Persian Hokm, Obama -- J Street Hokum

It's my understanding that Hokm is the most popular game in Iran. Among other things the Hokm (commander or leader) of each hand gets dealt the first card and has the privilege of deciding which suit will be the trump cards. While it looks like the English word "hokum", something untrue, false, designed to elicit a certain response from the viewer, it is pronounced otherwise. Still it rather well describes the diplomatic and domestic game being played by Rouhani and Obama: Persian-American applesauce in which Obama is giving Iran the right to call the trump card and make the first move. As Tom Maguire put it succinctly: With the Syria imbroglio Obama demonstrated that he has no plan, no resolve, no domestic support, no international support, and is desperate for something he can spin as a win. Of course people want to negotiate with him now.  He's referring to reports that Rouhani, Iran's leader, and Obama have agreed to speed up talks. The Times, long a prime member of...(Read Full Article)

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