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Desperation is Not a Good Negotiating Tactic

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

As I watched Secretary of State John Kerry testify before the Senate on the recently completed nuclear agreement between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran, I could not help but notice Kerry’s obvious exasperation with his former Senate colleagues, who were now serving as his inquisitors.


The secretary has long been known for his massive ego, and his perception that his intellect is far above all of the American great unwashed. He simply believes that common Americans are not of the intellectual caliber to think the great and deep thoughts that Kerry muses over in his daily life.

No doubt this arrogance and inability to connect with the American people played a large part in him losing his run for the presidency against George W. Bush back in 2004. With all of Bush’s faults and with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan not going well, people still liked Bush personally. They just didn’t like John Kerry.

All the while that the senators probed with pointed questions about the recent Iran agreement, Kerry fidgeted and shifted in his chair obviously uncomfortable with having to answer questions from and justify his negotiations to the mere minions in the U.S. Senate. The very body where in his own mind he served as a towering presence for so many years.

Unfortunately for Secretary Kerry, the United States Senate and the Congress indeed should be holding Kerry and the Obama Administration’s feet to the fire over the recent Iran nuclear agreement, which will clearly hasten Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon. Contrary to Kerry and Obama’s protestations that this is a good deal.


While I’m sure in his own mind John Kerry believes he achieved an agreement of monumental importance in world history, as well as giving Barack Obama a foreign policy accomplishment to hang on the wall of his new house in Rancho Mirage, California. You know, the one he and Michelle recently purchased with a large mirror in every room suitable for gazing into.

You see, Kerry’s massive ego is only rivaled by that of Barack Obama. Both of whom truly believe that they have never made a mistake in their entire lives. They are just misunderstood by those lesser human beings at Fox News, the Republican Party, and the Tea Party fanatics who have the audacity - not of hope – but to question anything this administration does.

It seems that neither the president nor Secretary Kerry seem to understand the nature of the adversaries they were dealing with in Iran. Both the president and his foreign policy ‘expert’ John Kerry apparently believed that dealing from a position of desperation with a despotic totalitarian enemy is a strong negotiating position.

Lessons could have been learned simply by taking a look back in history during the second-worst president of the United States, Jimmy Carter’s administration. The Islamic Republic of Iran ran circles around President Jimmy Carter, also while holding Americans hostage.


Interestingly the Iranian mullahs quickly released the hostages on the very day that Republican Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 39th president of the United States. Could it be that Reagan’s pronouncements during the campaign that Iran would pay a severe price if they did not release the American citizens they were holding have something to do with the hostages’ release?

Did Iran gauge Ronald Reagan as someone who would not be a weak and indecisive president as Carter was, but a strong and confident adversary who would bring destruction upon the Islamic Republic if they didn’t release the hostages?

I suspect that did indeed have a great deal to do with the Mullah’s decision not to test Ronald Reagan’s mettle. The perception they had of Ronald Reagan was that he was not one to be trifled with and was as good as his word.

Quite different from a perception of weakness and desperation, which is how they view John Kerry and his boss Barack Obama.

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