President Obama has written a secret letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to get the ayatollah on board fighting ISIS, according to news reports.
It is disconcerting news: I am picturing President Obama, living in the luxury of the White House, a president not that versed in the reality of foreign affairs (as recent events have shown), sitting down and writing a secret letter to the head of a repressive dictatorship. This comes when the Obama administration is trying to negotiate a nuclear treaty with Iran that will likely let the religious dictatorship go nuclear.
Of the letter, the Wall Street Journal reports:
The letter appeared aimed both at buttressing the campaign against Islamic State and nudging Iran’s religious leader closer to a nuclear deal.
Mr. Obama stressed to Mr. Khamenei that any cooperation on Islamic State was largely contingent on Iran reaching a comprehensive agreement with global powers on the future of Tehran’s nuclear program by a Nov. 24 diplomatic deadline, the same people say.
And it is not Mr. Obama’s first attempt to become the Ayatollah's pen pal:
The October letter marked at least the fourth time Mr. Obama has written Iran’s most powerful political and religious leader since taking office in 2009 and pledging to engage with Tehran’s Islamist government.
The Journal reports that Congress is “rattled” by the president’s secret communications with the leader of the repressive religious dictatorship. Rattled is a pretty mild term. PJ Media’s Roger Simon is considerably more than rattled:
“You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s” went the famous ad all over New York when I was in college.
Modern equivalent: “You don’t have to be Jewish to know the president having secret correspondence with Ayatollah Khamenei is …..”
You fill in the blank. Mine is obscene and not suitable for a family website.
As Simon observes, the Ayatollah is a man who has been leading “Death to Israel” chants since 1979. Just to be clear: it’s not just Israel, a badly-treated U.S. ally, that the Ayatollah doesn’t like—it’s Jews.
I know that diplomats use back channels all the time, but I would honestly be surprised to learn that Franklin Roosevelt had ever written a “Dear Adolph” letter.
Does Obama know that Khamenei was a leader of the Iranian military in their war with Iraq, when the Iranians force-marched eleven-year-old boys — holding plastic “keys to paradise” — across fields to clear them of mines in advance of their troops, killing thousands of the unwitting boys in the process? Who knows? But if Obama makes this [nuclear] deal with the Iranians, he better gives us all plastic keys.
It would almost be comforting to believe at this point that President Obama is merely naïve. But James K. Glassman and Michael Doran proposed in a chilling article last year that something darker is at work in President Obama’s fixation on Iran: a new Middle East alignment with Iran at the helm.
In an article headlined “Iran Nuclear Deal: The Mystery Solved,” Glassman and Doran argue that the president’s pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran, regardless of whether we get a bad deal or not, is a “head-scratcher” unless viewed in the framework of the president’s new vision for the Middle East.
Regarding the administration’s seemingly incomprehensible pursuit of a nuclear deal–any nuclear deal, no matter how pathetic–with Iran, Glassman and Doran write:
There is, however, another explanation – a far more troubling one. Rather than merely being feckless, the administration may actually have a long-term plan, and this initial nuclear deal is only a tactic in a broader strategy. The overall aim is a strategic partnership with Iran because the administration sees that country as the only island of stability in a sea of chaos and violence.
Iran has a population of 76 million, a government that hasn’t changed in 34 years, and a GDP greater than Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan, and Yemen combined. No one knows who will be running Egypt or Saudi Arabia a few years from now, but Iran has withstood a serious rebellion with impressive resilience – and has rescued the Syrian regime from an even more threatening uprising.
That, at any rate, is how a self-styled realist might view Iran. Blinkers are clearly required. The administration has to ignore what a tilt to Iran would do to relations with the Israelis, Saudis, and Sunnis in general. It has to ignore that the United States has traditionally stood for freedom and against religious tyranny – both for moral and practical reasons. But what are the other choices? The Iranian temptation is strong.
I urge you to read the entire Glassman-Doran article—it will make the president’s pursuit of his Iranian pen pal (though it does seem to be a one-sided relationship) seem both more alarming and more plausible.