Sometimes Peggy Noonan, long-suffering Mother Superior of the Order of the Nitrous Stupor, liked to take the air in Central Park. She would stroll along the Ramble and bring along some crusts of bread to feed the ducks at the lake. She might find a quiet bench to sit on, to watch the joggers and the cyclists and the mothers and nannies pushing baby carriages past on their endless constitutionals. She might look up at the grand buildings of Central Park West and imagine them all crumbling to dust in a holocaust of fire unleashed by Iranian nukes. The wind would howl along the avenues, destroying everything in its path. All those beautiful saloons and watering holes gone…
All because of that feckless blackamoor in the White House.
When he overcomes his reluctance to get involved, he picks the wrong place, such as Libya, where the tyrant we toppled was better than many of those attempting to take his place.
Something similar had happened in Iraq, where the toppling of that nation’s dictator by the last Republican president had unleashed civil war and bloodthirsty tribes out to erase each other from the face of the Earth. Not to mention the power vacuum created that allowed the Iranians to move in. What had she said about that invasion at the time? She couldn’t remember. Surely it would come to her.
Syria, red lines, an exploding Mideast, a Russian president who took the American’s measure and made a move, upsetting a hard-built order that had maintained for a quarter-century since the fall of the Soviet Union.
And after taking the small Crimean peninsula that Ukraine and Russia have been regularly passing back and forth since the middle of the nineteenth century, Vladimir Putin rolled his tanks across the rest of Europe while President Mom Jeans played his 2756th round of golf. So now what was he doing? Trying to make a deal with the Iranians! What kind of a president would talk to those savages?
The two most boring words in history are “nuclear proliferation.” Jimmy Carter made them so on Oct. 28, 1980, when, in a presidential debate, he announced that his 12-year-old daughter, Amy, had told him that the great issue of the day was the control of nuclear arms. America laughed: So that’s where the hapless one gets his geopolitical insights.
None of the reporting out of Lausanne has suggested that a helpful agreement would emerge. Tuesday’s deadline for production of a basic framework was missed; on Thursday, a framework, the contents of which were not revealed, was announced.
Perhaps she should double-check that last assertion before her deadline? Eh, the monkey with a head injury who edited her column every week would surely be on top of it.
President Obama is not known as a good negotiator. He and his White House have given the impression that they want a deal too much—they need the win. It isn’t good when you let the people on the other side know how much you need it.
She briefly marveled at the idea that she, one of the great Reagan acolytes and defenders of his legacy, would criticize a president for giving away the proverbial store to the Iranian mullahs. But she shook it off and continued carving her column into the splintered wood of this Central Park bench.
Meanwhile, the goddess Irony was busy piloting an airliner nose-first into the French Alps.
“Our policy…should not be Obama-style capitulation or Bush-style war,” but increasing political pressure through increased economic sanctions. More than 70% of Iranians are under age 30, Ms. McFarland noted. “How long will they tolerate being ruled by a handful of 80-year-old mullahs who have pushed their economy into free fall?”
The last time those young people rose up against the mullahs, it all went swimmingly for them. Surely the U.S. would step in and help, which is in no way the terrible idea it was a mere six years ago during the Green Revolution.
In the end he should toughen the sanctions and wait out the mullahs. No one in America would be angry. Most would think “Wow, if he walked, it must have been a terrible deal—give him credit for trying!” Everyone else would be relieved.
That would enhance his foreign-policy legacy. That would be a win.
And if he left the Iranian problem for his successor, surely no one would criticize him for it or demagogue about it during the 2016 election. And if his successor just happens to be one of the bomb-happy crazy people running for the Republican nomination, or the brother of the president who started the war that allowed Iran to increase its influence in the Middle East in the first place, why, that was just a fortunate coincidence for her party.
She squinted at the words she had carved into the bench, then stood and wandered back toward the edge of the park, to the streets where she might find a pay phone. Her monkey editor was going to have to come down here if he wanted to read her column today.