Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory
 
 
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Syrian Lives Aren't As Important As My Legacy
By Barack Obama

ObamaRecent reports about Ben Rhodes, my foreign policy guru, and his alleged overselling of the Iran Deal have raised quite a few questions about my Middle East policy. To lay those questions to rest, let me be clear: the deal is about my legacy, and appeasing Iran as much as necessary to reach a deal - any deal at all - was a key element in that, no matter how many Syrians, Iraqis, and Yemenis have to die as a result. Syrian lives just aren't as important as my legacy.

It is crucial that we realize how central that point is to my foreign policy doctrine. Getting in the way of Iran's ambitions in Syria, or elsewhere in the region, would prompt them to walk away from the deal, and there goes my legacy. The same principle applies in terms of the deal itself, from verification mechanisms to what is and is not allowed to be made public. The fact of a deal was the goal, not its effectiveness, scope, or sustainability. Whether or not the Syrian people understand that is secondary, because when push comes to shove, they don't matter.

Not that the Syrians, Iraqis, and Yemenis - and many other peoples affected by Iran's proxies - are in a class by themselves. Other people and principles also fall away in the face my drive for a legacy as peacemaker: Israelis, the truth, the integrity of my administration's relationship with the press, and so on. So they're in good company, and shouldn't feel so bad.

American lives, too, have to be subordinated to the Iran Deal. I don't just mean the US Navy personnel taken hostage last year. Iran's Shiite proxy militias in Iraq had a hand in attacks on our troops in Iraq, to the tune of hundreds of US servicemen killed or wounded. But demanding redress, or penalizing Iran in any way, let alone asking for an apology, would short-circuit the deal. The same goes for enforcing sanctions, restricting Iran's access to the US banking system, and speaking out against the regime's egregious violations of human rights and support for international terrorism. Those things all had to be shunted aside, because I have a legacy to create.

Seriously, what are a few hundred thousand Syrian lives in the grand scheme of things, compared to my legacy?

This must be what the committee had in mind when it awarded me that Nobel Peace Prize.


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