Art of the Iran Deal

This is really a grievous and potentially very harmful act by Secretary Pompeo. Secretaries of state and defense have traditionally stayed above partisan politics because they represent America to the world. It is truly breaking a norm to have the secretary of state do this.” And it was “wholly inappropriate to use Jerusalem as a prop in the Republican convention.” Anyone who tuned in later might wonder about who was condemning Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and why.

 The speaker was Wendy Sherman, undersecretary of state for political affairs in the Obama Administration. Laura Kelly of The Hill failed to mention that Sherman had been the lead negotiator on the Iran deal, which the Trump Administration rejected, and which Pompeo, in his brief convention speech from Jerusalem on Tuesday night, called the “disastrous nuclear deal with Iran.” 

As it happens, Sherman boasts broad experience in disastrous deals. 

 Sherman, 71, holds a master’s degree in social work, not exactly an intellectually demanding discipline, if it is one at all. Sherman duly opted for a career in politics, managing campaigns for Barbara Mikulski and Michael Dukakis. That landed her a job in the Clinton Administration where, as Jennifer Rubin noted, Sherman constructed a foolish and dangerous policy that allowed Kim Jong Il to take the benefits of the deal while pursuing his nuclear program.” That dangerous failure proved no bar to promotion. 

 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named Sherman undersecretary of state for political affairs and Sherman led the negotiations for the Iran nuclear deal. Sherman was the only U.S. negotiator to view the confidential “side deals” between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Commission. She then waffled on whether she had seen only rough drafts or the final versions, and argued they could not be submitted to Congress. 

 Readers might recall that back in 1979, Iran invaded the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held 52 Americans hostage for more than 400 days. The Islamic regime is a major sponsor of terrorism and the major obstacle to peace in the Middle East. For negotiations with this Islamic regime, on the subject of nuclear weapons, Democrats selected a social worker and political insider with a record of failure in dealing with North Korea. 

 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, by contrast, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and Harvard Law School before serving in Congress and heading the CIA. Pompeo on Tuesday told the Republican National Convention, “when Iran threatened, the president approved a strike against Qasem Soleimani.” At the time, Wendy Sherman told reporters, the “very escalatory” attack could have “unbelievably horrific consequences.” 

 Like many Americans, Pompeo might be tempted to say, in the manner of Walter Sobchak, “shut the f–k up Wendy, you’re out of your element here.” 

Incredibly, Democrats thought this friend of Hillary was the right tool for the job, and they now want to replace police with social workers. If anybody thought that could have unbelievably horrific consequences, it would be hard to blame them. 

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

Photo: David Wall/Getty Images

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