Obama’s Dangerous Iran Gambit

“The mainstream media is out to bolster the president’s coming “détente” with Iran as roughly outlined in his recent interview with NPR. But typical of Obama’s excursions off-teleprompter, the meandering multi-topic NPR interview hardly presents an analysis of American relations with Iran, as opposed to Obama’s penchants for bragging and wishful thinking, (e.g., outwitting the Iranian mullahs by agreeing with his interviewer that he is going to outwit them.)  A day before the NPR interview the Washington Post ran a headline touting the blooming alliance between United States and Iran in Iraq.  But I suspect the true rationale and outlines of Obama’s “grand bargain” with Iran are better explicated in a piece in the current Atlantic by Robert Kaplan, which serendipitously just arrived in my mailbox.

The Kaplan article is particularly interesting and worth analyzing in detail. While not quite in the same league as his Atlantic colleague Jeffrey Goldberg as a reliable Obama mouthpiece, it is still probably safe to assume that Kaplan’s piece presents the Obama administration blueprint for a coming reconciliation with Iran. Kaplan’s article even reads a lot like an Obama speech: Assertions of foreign-policy realism, invocations of inevitability, comparisons to admired former presidents, specious references to history, grand gestures, faulty stratagems, throwing friends and allies under various busses, and damning Israel with faint praise.