I believe by now we all know that foreign policy is very foreign for our President. Whether it is by choice or design, I do not know.
What I know is that when Iranian newspapers say that Iran won, it means that it is not the point of view of some group exercising freedom of speech, as they do not have freedom of speech. It means this is the government approved message for the people of Iran.
Obama stating that not everybody is thinking this way is ridiculous. In the country where the only opinion that people hear and read is the opinion of the government, other voices are simply not heard.
After all, propaganda is what you hear. If you hear the same thing over and over, this is what you believe. I lived in the Soviet Union for 40 years and I can attest to how propaganda works. You may think that you are the smartest, and critical, and that you have your own opinion, but you underestimate the power of propaganda. You do not notice how well the government manipulates the information making you think that the ideas you think are yours are in reality theirs.
So, when Iran claims victory, it is not bluffing. Even when nothing supports the victory in the eyes of America and the West, if they call something a victory, it is a victory for the people.
But it is more sinister than that. It is real victory for Iran here. Iran, like so many other countries, negotiates from the position of strength. Even when you are crippled by sanctions, they still negotiated from the position of strength. It is simply in their culture, it is in Russian culture.
Can they justify it and show it? Yes. Iran holds 4 Americans. Did they have to make this concession? No, and for the people of Iran it is a clear sign that their government is strong. America did not even ask.
Imagine Iran in American shoes. The most powerful country... They would have demanded the release of 4 Iranians even before sitting at the negotiating table, simply as a condition of getting to this table. But our President plays what he calls "fair" and what I call "stupid". He does not understand Iranians. He thinks they are like Americans.
Why it happened this way? Because we allowed them to do it. And the very fact that we allowed them, that we treated the weak as equal is a sign of our weakness in their eyes.
Our President simply does not get it.
Remember Obama 8 years ago told the nation that he would speak with adversaries? That he would sit with then Iranian president and talk? Remember that it never happened? that he did not sit with North Korean leader as well...
Do you know why?
Because for Iran sitting with American President would be a sign of weakness. They did not sit with Obama… Well, he was very inexperienced and very naïve then… What about now?
His (and unfortunately, it is not only his) position that they may say whatever they want, as this is their way to keep the reputation, is what causes us so much trouble in the world. The condition of any negotiation has to be that the other country has to acknowledge not only the terms, but write about it, and present it in the fair way, not as a lopsided victory… unless, of course, it is, like in case with this Iranian deal
Without it we are losing.
We have not even moved from the negotiation table and Iran already sent their general to Russia. Tell me that this is not victory for Iran. It is a spit in the face of Obama, but did he notice it? Did it make him angry?
Did it make him a man?
I can’t get rid of the feeling that he is trying to leave some legacy. Does not matter what, as long as there would be something to remember, something for him to brag about in the future.
Heck with the legacy, we need peace and yes, sometimes you need to show and even use your teeth to make it happen.