Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
Frank Bernheisel
Posted 10.16.17
Just Outside Washington


Déjà vu all over again

Last Friday -- that was Friday the 13th by the way -- President Trump announced he would not certify Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement, which imposes restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief. The President said: "We will see what happens with Iran. We're very unhappy with Iran. They have not treated us with the kind of respect that they should be treating."

President Trump is not listening to his senior staff including Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, and James Mattis, Secretary of Defense. So who is he listening to?

Nikki Haley, Ambassador to the UN, who did an end run around her boss, Rex Tillerson, to visit the International Atomic Energy Association, where she pressed officials about Iranian compliance with the deal; she returned and delivered a speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) expressing her "doubts and concerns about the agreement."

And, John Bolton, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for 16 months as a recess appointee by President George W. Bush, after the Iraq invasion. He is currently a senior fellow at AEI. Funny how American Enterprise Institute keeps popping up.

You remember John Bolton, right? He is a friend of Steve Bannon, and he was one of those really smart guys that back on February 19, 1998 were pressuring President Bill Clinton to invade Iraq. The letter (see the first link) that John Bolton signed, along with those other really smart guys; Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, William Kristol, Caspar Weinberger, which includes at least five with ties to AEI. The second link provides some historical context.

Their plan for Iraq was so brilliant that President George Bush did invade. That success is what John Bolton now appears to want to duplicate in Iran. And as George Santayana, the philosopher, wrote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."