspective, how the Iran deal was in the interest of the US?

    “Interest of the US?” You are thinking too provincially, JB. What is “the interest of the US” to a man dedicated to bending the “Arc of the Universe Towards Justice.”

    Or what is “the interest of the U.S.” to a man who saw himself as “citizen of the world” first and foremost.

    • #28
    • May 22, 2020, at 7:52 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  29. JoshuaFinch Coolidge

    Remember Obama’s closest advisor was a woman who grew up in Iran, Valerie Jarrett. Beyond this, Obama had an undisguised contempt for Israel and thought that bolstering Iran would damage Israel.

    • #29
    • May 22, 2020, at 2:30 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  30. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    He got it wrong on Honduras in his early days and it was downhill from there. He was a Global Rockstar for a few years, for all the good it did anyone else. And he stabbed Israel in the back several times, including the UN vote at the end of his term. 

    • #30
    • May 22, 2020, at 2:44 PM PDT
    • 5 likes