Ben Rhodes struggles to get his narratives straight as idiocy of Iran deal gets obvious
After handing Iran's mullahs a billion dollars in cash to buy torpedoes and drone-killers, President Obama's former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes is in a quandary.
As a result, he's tweeting up a storm, pushing three different and quite contradictory "narratives" in a bid to blame Trump for Iran's aggression.
Start with Narrative One, which remains the pinned tweet on his Twitter feed and has been up there for weeks:
Trump’s administration has made every effort to manufacture a crisis with Iran: https://t.co/y7g3ATGS1X— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) May 17, 2019
OK, so there's no crisis, and Trump's just makin' it up about the torpedoing of ships and the mullahs' recent U.S. drone shoot-down. "Manufactured," see. He ought to take that mess of bad prognostications down pronto. The May 16 Washington Post op-ed he links, written by himself, has already changed its headline to something less embarrassing.
Here's another Rhodes retweet with his comment to support Narrative One that Trump is just makin' it up and there is no crisis:
This will get about 1/100th of the coverage that Trump’s comments got in the US media. https://t.co/0ZzWFePc6O— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) June 15, 2019
OK, time for Narrative Two: There is a crisis, and it's all Trump's fault. Trump pulled out of the Rhodes-crafted Iran deal, the one where the mullahs got a billion dollars of cash on pallets, which the Obama administration tried to cover up from the U.S. voters, and now all hell's broken loose. Pay no attention to that little detail about how Ben's deal put the money there for the mullahs to buy torpedoes. Orange Man Bad. If there had been no deal pullout, the mullahs would have remained honorable to their word. Pay no attention to that little detail that they weren't, which is why Trump scrapped the hideous make-the-mullahs-rich deal. Here are some of Rhodes's tweets on that contradictory bit of fiction-writing (which, surprise, was Rhodes's major in college). He pours the piety on thick:
Trump pulling out of the Iran Deal has led directly and predictably to the Iranian nuclear threat getting worse and the risk of war going up. https://t.co/6WHOlIfZi2— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) June 17, 2019
Trump lied about Iran violating the JCPOA, unilaterally left the deal, isolated the US, piled on sanctions and provocations and threats. It's utterly predictable that this resulted in Iran escalating. Trump's Iran policy is an incoherent mess that risks a very real war. https://t.co/pikK6tRBgp— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) June 20, 2019
The absence of any rational, coherent process for national security decision-making has always been a clear risk under Trump. Now we see what that looks like in a crisis— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) June 21, 2019
This is precisely why politics isn’t a game, diplomatic agreements should be honored, and temperament, intellect and judgement are what matters in who is President. It should never have come to this.— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) June 21, 2019
Had enough? Time for Narrative Three: Trump is just itching to start a war with Iran, something strongly contradicted by the actual news that...Trump isn't going to blow up the mullah hellhole at all. Trump pulls back from the brink, as the headlines go. But then we have Rhodes, expending all his tweet energy on promoting that idiot narrative:
Waiting for the "madman theory of diplomacy" take, to be followed by the "we had to go to war" take, followed by the "Trump is Churchill" take, followed by the "no one thought the war would be this hard" take. https://t.co/Tiw0TutH1a— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) June 18, 2019
At a time when Trump could easily blunder into a war with Iran and the military wants more troops in the Middle East, there is chaos at the top of the Pentagon.— Colin Kahl (@ColinKahl) June 18, 2019
Given Trump's utter inability to govern, it's not surprising. But it's very dangerous. https://t.co/hfFlKXWXRh
There is no legal basis for a war with Iran. All Dems should join in demanding a vote to prevent a war which would be illegal, unnecessary, and rooted in Trump's decision to create a crisis by pulling out of the Iran Deal just because Obama negotiated it. https://t.co/pk3yDhjQ2g— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) June 20, 2019
We didn’t need to pull out of a deal that was working. And we don’t need to go to war over a drone.— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) June 21, 2019
For Rhodes's information, Trump ran for president on keeping the U.S. out of senseless nation-building wars. President Obama did, too, but never managed to do what he claimed he wanted to do. Trump blasted Obama for that but also ran as the anti-Bush, arguing that the latter got the U.S. into all kinds of wars in the name of (say earnestly) "freedom." Trump's stance may be good, or it may be bad, but it's what he thinks; it's a fundamental element of reading his personality correctly. His stance on Venezuela (where I think there is a case to hose the socialist hellhole out before the drug-dealers take over) is a perfect illustration. What's more, he's got a re-election to finish, so getting the U.S. into an unpopular war probably isn't on his agenda if he can help it. It's true he can be unpredictable, as the Syrian gassers learned, but in general, he doesn't play ten-steps-ahead speculative strategic chess for neocon-style "American power" theories. He'll do something if there's an authentic right-here threat, such as an invasion of foreign cartels and foreign criminals killing American citizens inside their own country. But he's very unlikely to get the U.S. into a long involved war with stone-aged barbarians who gag at the introduction of "freedom."
Now that Trump has squelched the possibility of a war with the mullahs, for now, at least (always good to keep the mullahs on their toes), Ben's out of narratives. They've all fallen apart. But don't count Rhodes out. Look for Narrative Four, coming to his Twitter feed soon.
Image credit: Twitter screen shot.