Watch State Dept spokesbuffy Marie Harf react to a simple question today about the Middle East..
Nothing to see move along!
Of course she immediately knew the implication of a question about Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia meeting together to discuss an alliance without United States involvement--Iran. They seem very sensitive about this.
If you want to know what's actually important right now look at what the Obama-approved media isn't harping on: Iran is closing in on a deal that would almost surely allow them to keep their nuclear program, a deal which if signed would make it harder for Israel to take them out in a bombing raid, and not only due to possible threats such as this, but just based on being called an international pariah and sanctioned by the UN.
At the same time Iran has 1) helped Bashar Assad remain in power (the guy whose days were once said to be "numbered" by the administration), 2) almost certainly helped the Houthi rebels take over Yemen, which just normalized air traffic between San'a and Tehran, 3) continued to fund Hizballah and HAMAS while now providing military assistance via the IRGC to the Iraqi Army in their offensive to retake Tikrit. It's as if we're now BFF with the Iranians. At what point do they get removed from the list of state-sponsors of terrorism?
While doing all of this they've also managed to blow up a mock US aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf while burning a figure of the president in effigy (along with their usual 'death to America' chants). More importantly they've managed to scare Netanyahu into flying to Washington to give a speech about the dangers of all of this.
Yet despite all the red flashing lights the American people largely couldn't give two hoots. They are severely war weary, which Obama knows, which is why Netanyahu decided to come and speak, which is why the Obama cabinet was dispatched out of town for the Bibi speech, with an even bigger middle finger message sent by John Kerry, who will be talking to the Iranians the very same day. Netanyahu is almost getting the Tea Party treatment (the real terrorists). Hey LA Times--let's see that Rashid Khalidi video, how about it?
So yeah, this administration rilly, rilly wants a nuke deal with Iran. Seemingly at almost any price. Yes, we all realize these things are too nuanced for dunce conservative bloggers to understand; that when the dust settles Iran will have been bitch-slapped into lowered sanctions while retaining their nuclear program. To most people this will sound like paying sticker price for a car but to our super genius negotiators and the press it will be the biggest peace deal in our time, just in time for Hillary.
Of course, if Iran keeps their program and gets lowered sanctions while Israel's hands are tied, and we allow Tehran to project its image all over the Middle East, including taking over Iraq, Syria and Yemen, well, that unconseqential non-story about Sunnis that Marie Harf tried to dismiss today will become front page news.
TAKE THE DEAL, IT'LL BE GREAT!
Obama talked to Reuters today and telegraphed his willingness to make an Iran nuke deal, practically begging the Iranians to do it.
He assured Americans that after any deal that 'inspectors' will be able to keep them honest, even though inspectors are saying Iran is not being honest right now. And it's not like international inspections weren't a joke in Iraq and Libya.
So let's think about this. How can the administration NOT end up with a deal, after two busted self-imposed deadlines and after throwing a flag on Bibi for interference? Obama is on record of saying he has a firm commitment that he will do everything possible to keep Tehran from going nukular, but everybody including the Iranians knows this does not include a military option. It just doesn't. Even if Obama wanted it the American peeps would balk. He has less than two years left and he's not about to open a can whoop-anything on anyone.
So, lacking a deal and no military option he'd have no choice but to re-impose sanctions. Iran would go back to using their proxies to destabilize the region, a region where they now exert even more influence, including over Iraq and their oil. Obama would not take much of an immediate political hit for a failed deal followed by re-imposing sanctions because the mainstream media would cover his backside, but in the real world the Ayatollahs would emerge with their nuclear weapons program, more regional control, and a bigger swarth than ever before.
Netanyahu, assuming he's still in power, would almost surely have to attempt to take out the nukes before Obama's term expires, which could get a little messy. But even if Bibi doesn't win and an Israeli dove lap-dog PM gets elected, there's the specter of that Sunni alliance Marie Harf was trying to downplay today and the resultant nuclear arms race it could produce. Obama desperately needs a deal to make it to January 2017. A deal kicks the can but it conceivably holds off the Israelis, the Sunnis, and the Republicans.