Antony Blinken, Iranian Tool
Is there a U.S. enemy that the Biden administration doesn’t take orders from?
By Bruce Bawer
Under George W. Bush, U.S. foreign policy was nothing to write home about. White House advisors who sought to use 9/11 as an excuse to remake the Middle East – but who had absolutely no understanding of Islam – got us into deadly, expensive wars that ended up accomplishing nothing. Bush himself kept insisting that we weren’t at war with Islam – which he called, either foolishly or dishonestly, a “religion of peace” – but with “terror,” a meaningless formulation that doomed us from the start.
But at least Bush and his people weren’t actively trying to subvert America. Under Obama and again under Obama’s puppet, Biden, things have been different. Obama’s grotesquely fawning praise of Islam in his 2009 speech at Egypt’s Al-Azhar University set the tone. So did his scandalous bow, in the same year, to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. The previous year, quoting the Muslim call to prayer – including the Islamic profession of faith – Obama had called it “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”
So Obama’s enthusiasm for such otherwise inexplicable initiatives as the Iran deal made sense. Ditto his palpable hostility toward Israel.
One of the Obama administration’s top foreign-policy figures was Antony Blinken, who during Obama’s first term served as Biden’s national security advisor and, during Obama’s second term, was deputy national security advisor and then deputy secretary of state. His pedigree was striking. In a 2021 article for Commentary, the estimable Ruth R. Wisse wrote about Antony’s paternal grandfather, M.H. Blinken, a proud Jew and ardent backer of Israel, and about M.H.’s two sons, Donald, who became ambassador to Hungary, and Alan, who became ambassador to Belgium. According to Wisse, Donald and Alan’s devotion to American and Jewish interests gave way over the years, alas, to a more internationalist disposition.
Antony was Donald’s son, but grew up mostly in the home of his stepfather, Samuel Pisar, about whom he was wont to tell a moving story: Pisar, a Polish Jew who was the only child in his school to survive the Holocaust, spent four years in concentration camps and then, at the end of the war, escaping from “a death march into the woods in Bavaria,” encountered a tank. “He ran to the tank, the hatch opened, an African-American GI looked down at him. He got down on his knees and said the only three words that he knew in English that his mother taught him before the war, ‘God bless America.’” In the version of this story quoted by Wisse, Antony Blinken concludes: “That’s who we are. That’s what America represents to the world, however imperfectly.”
Tellingly, however, Antony Blinken, as Wisse points out, seems never to have talked publicly about about his paternal grandfather, M.B., who loved Israel and warned against “pandering to Arab ‘sensibilities.’” Why not? Because, in Wisse’s words, Antony became, like his father and uncle, “a committed internationalist, Europeanist, and, like his father, a Democratic Party loyalist.” As a devoted Obama man, he showed every sign of being glad to implement, and defend, the most firmly anti-Israeli American foreign policy ever.
Following the Trump interregnum, Biden became president, and named Blinken secretary of state. Blinken had been in office only a few months when calls came for him to resign over the disastrously botched Afghanistan withdrawal. As Josh Hammer wrote in the New York Post at the time, Blinken went on all the Sunday morning network shows and repeated an outrageous lie: “This is manifestly not Saigon” – a reference of course, to the 1975 fall of South Vietnam. No, it was worse than Saigon. To quote Hammer, “Blinken was not just wrong on the Saigon comparison — he was horribly, incontrovertibly wrong on everything related to the Afghanistan pullout.”
And he’d known better. He’d known that the Taliban was moving into Kabul very quickly, and that a full withdrawal would cause Kabul to collapse. But he ignored that information. “Resign, Tony,” demanded Hammer.
But Blinken didn’t leave. Then, this past July, there was a new call for him to quit. In a joint statement, the Republican secretaries of state of six states – Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia, and Wyoming – asserted that if Blinken had had something to do with the cockamamie October 2020 letter in which 51 ex-intelligence officials dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop story as Russian disinformation, he should resign immediately.
Blinken denied any connection to the letter, and again kept his job.
Then came October 7.
To the surprise of many Americans, many Israelis, many Arabs, and a whole lot of political leaders and diplomats around the world, the Biden Administration responded to the Hamas massacres with a solid declaration of support for Israel. But even before Israel struck back, the folks at Foggy Bottom were disgruntled over Biden’s lack of what diplomats like to call nuance. And after Israel’s Gaza operation commenced, the mood in Blinken’s shop grew even angrier. On October 20, an anonymous U.S. official was quoted as saying that a “mutiny” was “brewing” at all levels of the State Department over Biden’s support for Israel. On November 18, the BBC reported that Biden was facing “an extraordinary level of criticism from within his own administration,” with functionaries at State registering their outrage via internal memos, and with some younger officials using pro-Palestinian language that “echo[ed] the rhetoric of young political activists.” The BBC cited Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, “a former US diplomat who is now president of the Middle East Policy Council,” to the effect that “the chorus of dismay has led to “significant shifts in US language and approach” since the Hamas invasion.
On November 19, in an article entitled “Blinken’s Diabolical Plan,” Mark Levin went a great deal further, declaring explicitly that Blinken was “exploiting the war against Israel to destroy the existing State of Israel by using pressure, threats, blackmail, leaks, the media, diplomatic backstabbing, the Arab states, the E.U. and the U.N.” A sweeping, and startling, charge. Levin quoted from a November 13 memo in which Blinken reassured colleagues that “we believe Palestinian people’s voices and aspirations must be at the center of post-crisis governance in Gaza. We believe in Palestinian-led governance of Gaza, with Gaza unified with the West Bank.”
