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For our Iran nuke deal negotiator, there’s no business, like failed business

For our Iran nuke deal negotiator, there’s no business, like failed business

Wendy Sherman’s negotiations ended up with North Korea developing a nuclear weapon, why should we expect a better outcome with Iran?

In an article about Wendy Sherman, the administration’s chief nuclear negotiator, Politics and a Ruptured Tendon Don’t Faze Lead Iran Negotiator, the NY Times reports sympathetically, even while indicting her.

Along the way, Ms. Sherman was the State Department’s chief strategist in dealing with the North Korean nuclear program. It was a searing experience, in both its temporary successes and long-term failure, that prepared her for the complexity of the Iranian negotiations, and has made her a target for those on Capitol Hill who argue that history is about to repeat itself.

What were the temporary successes? It was coming to agreements with the rogue regime. The long term failure stemmed from trusting those successes to deter North Korea.

So if and when Iran develops a nuclear weapon, will we read about the temporary success of Geneva?

For a history of Wendy Sherman that doesn’t pull punches see Axis of Fantasy vs. Axis of Reality by Bret Stephens:

In 1988, the former social worker ran the Washington office of the Dukakis campaign and worked at the Democratic National Committee. That was the year the Massachusetts governor carried 111 electoral votes to George H.W. Bush’s 426. In the mid-1990s, Ms. Sherman was briefly the CEO of something called the Fannie Mae Foundation, supposedly a charity that was shut down a decade later for what the Washington Post called “using tax-exempt contributions to advance corporate interests.”

From there it was on to the State Department, where she served as a point person in nuclear negotiations with North Korea and met with Kim Jong Il himself. The late dictator, she testified, was “witty and humorous,” “a conceptual thinker,” “a quick problem-solver,” “smart, engaged, knowledgeable, self-confident.” Also a movie buff who loved Michael Jordan highlight videos. A regular guy!

Later Ms. Sherman was to be found working for her former boss as the No. 2 at the Albright-Stonebridge Group before taking the No. 3 spot at the State Department. Ethics scolds might describe the arc of her career as a revolving door between misspending taxpayer dollars in government and mooching off them in the private sector. But it’s mainly an example of failing up — the Washingtonian phenomenon of promotion to ever – higher positions of authority and prestige irrespective of past performance.

Why should we expect a better outcome with Iran?

[Photo: NBC Nightly News]

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Comments

What would be the impact in the USA of a nuclear exchange in the MIddle East? I don’t think we all need to become preppers. But, maybe we should just bet the farm on US drilling stocks. And, buy lots of canned food.

A former social worker as a nuclear arms negotiator? Nothing like sending in the tough guys to confront the NORKs!

“The late dictator, she testified, was “witty and humorous,” “a conceptual thinker,” “a quick problem-solver,” “smart, engaged, knowledgeable, self-confident.” Also a movie buff who loved Michael Jordan highlight videos. A regular guy!”

I wonder if North Vietnamese or Russian negotiators knew stuff like this about our participants. And I bet Kim Jong Il was a quick problem solver! “I just tell the social worker what she wants to hear….and she buys it! LOL”

What is with our government? We hire a software firm with a record of failure…twice! And we allow someone with a record of failure in one of the most sensitive and important activities in government to run them…twice!

Ridiculous.

David Gerstman: What were the temporary successes? It was coming to agreements with the rogue regime. The long term failure stemmed from trusting those successes to deter North Korea.

There’s a case to be made that the Bush Administration dropped the ball on Korea, and pushed shut the door to the North. They also allowed a disagreement on centrifuges to cause a breakdown in talks, so that the North Koreans then pulled their plutonium from under international control. The first known Korean nuclear test was in 2006.

General “Buck” Turgidson: “Well, I, uh, don’t think it’s quite fair to condemn a whole program because of a single slip-up, sir.”

From the movie Dr. Strangelove – after telling the President that a USAF General unilaterally launched an nuclear attack on Russia.

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