“‘The intelligence that we had from the U.S. Olympic Committee and Chicago bid team was that it was very close and therefore well worth our efforts,’ said Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House advisor. ‘The message was that … a personal appeal from the president would make a huge difference.’”
— Source (H/T)
Another president brought low by bad intelligence, even with a dazzling presentation.
Okay, I’m joking. And for crying out loud, we should be able to joke about not getting the Olympics. It’s only the Olympics. It is, in the end, sports. If the president is smart, he’ll make a few self-deprecating comments about it (rather than doing this, which just looks pathetic) and put it to rest.
But bad intelligence is a serious problem, isn’t it? I mean, look we were told not too long ago that “there was nothing to worry about Iran’s nuclear program, that it had virtually ceased.”
And then the president essentially tells us, the other day (when he was assured it would not “dilute” his “I have a dream of a world without nuclear weapons” speech to the UN), oh, yeah, by the way, Iran’s got a serious nuclear program in Qom, and I’ve known about it a little while.
So, America “did well” in negotiations with Iran, if Iran plays straight. But even CNN’s analysis calls this a victory of sorts, for Iran:
Yes, the P5+1, and the United States in particular, should be pleased. But the real winner in Thursday’s round of talks is Iran, which has largely neutralized international efforts to impose new sanctions against Tehran.
Iran cleverly revealed its not-so-secret nuclear facility at Qom to the IAEA hours before Obama was to speak to the G-20 industrialized nations, where Iran’s nuclear program was featured prominently on the agenda in his meetings with various leaders. . . .Iran’s supposed about-face also blunts the threat of Israeli attack, at least for now.
I am hoping. But, frankly, after 8 months of watching this crew, I am not reassured.
No president is perfect. No presidency is without its missteps and its outright errors. War and diplomacy seldom run smoothly, of course. Still, I would like to feel just a little more confident that our side is holding something other than its breath, right now.
But this keeps running through my head:
With an incredible rapidity, America’s status as the world’s pre-eminent superpower is now passing away. This is a function both of the nearly systematic abandonment of U.S. interests and allies overseas, with metastasizing debt and bureaucracy on the home front.
It is interesting to think, isn’t it, that if America is brought low (a no-longer unthinkable notion, unfortunately) and the crazymen that we’re hot to appease in Iran, or North Korea or Venezuela get together to do crazy things, the only fully-functioning and war-ready Democracy left to help the world will be…Israel.
Tiny, despised, fierce Israel.
I love irony, but that’s not an irony I want to see played out.
Sunday…a good day to pray.
George Will: Through Obama’s Looking Glass