A fresh lament has emerged in the languid saga of the non-deal Iran “deal.” Suddenly the spin is off the talking point. Right out there in the open, people have abandoned the sweaty effort of talking as if there’s a deal when there isn’t one, and have lapsed into describing reality, which is that there are just more talks on the horizon – probably, maybe, if the Iranians come back after walking out on Tuesday – and an agreement is looking somewhere between “meh” and “not happening.”
That didn’t take long. Take a moment to consider what did just happen. For a brief few days in November, there was a paroxysm of manufactured rejoicing over what was basically the false report of a “deal” having been concluded with Iran. A few voices pointed out at the time that there wasn’t actually a deal, in the sense of Iran agreeing to do or stop doing anything meaningful on the Western negotiators’ list. The Iranians themselves went back home and assured their population, in Farsi, that there was no deal. (Technically, what they said was that the activities the West said they were suspending would continue.) They even advised Western media that the Obama administration was making inaccurate statements about the “deal.”
But the rejoicing rose to a crescendo in the West. Obama and the heads of the EU-3 did a victory lap. Long-frozen Iranian financial assets were thawed. More oil and gas began to flow. (More than what was already flowing under the very porous sanctions.) Obama pressed Congress – continues to press Congress – to hold off on a proposal to yet again tighten U.S. sanctions against Iran. Russia knocked over furniture in the rush to proclaim that the new era with Iran means the West doesn’t need missile defenses in Europe after all.
The truth has nevertheless surged out incontinent: there is no deal. Iran has not agreed to suspend uranium enrichment. Iran has not agreed to enrich only to the lowest level of purity. Iran has not agreed to cut the number of centrifuges she has in operation. Iran has not agreed to shut down, or work toward shutting down, or even negotiate the finer points of talking about shutting down construction on the plutonium reactor at Arak. Iran hasn’t agreed to ship any of her stock of enriched uranium out of the country; Iran hasn’t agreed to actually do anything, other than not cut off the possibility of future talks, as long as they’re at Iran’s leisure and on Iran’s terms.
Frankly, I’m feeling a little disrespected here. The least the media and the Obama administration could do is keep the charade going. Keep pretending there’s a deal, instead of dropping that effort as if it’s just too much trouble, and we’re all toddlers with two-minute attention spans anyway.
Well, actually, I’m sure they’ll be back talking about a “deal,” the next time it’s rhetorically convenient to do so. One day there’s a “deal,” the next day there are walkouts and pessimism, and back and forth it will go, as if we out here in radioland can’t remember what they told us yesterday.
We’re way past the Nazi propaganda model here. Get the ever-changing Truth-Theme of the Day down to the Truth-Theme of the Hour, and we’ll be past Stalin and straight on to Mao 2.0: no passing Go, no collecting $200. And all right out here in the global-warmed light of day. The mainstream media seem to constitute little more than a big echo chamber, or perhaps a self-gazing pool of Narcissus: the ultimate arbiters of their own context, and therefore simply a freak-show, dancing with an idiot giggle on the edge of reality.
You want to say, “Hey, we can see what you’re doing, bub.” But it doesn’t seem to matter anymore. Reality is over here, where Iran hasn’t stopped uranium enrichment or her progress toward a bomb, and Obamacare is changing lives for the worse, right before our eyes. There’s an ever-shrinking core of true believers who seem to think Obama and his friendly media are Obi-Wan Kenobi, convincing us that these droids in front of us aren’t the droids we’re looking for. But we know the droids when we see them. The question is what else Obi-Wan is going to do in the next three years, thinking the Force is with him.