Fox’s Kennedy Decides She’s an Iran Deal Expert, Tells Actual Foreign-Policy Expert He’s ‘Naive’
Fox Business News’ Kennedy produced a remarkable segment for her Monday night show, hosting a Cato Institute scholar for a discussion about the Iran situation in which she sneered and dismissed anything he said that did not fit in with right-wing talking points.
From the beginning, it was pretty clear that Kennedy had no intention of exploring whether President Trump has any options for dealing with the escalating tension with Iran beyond ramping it up, as she made clear right away:
“The White House said today it would continue to wage a maximum pressure campaign until officials in Tehran alter their course of behavior. But are the president’s sanctions smackdown working, or is it time to ask the bartender for something a little stronger?”
The bartender bit is how you know this is going to be a serious discussion about a vexing problem.
It is not clear why Kennedy would bring on a director from a libertarian think tank and author of an upcoming book entitled Fuel to the Fire: How Trump Made America’s Broken Foreign Policy Even Worse (and How We Can Recover) if she did not want to hear someone say that actually Trump is responsible for the current Iran mess after he broke the Obama-negotiated deal which was working pretty well to keep the Persian Gulf nation from pursuing nuclear weapons.
Nevertheless, that is mostly what John Glaser tried to tell Kennedy. Asked what is fueling Iran’s latest “tantrum,” Glaser tried to explain that no one should be surprised, since Trump has been “waging economic warfare…as punishment for Iran’s full compliance with one of the most robust and rigorous nonproliferation agreements ever negotiated.”
Kennedy didn’t want to hear that, so she complained that the negotation of the original agreement was “upside down,” and Iran got “so much on the front end,” to which Glaser said he didn’t understand what she meant.
“They got a lot of cash upfront,” Kennedy responded. This has been one of the right-wing complaints about the deal for years, that the Obama administration just handed over pallets of cash to Iran as part of it.
Glaser tried to explain that the money was from Iranian assets that had been frozen since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, so it was not that Obama paid Iran for compliance as conservatives have tried to argue.
Kennedy then complained about sanctions hurting the Iranian people, not the leaders of the regime. Glaser agreed, noting that sanctions might be hurting Iran’s economy but are not convincing Iranian leaders to change their behavior. Whereas the deal the Obama administration struck with Iran actually did accomplish that goal. He went on to explain all the ways in which international inspectors had confirmed Iran’s compliance with the terms of the original deal.
Kennedy did not believe him:
“Yeah, and they bought every child a puppy and a magical unicorn that members of Hezbollah flew away on to cloud cuckoo land, because they no longer exist either. I think a lot of your statements are incredibly naive. I agree with you that we should have some nonviolent approach to the Middle East that doesn’t involve a lot of U.S. involvement. But if you want to make that argument with a little bit more factual basis, I am all ears.”
She obviously was not all ears, since she then ended the interview.
The segment was so incredible that Glaser earned sympathy, kudos and amazement from both his Cato colleagues and a foreign policy advisor for Bernie Sanders:
— Emma Ashford (@EmmaMAshford) July 2, 2019
This is amazing. https://t.co/ED6WvG6c5E
— Matt Duss (@mattduss) July 2, 2019
To sum up: Kennedy would like stronger action than devastating sanctions against Iran to stop its nuclear program, but she would like that action to be nonviolent. Also she would like the solution to not be anything like the deal Obama negotiated because she doesn’t believe that deal worked, despite someone who studies this issue telling her that in fact it did work and was one of the most “robust” nuclear treaties ever negotiated. Got it?
Watch the video above, via Fox News.