Israel and the neocons still seek an excuse to bomb Iran, now citing false claims about its supposed noncompliance with the nuclear deal. The new water carrier is U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.
By Paul R. Pillar
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the agreement that limits Iran’s nuclear program, is for Donald Trump one more of the Obama administration’s achievements to be trashed. It goes alongside the Affordable Care Act, the Paris climate change agreement, and other measures (most recently the “dreamers” program involving children of illegal immigrants) as targets for trashing because fulfilling campaign rhetoric is given higher priority in the current administration than whether a program is achieving its purpose, whether there are any realistic alternatives available, or what the effects of the trashing will be on the well-being of Americans and the interests and credibility of the United States.
Nikki Haley, whose foreign policy experience has consisted of these past few months as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, has assumed the role of chief public trasher of the JCPOA for the administration. Evidently no demands on the time of the U.S. ambassador in New York, from the issue of North Korea (which has real, not imagined, nuclear weapons) to the war in Syria were too important to keep her from giving a speech at the American Enterprise Institute that represented the administration’s most concerted and contrived public effort so far to lay groundwork for withdrawing from the JCPOA.
Haley has warmed to this cause both because of her own previous parochial interests, including those associated with financial contributions she has received, and because it is a convenient vehicle for playing to Trump’s urges. Haley evidently feels no obligation to perform as one of the “adults” in the administration to whom the country looks to contain those urges.
The speech at AEI was Trumpian in some of the tactics it employed. The performance…