If This Is Negotiating – You’re Doing It Wrong

Now that all the negotiating on the Iranian nuclear deal has ended, I think it is safe to say that, if Barack Obama had written “The Art of The Deal”, he would have done so in crayon. A better title would have been “The Art of Giving Away the Farm”.

When Major Garrett from CBS News asked President Obama about the four Americans still being held in Iran despite the deal, the President grew visibly frustrated and scolded Garrett for daring to ask such a question. He then went on to make an excuse for not securing their release during the “negotiations” that was as pitiful as it was enlightening.

In case you are not familiar with these four hostages, I’ll take a moment to introduce you. The first is Saeed Abadini, a Christian pastor who committed the unforgivable crime of running an orphanage doing other things Christians do. Then there is Jason Rezaian, a reporter for the Washington Post. Amir Hekmati is a former Marine and decorated war vet who was arrested when he traveled to Iran to visit his grandmother. Finally there is Robert Levinson who is an employee of the CIA and was in Iran on what his attorney says was an unsanctioned mission for the CIA.

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President Obama bristled when asked why these four Americans had not been included in the negotiations, and in the way of an excuse claimed that, had their fate been brought up, the Iranians could have walked away from the negotiations and there would have been no deal. His excuse is pathetic and demonstrates why the Iranians are celebrating the deal and Americans are left wondering just how bad it can really get.

If you will remember, Iran was the country under sanction by the rest of the world, and it is Iran that needed a deal. Had Obama gone into those negotiations determined to stop the Iranian nuclear program, and negotiated from a position of strength, Iran would have been in fear that the U.S. would walk away if these four Americans were not released. In fact, their release should have been a prerequisite to any negotiations in the first place. Obama did none of that; he talked tough, lied about what he was going to do, and folded like a cheap suitcase.

It has become quite clear that any time the Obama administration negotiates with an Islamic country or terrorist organization, the United States will get the worst end of the deal. The questions that begs to be answered is whether this is because Obama is a weak and ineffective negotiator, or is he getting exactly what he wanted?

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