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Rhodes to ruin

May 11, 2016

The deal with Iran was a sell out. The Iranians got everything they wanted and the United States got nothing in return. If there is a single obstacle to Iran developing nuclear weapons whenever they please, no one has yet identified what that obstacle is. But of more recent interest has been the contemptuous arrogance of Obama’s spirit double on foreign affairs, Ben Rhodes, who provided an interview to The New York Times that has been commented on endlessly across the net. But as the most infamous passage from that interview, reprinted below, would explain, these criticisms have not yet surfaced within the media in general.

Rhodes singled out a key example to me one day, laced with the brutal contempt that is a hallmark of his private utterances. “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Why would these bumpkins mention that the source of all their stories has called them clueless and ignorant? But now Rhodes has returned fire, and given how little he cares about what anyone else thinks as the Middle East blows up, he dismisses everything that has been said in a tepid statement that is designed to be read in four minutes. This is his evidence that all is well:

Today, Iran verifiably cannot obtain a nuclear weapon. That, more than anything I or anyone else can say, makes the case for the Iran deal.

If it were true, then he’s right but it is very early days yet. If it is a lie, like just about everything else that has been said by Obama, then he has sabotaged American interests in the Middle East, although that is by no means the only measure of failure since there are so many others to go with this one. And there’s that word “verifiably” that seems a qualifier of some significance. But the story about Rhodes himself, to the extent it was ever a scandal, has now fully disappeared. That is the one thing that is verifiable and shows again not only how insignificant the media is as an obstacle to Obama doing whatever he can get away with, but how insignificant the critics of the right to anything whatsoever.

Lee Smith has just touched on this very point: The Ben Rhodes Blow-up.

The echo chamber is mad—but not at Ben Rhodes for what he said. They’re mad at Samuels for getting the story they didn’t—or didn’t even see was there, and they’re mad at him for what he reported. The Washington Post has published three different pieces on Samuels, none favorable, including one by the editor of the book section. The Post is mad of course because the Samuels piece publicly shamed the paper—after all, its main brief is to cover the local industry—the workings of the government of the United States. And yet as the article makes plain, Post reporters and especially columnists got spun and conned about the Iran deal. But much worse than that is that the Post got scooped on the story explaining how gullible they are. Scooped by the New York Times, in their own backyard on the biggest foreign policy story of the past four years! That’s embarrassing.

A world run by the emptiest shirts with the shallowest minds submerged within the sleaziest ideologies. Possibly ever thus, but what remains the most important part of the story is that it remains a non-story for virtually the whole of the world who know nothing about any of this at all. That ignorance does not include the governments of Iran or Russia, but what difference does that make to getting elected in the United States, the country with the least informed electorate across the developed world.

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