Right, because the people of Gaza have shown themselves to be so wonderfully capable of self-government. These are the people who voted Hamas into power, who cheered the October 7 atrocities, and who tell pollsters now, by a large margin, that they still support Hamas. These are, moreover, people who have been brainwashed to hate Jews since infancy. The appalling condition of Gaza, even before the Israelis began reducing it to rubble, testified not only to Hamas’s wholesale misdirection of international aid to military uses but to the determination of most Gazans to wallow in hate rather than build up something resembling a real society.
“Israelis and Palestinians,” Blinken went on to say in his memo, must end up “living side by side.” Yes, and the lion shall lie down with the lamb. “With the Blinken plan,” Levin observes, “Israel will not survive, certainly not for long. This has been the plan since Barack Obama was president and Blinken was deputy secretary of state. John McCain was 100% right when he went to the Senate floor to excoriate Blinken and refused to vote for his confirmation as deputy secretary of state.”
The remarks by McCain to which Levin refers were delivered on December 16, 2014. Preserved on C-SPAN, they make for remarkable viewing. McCain, speaking for 24 minutes, summed up the disaster of Obama’s foreign policy – among them the folly of Benghazi, the insanity of the Iran deal, and the failure to prevent Bassad’s slaughter of Syrians and Putin’s invasion of Crimea – then zeroed in on Blinken, who’d made statements (for example, about the level of violence in Iraq) that were “divorced from reality”; whose determination to withdraw from Afghanistan on a specific date would lead to disaster (seven years later, McCain would be proven right); and who was personally responsible for crushing the popular Iranian movement to remove the murderous mullahs.
That’s not all. In a sensational October 2 article in the Tablet, Lee Smith reported on developments, most of which postdate McCain’s j’accuse, that probably have the late Arizona senator rolling in his grave. The thrust of Smith’s article is that, according to Iranian government emails, Biden’s envoy to Iran, Robert Malley, has in fact been secretly working with the Iranian mullahs to ensure that they, in effect, determine Biden’s Iran policy. Aiding in this nefarious effort were Malley’s protégé Ariane Tabatabai, whom he helped place at State and then at Defense, and a phalanx of Iranian American academics who were on the payroll of an official of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and who began as “outside ‘experts’” purportedly advising the U.S. government before being named to high-level posts in the U.S. government.
You couldn’t make it up if you tried. And even before Smith’s article appeared, it was obvious that something was fishy about Malley and his crew. Last year the National Union for Democracy in Iran (NUFDI), which opposes the mullahs, wrote to Blinken urging that he (1) adopt a new Iran policy driven by concern for freedom and human rights in Iran and (2) replace Malley. Even then it was clear to these liberty-loving Iranians that Malley’s priorities were way off. Needless to say, Blinken ignored the NUFDI’s request.
Anyway, the bottom line of Smith’s piece – which is far more elaborate and detailed than I’ve been able to indicate here – is that under Obama and then under Biden, many top officials at State were taking orders from the enemy. This, in itself, is nothing new. Back in the day, there were Stalinists in the State Department, among them Alger Hiss, whose innocence any number of Democrats went to their graves professing. It was Joe McCarthy, who tried to expose this treachery, who went down in history as the heavy. But at least Hiss and his ilk tried to cover their tracks. The presence of Iranian operatives in the Obama and Biden administrations could almost, it appears, have been described as an open secret.
Indeed, Smith suggests that the White House knew what Malley was up to and approved. For under Biden, as under Obama, Iran’s interests were America’s interests: the White House wanted to protect the mullahs and their nuke program. Smith concludes by saying that it’s time to find out why this is the case. But do we really have to ask? If Obama is pro-Iran, it’s because he hates America and Israel and loves Islam. If Biden, the current nominal president, is pro-Iran, it’s because he’s Obama’s puppet. And if so many people at State and even at the Pentagon are pro-Iran, it’s because they’re relatively recent graduates of elite universities where they learned to see America and Israel as evil oppressors and the mullahs as innocent victims.
In any case, why should we be surprised that Obama and Biden are partial to Iran? We already knew that the Biden family was paid off big time by both China and Ukraine. We already knew that the Clintons, who concocted the Russiagate hoax, were themselves, in fact, cozy with the Russians. Since the Democrats who run our government are already in thrall to our other major enemies, why not Iran, too?
Aside from which, well, let’s face it. Even in its best days, the State Department was largely a congregation of clowns – a bunch of Ivy League brats who looked down on the ordinary citizens of their own country while viewing even representatives of the most savage foreign regimes as charmingly exotic and essentially harmless. After all, even Hamas officials don’t decapitate you when you’re sitting across from them at a negotiating table. They may not partake of the cocktails at a cocktail reception, but they can seem eminently clubbable when they’re schmoozing you for giant pallets of cash.
Yes, the idiots at State know in detail what Hamas did to those kibbutz residents and Negev partygoers on October 7, but such events, in a sense, aren’t entirely real to them. Their world is the eminently civilized world of jet-set diplomacy. It’s a world in which you can very quickly come to believe that whereas the trucker in Arkansas or the farmer in Iowa is a hopelessly unsophisticated rube, the envoy from Tehran or Beijing is perfectly refined – a person who is very much like yourself, and with whom (you convince yourself) you could easily work out all the planet’s problems if only the pesky riffraff would keep out of it.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons