Bernie Madoff: Barrack Obama

Bill Neinast

“Hi! I’m Bernie Madoff of the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities firm, and I have a great deal for you.  Just send me $50,000.00 and I will guarantee to return it to you in six months with an increase of 18.75%.”

“Trust me.  I am calling you from an office provided for me by the federal government.  If the government trusts me with this fine office in Bunter, North Carolina, certainly you can trust me with a few dollars.”

This scenario clicks on and overrides any statements by President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry that they are negotiating with Iran to keep that country from acquiring nuclear weapons.

So what is the proposed agreement?  “Sorry, we cannot tell you now.  Just like Nancy Pelosi and the Affordable Care Act, we have to conclude the agreement before we can tell you what’s in it.”

So will Congress be kept in the loop?  “Sorry, No!  Congress has no role in foreign relations.  That is the sole responsibility of the President.”

But what about the Constitutional requirement for the Senate to ratify treaties before they become binding?  “Sorry, we do not have diplomatic relations with Iran so we cannot negotiate a treaty with the Ayatollahs.  We are simply trying to work out an agreement with some groups of Iranians.”

So if there is no treaty with provisions enforceable under international law, how can we be sure Iran will not develop nuclear weapons?  “That’s simple.  We will operate on trust.   Iran’s increasing number of centrifuges and building secret enrichment facilities is totally consistent with building nuclear generating plants.  That is a move to reduce greenhouse gases and because of our interest in reducing global warming, we have to be supportive.”

So, Iran’s threat to world security is just a figment of the Vast Right Wing Conspirators’ imagination?  “Bingo!!  You got it!  The only alternative to these good faith negotiations is war.  That’s all the Republicans want.  Trust me just as you would trust a call from Bernie Madoff.”

Unfortunately, the hypothetical spokesperson for the administration quoted above is correct.  In the absence of a dynamic leader respected by other nations at our helm, negotiations of some sort seem to be the only course open.

If there were a real desire to deny Iran’s entry into the nuclear fraternity, real world leaders like Reagan and JFK could, and probably would, take a very different road.  They would recognize the salutary effects of previous sanctions on Iran and impose new sanctions with teeth.  Those teeth this time could be to embargo all trade with Iran.

This would require a coalition with other countries concerned about the Iranian threat.  Those with ships would embargo the Iranian ports on the Caspian Sea, Persian Gulf, and Gulf of Oman and agreements with the countries bordering Iran would halt or severely curtail overland traffic. 

Iraq, Syria, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan might balk at the embargoes.  Their limited border areas, however, and the fierce fighting going on in Iraq and Syria would reduce trade with Iran to a trickle.

Choking Iran like this could bring real disarmament in a hurry.  That is what JFK did with the embargo of Cuba during the missile crisis and it worked like a charm.

So here’s the perspective.

The world would be much safer today if we had a leader in the White House with the combined traits of Reagan and JFK.  One like Teddy Roosevelt who would talk softly but carry a big stick.

A leader like that would not be confused with Bernie Madoff.


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