This has the effect of a James Bond martini. It leaves you shaken, not stirred.
Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has offered to help Donald Trump develop a foreign policy platform, making him one of the few senators to publicly embrace Trump as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
“Look, the foreign policy establishment in the last 15 or 16 years hasn’t gotten things exactly right,” Corker said. “What I hear in what he’s saying… is more of a George H.W. Bush view of the world. I hear him embracing more of a James Baker view of the world, and a larger degree of realism is making its way into his thinking, and I very much appreciate that.”
Before moving forward, let’s check a couple of data points. Yesterday, New York Times magazine ran a profile of Obama foreign policy guru Ben Rhodes. Ben Rhodes is familiar to RedState readers as the guy who drafted the Benghazi attack talking points for Hillary Clinton blaming an internet video for what was actually a planned, complex attack by al Qaeda affiliated Islamists. (here | here). And he was able to make the lie stick because his brother is CBS News executive, David Rhodes.
Ben Rhodes was also the architect behind the egregious series of lies that the administration told to get the Iran nuclear weapons agreement approved:
As Rhodes admits, it’s not that hard to shape the narrative. “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” Rhodes said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”
In Rhodes’s “narrative” about the Iran deal, negotiations started when the ostensibly moderate Hassan Rouhani was elected president, providing an opening for the administration to reach out in friendship. In reality, as Samuels gets administration officials to admit, negotiations began when “hardliner” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was still president. It was Rhodes who framed the Iran deal as a choice between peace and war, and it was Rhodes who set up a messaging unit to sell the deal that created an “echo chamber” in the press. “[Al Monitor reporter] Laura Rozen was my RSS feed,” says Tanya Somanader, the 31-year-old who managed @TheIranDeal twitter feed. “She would just find everything and retweet it.”
“In the spring of last year,” Samuels writes:
legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” [Rhodes] admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”
When I suggested that all this dark metafictional play seemed a bit removed from rational debate over America’s future role in the world, Rhodes nodded. “In the absence of rational discourse, we are going to discourse the [expletive] out of this,” he said. “We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked.” He is proud of the way he sold the Iran deal. “We drove them crazy,” he said of the deal’s opponents.
Who helped Ben Rhodes ram this through the Senate GOP caucus? Bob Corker. Bob Corker was the guy who pushed the administration’s plan through the Senate and set up a situation where Obama could disregard a vote of disapproval. Without Bob Corker, Obama would have had to result to blatantly illegal acts in order to carry out his purpose of making Iran a nuclear power. (see here | here | here | here | here | here | here | here | here) that is just a sampling, a lot more like it are here.
The fact that a man who was either duped by Ben Rhodes or willfully betrayed his colleagues is helping Donald Trump on foreign policy doesn’t fill me with a lot of hope. That he could say that Donald Trump’s instincts are even vaguely similar to James Baker’s — other than a whiff of anti-Semitism, I mean — is little short of bizarre.