Obama under stress

The Iranian government seized 10 U.S. sailors and two ships in the Persian Gulf shortly before President Obama’s final State of the Union address on Tuesday. GPS equipment was taken from the ship, the U.S. issued an apology, the sailors were eventually returned this morning, and now the White House is preparing to unfreeze $100 billion in Iranian assets as part of the summer’s nuclear deal. Iran’s actions were meant to send a message to the world: The United States is a joke. Sadly, it’s hard to argue.

CNN’s Jake Tapper was flabbergasted when White House press secretary Josh Earnest shrugged off the actions of Obama’s diplomatic “partner” as no big deal.

“What do you say to people who say Iran fired upon, not hit, but fired a warning shot of sorts toward an American ship in the last couple of weeks … they test-fired a ballistic missile in the past couple of weeks, and yet, in a few days, they are scheduled to have the relief of all those sanctions?” Tapper said Tuesday night. “The basic question being: This does not seem like a country that is ready to be welcomed back to the community of nations.”

Earnest’s response: But…but…we got a nuclear deal with Iran! A deal, man. Cut us some slack.

“[This] is why the United States and this president made it a priority to organize the international community to reach an agreement with Iran that will prevent them from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” said Earnest.

“I hear you, but they have 10 American sailors in custody right now, Josh. I think there are probably a lot of Americans watching right now that are wondering why we are about to give them sanctions relief when they have 10 Americans – wherever they have them. In a boat, in a cell, whatever,” Tapper replied.

To add insult to injury, Iran scolded the U.S. upon the sailors’ return.

“This incident in the Persian Gulf, which probably will not be the American forces’ last mistake in the region, should be a lesson to troublemakers in the U.S. Congress,” Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, head of Iran’s armed forces, was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency, Reuters reported.

There were about 10,000 ways Iran could have responded to two U.S. vessels that drifted too close or into its territorial waters, and it chose one of the most aggressive ways possible. It literally took U.S. forces captive and confiscated their equipment.

Ask yourself this question: For all of George W. Bush’s faults, would Iran have pulled a stunt like that under his watch — on the night of the State of the Union, no less?

The answer is “no.”

The country is in a sad place when Iran can seize American sailors with impunity and then laugh as a U.S. president oversees the release of $100 billion in Iranian assets just days later.

Iran seizes sailors

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

11 comments

  1. Suddenly the parallels to Obama & Prez Carter become ever closer.

    One wonders if that will make Trump the next Reagan. (I’m starting to be grateful I don’t have any kids. I’d be so ashamed what they were being left.)

    1. Trump would first need to have a coherent conservative core and learn some humility before he could even think of becoming Reagan-esque.

      Trump is Trump, for better or for worse.

  2. As Legal Insurrection said, “Welcome Back, Carter.”

    Kerry even thanked Iran for their “cooperation” in resolving the crisis.

    But we got a deal with Iran. (So now their assets are unfrozen, and they can fund more terrorism. Or maybe they will pay off their loans from the investment banks that control both major political parties in the US. Just as the Panama Canal treaty was a bailout for the Chase Manhattan Bank.) The Iranians are already violating it, and the Dhimmicrats are already making convoluted excuses, insisting that the violations are not really a problem, and that we should not impose sanctions (which, they previously assured us, would automatically be implemented if the Iranians violated the agreement.)

    Progressives are all about style over substance. They see a treaty, not as a means to an end, but as an end in itself. Whether the agreement prevents a war (or whether the latest anti-gun law reduces crime) is irrelevant to them. A piece of paper is considered an accomplishment in itself.

    1. As Legal Insurrection said, “Welcome Back, Carter.”

      “Well we tease Barack a lot because we got him on the spot — welcome back!”

      Progressives are all about style over substance. They see a treaty, not as a means to an end, but as an end in itself.

      Well said.

  3. First things first: this damn well better come up during the debate tonight. I mean, this is a national embarrassment, so it’d be really assuring if the candidates most likely to get the nomination hashed it out and explained how they’d deal with Iran.

    I got into this with my dad yesterday. He insisted this was just a no-nothing and easily resolved incident. I told him it was a slap in the face to Obama and part of a pattern of aggressive behavior. Remember in 2008 with Hillary’s 3 a.m. phone ad and Biden’s comments about how Obama would be tested? They were right and Obama fails every single time. I mean, I’m not surprised. This was the same doofus who called ISIS “contained” right before they killed 130 people. The man is utterly clueless and staffed his team with even more clueless yes men.

    And, y’know, the thing that really bugs me about this is not the incident itself or the weenie way Obama’s team handled it. That’s serious stuff, sure, but for me, it’s the way they tried to defend themselves that really shows how weak they are. They just dug the hole even deeper with their “But we got a deal, so pay no attention to this” garbage. You can just tell these people had no idea how to deal with this situation and were desperately trying to save face (to the point of refusing to acknowledge what happened in the SOTU in the hopes that no one would notice). I’d call it laughably inept, but this is serious. Ya just know Iran (plus other aggressors) will be putting the screws in Obama for the next year.

    Sad thing is, Iran did a better job of summing up the state of the Union than Obama did.

    1. I got into this with my dad yesterday. He insisted this was just a no-nothing and easily resolved incident.

      I’m glad you pushed back. It was much, much more than that. Iran’s military literally took control of two U.S. ships and detained our military personnel and the reaction was a complete capitulation by the White House. That level of aggressiveness will now be used in other theaters around the globe, by Iran and other hostile nations.

      President Obama seems content with any provocation as long as at the end of the day he can say, “Well, at least we’re not officially at war.”

    2. It’s my understanding that, in light of people complaining about the treatment of the captured sailors, the State Department actually tried to push back by saying the Geneva Convention doesn’t apply because we’re not at war with Iran. That didn’t go over so well from the tweets I saw.

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