Streetwise Professor

May 12, 2015

Samantha Power, Magical Thinker–Like Her Boss

Filed under: History,Military,Politics — The Professor @ 12:45 pm

This administration has a well-documented track record for making delusional statements, but this one by Samantha Power (in an interview with Charlie Rose) is in the running for Most Delusional:  “I think you’re going to see a push on diplomacy in the coming weeks, and it is our hope that perhaps also, if the nuclear deal can go forward and we get the terms that we need in that space, that you’ll start to see a shift in Iran’s posture [on Syria].”

Why? First, because “Iran is stretched” by its commitments to Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.

Um, the $50 billion “down payment”, with more to follow, will unstretch Iran quite a bit. It will provide a lot of wherewithal that they can pump into Syria, and elsewhere. That Iran has spent such large sums on Syria at a time when it is desperately burdened by sanctions demonstrates clearly the high strategic value that the mullahs place on Assad, and controlling Syria. The deal which Powers is flogging will increase Iran’s capability to achieve its strategic objectives. The clear implication is that Iran will increase dramatically its support for Assad once a deal is done, not withdraw it as Powers fantasizes.

Second, she claims that Iran “wants to be part of the international community.” Typically idiotic transnational progressive projection. No. The mullahs don’t crave to be liked by Samantha and the transnatprog set: countries that screech daily about exterminating Israel aren’t all that concerned about their image in the West. Indeed, these theocrats despise the West. That they say they want to be part of the international community just tells you that they have figured out that Western elites lap up that bilge.

Iran wants to be free to pursue its objectives without constraints from the international community. Its role in Syria has nothing to do with the constraints it currently faces, and once the sanctions are lifted, there is zero possibility that other constraints will be imposed because of its role in Syria.

Now let’s turn to reality. There are reports that Assad’s chief of the National Security Bureau has been arrested. Why? For plotting a coup. The reason for his dissatisfaction? Iran’s increasing control over the Syrian government:

The role being played in the war by Iran, Syria’s regional ally, is said to be at the heart of the arguments, with some of the “inner circle” afraid that Iranian officials now have more power than they do.

Iran’s influence has been crucial in bolstering Syria’s defences against the rebels, but even that has been crumbling in the face of recent rebel advances in the north.

So Iran is just going to drop Syria because it wants to be popular at Davos? Obviously not. It is intent on controlling Syria, and a nuclear deal will enhance its ability to do so.

Like with so many other things, this administration’s view of reality is totally inverted. Obama and his minions say the Iran deal will cure every ill in the Middle East. In fact, it will exacerbate almost all of them because it will dramatically enhance the resources and capabilities of a revisionist power that threatens virtually every other nation in the region. The conflict in Syria will become more intense and protracted, not less, when Iran gets its hands on billions with the potential to make billions more. And conflicts with Gulf countries are much more likely in a post-deal world. It is also likely that a resurgent Iran would raise deep alarm in Turkey, especially given that Turkey is adamantly anti-Assad. Thus, conflict with Turkey is more likely too.

This deal is a Pandora’s Box. With one difference. I don’t think that hope is inside of it.


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  1. With respect, “countries that screech daily about exterminating Israel aren’t all that concerned about their image in the West. Indeed, these theocrats despise the West. That they say they want to be part of the international community just tells you that they have figured out that Western elites lap up that bilge.” the same could be said, with just mild editing about Maoist China.

    Comment by d — May 12, 2015 @ 5:12 pm

  2. @d-Absolutely. And the Soviets before that. The leftist nitwits are so easy to play because of their egos. They believe everyone wants to be like them, and to be liked by them. Play to that vanity, and they are putty in your hands.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — May 12, 2015 @ 5:36 pm

  3. Part of the subtext of this deal is the “screw Israel” mindset prevalent in this administration. There’s always something bad that ungrateful Israel is doing that makes Obama upset, like building a new neighborhood in East Jerusalem or giving a speech to Congress. If only Israel could just somehow disappear, things would be so much easier.

    Comment by aaa — May 12, 2015 @ 6:12 pm

  4. “I don’t think that hope is inside of it.”

    What about change?

    Comment by JDonn — May 12, 2015 @ 9:15 pm

  5. @JDonn. Lots of change. Lots. For the worse.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — May 12, 2015 @ 10:31 pm

  6. The ME policy and magical thinking problem have consistently reminded me of the importance of understanding the difference between a risk and a gamble. Erwin Rommel had this to say:

    “It is my experience that bold decisions give the best promise of success. . . . But one must differentiate between strategical or tactical boldness and a military gamble. A bold orientation is one in which success is not a certainty but which, in case of failure, leaves one with sufficient forces in hand to cope with whatever situation may arise. A gamble, on the other hand, is an operation which can lead either to victory or to the complete destruction of one`s force”

    The ME policy is basically a high stakes roll of the dice. Could things conceivably work out? Yeah, they could, but there is no rational basis or evidence to think that they will, and that is necessary for responsible policy making. Same with Cuba.

    Comment by JDonn — May 13, 2015 @ 12:52 am

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